Once upon a time in the early 2000s, the noseslide nollie heel was the most touched cornerstone of technical skateboarding. Not sure why it was the noseslide nollie heel, but every Digital, Logic, E.S.T. et al. had a noseslide nollie heelflipper. Every packed session at an east ledge spot had a noseslide nollie heelflipper. He may not have been able to back tail, but he could noseslide nollie heel. He was the tech guy in the crew.
At that moment in time — at least out east — P.J. Ladd’s windowsill line with the half cab noseslide 270 heel was the coolest thing ever done on a skateboard. Maybe if you got good at noseslide nollie heels, you could learn to half cab into it, and then you were only 270 degrees away from being P.J?
Eventually, the Accels disappeared, as did the overlong jeans with hems that fit under their heels. The noseslide nollie heel went out too. It remains commonplace in New England, and in every kid at L.E.S. who warms up with a crooked grind nollie flip out — but tech has been out of fashion these past several years. Play a style-conscious 18-year-old in S.K.A.T.E and he’ll get you on an impossible and back 3 immediately, yet somehow lose the advantage on a switch and nollie heel. The average kid will take a serviceable ollie, kickflip, back 3 and maybe the ability to tailslide a high ledge than ever bother with a noseslide nollie heel and its pretzel-spin cousins. Less is more.
Eurotech™ (in it’s truest definition) is not prominent outside of the Helas team and Spain. You don’t see a ton of traditional tech footage coming from Republique (Paris’ successor to Bercy, noted EuroTech™ ledge skating landmark.) Instead, you see slappy tricks, sick fits, and maybe the occasional bluntslide. Even #ontrend Europeans have lost interest in tech, unless it’s ramping up Josh Freidberg’s slappy front nose pretzel spin to new heights.
Please Charge, the Cons Europe video, is a survey of Europeans who have been successful at repackaging American skateboarding from the nineties, and selling it back to us with a more prestigious foreign label. Not many of them care about combining two tricks unless there’s a wall involved, except apparently a 5050 and a backside 360.
Is the newfound prominence of 5050 backside 360s the 2015 version of the noseslide nollie heel — in that it’s the most tangible tech trick to a generation of fashionable skaters uninterested in being tech? Or is this a mere coincidence?
#TRENDWATCH2012: Final fall / winter report, $1,000 griptape, Is this 2013’s biggest t-shirt? (it’s not), Summer report, Smith kickflip outs, headphones & noseslide shove-its