The Flushing Grate, Abridged

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Krak has been prolific in bringing us video Cliffnotes of every name-brand spot as of late. The latest installment comes from the second most famous ledge over a grate gap on planet earth (the first one being in Italy obvs, as it’s maybe the most famous non-Philadelphian or Barcelonian ledge spot altogether), and the longest still-standing marquee obstacle in New York city limits.

Though it’s not arranged chronologically, it really goes to show you how psychotic the progression of skating has been in the fifteen years since a long switch back tail was an extra sslloowweedd banger in a video part. Gino was just talking about how kids being able to hop on a ledge and sit on it is a symptom of “I can’t remember a single trick from that part”-syndrome. At least the the reigning king of sitting on the grate probably has a 516 area code, and did all of his more noteworthy maneuvers before superhuman abilities to sit on ledges became more common. Everything post-Reres has been more or less a blur via obligatory clips in “Summer Trip to New York” edits.

A few footnotes…

– The first footage of this thing in mind is Rodney’s crook and S.J’s front tail in Peep This. (Or was it Heads?) Bici had the first footage of Flushing altogether that I can recall in Mixtape, though he skated the outside of the ledge. He’s also the last person to ever film a slide on the outside of spot as well ;)

– The only notable omissions that come to mind are 1) Moya’s switch front nose, which I swear was in a Metrospective clip but nobody remembers it, nor is it easily traceable. 2) Joey Pepper’s kickflip back lip and lipslide to noseblunt pop up thing. 3) Someone back smithed it right? McFeely in Solo Jazz. 4) Jack Sabback’s frontside nosegrind revert in the middle of the ledge. 5) I’m sure there are more, but these sort of things are next to impossible to be 100% comprehensive on.

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#TBT: The King of the Grate

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Nearly every time a particular trick on a particular spot is mentioned on a particular website, the responses are the same:

“My boy from Wisconsin already did that.”

“Didn’t some guy on Habitat Australia do that in a Slam four years ago?”

“That Canadian with the guages and the DCs did it switch.”

“Greg Lutzka frontside flipped into that.”

We live in a time when some guy lipsliding up Black Hubba is forgotten during a cursory nerd-out conversation regarding all the tricks that have been done there.

The year was 2006 and we were not yet twelve months into our now decade-long existence as an accredited skateboard fashion house. YouTube was a year-and-a-half old. Myspace was more popular than Facebook. Bronze was still Flipmode, and their star players were Billy Lynch and Derrick Z. That summer, they released what was then the pinnacle of little kid New York City skate videos, Flipmode 3. One of its standouts was a switch flip backside tailslide over the Flushing grate by James Reres.

Some Long Islanders can keep a buzz with a push, an ollie, a 5-0 grind. Most cannot.

If at least 20% of the numbers in your phone don’t begin with a 516, it is likely you may not know who James Reres is. Around the time of said Flipmode 3 trick, he rattled off a barrage of tricks over Flushing, with a ferocity not seen in city limits since Zered on the old Grace ledge. Individuals qualified to give proverbial Golden “Globes” crowned him “King of the Grate,” a title that still stands today. It didn’t matter if someone did one of those tricks down the line — they’d have to do all of them and probably some new ones to make a further impact on the spot.

It was right then and there that we knew ABDs would soon be useless. A guy unknown to most not living within a sixty-mile radius of Long Island had singlehandedly set the bar higher than anyone would be able to reach it for almost a decade to come. Our ABD statistician — a fresh-faced Princeton economics graduate tasked with populating spreadsheets with every trick done at the city’s spots — was out of a job.

Some kid on Supra flow is warming up at Santa Monica Courthouse with a switch flip back tail as you read this. Any nerd with Chickenbone wax and some patience could probably do The King’s tricks now. Except unless he has a time machine back to when miraculous skateboard achievements had a lifespan of more than 24 hours, worrying about whether someone did a better trick in 2015 is like hoping the sun won’t set. Thank you to James Reres for so unfairly tipping the scales at New York’s longest-standing marquee skate spot in his favor. Our office hasn’t cared about ABDs since.