A Post of Encouragement

June 5th, 2010 | 10:00 am | Daily News | 14 Comments

Update: Chris Cole won. Who cares. He was funner to watch back when he skated to Common (he used to not suck too, in a far off place, a long time ago.) His style was still hideous, but fun to watch.

Skateboard contests are a lot like Celtics and Lakers NBA Finals, in that there are rarely any surprises. Regardless of who wins, you expect both of them to win at the start of the season. The Boston fans are psyched, and people from LA pretend like they give a shit about basketball for a week-and-a-half once they coincidentally hear that the Lakers happen to be in the finals again. They’ll walk around with Lakers gear for a week, and then roll their eyes at you for the remaining 51 weeks of the year if the topic of basketball happens to come up. Meanwhile, the people who stick with their teams in the good times, as well as the bad times, sit around and read books and wait for the next season to start. There’s no suspense, nothing to look forward to. Great, the Celtics won, who cares. Great, the Lakers won, Kobe’s the worst. Lutzka or P-Rod will probably win. They’re contest skaters, they’re talented, but nobody cares besides their sponsors and little kids.

Some fat black guy on the 7 yesterday asked if I was “competing in that contest” (Do kids with basketballs on the train ever get asked, “Hey, are you going to go play against Lebron, Durant and Steve Nash in that thing tomorrow?”) I gave him a sincere “no.” He told me that once the “California kids show up, it’s over. New York kids ain’t got nothing on them California kids.” I told him to root for Eli once he said he’s going there with his son. I invite you to do the same.

Otherwise, AVE, Biebel, Westgate, Gravette, Busenitz, Dollin, Rowley, Lizard King, Janoski, and Zered are all worth supporting as well. (And if you’re going for the predictable, go for Koston.)

P.S. If you’re from New York, and a Lakers fan, you need to move.

The Big Maloof Weekend: A Complied QS List of FAQs

June 5th, 2010 | 1:32 am | Daily News | 3 Comments

The Comprehensive Over-18 / Not-Making-a-Living-Off-Skateboarding Guide to Maloof

Should I go to Maloof this weekend?

Unless you are making a living off skateboarding, are interested in acquiring your favorite pro’s autograph, or trying to be among the hordes of small-businessmen trying to promote their company via stickers and portable skateshops (a la Mike Wright), there is no reason to go to Maloof. Also considering there are signs all over the bleachers saying “Tickets do not guarantee seating,” you better get there super early if you are.

What do you think Little Alex will be wearing?

Preliminary reports indicate that he has been experimenting with the adoption of Michael Gigliotti’s progressive summer attire, therefore, most bookies are making odds lean in favor of a tucked-in wifebeater / blue jeans combo. You stand to win a lot of money from your local bookie if you happen to bet against this outfit.

Seeing as how that course was essentially traded off for the Unisphere fountain, how did the overall construction turn out?

The “inspirations” behind the obstacles in the park seem to have taken significant liberties with re-creations of prominent obstacles. For instance, in all my years of passing Black Hubba, I never noticed that it was square, and didn’t have a kink at the end, nor did I notice that the Pyramid Ledges were shaped like the Volcolm logo and had a bank running down the side. It could be problematic for the ravers-who-own-skateboards living under the Men in Black Towers and throughout Forrest Hills, in that the development of this park will inevitably propel their abilities on a skateboard beyond levels of normal comprehension. But they will be so accustomed to skating the Maloof-ized version of the Black Hubba, that if God forbid they happen to venture outside of the park, they will be greeted with a rude awakening in terms of the utter lack of perfection that exists in the real world.

Think of the Maloof park as the Matrix. The Queens ravers-who-own-skateboards contingent will ultimately be submissive to the virtual representation of skateboarding via the Maloof Matrix. Once they are unplugged / they take the red pill (i.e. they get on the 7 train and take it to a skate spot), the integral realities of the modern skate world will be unbearable to the conception of skateboarding that they had grown accustomed to within the Maloof Matrix, because they will realize that “real” skateboarding involves cracks, metal spikes, and security guards. The result will be a wave of mass death via heart-attacks at age seventeen from devouring too many E pills and cans of Sparks simultaneously.

Dude, you’re the worst. It’s a fucking park, dude, and it’s sick. Stop acting like a fucking idiot and just skate it, and stop trying to be so fucking cool, man. Don’t you have anything good to say about it?

I commend the fact that the park designers put a curb eight feet before the smaller hubba ledge, and the Union-inspired rail. Almost as if the virtual manifestation of skateboarding was giving a nod to its integral counterpart by adding an otherwise non-sensical thing that’s going to piss people off. It literally serves no purpose beyond making it harder to skate those two obstacles, and that’s great.

The union rails actually do look like the real thing, but it would have been way funnier to leave the knobs on them. If Gangemi could boardslide through them, I’m sure Lizard King could noseblunt it or something.

What is the most glaring omission from the Maloof Park?

The fact that alcoholism was not included in the overall concept for the park is downright offensive. It is as much, if not more, of a crucial core to New York skateboarding than any of the skate spots that were supposedly the models behind the course selections. Including the Fish, Enid’s or Lit to the course would added to the park’s overall authenticity, and give it a much more profound air of completion in its purported claim of simulating New York skateboarding. I’m not sure if Budweiser or Heineken advertise on the Fuse channel, but a great companion piece to the contest would be conducting it while all entrants are intoxicated, and offer twice as much money to the winner. New York skateboarding would not be what it is today without the three aforementioned establishments, and a select few other similar, although less prominent locations. The fact that some bank-to-bank on Amsterdam Avenue (that literally one person has probably skated) is accounted for in the course design, and the Fish was left out is completely unforgivable.

Any other obstacles that should have been included that don’t necessarily involve alcohol?

The Long Island Expressway Hill, complete with circulating cars and trucks, in addition to a true-to-size version of the Courthouse Drop would have been welcome additions to the park. Getting hit by cars / olling onto cabs is almost as New York as drinking, so they are on the second tier of outrage-inducing omissions. The Taxi Commission should have been consulted for lending the park an authentic New York air. It also wouldn’t hurt to coat the entire park with Chinatown-on-garbage-day-in-August sludge to compliment the visual presentation with an authentic New York-ish fragrance.

So what happens when I wake up hung over and still want to see what Greg Lutzka, P-Rod, or some other jerk did to win the money over a bunch of other non-contest-skaters-that-are-otherwise-much-better-skaters-overall?

Turn on the Fuse channel, or just wait for the Skateboard Mag wrap-up clips later in the day.

This Friday, in the Far-Reaching Depths of Queens

June 2nd, 2010 | 2:22 am | Daily News | 7 Comments

The city of New York is approximately 305 square miles. The island of Manhattan is approximately 23 square miles. The area south of 14th Street is, just maybe, what? One-sixth of that? One-eigth? Well, apparently, things happen in those remaining 282 square miles. Things worth going out to. Things that involve skateboarding.

Normally, I would not have the audacity to advocate venturing out anywhere north of Union Square, but this event is actually worth the trip on the 7 to a remote, primitive part of New York City that’s between the devil and the deep blue sea. It is being held at The Queens Museum of Art on this coming Friday, June 4th, starting at 7:15 P.M. The standout attraction of the Queens Museum of Art is a 9,335 square foot model of New York (yes, it includes those other four boroughs), that was built in 1964 by Robert Moses for the World’s Fair. It has the full city grid on it, and 895,000 individual structures updated up to 1992. Some family that owns some sort of basketball team is holding some contest nobody has ever heard of in Flushing Meadows this coming weekend, and in honor of that event, the panorama is going to be decked out and marked with over one-hundred skate spots found throughout the city, by exact pin-point location. Rodney Torres will be giving a talk on skateboarding in New York to accompany the skateboard-ified version of the panorama.

Following Rodney’s talk, at around 8 p.m., there are going to be several video screenings, the most of which you can gather from the above flyer. The overall highlight would have to be the premiere of Howard Glover’s PRE2K video, which is worth the trip alone.

Aside from that, there’s free Monster Energy Drinks (Marquez co-signed, “That shit has got me through so many miles on the interstate”), free Vitamin Water (sorry alcoholics, no free liquor), and 200 free tickets being given away for the Maloof contest (100 for Saturday, 100 for Sunday.)

The Queens Museum of Art is located just to the right on the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows / Corona Park. Take the 7 to Willet’s Point (is the stop still called Shea Stadium or is that done for?), walk across the wooden platform into the park, head towards the Unisphere, and the rest is self-explantory.

Official Event Page on the Queens Museum of Art Site