An Interview With Mitchell Wilson

April 5th, 2017 | 1:03 pm | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

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Words & Interview by Zach Baker
Photos by Colin Sussingham & Max Hull

We’ve all heard more than a few skateboarders use the term “family” to describe their group of friends, mutually-funded acquaintances, or more broadly, everyone who has ever owned a skateboard, whether or not they’ve even met. But I think I speak for all of us when I say that it has always been a source of fascination when you hear of people that skate together who are, well, actually siblings. Guys like Jonas and Jeremy Wray, Mike and Quim Cardona, Dustin and Tristan Henry — it always seemed so nice to grow up with a brother or sister who also skated.

Courtesy of Max Hull’s owl-like awareness, it was brought to our attention that a number of Slap commenters are a bit confused about the genealogy of contemporary skateboarding’s most popular brothers: the Wilsons. Mitchell Wilson, a.k.a. Crazy Mitch From Philly, is Andrew and Johnny’s oldest brother. As you maybe know, and in keeping with the higher-publicized talents of the his bloodline, Mitch is anomalously fucked at skating. What separates Mitch is that, unlike his brothers who are very much a part of the multi-billion-dollar skate industry, Mitch has always been untethered by the throes of brand affiliation and marketing teams, which has granted him the liberty to say, post an Instagram story of himself scribbling on his teeth with Crayons, dive headfirst into a pile of garbage, or say generally whatever he wants with minimal repercussion save maybe a black eye.

While many of his compatriots have migrated north in search of art-handling gigs and diamondplated metal, Mitchell has been downright stubborn in his affinity for Philadelphia, so much so that he allegedly gives his whole family Philadelphia t-shirts and souvenirs for Christmas every year.

So, to clarify, Mitchell, the guy who does wallie kickflips, slappy switch smith grinds, and that really, really long winding slappy in Paych, is the oldest brother of Andrew and John Wilson. Josh Wilson is not at all related.

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Who’s your favorite skateboarder?

I didn’t have one for years because I never even thought about it, but when I started working at Woodward, every kid would ask me that, so, I guess, Tony Trujillo.

What’s up with wallie kickflips?

I was trying frontside wallie backside 180s, and it flipped one time. I figured out how to make it flip and just tried to land on it. I can’t really do it anymore, it was just a passing thing. But I’ve tried heelflip ones and I’ve tried them switch.

They Destroyed Love a Year Ago

March 1st, 2017 | 11:24 am | Time Capsule | 1 Comment

rip love park

It has been just over a year since Philadelphia destroyed history’s most serendipitous intersection of skateboarding and public space — a place people risked losing appendages to skate one last time. We carried plenty of fresh wounds into 2017, so picking at Love Park’s irreversible end serves no purpose beyond masochism. With there still being a surplus of footage from the Sabotage dudes et al. (who were actually the main masochistic outlet for Love closure anniversary coverage), it’s easy to forget that it has already been a year.

Memory Screen coincidentally uploaded this collection of Kalis clips from Love today (though they left out my favorite five seconds of a skate video maybe ever.) Much like people in our age group only know Embarcadero from THPS and scholarly types pointing us in the direction of old Carroll footage, every generation from hereon-out will know Love through images and stories. There isn’t an abridged version of the spot to go back to and mentally fill in the blanks — like the Banks after the planters and benches were installed, or Southbank after it was cut in half. As the park dawns closer to its new reality as a grassy crack colony, its original form drifts further into clips like these. You’d think all associated images had been committed to firm memory by now, but I actually have no idea where the clip of the switch front blunt / switch backside flip line is from, nor do I think I have ever seen it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Shout out Edmund Bacon. You deserve a bronze statue at a sick spot in a city that’s not as stubborn as Philadelphia.

Related: The Love Park Story, Teaser for Sabotage 5

Pucci is Different From Gucci

February 20th, 2017 | 12:48 pm | Daily News | 1 Comment

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Late start to the day. Congrats to Yaje Popson, one of remarkably few T.F. native sons to have the distinction of his name on a pro board. Proud of you bud ♥

Happy Birthday Matthew Perez. Proud of you too ♥ …I think…

The largest tall tee Wade Desarmo ever wore was a 5XL. That and an examination of why so few objectively superior skateboarders make it out of Canada in his interview with a competing podcast. Even if you’re not a “Nine Club” guy, this one was great.

As far as our *favorite* skate podcast goes (and the one Wade is currently M.I.A. from because nobody is “in the streets” in Toronto…), The Bunt’s latest is with Stefan Janoski. Always felt in the minority of preferring his Inhabitants part over Mosaic, but good to to know it’s his fave too ;)

More podcasts?! You may remember a simpler time back in 2012 — before the world began to implode — when our biggest concern was a man named Louis Sarowsky forever ruining the act of skateboarding via a Mountain Dew-sponsored reality show…He has a new interview over on “Max White Presents.”

Vincent Touzery’s part from Spirit Quest / his 5Boro days is now online.

The angel who put together the Jesus remix from last weeks’ links rounded up all of Mike Carroll’s B-sides since Pretty Sweet and edited a four-minute part with some garnishes from the past. Rick Howard next or are those too few and far between?

Philly Santosuosso has a new part out for Humidity’s collaboration with Reebok. He also has a photo with Figgy Fresh. ♫ Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… ♫

Akira Mowatt has a new half New York, half California part for Ultra Corp Skateboards.

Between the Kevin Taylor part from a month ago and Mike Maldonado dropping a new one at the age of 41, Frozen in Carbonite’s piece on the Philadelphia Sports Mythos rings truer by the day in skateboarding. Where’s Tony Montgomery at?

Enjoyed this piece on why the death of DVD will haunt consumers. Skateboarding has the benefit of skate shops preserving community — unlike film, which lost its cultural hubs with the death of video stores (R.I.P. Kim’s) — which is all the more of a reminder to give your shop some money today.

Ricard Napoli’s new video, Making It Happen, premieres tonight in Williamsburg at 8.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Didn’t actually watch it, but this is the only All-Star game highlight we cared about.

Quote of the Week
Inquisitive Gentleman: “Where are you?”
Corey Rubin: “Bellport, Long Island. But if anyone asks, say Dubai.”

Was gonna embed “My President is Black” or the Honey Drippers or some shit for a President’s Day themed soundtrack, but the song below has calmed my nerves more than anything else the past couple weeks, so give her a whirl.

Eleven* Summers, No Fumbles

October 10th, 2016 | 5:03 am | Daily News | 8 Comments

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Photo by Will Robson-Scott.

Our new capsule with Nike SB releases on Thursday, October 13 in skate shops worldwide. It includes a special, #lowkey colorway of the Bruin Hyperfeel, a heavyweight longsleeve pocket tee, and a Lamborghini of a wool coach jacket that exudes grown and sexy confidence. Thanks Ripped Laces for the love

Skateboarding in 2016 is a strange place, and this early 2000s nostalgia is really hitting critical mass man. Whatever incarnation of Osiris still exists re-added Tyrone Olson and Peter Smolik to their team, a year after Smolik aired out the company for denying him a snow camo Navigator and pushing Slimer-colored footwear. “The Storm already passed homie, let’s get the hurricane on and the tornado.” I don’t know dude.

Jesse Alba put together an eight-minute montage that has some cool Max footage.

HD video blog #23 via Johnny Wilson and the L.E.S. Park.

Got a good laugh out of the 5050 on the table attempt at Wall Street Gap. The new edition of Lurk NYC’s “New York Times” outtake reel is now live.

The Bunt’s new one is with Eggs mayor, Brian Delaney.

Mitch Swongo and Associates” is the new one from the Western Mass boys, sure to get you feeling romantic about skating a high curb in a suburban bank parking lot. Includes Ben Bartle footage

They saved Black Blocks. Shout out Atlanta, fuck John Street and Mike Nutter.

On that note, this video is legitimately a bit heartbreaking to watch at points. Chris Mulhern put together a recent montage of Philly skating, which includes footage of people skating the rubble left behind during the Love Park demolition.

Memory Screened did an incredible remix vid of varial flip god, Tim O’Connor. (Leaving him off our 2013 varial flip study is one of the greatest oversights in QS history.)

“Danny Brady got NO swag. He’s also the team manager, so I’m probably gonna get kicked off for saying that.” Jenkem interviewed the perpetually viral Jamal Smith.

Here’s a chill “Summer Trip to New York” vid from Brixton’s BMT squad.

Kingpin has some photos of that Spanish plaza from last week, in addition to a full #listicle of the best skatepark in Europe that’s good for killing five minutes.

Yesterday, we were talking about how much American currency it would take for us to attempt a caveman boardslide on the rail that goes down from the middle stage at House of Vans. This guy crooked grinded it.

Is it weird this is my fav Gucci verse since he got out? It’s ~playful~ n ~silly~. Also, this came on shuffle the other day and its still sick. “No sneakers, I’m wearing creatures.”

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Basketball is back! Who throws a shoe?

Quote of the Week:

kebabs-on-hooker-lane

This part is way less ledge dance-y than I remember it. It’s more bump-to-cans and bump-to-fences than anything, and surprisingly #current in that regard. The song is still the worst rap song in a skate video ever unless someone skated to Wale.

An Interview With Jamal Smith

August 17th, 2016 | 10:33 am | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

WorldChampion_Jamal

Photo by Nathan Éthier-Myette

Words by Zach Baker

Becoming a professional skateboarder seems pretty tough. You have to get really good at it, but it’s not about who’s the best. Everyone is too good for us to tell the difference at this point. The people who sustain themselves in skateboarding the longest are those with charisma and moxie — “something else.”

Jamal Smith has been exemplary in this regard, pretty much since the invention of YouTube. He finessed himself into the public eye with the Tornado Spin trick tip ten years ago. But, as evidenced by his Sabotage 4 opener, the new Palace clip, his pre-Glory Challenge pseudo-prize fighter Instagram campaign, and most importantly, getting on Stingwater, the dude has been especially feeling it as of the past year or so. I checked in with him outside of the Glory Challenge trying to roll a joint in the wind. He had just suffered a heart-wrenching loss to Wade Desarmo — but he was fine with it. His phone was blowing the fuck up. They both won.

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You just skated against defending titleholder Wade Desarmo in the the Dime World Championship Game of S.K.A.T.E. What was it like going into that for you?

It’s all about theatrics. At the end of the day, if you can put on a good show, it doesn’t matter who comes in first or last. But I mean, of course I wanted that $150,000 or whatever the fuck these Dime niggas are joking about. I was nervous as fuck though. I know I can’t kickflip and this nigga has all the kickflips.

When you saw the kickflip, what was going through your mind?

It was like everything went in slow motion. I felt every drop of sweat running down my face, I saw all the reactions, all the eyes on me. I had to turn inward, and I knew I was fucked.

You rattled off a couple tricks, right?

Yeah, because I’m that nigga. You spin to win. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.

Do you hope to battle him again next year?

Hell no. I’m just trying to smoke everybody else’s weed and watch motherfuckers huck their bodies down the biggest gaps onto swords and numchucks.

You live in Philadelphia?

Yeah, I’m originally from Ohio. I lived there until I was like 11. Then I lived in Massachusetts, and I lived in Ithaca [New York] after that.

Why’d you move around?

My mom passed when I was 11. I was a ward of the state, which meant I had no legal guardian and I had to stay in Ohio until I found someone who would take care of me. At the time, my sister was living in Massachusetts and took me in. I lived in Northampton, some weird little area in Western Massachusetts.

Did you start skating there?

Yeah, I want to say that I was maybe 14 when I started to really get into it. 11 to 13, I was on my Rocket Power shit, riding rollerblades, bikes, whatever the fuck, I didn’t care.