The Importance of Being Sinner — An Interview With Pat Pasquale

October 27th, 2016 | 10:32 am | Features & Interviews | 13 Comments

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Words by Zach Baker / Photos by Dom Travis

In the wake of the sorrow that has come with the passing of Dylan Rieder, the thing that shines brightest about his legacy was an adherence to his own set of artistic values. You may recall him receiving backlash for his tastes in music, attire, skate shoes, and in general for how smoking hot he was. Despite that and piles of other shit talk, Dylan did what he wanted. He stayed true to himself and expressed who he was, despite what a million opinionated avatars had to say. While it’s undeniable that he was one of the best people ever to ride a skateboard, what will always stand out to me will be how he chose the represent himself. For that and so many other reasons, he will live on for generations. R.I.P.

Pat Pasquale A.K.A. Sinner A.K.A. Bandana B, as we’ve claimed before, is another polarizing individual. Some people found his Theatrix part to be inspired; others found the man, the gear and the dubstep to be downright infuriating. QS described it as “Josh Kasper in The Storm meets Guy in Mouse meets 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Total Recall.” It’s not like we’re all about dubstep, but all three songs worth of Sinner’s last major part was a pre-meditated, unflinching realization of a vision as close to its author’s sense of truth as imaginable. Furthermore, he lives by a similar albiet far more hectic mantra to that of this site: “Ollie up it if it’s under eight stairs, if not, go ahead and huck down it.”

Anyway, Snackman’s all “do you want to interview Sinner?” and I’m all “hell yeah,” so he sends me the contact info of a guy named “Bandana B,” who keeps texting me the words “hijinx” and “Arf!” We plan to link during my time in Los Angeles, which is tough because ~you know how getting around L.A. is~. Eventually, we agreed to link and do the interview at Street League, which, in so many words, was drenched. We decided to save the interview for the next day, but go to a party where Nyjah is playing drinking games, EDM is on blast, empty Monster Energy cans are everywhere, and people are lined up to get tattoos. Next morning, he tells me to meet him at the Roosevelt. The rest is, well…it’s here.

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What are you going to be for Halloween?

Skip from Dead Presidents, B!

What’s the last NBD you did?

Last NBD? Like ever? Or for me?

I mean, have you ever?

Yeah, I got NBDs on my resume for sure! That switch shove 5-0 shove it is one of them. I got switch three-shove revert, up five. I call it a Sin Spin. I invented that one.

An Interview With Jamal Smith

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

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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.

Embracing Unreality — The 2016 Dime Glory Challenge

August 10th, 2016 | 12:43 pm | Features & Interviews | 12 Comments

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Words and Photos by Zach Baker

“I love Montreal so much, but every time I come here, I’m such a piece of shit.” — Jersey Dave

Skateboarding is all spectacle, but I understand that you’re up in arms about the International Olympic Committee treating it like the highly-commercialized mainstream sport that it is. You’re asking “how can you even judge skateboarding? It’s art, bro.”

Dime, in the Canadian tradition of being smarter, funnier and better at skateboarding than us, addressed this dilemma long before Tokyo 2020 was even a discussion. But still, we’re here deciding which kickball court to skate piles of refuse in, pleading, “how could they do this to us? This isn’t the 200 meter backstroke…this is skateboarding!” Yes, aside from the fact that smoking weed makes you better at it, skateboarding has very little in common with competitive swimming.

As descendants of the land that brought us the Montreal Screwjob, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Robert “Sluggo” Boyce, the Dime boys recognized what the future of skateboard events could and should look like. Let me tell you, it looks a lot like professional wrestling.

The Backstreet Atlas Guide to New Jersey

July 27th, 2016 | 6:38 am | Daily News | 7 Comments

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New Jersey is impossible to ignore when you’re indulging the mythology of skateboarding. (Thrasher forgetting to give Fred Gall a S.O.T.Y. trophy for the past twenty years is a topic for another day I suppose…) You can talk all the shit you want on the nation’s greatest state, but in reality, at least two of your top five skaters are from there. And for all we know, the Muska might not even be with us today if not for the bravery of one, Michael V. Vallely — born in a New Jersey hospital.

But what do you REALLY know about New Jersey besides the turnpike, Tony Soprano, Jersey Dave, and it containing the global headquarters of I.K.S.R.T.F.O? Adam Abada and Zach Baker, two native New Jersey-ians who once upon a time INSULTINGLY opted to skate through New England rather than the glorious state of their upbringing, decided to take it all back and find out what happens in the majestic home of Brian Wenning and Lockdown Skateboards.

TWS posted the short film of their 100+ mile journey this morning, which chronicles the vast diversity of America’s greatest place from the George Washington Bridge in New York to the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.

P.S. Happy [belated] July 26th everyone.

Previously: An Interview With Two Guys Who Skated from New York to Philadelphia

Oh, Perfect.

June 6th, 2016 | 8:03 am | Daily News | 3 Comments

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DANY video JFK Terminal 1 premiere. Coming soon.

Noseslides on handrails have remained dormant since the peak Muska years, Koston/Frankhouse nosesliding the curved 20 at City Hall era, etc. It’s been a long 10+ years, but we may have to consider a plain and simple noseslide down a handrail as a current frontrunner for N.S.O.T.Y. Shout to Mostly Skateboarding for the tip.

EggsTech™ without the Eggs. The boy Dana Ericson hit up Barcelona for a lot of heavy noseslide and shove nosegrind maneuverings. [*Mandatory mention that he skates a lot of non-stock Barcelona spots :) *]

/ end noseslide related content

Some heavy start of summer vibes in Genesis’ new iPhone clip, and MDW edit from Buck Prichard featuring Caddo, Brendan Carroll + others.

Beef Patty alumni v.s. Connecticut concrete parks via Max Hull.

“Let’s not forget that skateboarding has been multi-platform media since the Bones Brigade videos.” Skateboard Story ran a brutally blunt and honest interview with Eben Sterling, a guy who’s worked at Thrasher for over two decades, about the mag’s continued success as we decry the imminent collapse of print media, and how you’re definitely a dick if you’re on the QS comments section in 2016 thinking Rihanna being the god is some Urban Outfitters “irony” shit.

On same-but-different note, Village Psychic has a feature about Scotland’s North magazine, which only shoots and runs photos on film.

Bobshirt has a video interview with backside nosegrind popout pioneer, Jerry Fowler.

“The way they let the hill bombs run out with no music has an intensity impossible to concoct with slow-motion drone filmography, and its montage structuring is refreshingly dense, difficult to digest in even a few watches…” Boil the Ocean gets its #filmtheory on to juxtapose the GX1000 video with um, skateboarding in the Olympics.

There’s tons of heavy shit in the new Kyron Davis part, including a full-on front board up that thing in the Columbus Park playground that only BMXers hit up.

A topic that has more-or-less steered skate conversations for 20 years: pants.

Although this has to do with one of the worst qualities of American culture, here’s an interesting interview with a lawyer who skates handrails, and took his proficiency at talking to cops to specialize in skateboard related legal-cases.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: This is going five, right? …four?

Quote of the Week: “Anthony Bourdain ruined dating because now you have to take a girl to like, Thailand.” — T-Bird

Out of the country for a bit, so be aware of a potential delay in reply time if you’re trying to get in touch re: anything xoxo :)