10. Lucas Puig Re-Legitimizes the Noseslide
The northeast may be the last place on earth that does not fully buy into the ballet of flip-in-flip-outs synonymous with the modern day noseslide. We were delighted to see Lucas Puig, one of European skateboarding’s most agreeable technicians, be the one to bring back a completely glitter-less version of one. Puig’s re-induction of the noseslide into acceptable territory for line choreographers has already been felt in videos since his Transworld spotlight, most notably via Stefan Janoski in The SB Chronicles.
Note: Whether or not this trick is acceptable for those under the age of 25 (i.e. those who have not been skating long enough to remember when the noseslide was an acceptable ledge trick) is a controversial subject.
9. Casey Rigney Singlehandedly Makes an Arcade Comeback Somewhat Relevant
Nobody in New York has thought about Arcade since Rodney Torres rode for them (see #99.) Cirque de Solei stunt man Casey Rigney changed that, namely by oillieing up the double bench at Columbus Park, back tailing that ledge that isn’t even actually a ledge on White Street and Broadway, noseblunting the big block at 20th & C, nollie 5050ing a double-kinked rail that maybe three other people have gotten tricks on, and by doing a Wu-Tang classic justice, thus not making it look like the person who edited the clip hasn’t listened to any rap released since 1999 (which is how most Wu-Tang edits look in 2011.)
8. Palace Reminds Us of How Good New York Looks in VHS Quality
There is an amazingly low number of canonized New York skateboard video tapes, yet we still rant about how timeless Mixtape is every time the subject comes up (probably only once a year, but still.) Though no one will ever duplicate the classics, it’s ironic that a bunch of British dudes visited New York two summers ago, and came closer to doing so than anyone ever will in the form of a six-minute web clip. It’s all done with simple tricks, classic style, a full-on VHS camera, and a soundtrack that flips between Waka Flocka and Gang Gang Dance without seeming corny. It might’ve hit a note for a lot of us who grew up with old Zoo videos as the only source of seeing New York skate footage and were nostalgic for how things looked back then, but that only adds to why it’s the best web clip of the year.
7. The Fall of the 12th & A Empire
2011 was a devastating year for New York skateboarding’s second-most dominant governing body. Rumbling within 12th & A’s iron perimeter began with empty weed bags being left on the floor, and a tug of war soon ensued before the spot’s inevitable collapse. A Girl demo was hosted at the park to bolster public opinion, Waka Flocka showed up to give an endorsement of the party, and social welfare programs like flatbars were enacted to help impoverished skaters work on their boardslide deficiencies, not to mention a reconstruction project that flipped the corners on all of the ledges. Unfortunately, these initiatives were not enough. The park was stripped of its skateable obstacles and shut down due to the ineptitude of those who cannot walk two blocks to roll a blunt in a non-school zone. Shake ups in the party’s front office personnel and promises of “an uphill battle” to the glory days are all we have left to cling to.
The worst look for New York skating, and skating altogether in 2011? The New York Times printing that our spots are getting shut down because of “drug use.” Exactly what skateboarding needs.
6. Tompkins Achieves Legacy Status
Jay-Z doesn’t need to record another song ever again, yet he will be able to sell out Madison Square Garden by performing old material for the rest of his life. He is most likely the first rapper to achieve this level of stardom.
On the other hand, several skate spots have been awarded “legacy” status beyond their glory days. People still skated the Banks after the small banks and the ledge sections were ruined by the city, people still go to Love even though it is covered with hideous planters, and if you visit S.F., you’ll stop by the remodeled Union Square and Embarcadero just to imagine where things you saw in old videos might have been.
Tompkins has nothing in common with those four spots, because it isn’t a spot to begin with. Like Jay-Z, it doesn’t need to provide us with another flatbar or box for the remainder of its existence, but will continue to be the city’s most popular spot. Take a look at the pictures above…all that was in the park on that day was the inch-high remnant to a once-great box (Tompkins’ Blueprint 3) and a quarterpipe-to-bench concoction that wasn’t even fun (its Watch the Throne collaboration album.) Rest assured, more people skated Tompkins on that day than any other spot in New York. (Circa 2011 Jay-Z is obviously way worse than circa 2011 Tompkins, but the analogy still stands.)