This photo of Mike York at Pier 7 (circa 2003?) has been the wallpaper on the QS central command iMac for a long time. It is great for two reasons.
The era of The Great American Skate Spot is long gone, and we are entering a world where cities knob skateparks. Taking a photo like this will soon become close to impossible. A modern skate spot’s life span rarely affords it enough time to become so worn-in that a photo could showcase its every wrinkle.
To borrow a line from a great movie: “Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.” The same could be said about skate spots. Johnny Layton might not have gotten a Skateboarder cover if he did an equal-sized ollie at a random spot in the Midwest, as opposed to one over a N.B.D. gap at the east coast’s sole remaining iconic plaza. Busenitz might’ve not had the same Transworld treatment if he backside noseblunted some curved ledge in Europe, instead of one that we have seen nearly every other trick go down on since the nineties, assuming that it was un-backside-nosebluntable. And it’d be tough to see a major magazine running a backside 180 nosegrind up a two-stair as a full-page photo if it was on a perfect marble ledge in China, and not on something that had over ten years of skateboard history eroded into its edges. Sure, older spots are convenient because they make it easier to qualify what has or has not been done, thus the larger frames of reference for the Layton and Busenitz photos, but a new photo at an old spot is treated with a certain reverence because it adds another page to the imaginary scrapbook skaters have for these places.
The other reason is based on a theory that there is no such thing as a bad photo of a backside 180 nosegrind. You can run a Google Image Search for the trick and almost all of the results, ranging from obscure European skaters to teenagers uploading raw DSL-R files of their friends to Flickr, will be good photos. Somewhere, there is probably even a great photo of Tyrone Olson doing one.
Until someone posts a bad photo of a backside 180 nosegrind in the comments and discredits this theory, a larger issue looms before us. The PWBC once famously resolved the question of whether white guys or black guys are better at fakie hardflips. We’re making a similar inquiry — Who is better at backside 180 nosegrinds, white guys or black guys? Consult the examples below.
Black Guy: Kevin Taylor
White Guy: Anthony Correa
Black Guy: Jahmal Williams
White Guy: Ben Liversedge
Black Guy: Keenan Milton
White Guy: Jack Sabback
Black Guy: Karl Watson ***Commenters have noted that this is likely a nollie 180 switch crook (weird trick for a single shot) and not the switch back 180 nosegrind it was assumed to be. Still a sick photo either way. Here’s an alternate Karl Watson shot:
White Possibly Black Guy: Pryce Holmes
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