Yeah Right! was released a few months shy of ten years ago. That video, the Girl/Chocolate video disguised a shoe company video plus a Cairo Foster part and Cliché section, and likely the one being premiered today in Los Angeles / Sunday in New York, have come to represent benchmarks in “just how far we’ve come” technologically. Yeah Right! = Motorola Razr, Fully Flared = the first iPhone, Pretty Sweet = an iPhone 7 or something?
Despite the fact that Yeah Right! was the most advanced video of its time, it had a running gag in which green screen ramps would be set up to “unskateable” obstacles, skated, and later removed in post-production as a self-referential nod to the video’s title. “Skateboarding is pretty crazy right now, this dude 360 flip noseblunted a handrail, but like, yeah right bro! It’s not *that* crazy!” Well, the predictive spirit of Jules Verne must have taken up an interest in skating and channeled itself through Spike Jonze and Ty Evans, because since then, many of the tricks that were only possible with lime green ramps and After Effects began happening without them. Below is a list of Yeah Right! green ramp tricks and their counterparts in reality.
Trick: Ollie over a street with two parking lanes and a middle lane for traffic.
A three-car street has yet to be ollied. The closest would have to be Alex Olson’s ollie over a street that could easily fit two cars at MACBA for his Fully Flared ender.
How Far Have We Come? 66.66% of the way there.
Trick: Frontside 180 over a parking meter from flat.
The current high ollie record is 45 inches (that’s 114.3 centimeters for you Euros), set by Aldrin Garcia in 2011. The previous high ollie record was 44.5 inches (Euros: that’s 113.03 centimeters), set by Danny Wainwright in 2000. Let’s ballpark an average parking meter at four feet in height (48 inches / 121.92 centimeters…this estimate doesn’t apply if you live in Louisvillle, KY.) At the rate we’re going, the highest ollie record will move up half of an inch every eleven years. In order to skate parking meters from flat, it will need to reach 48 inches, which according to these projections, could take another 76 years.
How Far Have We Come? 45 inches is 93.75% of 48 inches, so we’re 93.75% of the way there. But sometimes, the last few steps are the largest ones.
Trick: Ollie over / 5050 on top of two stacked elementary school California picnic tables from flat.
The only notable innovation in terms of how we approach skating schoolyard tables these past ten years has come from yet again, Alex Olson. He ollied one longways. Daewon’s picnic table stacks don’t count because he used ramps.
How Far Have We Come? 50% of the way there, but we’re likely to be stuck “there” for a while.
Trick: 5050 a high power box from flat.
Not sure if Darren Harper could 5050 this, but he could probably switch 180 5-0 or switch tailslide it.
How Far Have We Come? For a 5050…60% of the way there? For a switch tailslide? 98%.
Trick: Pop shove-it up a nine stair.
Reality’s closest parallel to Koston’s fake trick is C.J. Tamborino’s switch pop shove-it up a five stair in Flow Trash.
How Far Have We Come? Five of nine equals 55.55%. However, C.J. did it switch, so let’s give him two extra stairs. 77.77% of the way there.
Trick: 5050 up the six-stair rail that Guy Mariano switch front shove crooked in the Mouse credits. Not sure why they bothered faking a trick on this, as Guy’s trick in 1996 would still be more impressive than a 5050 up this from flat in 2003.
Dave Chapelle was making skits about black U.S. presidents around the same time Mike Carroll was kidding around with the prospect of grinding up a handrail. Quick turnaround, huh. With skaters like Leo Romero, Brandon Westgate and Luis Tolentino making a name for themselves by grinding up things that they were meant to go down on, this 10-year-old “joke” is now just some shit we’ve already seen before.
How Far Have We Come? 100%. We made it baby!