Skateboarding down hills — like sex and sunsets — enjoys an exorbitant approval rating among humans. But even then, you have to admit that hills have been having a moment these past five years. People end video parts with hill bombs. People bomb hills for justice. The New York Times runs editorial on skateboarding’s most influential collective of hill skaters. Mainstream sports outlets chronicle the most notorious hill-bomb with a judgey raised eyebrow, but they still cover it.
Counterintuitive to all we have heard about our attention spans corroding to that of goldfish on coke, it has become standard practice to allow a hill bomb to ride out for 45 seconds in the middle of a video. We soak up the vicarious rush.
So where does that leave bank skating? Yes, banks. Remember them? The hills’ stumpy, less photogenic siblings.
Like most younger, shorter, less successful children, it leaves them with a Napoleon complex. And what happens when they are ignored? They act out. They dye their hair, they get wild piercings, they paint their rooms black, they date some guy who kinda sells mushrooms and is kinda in a noise band, mom. They mismatch their shoes.
They complicate things. Anything to get attention.
And over the past year-and-a-half, bank skating has been more er, um, showy than usual.
At first, this suspension of a decent down a bank for a second trick seemed like an anomaly via Oscar Candon’s Sour Solution II ender, and part of some hidden lineage by way of “Daewon did it” to Gustav Tønnesen.
Oscar Candon via Sour Solution II
But this #trend continued to develop in Europe, where the healthcare system could accommodate a continent-wide surge of rolled ankles.
Victor Cascarigny via “KNÜCKS“
Patrick Riberg via “Blooms“
Glen Fox via “Business” part
After a year abroad, it made its way stateside. Zered Bassett visited Jake Johnson’s hometown and just HAD TO shove it on the bank after a switch hardflip — in that millisecond after landing before gravity changes its mind.
Zered via Instagram
So what does this spell for the future of Plain Jane bank skating? (e.g. not bank-to-rails, not bank-to-ledges, just simple tricks up and down banks.)
Was the overnight urgency of the “Save the Brooklyn Banks” campaign last month (feels like last year tbh) amplified by a subconscious desire to throw in an extra trick at history’s most famous bank spot? Will there ever be a space to merely kickflip on a bank and not have it be redacted into the “raw files,” lest you heed your filmer’s “Hey, you might want to shove it immediately after that”-request?
This is what happens when we play favorites. The second fiddle, the redheaded step-child, the bastard son evolves. The hills had their moment, and now, we all have to do an entire line on the incline every time we skate a bank.
Hope you’re happy, Oscar.