Last installment of the more local wrap-up. Readers Poll results, Top 10 of the Year, etc. on the way ❤️
5. The Reuben
Even when they reigned as the most-copied video franchise — Bronze has always adapted, adjusted and most of all, improved with each video. The Reuben found the late-night TV vaporwave vibes of Solo Jazz and TRUST dialed back, yet still layered with ingredients that make watching a Bronze project a wholly unique experience. The roster has been expanded, but even newcomers like Gus Gordon and the Miami dudes (Rezza Honarvar and Elijah Odom) feel like they had been operating inside the 56k universe since forever.
You have your expectations of what you’re about to see when you sit down with a new Bronze video — we have all been doing it for 11 years — except those expectations always are played with, exceeded, and blown to pixelated-back-tail-into-a-vert-ramp bits.
4. Antonio’s Times Square Line
From where we stand now in December 2021: it is fucking wild we just “met up” to skate in Times Square last year.
And of all the crazy shit that Antonio managed to cram into his opening part in The Hardbody Video (a close colleague who caught an early glimpse mentioned that he felt like he was on mushrooms once the part finished), stitching together two of the black marble Times Square slats and braving the variables in-between has to be at the very top of things you may not see again for a long, long time.
It is tough to think of a part that ended on a line that good and hit this hard.
3. Trung’s Darkslide
It is never only about the trick. Anybody with a brain knows that.
Nothing in 2021 exemplified that axiom quite like Trung Nguyen’s ender in Chase Walker’s Respectfully video.
It wasn’t “Trung’s darkslide.” It wasn’t “Trung’s darkslide around the curve,” either. It wasn’t even “Trung’s darkslide around the curve at Marcus Garvey.”
You had to paint the entire picture when you talked about it: Trung’s darkslide around the curve at Marcus Garvey in Tru Religion jeans, on an Element logo board, in slow motion, while Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” plays in the background.
The fact that he did an equally insane darkslide 45 seconds earlier in the part only added to the experience.
2. The Crate Challenge
It should come as no surprise that a year that began with skaters contorting their entire bodies into human kickflips would evolve (devolve?) into something like the crate challenge. There was no single phenomenon to generate as much conversation, speculation, laughs or genuine shock as that beautiful late-August week when it took America by storm.
What began as an attempt by some Tompkins locals at recreating the set-up turned into an even higher, more dangerous endeavor with hundreds of spectators when Tyshawn pulled up to the Popeye’s field with more crates than regulation height required.
Whether you were there or watched on Instagram, observers couldn’t help but mention that it felt a bit like a roundabout response to skateboarding’s first Olympic foray — which, let’s be honest — paled in comparison to this.
1. The Year of the Curb
Spotted this one via @masterplany
Like crypto scams, Birria taco spots, and having sex in front of the Noah store, curbs were everywhere this year. Maybe it was the younger generation freeing itself from the “that’s not hard enough” tyranny that their elders subjected themselves to. Maybe it was the older crowd realizing that we are on a fast track to being swallowed by the sea, and we should have fun on the lowest obstacles while we still can.
The late-2020 pave-job that gave way to a renaissance of marble curbs on Lafayette Street is one of the defining events of this young decade. For the first time ever, the most popular spot in the city was not some ledge spot fighting against the knob clock, L.E.S. or Blue Park — but a block-long strip of waxed curbs.
It went beyond Lafayette Street. Near Tompkins, the reno’d First Avenue L station gave way to its own curb spot, awarding the MTA some rare good publicity. Greg Navarro made a 20-minute video at a curb spot that non-Upper West Siders had likely never even heard of, and landed it on Thrasher. Everywhere you looked, somebody was waxing a curb, and holding on for dear life and/or sanity.