New Photos At Old Spots & Is There Such Thing as a Bad Photo of a Backside 180 Nosegrind?

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.

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INFMS: All fifteen minutes of it

Infamous Skateboards’ fifteen-minute video has avoided a one-part internet revival for quite some time. It has occasionally been chopped up on YouTube, but most of the music is usually stripped away thanks to WMG’s notoriety for clinging to an outdated business model. I *think* this was released around 1999 or 2000 (there’s no date in the credits), a few years before Infamous folded altogether. Puleo’s part gets all the YouTube accolades (and has been on there for probably as long as YouTube has existed), but there are some other solid portions throughout the video’s concise duration, including Nikhil Thayer’s demonstrations of how to properly perform flip tricks, Moya skating in Peter Smolik’s pro model, some young Ian Reid footage, a few bits of Jahmal Williams, some pre-Logic 6 footage of Andy Bautista, and a really sick throwaway montage set to John Lee Hooker after the credits that’s as long as the actual video. Not to mention a glimpse at the less friendly days of Pyramid Ledge security guards. (“You dreadhead muhfucker!!!”) Infamous always had pretty nice, subdued art direction that didn’t shove “East coast, yo!” down your throat and still maintained an identity, so with a to-the-point video like this, it would’ve been sick to see where it could’ve went if it was around for a few more years.

It’s kind of crazy that this and 511 are the only videos from New York based hard goods companies (besides the Zoo videos) to exist from this period. But not as crazy as Funkmaster Flex doing voiceovers for Rawkus commercials at the end of skate videos.

Have a good weekend.