70something Hours in D.C.

We did two overnights in D.C. this past summer with one explicit rule: no stopping at Pulaski. It was mostly because of the blazing heat that accompanies a place with no nearby shade, but the irony of avoiding the greatest spot still standing on American soil was that it forced us into one or two zones that we would’ve otherwise neglected.

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Groeth Is Coming

Pyramid Ledges extension challenge summer 2k19.

Sign + share the petition to keep synthetic turf off the Tompkins flat.

The Stingwater video is on the way. Pretty excited because Daniel has a way of capturing Antonio’s magic unlike anyone else.

Obvs no shade to anyone else out there pointing lenses at Antonio intended! “Vue” by Stephen Spilker is a rad L.A. montage that also has a good bit of clips from 2018’s GRoER of the Year. Shout out to everyone out there creating plain, old fashioned montages. Should probably start working on a QS one right about now…

Gang Corp put out a sick five-minute summer edit. (The one line into the parking garage got me thinking about if anyone would ever do an all-parking garage montage, kinda how there was the all-subway one from Spirit Quest. So many insane spots in those.)

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Frog Skateboards & Friends in Atlanta

Just because you’re a thorn in the side of every skater guy yelling at a cloud on the internet, doesn’t mean you can’t MS Paint art direct your way into having friends in high places. Facing the dilemma of promoting a Nike SB collaboration with limited Nike SB riders on their amphibious roster, the Frog team called in a couple favors.

They borrowed Numbers’ Antonio Durao (apparently on his way home moonlighting at a catering gig, so the answer to the age-old question of “how much do you pay Antonio?” is “not enough”), 917’s Nolan “Every Time He Focuses A Board, That’s $20 Out Of Alex Olson’s Pocket” Benfield, Stingwater C.E.O. Daniel Kim + several others who consistently gyrate around the Frog universe, but earn their check elsewhere — and headed down to Atlanta.

Filmed & edited by Jesse Alba Hjalte Halberg.

Stingwater Presents — Antonio Durao’s GRoEr of the Year Part

Daniel Kim, our 2016 Q.S.S.O.T.Y., is honoring exemplary bouts of evolution since January 1, 2018 with his own, Stingwater-endorsed award, G.R.O.E.T.Y. (GRoE, of course, stands for Getting Ready tO Evolve.) Your 2018 GRoEr of the Year is Antonio Durao: medicine man, beach bully deterrent, gardener, and humanitarian. Daniel gave an eye-watering honorary speech for the occasion.

One of the most remarkable things about Antonio is that he treats skateboarding like the giant fun joke that it is, whether he’s switch back heeling some massive high-bust set on a whim, or skating off the foot-wide lip of a truck bed. The key difference between you or I treating it like a joke, and him, is that his talent on collides with this “joke” head on at every corner wherever he skates, never missing a chance to do something equal parts insane, fried and brilliant. (We’ve kept a small Twitter thread going of his third-eye vision since the middle of the summer.)

Congrats to Antonio. Keep evolving.

Already Got Those

Five out of five Tompkins skaters agree that this is the best box ever made. Sadly, it’s on the other side of the planet. We got to talking about replicating it — anybody know any welders? (Real question.)

Holy big flip, here is an illicit link to Brandon Westgate’s part in the new Element video, Peace. (Read: Will probably get deleted.) Really sick to see him still gunning for it as hard as he was in the Stay Gold days, and on a lot of new/seldom-seen New England spots at that. Would comment on the THPS music, but Brandon Westgate never struck me as a skater who is too invested in music.

Not much other info on it, but “Background 1” is a fun lo-def video with a ton of faces you’ll recognize from Gang Corp edits, Tompkins, and L.E.S. Park. All street clips.

Nik Stain, Hjalte, Paul Grund, and Bobby DeKeyzer went to the best skate spot on the planet and other European destinations. Ben Chadourne on the beat.

Listen to Bobby Puleo fan out on the Gonz for five minutes. He’s really good at finding the right words to describe why certain small things make a trick or photo extra special.

I’ve found myself using the word “super” too much lately, too :( Gino Iannucci is the latest guest in an hour-long interview on Lee Smith’s podcast.

Always down to plug something that resurrects the lost art of the video review. Live gets all Boil the Ocean on us and uses a bunch of vocabulary stuff and long sentences to do a joint review of Doll and It’s Time, two videos that occupy space on opposite ends of the spectrum (and country.)

If you’re 30+, you’re bound to get emotional watching this nine-minute-long raw Pier 7 greatest hits compilation.

Enjoyed this more than the “pro snowboarder with some ‘summer trip to New York’ footage in his skate part” label prepared me for: Forest Bailey’s NYC/MTL/PDX-based “Florg” part.

Here is what is slated-to-be one of the final Elkin’s Tapes episodes, featuring a good bit of pre-groer Daniel Kim footage.

The general harshness of the world feels extra apocalyptic in an election year, but if you’re an optimist (or willing to turn your sights that way), I read this article (from April 2018) about the [good] ways in which American life is currently being reinvented on a micro level and felt fuzzy inside, at least for a bit ♥ Love you guys, and please go vote next Tuesday!

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: This four-second video encapsulates the entire history of the Brooklyn Nets. (And yes, if it was by a Knicks player, it’d encapsulate their past 17 years too obvs.)

Quote of the Week: “A Bennett grind is like another drunk tank trick.” — Dana Ericson re: someone else (forgetting who) originally coining a smith kickflip as being a “drunk tank trick.” (Hypothetical: Has there ever been a Bennett grind that’s been better than even the most generic switch back smith? Actually, nvm.)

A lot of parentheses this Monday. Mind’s all over the place. (Or something.)