For a group that considers itself so creative, skateboarders sure suck at naming tricks. The sex change, benihana and even salad grind have all fallen out of fashion, and so have fun trick names altogether. Skaters have grown into stringent conservatives about trick names; QS is routinely lambasted for use of the term “nollie half cab” for nollie frontside 180s, as if 90% of the T.F. doesn’t call it that already. Even seemingly clever names e.g. “the fishhook” for the nollie frontside 180 switch nosegrind revert point to mechanical similarities rather than any hint of playful nomenclature.
But one name has stood strong over the past decade. Maybe it’s not an official name, but the “white rapper” B.K.A. the switch varial heelflip is still keeping the fun in trick names up and down the eastern seaboard, and evidently abroad as well. (Some corners will contend that it also refers to regular stance varial heelflips…more on that in a bit.) What genius came up with this name? Who did it refer to and where did it originate from? We decided to find out.
The most common origin story comes from Philadelphia, some ten-plus years ago. That is where we will begin our journey…
Support your local bodega. According to a recent New York real estate report, the city is facing a wave of bodega closures. That most likely has to do with every available retail space in New York turning into a Duane Reade that charges you $2.30 for a twenty-ounce soda. When all the bodegas close down, so will this website. Stop supporting Duane Reade.
Congratulations to Dennis Busentiz for winning Tampa Pro. One of the top five active skateboarders today. Speed is everything. The Real video couldn’t come out any sooner. Watch The Road to the Real Videohere.
Here’s a Miles Marquez mini-part / promo that Quartersnacks put together for Akira Mowatt’s clothing company, After Midnight New York. It’s probably the third time in the past few months that you have seen the switch heel over the Mercer Street gap and the Prince Street quick set-up planter ollie. In other words, it’s all recycled footage.
An interview with Ian Reid about Streets is Watching, his long-delayed follow up to Sex, Hood, Skate & Videotape from 2006. You can watch the three-year-old teaser to the video here.
These Video Days sits down for an interview with Bill Strobeck, to discuss creative processes, inspirations, and other things that will probably make you ball up in joy if you go to film school, or something. 48 Blocks also ran an interview with Bill a while back that goes more in depth regarding skateboard video history and whatnot, so read that if you missed it.
The Parks Department bolted a bench down in front of the main, concreted-over bank at the Chinatown Banks. Thankfully, there is no reason to ever go there again. Someone will probably thread the needle and back lip between past the bench though. Thanks to Sam for the tip.
Haven’t been to Brooklyn in 2011 yet, but a few people have said that the 11th and Wythe Street ledge down the block from KCDC is done for. Can anybody confirm? Is this a conspiracy involving Tyler Bledsoe, the Secret Service, and the Parks Department? Did he destroy it after “making it popular?” Why does a spot become “popular” only after it appears in a Transworld video? There are many questions to be answered with this untimely demise.
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.
With boardgraphics getting all of the retrospectives, and printed-word love these days, wheel graphics are pretty much universally neglected. Here’s a quick guide as to when skate wheel art began, and ceased to, matter.
Anthony Beckner threw together the first batch of footage from the Below the Bridge Skatepark with the Classic Skate Shop crew. Conveniently enough, the park opens today, but even driving to Bayonne might be a bit too ambitious of an endeavor right now. The park looks slightly smaller than expected, and unfortunately doesn’t have the two different sections of street courses like Drop-In does (real estate, I know), but it would still be a good call for an off-hours winter session. Just maybe wait for the kids to get back to school.
While you complain on the internet, Roctakon is a humanitarian who supports Dominican skateboarders.