New York’s voter registration deadline is this Friday, October 9th. New Jersey’s registration deadline is next Tuesday, October 13th. Visit Skaters Vote if you’re in another state for information. You already know the drill — if you regularly read QS and don’t vote (assuming you’re eligible), may every karmic force available in the universe roll the fuck out of your ankle on the morning of November 4th, may all your coffees spill onto your crotch for the entire time you’re recovering, and hopefully, you get fucking wheelbite and fly face first into a dirty puddle in front of all your exes on your first day back skating.
No matter how advanced things seem, fundamental artifacts remain timeless. When stuff gets too technical, too big and too hard to keep track of — simple, refined skating stands out amid the stair-counting. It’s part of the recipe behind today’s moment for small companies and slimmed-down trick lists.
Ride On is a 1995 Deluxe promo that doesn’t get the same nostalgic love as say, Non Fiction or Fucktards do. It resurfaced during a ATCQ #musicsupervision wormhole that turned into a Joey Bast wormhole once his Silver part ended.
The promo struck a chord for more reasons than the #pants. While it probably won’t incite the “come out today and still hold up”-hyperbole that was discussed last week, it does seem oddly current and in tune with what’s going on throughout skateboarding’s more refined palette today, particularly in New York. From Huf’s one-or-two push lines that include nothing more than 180s, trashcans, streetgaps and maybe a kickflip, to a time when a really good 360 flip off a bump was “enough” to end a section off with — it all came back with a vengeance as we began to drift away from the age of after-black hammers and taking five years to film a video.
Added bonuses are Quim beginning his reign as the greatest two-5050s-in-one-line practitioner ever, front of Union Square lines that wouldn’t look out of place if they were HD in a 2016 Johnny Wilson video, Ethan Fowler skating Pier 7 unlike anyone famous for skating Pier 7 would skate Pier 7, and Ryan Hickey doing a four-trick Astor line that’s about half as long as the 44-second YouTube compilation of all his footage.
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…