Ayo For Yayo: A Salute to Mike York, An Icon of Low Impact Skateboarding

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“All of my video parts, I had fun. I tried to be realistic so if you saw me, it wouldn’t be a letdown. I’ve seen video parts then seen the dude skate in real life and been like ‘Wow, he’s a video skater. He don’t really do that stuff for real.’ I wanted to be honest. This is my level. Yeah, my toe dragged. Yeah, that wasn’t high. Yeah, it was kinda sketchy. Yeah, I didn’t slide that far…But there it is. When you see me skate, I’ll probably land another one like that and you’ll be able to identify with it.” — Mike York

Certain corners of the QS office have long contended that Mike York had one of the best parts in Yeah Right! Though this may be a tall distinction in a video that ends with a 360 flip noseblunt down a handrail, our bias for low impact skateboarding is widely documented on the pages of this website. Noseslide-heavy trick repertoires are infinitely relatable; skateboarding will progress to bigger and techer feats, but for many, our ceiling is a shove-it and noseslide combination (or two 360 flips in a row.)

In sports, there is always talk of “good locker room guys” (ayo) — role players and veterans who provide personality and intangibles that build the character of a team. That’s something that isn’t as apparent with Girl/Chocolate in the Everybody-is-Good Era 2.0, at least from an outsider’s perspective. While the new riders are likely all great kids, positive, fun to have on trips, etc., a big piece of Chocolate’s appeal in the pre-E.I.G. era was how it had more blue collar skaters like Chico, Richard Mulder and York to fill roster spots around guys who were unequivocally the best skaters on earth. Nowadays, it’s only the latter, and yeah, it does get a bit exhausting watching seventy minutes of tricks one cannot even begin to comprehend.

(There is also the argument that the average skill level of a young skater today is way higher than it was ten years ago, so the skaters in videos that they find immediately relatable might just be unrecognizable to those of us accustomed to, say, the aforementioned three. Plus, please keep in mind that this is being written by someone who believes Ben Sanchez had the 3rd or 4th best part in Mouse…)

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