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.)

The Spot is the Star: The Week in Spot-Based Videos

new barcelona skate spot

Dude, we love themed video parts. Grate themed video parts, garbage themed video parts, dumpster themed video parts! And there is no more beloved theme to build a video part around than to learn every nuance and cranny of a skate spot by skating it for the full duration of said part. Given the rate at which spots worth learning have been diminishing, we’ve been given reason to celebrate such one-spot achievements more than ever. You think it’s a coincidence that both 18-year-olds and 38-year-olds love Gonz’s “just cruising in the street”-thing from Video Days? Cruising is everyone’s M.O. now, whereas maintaining fidelity to one spot takes extra effort.

With that, a genre has skyrocketed in popularity within the skateboard media marketplace: spot-based content. Whereas since the demise of 411 “spot checks,” the story has 97% of the time been about the skater, the team or the event, spot-based videos are the new way to make us remember that we better learn how to skate walls if we ever want to skate an street object outside of a caged-in skatepark ever again ;)

Atlanta’s checkerboard spot benefits from more lenient “plaza” definitions that we allow in 2016. There aren’t many longstanding street spots with multiple ledges left, so it becomes one by default — though it may be the only Great American Skate Spot™ 2.0 that I have no desire to skate. (Shit looks mad high.) The spot doesn’t have a storied mythology or celebrated culture, and its background is not densely layered with regal civic buildings or skyscrapers. It’s just a spot that has been long enough for us to be forced to respect its status in the era of depleting spots. An all-Columbus Circle part was in order for last year to commemorate its ten-year run for the same reason, until a cop decided to pepperspray a teenager

Jimmy Lannon, noted “regular” Magenta outlier and 2014 “Best Line at Three Up Three Down” titleholder, paid tribute to the spot’s longer-than-usual tenure in Thread / Headcleaner, with a literal #musicsupervision choice that’s one step removed from Mark Suciu skating to Phil Collins’ “Sussudio” or like, Soy Panday skating to “Panda.”

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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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Permanently the Best Little Kid Skater of All Time

(This full ad is really sick.)

48 Blocks has been posting an all-Pier 7 video by Brad Johnson over the past two weeks. Highlights include Marcus McBride doing every plausible flip trick over the blocks, Rob Welsh being a #phatstylez icon, Young Stevie almost attempting a boneless, and Lavar McBride reminding everyone that he will forever be the best little kid skater. No, it doesn’t matter how many kids today can nollie flip back tail (or 1080) before they can buy cigarettes.

As a companion piece to the Pier 7 video, here’s Lavar’s part from S.F’s Greatest Misses, also a Brad Johnson creation (while we’re at it, he’s also responsible for one of skateboarding’s greatest party parts.) It’s a compilation video released in 2006 that encompasses the late-EMB days through the Pier 7 / Union Square era. The mid-nineties Cellski track also cares to remedy the underutilization of classic Bay Area rap in Bay Area skate parts, an issue we’re still dealing with today.

It has been on YouTube for five years, but the quality is trash. Here’s a cleaned up version. Oh, and here’s a link to watch Trilogy, just in case.