Once synonymous with men flown by Super-8 umbrellas and the occasional gas-masked Swedish penis, Polar has taken a refreshing 2.0 turn in its video output these past twelve months. The cuts are still quick — the Polarian fingerprint remains — but the skating has began to gain in its armwrestling match with the art.
“I used to be more of a character back in the day and just dive into the river, swimming for the board and making people laugh. I remember Jaime Reyes gagging because I was in there doing backstrokes. They say swimming in that shit helps your immune system.” Village Psychic spoke to Brian Wenning about some of the spots that were instrumental to his skating.
This clip got posted on April 8, 2007 (Marcus Garvey rails were a new spot then…), and dubbed “The Neverending Winter.” Same mood eleven years later (a lot of these spots are still around), though I wish the quality of the upload wasn’t full trash.
“It is best to always assume the potential to be cursed is near at hand to maintain ultimate protection.” Boil the Ocean on curses and hexes, and how skateboarding interacts with the supernatural.
“Truth be told, the part in The Fab Five when Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, and them talk about how much they hate Duke is the sports doc equivalent of the triple-screen intro from Virtual Reality.” Frozen in Carbonite reviews The L.A. Boys, Colin Kennedy’s documentary about the creation of Gabriel Rodriguez, Rudy Johnson, Guy Mariano, and Paulo Diaz’s part from Ban This.
Kinda feel like the Kalis + Balbac interviews flew under the radar a bit because they were on Ride, but each installment has been great. The third and final one deals with a purported Smolik beef over Hubba Hideout claimers, not holding grudges, and a follow up on all the family + therapy stuff from Kalis’ Epicly Later’d.
Even before So Far Gone dropped and Herschel ate Jansport, Canada always had a hidden hand in shaping American culture. As skate scholars know, one of the most influential-yet-underappreciated thinktanks of 2000s skateboarding was Green Apple out in Winnipeg. The Bunt’s latest is with Mike McDermott, who brings us up to speed on Winnipeg’s best-known institution as it stands in the Trudeau era.
Like every facet of American life, skateboarding was hit hard by the 2008 recession. Lurker Lou has an oddly insightful glimpse into the industry of the pre-recession, pre-iPhone era by giving a 2007 Thrasher a last look. “Respect the Machnau.”
Here’s post-Love Park life in Philadelphia, with a Grandpa cameo in Cell Jawn #26.
Even if you skate zero transition, there are certain skate landmarks you gotta pay a visit to just because (think Burnside, the Christiana bowl, etc.) The La Perla pool in San Juan, Puerto Rico is on that list. Monster Children did a quick story on the spot’s history, and how it slowly revitalized one of the slummiest parts of San Juan.
As per the note re: everyone still wanting to see Todd Jordan skate in Lou’s segment, here’s his gem of a “Wheels of Fortune” section, checking off every box of late-90s/early-2000s New York skate nostalgia:
Puerto Rico — like every other skate destination in the world — has its fail safes. Just as you can’t get through a “Summer Trip to New York” clip without someone skating the Rector Street Bench or doing a trick over the wall at Columbus Park, Puerto Rico has its unavoidable trappings that appear in every last bit of getaway coverage. You end up having to roll the dice: either make the half-hour/45 minute drive to the smaller cities outside San Juan and hope you find spots, or go where you know there’s going to be shit to skate, even if Robert Lopez Mont fakie flipped it back in some obscure video from 1974.
These safe spots are places you’ve seen throughout Puerto Rico’s current tenure as skateboarding’s de facto winter getaway — the black marble low-to-high, the ledge plaza in Rio Piedras, or the photogenic-but-apparently-really-tough-to-skate bowl in La Perla, which we avoided due to a #nomoreskateparks rule set in place.
And as tired as you may be of seeing the lil’ black marble low-to-high and bank combo spot that Conor Prunty shut down this time last year, you’d be hard pressed to find a more relaxing spot. Comes with a guy who climbs up in the tree to get coconuts for you, a nearby beach, and the world famous El Hamburger just a block skate away. Last round of extras above, #tbt below, and full clip dropping this February.