A week away from the first Olympics to feature skateboarding, you will no-doubt see mainstream publications taking a “global” lens through which to view the Games’ new inclusion. To anyone who actually skateboards …it’s like, “yeah, no shit.”
But it’s not because we are all aware of some nebulous concept of who the “best” skater from Brazil, Sweden or Japan is. Given the sprawling worldwide growth of skateboarding that has accelerated alongside the internet, we can now know who the “best” skater of a literal acre or two of city land in some Scandinavian country is. We know the architectural intricacies of completely arbitrary train stations across the globe. Give me a Pantone book, and I’ll show you the color scheme of Tennessee’s capital building because of one guy’s skate footage. Have I been to Tennessee? No, not yet!
A one-spot part is a way to deify one’s name alongside a place, but not in a championship or gold medal sense. It is more Kobe’s 61 points at MSG than it is a title. It is a story. Better yet, it’s mythology: “So-and-so only filmed at this city block for a year and figured out ten new ways to skate it.”
“[Keith] saw that we had skateboards and asked if we wanted to skate his ‘run.’ This ‘run’ was a planned-out continuous route of spots he’d hit on a daily basis. You had to skate it fast and without stopping because there was traffic, open businesses, pedestrians and security guards — who knew Keith would be pushing through at some point after 3 P.M. when school was out.” Thrasher has an incredible retrospective feature that recounts stories from many of Huf’s closest friends.
In Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about the porn industry of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds’ Jack Horner gives a fateful speech admonishing the advent of home video: “I have a stable of actors and actresses. They’re professionals. They’re not a bunch of fucking amateurs. They’re proven in the box office. They get people in theaters, where films should be seen, and they know how to fuck.”
It is not hard to imagine similar tirades (maybe with a few words switched out) occurring in Powell-Peralta boardrooms as the 80s were coming to a close, and skateboarding was around the corner from a crash. Skate videos of the decade were refined and narrative-driven, and for good reason. There were only like, six tricks invented at the time, so they had to fill up those other 53 minutes in an hour-long skate video with story, personality shots and other shit.
But what would come after skateboarding’s believed-to-be demise was a rebirth. Videos like Snuff, Video Days, Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies, and Questionable were unrepentant in their progression — they were too busy inventing modern skateboarding in front of your eyes to worry about the extracurricular malarky from the Animal Chin days. New faces and a camera thrown in a backpack was the name of the game. The old mode was dead. But for how long?
Skateboarding draws many parallels to pornography, but one of the most curious ones is an incessant need to add narrative to something that nobody watches for the story. As we will soon learn, plots returned to skate videos as quickly as they went.
“What’s the story behind Harold’s ‘Cheer Up, Bagel’ remark?” We finally learn the origin of the greatest sound byte in skate video history (“sometimes I wanna live and sometimes I wanna die” is runner-up) via Chrome Ball’s new interview with Dan Wolfe.
“The production numbers were so large that when I was on a solo trip to Korea tasked with moving production from one factory to the next, during a business dinner at a 5 star restaurant with the factory owner, I was told through a translator that, ‘The factory owner would like to inform you, that he can kill a man in this country and their body will never be found so you might want to change your decisions too.’” — Anthony “The Writer” Pappalardo tracks down the history behind the Osiris D3 with its designer.
Though he let up on the gas a bit since he got robbed for S.O.T.Y. by the third #big #rail #skater to get it in the past three years, Village Psychic offers up a mid-year remix video of Tiago’s stray bits of coverage to emerge these past seven months.
“Think of this magazine as a platform for you — yes, you! — to showcase what it is you do for skateboarding. Wherever you are. Whoever you are. Because as you’ll see here, skateboarding can really be anything you want it to be. It’s just a fucking toy after all.” Vice has an interview with the creators of Skateism, a magazine focused on nontraditional and underrepresented corners of the skateboard universe.
In an age of tuning out pre-roll commercials before skate parts, this line and song are still burned in everyone’s brain — it’s The Chocolate Commercial™, after all. The word “timeless” gets thrown around a lot, but it is hard to imagine this ever looking dated.
February 19th, 2018 · 2:07 pmComments Off on Happy Rihanna’s Birthday Eve!
Today is Washington’s birthday, but the queen’s 30th is tomorrow! We are going to stick to a Rihanna’s 30th resolution of no more late Monday Links posts! Ain’t none of us perfect, I hope it was worth it.
Zered Bassett’s seafood tower cruiser will be available on Alltimers.com tomorrow. They shot a quick Insta commercial for it, which you can watch here.
Somehow missed this one when it went live just over a week ago: Nick Michel, the dude who boardslid the double-rail across from the mini double-sets at Battery Park (#QSTOP10, a few weeks back) has an amazing new part up on Thrasher, which features the VX angle of trick in question plus a trick at the ride-on rail spot that’s not on the ride-on rail! Battery Park MVP 2k18.