Friday, August 30, 2013

Things I Really Don't Like Seeing in Skate Videos

I generally don't spew too much hate on this blog, but this is a concept that I think all skaters can relate to. We love watching skate videos, but there are certain things that we just hate to see. Maybe it's distracting, or seems unnecessary, or it just baffles us in some unexplainable way, but regardless, we see it done and it just flips our rage switch. These are my skate video pet peeves.

-Excessive Fakie Turnarounds
One of the reasons I decided to write this article in the first place is because of something that Ricky Oyola mentions at the veeeeerry end of this section of his "Epicly Later'd" episode. I understand that sometimes you're just cruising around and then you want go get back to regular to finish off the line strong, but if I see a skater do it more than a couple of times in a video part, it's as if you're saying one or all of these four things to me:
1. "I can't bring myself to skate switch, even for a second, so I'm going to turn back into my comfort zone."
2. "I don't understand the concept of flow in a line, so here are the hardest-looking tricks that I can do in a line."
3. "I can't slide my noseslides well enough to not land fakie, but my next trick has to be regular."
4. "I am too lazy to think of another trick to turn me back around."
As an extreme example, CJ Tambornino does not one, but TWO of these things in a line that starts at about 1:03

It's worth noting that CJ does some stupid-hard tricks, but I really am just not a fan of his style and seeing that was especially obnoxious. I mean, why couldn't he just have done a switch frontside flip instead of a nollie backside flip, then he would have been set up for his last trick AND he wouldn't have had to turn around  twice. It just doesn't make sense.

-Too many spots with no roll-away
What I mean by this is when a skater gets a trick on a spot that doesn't really have a place to roll away from, so they instead just stop dead in some grass or step off before running into a wall.I understand the need for it- not all spots have perfect flow, but the actual obstacle is still fun to skate. Even still, it bothers me to watch a skate video that consists largely of dudes jumping off their boards. It's just so wrong on a very fundamental level. I can't help but wonder if the guy enjoys skating or is just so wrapped up in finding different spots for each trick that it doesn't matter if it has a proper roll-away. The problem is that so much of a person's style lies in how they roll away, and I feel as though I am robbed of that when they just stick their board in some mud immediately after. Luckily, this doesn't happen often, because I think most skaters agree with me, but the results of someone who does it way too much is almost unwatchable.

-Mongo pushes of any kind
The next item on my list, which is also on Ricky Oyola's naughty list is mongo pushes, or "piss pedaling" as he calls it. Obviously, you don't really see video of too many skaters doing regular mongo pushes, but of course switch mongo pushes are generally accepted. If you want to skate that way, that's fine, I understand. I'm about to drop some truth on everyone though: switch mongo pushes look just as bad as regular mongo pushes. Why wouldn't they? It's the exact same thing as a mongo push, except you just turn your body the other way. Having your foot on that awkward place near the back bolts makes the push look like a scrambled attempt to stay upright, and when you go to put your front foot back on, you have to look at your board for a full second or two while you rearrange your feet back into something that resembles a normal riding stance. DON'T TELL ME THAT LOOKS NATURAL COMPARED TO A NORMAL PUSH.

A lot of you are undoubtedly smashing your keyboards with rage, and rambling on an on about how some people with the best styles in skateboarding push switch mongo. That's true. Koston, DGKalis, Mike Carroll, and a host of others all push switch mongo. I'm not saying those guys don't have great style. What I am saying is that when they push mongo, it still looks terrible, just for the second that they're actually doing it. Just because it's more generally accepted this way doesn't mean it looks any better. It looks awful. I am willing to agree on one exception, but ONLY one exception. Ready?

Exception: Stevie Williams. His switch mongo push still looks really smooth, unlike most others, and he manages to get his other foot back on the board and set up without looking like a 5-year-old trying to learn how to line dance. I have NEVER seen anyone else pull it off. End of story.

-Really slow roll-aways
Really slow skating in general looks kind of lame. I don't even feel like I should have to explain why. I guess I prefer to think of skateboarding as a lawless, freeing, often spontaneous experience, while slow skating makes it look very controlled and contemplative. Slow roll-aways are especially annoying in my eyes because they are pretty much never done on purpose. You were just too scared to push into the trick faster and now you've found yourself in the middle of a ledge, wiggling as you go along, and you just kind of plop off like a turd into a toilet. This is usually accompanied by a struggle to keep balance. I think most people who place any importance on style get what I'm talking about.

Exception 1: John Motta. He doesn't skate especially slow, but some of his tricks end with him practically at a full stop. Just look at the tricks that he's doing though!

The fact that he slows down but still lands perfectly at the end is still just a testament to how effortlessly perfect his style is, so I will accept this as an exception.

Exception 2: Nick McLouth. I mostly mention him because I consider his skating to be the lower limit of how slow you can skate and still be good. It's not super slow, but probably slower than most pro skateboarders. The only reason he can make it look good though is because he has a way of still doing perfect, smooth grinds and roll-aways.

-Tom Asta's hat
This one probably shouldn't bother me, but it REALLY does. Tom Asta's beanie is constantly falling off. I'm not convinced that he even needs it, because I'm sure that a lot of the time he's skating spots in southern California in the summer. You'd think he would occasionally say, "oh, it's too hot for the hat today." He never does. He always wears it and it's constantly falling off. I can't even imagine the nuisance this guy goes through just to continue to wear a hat all the time. To illustrate my point, here's Tom Asta's Pro part for Mystery.

It's just shy of four minutes, and his hat comes off no less than four times. Tom Asta probably has to put his hat back on something like 56 times  per day, and not only does he refuse to stop wearing a hat that he clearly doesn't need, he doesn't even get a tighter hat. It's needless and distracting. What's the deal, Tom? Is your hat magic? Can you not skate well without it? I demand answers!

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