I'm sure a lot of you already know by now that Jerry Hsu has made the switch from Enjoi to Chocolate. That's news within itself, but since I've been extremely busy lately, I haven't had time to update much and so the moment sort of passed. It did get me thinking about the nature of Crailtap's brands- Girl, Chocolate, Royal, Fourstar, and Lakai. After a while, the thought occurred to me, and that thought was the very title of this post.
The reason I say that Crailtap may become like skateboarding's Social Security system, at least to an extent, is that it seems more and more like skateboarders hang onto their spots as members of the Crailtap family as they get older, because they know they will be treated well as they age and their coverage drops off. For anyone who wants to argue with the sentiment that there are team riders, especially on Girl and Chocolate, who don't pull their fair share, I only need 3 words to prove them wrong: Gino, Castillo, and Rick.
I want to be clear about this and say that I think it's great that Crailtap has so much respect for their riders. One of the best parts about skateboarding is that certain companies are willing to break conventions and sacrifice a little out of shear love and respect for the guys that have helped make their brand what it is today. However, from a cold, logical, business standpoint, there are guys on Girl and Chocolate who aren't pulling their weight. Looking at my short list above, Gino and Daniel Castillo had about 2-5 clips in Pretty Sweet each, and they haven't really put much else out besides that. Gino had about a minute worth of footage that was later released for a Brick Harbor promo, but the guy is a professional skateboarder who hasn't come out with a part in 5 years (the most recent being 2007's Nothing but the Truth, in which he shared a part with Brian Anderson). Ads have been pretty sparse as well. Rick Howard had exactly zero footage in Pretty Sweet. If you combined all the footage that Chico Brenes, Daniel Castillo, Rick McCrank, Chris Roberts, Gino Iannucci, and Mike Carroll had in their most recent video, you still couldn't fill out a full video part. That's not typical of most professional skateboarders.
I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, because I'm not, but I can't help but wonder if Jerry Hsu took Matt Eversole's departure from Enjoi a good opportunity to move to Chocolate, where he can put in his last few good years as a professional skateboarder down and then just sort of coast for a little bit. That's what Daniel Castillo does. That's what Gino does. That's what Rick does. That's pretty much what Anthony Pappalardo was doing until recently. Guy Mariano was doing that for a while while he was a drug addict (although they eventually cut him off for his own good). Mariano of course made an amazing comeback, but we can't say the same about dudes like Chico Brenes, who has been keeping his career alive with his ability to do nollie heelflip variations and little else...
After writing these paragraphs, I realize that there's really no way to write about this without coming across as a dick, but I really just mean to point out that Crailtap is really good to their riders and I'm thankful for that. I wish Jerry the best, and in fact, when he puts out a new part, I will be more excited to see that than anything any of the McClung brothers put out.