Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekly "Why Haven't I Seen This?" - 18

With the plethora of skate footage that's out there, it can be easy to overlook things. And yet, so often we stumble upon a video that we've never heard of and find ourselves asking why we hadn't seen it before. Each week, I plan to post another lesser-known video that deserves more recognition, for your viewing pleasure.

This week we have a really impressive part from J. Miguel in the independent Brazilian video, "Original Expresso". In the process of watching a string of conceptually next level tricks, like his forward flip to revert that kicks things off, or the fakie tre flip noseslide that he does, one can't help but notice how bizarrely effortless every trick that he does is. His feet are confident and don't even hint at unintentional twitches or waivers, and he has excellent board control. You've done it again, Brazil.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Real Reason Culture is so Important to Skateboarding

A lot of skateboarders are very protective of their culture. The funny thing is, skateboarding has become so big and so varied that it's impossible to actually define what 'skateboarding culture' is. If I were to paraphrase what Rodney Mullen has said about skateboarding in various interviews, for example, it would probably result in a sentence like, "Skateboarding is an outlet to create something new and contribute to something larger than yourself." By contrast, one of my first memories of someone explaining what skateboarding was to them was in this clip featured in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (Hey, remember when you weren't a weirdo for liking those games?) in which Chad Muska basically says that skateboarding is interesting because it doesn't have any rules and the only goal is to have fun.

Then others, like Mike Vallely, won't stop talking about how skateboarding is all about creativity and individuality, while others simply stick with saying, "Skateboarding's rad."

So if skateboarding means a bunch of different things to a bunch of different people, and nobody can agree  on what exactly it means to be a true 'skateboarder', then is it even a cohesive culture? And if it's not, then why are so many people so protective and defensive about their particular viewpoint on skateboarding?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekly "Why Haven't I Seen This?" - 17

With the plethora of skate footage that's out there, it can be easy to overlook things. And yet, so often we stumble upon a video that we've never heard of and find ourselves asking why we hadn't seen it before. Each week, I plan to post another lesser-known video that deserves more recognition, for your viewing pleasure.

This one's pretty simple: Woody Woelfel is gnarly. I don't know if he even has any sponsors, much less which ones they are. If you put yourself in the same category as JAWS by hucking yourself down a set that he ollied (at 3:45, although JAWS stepped it up and ollied off the wall at the top as well) then you, sir, have earned my respect.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Skate Team Fantasy Draft 2014

EDIT: Jeeeeez the original post had a lot of mistakes in it. I probably wrote it at 4 in the morning and then just haphazardly scheduled the post without thinking about it. I went through and fixed most of them, I think. My apologies to those who read the last one before I fixed it.

Alright, so I somehow wound up playing Fantasy Football this year, although I don't spend NEARLY enough time watching football to competently do so (I'm usually spending an inane amount of time watching skate videos instead). Now that the football season is over, though (and fantasy football is long gone) the combination of all these new companies forming and my brain being in fantasy mode got me to thinking about what my fantasy skate team would be. I know this seems like a really jock-dickish thing to do, but this isn't the Street League Fantasy draft-I just think there's a certain class of skateboarders who are really rad, but are really being under-used by their sponsors.

The concept is that I'm starting a new board company and signing whatever guys I want to skate for me. We can assume that I have the money to make it work and the company's image, product quality and board graphics are just so sweet that pretty much anyone would want to skate for me. Think of it like being the Independent Trucks of skateboard decks. Of course, certain picks would be silly to do, so I am laying down four ground rules:

1) The pick has to be a person in their current state. It would be kind of dumb if this fantasy spanned across all space-time, so if I were to pick Eric Koston, it has to be Eric Koston now and not 'Chomp On This' Koston. Similarly, if I wanted Keenan Milton, I would have to find some way to put his corpse on the team.

2) I'm not allowed to choose a person who owns a stake in their current company beyond just being a professional for it. I know Mike Carroll has good style, but he's not leaving Girl any time soon.

3) No downgrading. It would be pretty silly to say, "Yea, I really like Chad Tim Tim, but only enough to make him an amateur." Stranger things have happened, but it's pretty unlikely that someone will downgrade themselves from Pro to Am or Am to Flow just to ride for your company, no matter how awesome. The skater either has to stay where they are or be upgraded.

4) I'm assuming that I'm picking a team for a new company, so it can't be huge. The team will have 4 Pros, 4 Ams, and 4 Flow guys.

So here it goes:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Weekly "Why Haven't I Seen This?" - 16

Aaand we're back! After a long hiatus that I had to take, I finally found some time to get back to writing this blog. I of course missed a lot in the last few months- SOTY, some great video parts, whatevs. The point is, while taking some time away from writing, I had some time to rethink what this blog should be all about. At times it seems almost as though I set out to simply report on what was going on in the world of skateboarding. The problem with that is that this is the internet, and so all of you have the same access to skateboarding that I do. With that in mind, I'm changing the format a little bit back to it's original intent, which is to express opinions and predictions about skateboarding in an amusing way.

So you, the reader, will be happy to know that this still includes showing you all video parts that most people missed or even glossed over. This week, we have a guy that simply goes by "Sneep" from the video Bombaklats, a European video that you should absolutely watch in its entirety. For now though, prepare to be mesmerized by one of the filmer's parts. The slappy noseslide variations that he does defy all logic.

Bombaklats also features parts by Tim Zom, Nassim Guammaz, and Remco Stolze, all of whom rip. There's really not a dull part in the whole video though, so please, just go watch it