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:

Pro Team:
Josh Hawkins
Josh is coming off an injury at the moment, but for a while, he seemed to be getting gnarlier by the day. In the midst of all of that, he had been offered an opportunity to turn pro for Powell fairly shortly before they kicked him off, along with most of their team. Having said that, Mr. Hawkins never had to do the most insane tricks to get my attention. His style and trick selection are more than enough to keep him interesting. The good news is, in the real world, it's not too crazy to speculate that he'll wind up on Buster O'Shea's new company, A Happy Medium Skateboards.

Adam Simoni
This is a big jump from flow to pro, but nobody has been producing like this guy. He puts out mind-bending footage and has a really unique style to boot. If he keeps that up, he deserves a pro model without question.

Dave Bachinsky
Few people have done more impressive things than Dave Bachinsky on a skateboard, but he has gone through periods of his career where he has flown under the radar. He's constantly putting out some of the best footage without ever using a sketchy trick.

Adam Dyet
Adam Dyet is just one of the many skaters on Darkstar who absolutely destroy everything on a skateboard, but nobody seems to care about. Perhaps it's because Darkstar really kind of sucks as a brand. Their team, while a little disjointed in its image, is impeccable, and Adam is probably my favorite. He goes big doing tricks that nobody else is really doing. I can't even name 5 people who I can remember doing a nollie heelflip backside tailslide, much less a nollie big heel back tail, which he did in his "Imagine" part. The guy is absolutely bananas.

Am Team:
Josiah Gatlyn
One raddest styles in skateboarding. Period. You may not like how he skates, but he lands his tricks bolts, he pops everything properly, and he has a way of tweaking and catching his board in ways that I haven't seen anyone else replicate. Even the haters have to agree that his style is as clean as it is unique, and I personally just don't get tired of watching him skate. And yet, the only footage that we've been able to enjoy over the last 3 years have been short clips here and there, despite being teased with the possibility of a Stereo video while he was on Stereo (the video never came out, although he released most of the footage on his youtube account), followed by the possibility of a part in the Zero video, which didn't pan out due to him moving to Threat (although he did have a beautiful kickflip in the 'Friends' section for Cold War). As the world's newest team manager, I solemnly swear to never make Josiah fight for recognition again.

Shaun Gregoire
Classic, fast, East Coast shredder. There are some good skaters in the good 'ole D of C, but none of them tear up plazas quite like he does.

Sebo Walker
Technical wizard on a skateboard who has most certainly paid his dues. If my understanding is correct, he has more or less been living in a van for the last couple years while putting out insane footage. Sebo just recently got  upgraded to Am status for Krooked, and frankly, it was a long time coming.

Tony Karr
Dude's gnarly and nobody cares. He chooses some of the most interesting spots to skate and skates them better than just about anyone. The decision to put him on was easy.

Flow Team:
Johan Stuckey
The Cosmic Vomit videos are still some of the funnest skate videos to watch, and that was due in no small part to Johan's raw style and ability to get onto pretty much any rail or ledge without so much as bending his knees.

Ryan Lay
I won't go on another rant as to why Ryan Lay deserves more recognition. In short, he seems awesome and we need more people like him in skateboarding.

John Rob Moore
Sure, he might not land all of his tricks perfectly by today's standards, and sure, rumor has it that he may have freaked out on mushrooms during a Birdhouse tour, but he's been ahead of the game for a looonnng time. Who else do you know of who has put out 4 quality video parts in 6 years? How many of them have both insane manny combos AND a nollie heelflip down 12 stairs? I rest my case. It appears that he might wind up on A Happy Medium Skateboards, along with Josh.

Jeff Stevens
Just to add a little flavor to the tour videos. Jeff is super fun to watch, and I'm pretty sure he would have some chemistry with Ryan Lay, John Rob Moore, and Josh Hawkins, seeing as they are all from Arizona and were part of the crew that made "A Happy Medium". Putting Jeff Stevens on only makes sense, really.

I guess what it comes down to is I really wanted "A Happy Medium" to be a company while it was still just an indie skate video.

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