Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Tribute to Pop Shuvits

It's pretty rare to see just a plain pop shuvit in a video part. It's pretty obvious why: it's just about the easiest trick you can do. A lot of kids learn shuvits before they can properly ollie, and I know that I could pop shuvit for weeks before I ever learned my first kickflip.

I think that a good pop shuvit really is a think of beauty though. For one thing, it's a true test of pop- there's no foot drag or flick, so all of the height comes from raw pop. Since all of the movement happens with your back foot, there's this cool symmetry where you start the trick with your back foot and stop it with your front foot. A good pop shuvit should look like your backfoot is delivering the tail of the board directly to your front foot. I can't help but feel alone in my appreciation of this trick though, because nobody else really raves about pop shuvits. So maybe through this tribute, I can convince you that a good pop shuvit is a beautiful thing. I'm not focusing on frontside shuvits, 360 shuvits, nollie shuvits, or fakie shuvits. Just regular, backside pop shuvits to really showcase how great this trick is.

For starters, let's look at Brad Staba's trick tip of a pop shuvit. It features a whole montage of good pop shuvit, but Staba has my favorite. It's a smooth, floating one that really just seems to work out perfectly.

Pop shuvits can also be pretty gnarly. In a part riddled with gnarly tricks, Geoff Rowley saw fit to include one in Sorry (2:22) over the Santa Monica Triple. I pointed out this trick on my ABD list of the spot.

Corey Sheppard still has a place in my list of favorite video parts to watch from Blind's What If? There's an awesome pop shuvit at 1:36 and a fantastic switch one at 2:57. Don't stop that from watching the whole video though, because it's still a stylish part that holds up nicely in my mind.

Chris Haslam in Round 3. This part was so mind-blowing at the time and cemented Chris Haslam as one of the most creative, technical skaters. So what does it say that they also included the pop shuvit down the long set of stairs at 1:47? To me, it says that the pop shuvit was both gnarly and timeless.

I know that I probably mention Josiah Gatlyn way too much as it is. At the end of the day, I just liked that he had a really unique style, and the fact that he practically disappeared from the skate world circa 2011 made it so he had exactly enough time to showcase his awesome style without having a single extra moment for him to get overly repetitive. I still like watching his part in Who We Are. Josiah does some perfectly tweaked pop shuvits (still my favorite ever done, probably) at 2:34 and 3:44. Trigger warning: There is a Bible verse near the beginning. I know that seems like a stupid detail to warn you about, but I would probably be accused of ramming religion down people's throats if I candidly included this part without mentioning that.

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