Friday, October 14, 2016

RIP Dylan

Unfortunately, Dylan Rieder passed away yesterday (October 12, 2016). Whenever a beloved figure dies, I never know how to react. I didn't know them personally, and it feels insincere to be truly distraught over the loss. What I do know is that I loved to watch Dylan skate, and I know a lot of others did too. If you're a skater, he was one of us, and if he was one of us, we've experienced a loss.

So let's remember him for some of his best work. Dylan, your style will never be matched. And you'll be missed.

Everybody, here's Dylan.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Happy Go Skateboarding Day!

It's June 21st, 2016, aka Go Skateboarding Day. If you haven't already, go skate!

If you need motivation or are stuck inside for some reason, here's a new video from Vagrant Skateboards:

Stop reading- go skate!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

KOTR Score Update 2

It's a beautiful Saturday, June 18th, which can only mean two things: Go Skateboarding Day is coming up (So get out there and skate!) and I've tallied up the scores for yet another update on King of the Road 2015. My recreation of The Book was updated yesterday, and you can click that link to look at what I think the scores are. If you want to read up on what compelled me to do something like this, here's my original post where I explain that.

Earned Score: 2530
Speculative Score: 2730

Toy Machine
Earned Score: 2750
Speculative Score: 2750

Earned Score: 4390
Speculative Score: 4890

Birdhouse is not only still winning, but actually seems to be pulling ahead of Toy Machine, which makes it all the more amazing, because we're well past the point where points come easily. Of course, Chocolate is actually catching up with Toy Machine a little bit, so it's pretty likely that Toy Machine just didn't score a ton of points for this particular episode/webisode.

I'm still endlessly entertained at the fact that Mike Davis is working so hard to get the most make-outs while competing with absolutely nobody. He could have made out with 3 women to get those 50 points and he's already topped 40, despite probably pissing off his girlfriend in the process.

Axel Cruysberghs is still the hardest working and Elijah Berle is still on top for MVP. As for Least Valuable Player, by my count, Stevie Perez has the fewest points, and seems to be mostly just chilling and skating. That might actually make me like him even more, but that's neither here nor there.

Point is, KOTR is still super entertaining and I love it. If you haven't checked it out already, I don't know what you're doing here in the first place, but go ahead and check it out so you can join us in watching this skate-fueled, stupid debauchery.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

KOTR Score Update

As I discuss in this post, I was curious to see who was winning in King of the Road so far, so I made this monstrosity in an attempt to tally up the scores.

This is the update as of 6/14/16. The scores are:

Toy Machine

Earned Score: 2370
Speculative Score: 2370


Earned Score: 2000
Speculative Score: 2150


Earned Score: 3740
Speculative Score: 4190

Birdhouse, somewhat unsurprisingly, appears to still be winning by a wide margin. Chocolate, on the other hand, is in last place despite having MVP Elijah Berle on the team.  Elijah's earned at least 1050 points by himself.
So why such a big difference in scores?

Simply put, Birdhouse just has the right combination of team members that pretty much any challenge is within reach. Clint and Jaws will do any weird challenge that is required of them, Clive has enough pop to ollie over anything, and Mike Davis can seemingly do just about any tech trick. Ben Raybourn has been absolutely destroying any trick having to do with transition.

And that's the real story here. Despite being on a team full of members that have been grabbing up as many points as possible, Ben Raybourn is only trailing Elijah by about 100 ponts. Elijah's been doing well because he's basically been grabbing up all of the high-point challenges, and his teammates have been shuffling around doing 20 and 30 point challenges.

So I'm ready to call it at this point: Birdhouse is going to get the three-peat. With a commanding lead and a can-do attitude, they really do seem unstoppable.

Friday, June 3, 2016

So Who's Winning KOTR?

King of the Road is one of my favorite pieces of media anywhere. Endlessly entertaining in a way that makes me laugh, makes me cringe, and even scratches my itch to watch skateboarding. I look forward to it every year, and this year in particular I had 3 extra months to look forward to it because they postponed its release to coincide with the launch of Viceland. This change has been a bit weird for some people, because the impression is that Vice has been hoarding all the good footage and only the minimal scraps for the webisodes.

In watching both the Vice version and the Thrasher webisodes, I've noticed that they make it difficult to get a feel for what the score is. I think that's for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I guess they think it adds suspense to not know who's going to win until the very end. I guess the other thing to consider is not knowing the score takes you along for the ride and immerses you a little bit more. After all, the teams didn't know how many points the other teams had, so they also had to live with not knowing who's going to win.

I have pretty mixed feelings about that, because on one hand, I don't want to know who wins the whole thing yet because that feels like a plot-spoiler. Plus, the points are really more of a motivator for the teams (winner gets a cash prize) and isn't the most important part of the viewer's experience for something like this. Anti-Hero proved in 2012 that the the points don't really matter. On the other hand, this IS a competition, and the information is dispensed slowly over a period of 10 weeks, and so I don't think it's crazy of me to want to know who's winning. It adds to the story if I can go into an episode thinking, "Man, Toy Machine really needs to pick up the pace if they want to win" and then I can see what they do during that episode. It adds a narrative.

Since I'm a huge nerd, as the name of this blog implies, I decided to go through and watch all of the episodes and do my best to tally up the points. This was way more difficult than I thought it would be, because Thrasher didn't release The Book on their website like they have for the 3 previous years, and the webisodes don't even show point values, so I had to watch the Viceland version to figure out the points (the name of the challenge and points flash on the screen for a maximum of 1second, by the way). As if that didn't make it difficult enough, Viceland left out a lot of tricks, so I had to watch the webisodes to make sure I didn't miss too many. So, you're welcome, is what I'm trying to say.

Click here for the full list of points so far.

The point summary is below. The 'Earned Score' is the score that I'm pretty sure of, while the 'Speculative Score' is what I expect the score to be if I guess right about the 'Highest, Longest, Most' category.

These are only rough estimates.

Here are the results so far:
Toy Machine
Earned Score: 1940
Speculative Score:1990

Earned Score: 3240
Speculative Score: 3590

Earned Score: 2150
Speculative Score: 2250

Leading MVP: Elijah Berle, 800 pts.(Note: I'm not sure about this- These are only based on attempted points so far that I've been able to determine.)

Trailing LVP: Blake Carpenter, for whining the most while also producing 200 pts. Justin Eldridge has probably produced the fewest points overall so far though with 70 points, but in his defense he was sick for a day and has otherwise been pretty supportive of his team.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

KOTR Book Reconstruction

For starters, I want to stress that all of these scores are only based on what I could tally from watching the show. There are inconsistencies throughout the show that make it difficult to be certain about the point values. It's also really easy to miss stuff, so I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes. Points rewarded in the 'Highest, Longest, Most' category are just guesses. There are also some other quarks of scoring- if a trick is really sketchy, does it still count? If a whole team contributes to a challenge, do those points count at all towards determining the MVP? Everything here is really just my best guess. Feel free to make corrections in the comments, but I won't change it unless I can find evidence of what you're talking about, so it's best to be specific if you actually want to help out.

If you're reading this from the home page, click 'Read More' below to see the list.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Marc Johnson and the Increasing Lameness of the Skateboard Industry

Yes, I'm going to talk about Marc Johnson's move from Lakai to Adidas. I know every other skateboarding blogger has already talked about it, and I know people are either already bummed about it or just don't see what the problem is. But I'm going to use what Marc Johnson did as  jumping off point to talk about a much bigger topic, and that topic is really more of an exploration of this question: Does anyone really like the direction skateboarding (its industry, media, and culture) is going?

For starters, let's recap what we know about Marc Johnson's move to Adidas. Adidas recently put out Away Days, a full length skate video. At the premiere, they announced that Daewon Song and Marc Johnson were joining the team.

For Daewon, the move was somewhat expected. Marc, on the other hand, stirred some people up, because back in 2013, he said in an an interview with Jenkem that he would not do that sort of thing. Literally. Here's the quote:

"If a big sports shoe brand paid you 2 or 3 times your current salary, would you consider leaving Lakai to ride for them?

Okay. No, I wouldn’t ride for a mainstream sports footwear brand. I would not skate for Big Company Footwear."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tyler Bledsoe's Back!

I don't know how I missed this- apparently I'm 3 months late, but Tyler Bledsoe now rides for HUF. I'll admit, I've been busy with other things for the last 6 months, so I didn't catch it, but Tyler Bledsoe's amazing and I'm happy to see him hooked up with a shoe sponsor since he was dropped from Etnies last year. Here's the intro clip:

Bledsoe is of course also on one of the Alien Workshop offshoots, Quasi Skateboards. This gives me the opportunity to quickly talk about Quasi- I'm pretty excited about Quasi. It took a while for them to fully develop their image, but they basically took 3 of my favorite skaters from Alien (Bledsoe, Gilbert Crockett, and Jake Johnson) and paired that up with amazing board graphics. Check 'em out.

If you're not sold yet on how rad Tyler Bledsoe is, check out this clip that contains all of his footage from  Fourstar's Fully Tour'd. Style for days, this guy: