Monday, December 30, 2013

Flow Bros to Blow Up #5: Ryan Pearce

Ryan Pearce has been around for a good minute. I think I learned about him through Sean Malto and their ties with Escapist Skateshop out in KC. I've seen relatively well-recognized footage of Ryan stretch back to 2008, so it's still somewhat surprising that he hasn't broken out into the skate industry. I refuse to believe that he's fallen off the map entirely over the past 5 years, especially since the Berrics has shown faith and interest in him and because he went touring with Etnies as well to come out with some pretty sick tricks all last year. With Malto's recent gruesome injury, maybe the stars will align at Escapist (since one of their stars is momentarily gone) and will give rise to Ryan's breakthrough in the skate industry. Could just be based off a weird gut feeling and the fact that I want to see more of his skating in the future, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed on this one. I've seen signs that he was flow for Enjoi and even Roger skateboards, but I'd say just about anything is possible for Ryan next year in terms of going am for a team.
Now why do I think Ryan Pearce should blow up next year? Well, looking at his older Video Check Out from Transworld alone, you can tell he's got some casual but sick manual tricks, a nice flip trick selection (from the opening blizzard flip and contorting the switch backside flip at 0:46), and a very easy-on-the-eyes style. But what is likely remembered by most people about Ryan is his 14 Deep part (above). It's hard to write up an analysis of the part because as I rewatched it a few times, Ryan's bag of tricks just kept growing and growing as the part got better and gnarlier. His skill is without a doubt apparent when you watch this part, but the energy that comes with the crescendoing heaviness from every clip is so much more thrilling than watching most parts these days. Even by today's standard, considering the part is a few years old, the tricks are still really sick and Ryan's style makes them so much better. And the final nollie backside flip with the cop ready to give out tickets is simply priceless. If he's been shredding these past years and just holding back on the public, I can only imagine what he's been able to do by now. I just hope 2014 will finally let everyone know.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Next Week: Flow Bros to Blow Up in 2014

As 2013 is coming to an end, I think it's fitting to bring out some names that I think will get, or at least should get, some major coverage next year. We saw a lot of dudes come out of nowhere and get sponsored this past year, engraving themselves in our skate radar. And I see no reason why there can be some big step ups in sponsorships this year. I'm looking to see these dudes merely associated with some brands actually get the full welcome video to officially become am, a sign that a "career" in skateboarding is assured. It can be somewhat of a weird category to place people in because of their skating level, their time in the industry's spotlight, and how their sponsors have worked out, but nonetheless I feel the need to mention the 5 guys this week.
High Fives all around for a good 2013 and some more shredding in 2014!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Video of the Week: Habitat's Search the Horizon

Christmas was definitely a good day for gifts in skateboarding this past week. Habitat's latest video offering dropped along with Santa Claus down our chimneys and most certainly kept the fire blazing. Anything Habitat puts out is good quality skateboarding and this semi-full-length / promo / welcome-to-the-pro-ranks-Suciu-and-Delatorre video is no different. The artistic direction, song selection, spot selection via travel destinations, and skating in general is all meticulously thought out and the end result is a wonderful 20+ minute experience.
In the opening montage of Silas, Danny Garcia, Guru, and Marius, I was pretty happily stunned with Guru's switch flip up a long 5 stair and Marius's switch crooked grind hill bomb was nothing short of epic. Managing to maintain composure with speed wobbles as bad as that, all the while going switch, deserves a trophy. (Or possibly even a pro model soon...?)
Brian Delatorre comes through next with an all around ripping part. Spanning spots throughout Europe and some sweet NYC footage as well, it's really easy to get engulfed by the feel of the part and want to go skating. Dela shows that he is one of the best dudes at going over rails into banks, and with that, that he has one heck of a nollie (nollie into bank over rail frontside, same thing on the other side for his exhilarating ender, and a tight nollie back 180 over the black hubba in NYC)
In the next team montage featuring Al Davis, Stefan, Fred Gall, and Daryl Angel, we're reminded that Al Davis shreds with a sweet, unique style and has a mean switch ollie. His mini part was extremely refreshing, I must say. Too bad there was no new Kerry Getz footage though...
And then, as I'm sure everyone guessed already, Mark Suciu closes out the video. But what was potentially unexpected was the amount of footage that Mark has stacked this past year. 3 songs and about 8 minutes long, Mark somehow managed to pull of a marathon of a part, even after basically putting out 4 parts earlier this year! (And as far as I remember Thrasher, 2013 continues all the way through December. Nothing against Ishod whatsoever cause he totally rips, but after this last part from Mark...come on!) Anyway, I think Walker Ryan said it best on his facebook page when he called out the two best lines: a 4-trick no-push line at the Warschauer Strasse benches in Germany including an unbelievable last second swerve while setting up his feet for a frontside pop shove it back nosegrind backside 180 out, and also a back nosegrind backside 180 pop out followed by a fakie 5-0 half cab flip pop out on the fountain ledge at LOVE park. Extremely well-conceived and executed, not to mention very tasteful and aesthetically pleasing to watch. I'd also like to add one of Mark's first clips, which was a very quick-footed line across about 4 slightly banked manny pads with gaps in between, as well as his very lengthy line in a Philly plaza between songs that Mark cruises through perfectly. With these impressive and clever lines, Mark skates tons of rad spots with a very classy and varied trick selection, coming together in an all-around very enjoyable part.

In other news:
-This is a ridiculous acrobatic stunt involving a couple of skateboards.
-Kingpin comes through with a worthy-of-watching Top 10 list of best European video parts of 2013
-The technical insanity that is Shane O'Neill had his part from Chronicles 2 released
-Dave Abair's part in Rock N Roll was released and is super rad. Some sweet downhill, driveway skating.
-John Rattray still has it and it shows in his Cold War part (soon to be taken down)
-Chris Colbourn's part in Cut & Dry was released via TWS and it is quite good, worth of a few viewings.
-Adidas always comes correct with their traveling full-team edits, this time in the Pacific Northwest.
-Justin Hughs hits some big handrails and shreds all around in his latest part.
-Not a huge fan of demo edits but the BLVD team reminds everyone that they are extremely sick and underrated with this team edit through Brazil including some pretty incredible tricks.
-Georgie Tsushima is a filmer/editer but also skates really well, showcasing his talents in a fun, creative, and even pretty gnarly way in this part.


Speed Demons #1: Dennis Busenitz

Dennis Busenitz's name is fairly synonymous with speed in skateboarding. If you look at him just skating flatground or a ledge even a simple curb, it only makes sense that he employs that speed for good use in his video parts. Just look at this firing line too: he starts off with plenty of speed for no pushing through the first few tricks and then uses his signature short and powerful pushing pulses to quickly gather speed for one last great backside flip. No wonder why he's come out with so many sick video parts where just about every clip he gets involves some pretty crazy speed.
I'd go more into Dennis's part in The Cinematographer Project since I actually have the DVD but I just don't have access at the moment. So I will mention his crazy back noseblunt TWS cover at 3rd and Army, which involved coming in super fast to get all the way around the curve. Managing that significant decrease in speed through the curved noseblunt is also pretty wild to think of, but Dennis would be the guy to handle it.
Taking a look at his shared part with Zered Bassett in Skate More, Dennis's first and last lines gain speed by going downhill (at 1:04 and 3:16 respectively) and both stand out as a "speed demon's" kind of line, especially with his ability to keep his composure long enough on the last line for that final 50-50.
In his Pushing San Francisco feature for Real Skateboards above, just about every single clip is fast. Now the camera work and effects certainly help build that feeling of traveling at some high speeds, but only so much can come from videography to achieve that vibe of flying by on every trick. The two lines starting at 1:19 in particular showcase some awesome flatground tricks and just messing around in the streets all while zooming along.
For Dennis's shoe, he was basically given a new part in Adidas Euro Lines, which was a very welcome surprise. Again, he's skating super fast. Just like at 1:08 when Dennis plows through one 50-50 only to grind some more and gap out into the street. Watching him sprint and push at 2:03 is a pleasure in itself, even if it's just to get on top of the huge bank. Most people will climb to the top of the bank to start or just ask for a convenient tow-in, but Dennis does it the old-fashioned way through some heavy leg work for a more rewarding experience for us viewers.
In Since Day One (remixed), he uses his speed rather well in DC at 0:35 to tre flip up onto the ledge and then nollie frontside flip the gap. The double ollies at 1:04 must take a lot to just hold onto the speed to jump out to the street, and what's even cooler is that the clip is followed up by the 3-up-3-down spot where Dennis frontside 360's WAY OUT beyond the 3 stair just because of how fast he's going. And then at 2:35, Dennis claims the throne of 3rd and Army with 3 more sick lines to add onto his already impressive resume at the spot; the last line of 3 tight tricks and no pushes makes me smile every time.
And finally, in my personal favorite part from Dennis, Diagonal, the first downhill SF kickflip still in black and white sets the tone of the rest of the part to display some great speed. Dennis comes in hot for the two lines at 0:41 at some pretty well known spots. At 1:07, after pushing a bit, he quickly ollies down to set up for the back tail on the ledge and somehow seems to gain speed on that little jump down! Only Dennis... Seeing the ground fly by with the two lines at 2:06 and 2:39 is visually stunning, and I still wonder how Dennis manages to carve around after the back 180 in that second line because it looks like he always rolls out almost too far to come back up the stairs. Again, seeing Dennis physically run up at 3:26 for a huge frontside ollie is very gratifying, and his final ollie in Barcelona over the bench and down the stairs at 3:33 is one of my favorite ollies of all time. (Which makes Gilbert's AWS ad that much crazier.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Speed Demons #2: Zack Wallin

Zack Wallin is still on a strong come up. He's been gathering sponsors and getting good coverage this year. But as of late, I've been noticing him as one of the fastest skaters out there. Take his Welcome to DVS video above for instance. He manages to skate a foundation spot exclusively for this solid welcome clip, and skate it super fast. No-push lines for days and just raw speed and power, Zack Wallin can certainly attack any spot. The fakie ollie at 1:25 also jumps out at me because of just how much speed you'd actually need to get that trick high enough and over a bench.
What makes Zack stand out to me more, apart from his fast and powerful style, is that his back-story of his blood clotting condition is both intriguing and makes what he does more appreciable. It makes skateboarding for everyone more appreciable for that matter, realizing what luck most of us have health-wise. This story is best covered in his Brick Harbor Interview, which also contains a super fast line at 4:00 including a downhill push and a very, very long boardslide. Another take on the story is through Matix's "Who Is Zack Wallin?". The first two lines here are very good representations of Zack's high skating speed with some sweet pushing, and then Zack shows how speed can be used creatively at 3:29 by gapping out past the first tier of a manny pad to manual the second - in both directions!
Zack's Welcome to Matix Clothing clip has a quick bump to bump ollie along some sidewalk at 0:30 and his Tweak the Beef leftovers shows a fast gap to crooks on a metal bench at 0:35. In Tweak the Beef itself, he comes through with an awesome no push line at 1:43: nollie up, nollie backside flip, then switch big heel down some stairs. At 3:41 he flies through a smooth front noseblunt and then pushes a bunch at 6:11 to get speed for a massive ollie, which I feel wasn't justified fully by the angle but nevertheless looks pretty big.
But the footage that made me a permanent fan of Zack was his Welcome to Enjoi part. I could mention the sand gap ollie over the bench at 0:26, the ollie from the little bump at 1:04 covering distance to get over the sign, the two downramp rail tricks at 1:35, the zooming by on the 180 up a long 6 set at 3:02, or the well-shown literal run up and pushing for the long kickflip at 3:18. But what I really want to point out from this great overall part is the ender at 3:37. Just look at the picture below to get an idea of just how wide the street is and how much distance Zack had to cover. In video format the ender street ollie is mind-blowing without a doubt and clearly demonstrates how well Zack handles flying downhill at mach 10. But with the picture from The Skateboard Mag to cement that still frame in your head for that split second Zack flies by on video, the gnarliness of the trick becomes oh so real. This ollie alone makes Zack memorable for his speed and power, and it is definitely supported in all the footage he has been putting out this year.


Speed Demons #3: Brandon Westgate



Everyone knows Brandon Westgate skates fast. Just look at this inhuman ollie from Emerica's Made and realize that there's no way he could make it up onto this loading dock without flying in from the car tow-in (besides the pop). Throughout all of his videos parts he comes through with that East Coast Powerhouse style of attacking spots with speed and pop. It's pretty rare to find a clip in his parts that doesn't involve some good speed to the trick.
Starting with Stay Gold, you can feel the speed with the pushing lead up at 0:47 as he gets ready to gap ollie between two banks spaced pretty far apart, banks that are typically only used for some manny tricks. Then at 2:12, Brandon begins the line by lofting a tre flip as the ground flies by and then pops a couple ollies in preparation for a huge gap to lipslide, finishing the line with soaring a front 180 much further past the stairs than necessary, all because of his speed. (This line is cleverly mimicked in Made with a fast gap to smith grind and a backside 360 down the stairs, once again sailing well beyond the last stair.) And at 2:35 you get the start of some high velocity SF footage, from sweet downhill driveway lines to the gigantic house-length ollie at 3:10.
In Brandon's Emerica Shoe Part, the downhill line at 0:46 starts off with nothing special in particular but quickly picks up so that his last ollie across the driveway is another flying moment. I haven't seen many people actually "push" going downhill, but Brandon does it in the line at 1:05 to prepare for a distance-covering frontside big spin, because there is never a thing as too much speed. And then at 3:06, to match his lines from Stay Gold, Brandon delivers two new and improved variations of some downhill lines from SF, of course zooming by at full speed.
One of the craziest clips I can remember from Brandon was the first one in his Real Street part, involving a tall ollie up onto a ledge from a small curb cut and then somehow managing to clear the length of an alleyway afterwards. It may not appear super fast at first but maintaining speed is mandatory to accomplish something like this.
And finally onto Westgate's latest epic video part in Made. The pushing in the title sequence alone is rather stunning because you know of just how fast he skates. The first 35 seconds of skating is all uncommonly fast, including some more sweet downhill SF lines, a couple gap to ledges, and an enormous street ollie. The 3 bleached-hair tricks are all super quick, including my personal favorite drop down ollie to prepare for the huge front 180 over the planter. Westgate's downhill frontside flip at the same sketchy looking spot as Trevor Colden's hardflip and Ishod's backside flip involves a serious switch hill bomb after he picks up a lot of speed from the run up. And then there's the double rail ollie into the bank at the school near the end of the part that again requires a bunch of speed.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Speed Demons #4: Austyn Gillette

Austyn Gillette definitely has one of the smoothest styles in skateboarding. But what makes it so much steezier is the fact that he skates super fast and still manages to make everything looks so debonair. I feel like the speed at which he skates is often overlooked simply because everyone is in awe about his style or pop or terrific flick. But there's a reason why he was the feature of a video part called "Quik" (above), where you can see some of Austyn's greatest pushes - regular and switch - and some great tricks at full speed. The cruising line on the sidewalk/bridge at the end is just a treat for the eyes.
One of my favorite parts of all time is Austyn in Habitat's Origin. He definitely exhibits his smooth speed in this video, particularly with the very first line. Without the need to push at all, he flies on by with an alley-oop back 180 up some stairs right into a fakie big flip over and across a long manny pad, at Embarcadero I believe. Then at 2:09 he hits back to back bump to bars that show his ability to maintain speed more than anything, still a huge speed demon factor. Haven't seen much back to back action like this other than maybe Boo Johnson with his ollie, front 360 but on mellower bump to bars or Brandon Westgate with his ollie, boardslide up and across. Those were both really sick clips, but Austyn was the first to my recollection of skating two bump to bars back to back. And closing off his Origin part was that enormous ollie at the Brooklyn Banks over the handrail.
In Austyn Unlimited, there are tons of clips with super fast rollaways and some downhill action that look super quick but also very easy for Austyn. To pick out a few tricks, the landing on the long front board at 1:55 really shows that he's going a lot faster than you'd think. At 2:34 he stretches out a really long ollie between two curb-like platforms and then follows that clip up with a speedy switch ollie over a wide patch of grass. Then at 3:16, Austyn puts down a very solid (and underrated) mark in the streets of San Fran with a sweet back 360 over a bank to bank walkway by some houses.
For more fast skating from Mr. Gillette, you can check out his part in Cosmic Vomit 2, where the first two lines in particular are rather rapid. Then, without exaggeration, I'd say every clip from Austyn in the Huf Stoops Euro Tour, conveniently compiled by some dedicated fan for watching Austyn exclusively here, involves a good deal of speed that you don't typically see with your average skater. But the super long ollies at 0:24 over the Southbank up-ledge and at 1:08 across a banked set of stairs are prime examples of the flowy speed that Austyn so effortlessly skates with.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Speed Demons #5: Omar Salazar

Omar Salazar is a ball of energy. His wild eagerness to straight out go for anything is portrayed in as much as in his lifestyle and as it is in his skating. It's this energy that keeps Omar skating super fast and attacking anything that stands in his way, making most of his footage very memorable simply for the pushing or flying along at full speed towards obstacles.
In his Nothing But The Truth part above, the line at 0:15 looks like he should lose control with just about every movement, but Omar handles the speed and flies on by with a couple of fun, fast tricks, following them with a beautifully stomped switch heel without slowing. Seeing his shirt flying around at 0:55 gives you a reasonable idea of just how fast he is going, uphill nonetheless. Really, this whole part is filled with some very fast skating, and Omar's controlled-chaotic style is what makes him stand out as a super fast skater.
In Mind Field, Omar snakes around a sweet channel at about 1:08 to show off his control at such high speeds. Obviously there are tons of speedy clips throughout the whole part but this one in particular sticks out.
Looking at Omar's part in First Love, there's not much need to go further than the introductory hill bomb at 0:36. The way he shows no problems at all with the speed and even has enough confident control to woosh around with his scraping ollies just for fun is remarkable. Also, in the line at 3:08, he hits a ledge with a back tail at probably the highest speed I've seen someone somewhat swerve into the ledge. Then the last 4 clips are all just full-on fast assaults of the spots, including some sweet downhill action.
In this Spitfire commercial at 0:43 Omar hits the top ledge on a bank fast enough that he doesn't even need to get on top of the smith grind to cover more than half of the ledge, all before gliding through a few more pushes (exaggerating how slow the crowd is skating) towards a huge ollie. And the clip right after that with the gap to 50-50 all the way through is a true testament to how fast he skates.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Next Week: Speed Demons

After the delay this past week, next week will officially look at the speed demons in skateboarding. So since the topic was already previewed last Sunday, please look at that post for a proper introduction to the speed demons: http://skatehighfives.blogspot.com/2013/12/next-week-speed-demons.html

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Video of the Week: Dee Ostrander Baker Part

First off, Aidan Campbell's new part that came out today was pretty awesome. Ever since his sml wheels intro, I was hyped on him and wanted to see more. His new part for Etnies (between AB&A and David Reyes' new part and all the other commercial features Etnies, Etnies could've easily worked towards a full length team video!) was exactly what was needed to bring Aidan to the spotlight. His style and smile make everything he does look super fun and easy, not to mention the really great editing we've come to expect from these Etnies videos. His trick selection is great and mixes in some pretty gnarly spots with some classy tricks. And the knee bend as he holds onto the boardslide at the end is priceless.

But even with that, I simply cannot look past Dee Ostrander's new part that he dropped for Baker. The Baker vibes always make you feel like you're with the homies, so when Dee starts casually ripping everything up for 6 full minutes, the destruction is too good for words. Dee skates some huge, gnarly spots, from rails to gaps to street wide grass gaps from huge ditches (aka the insane ender). So the skating itself is enough to amaze anyone and get skaters psyched to go shred the streets. The taildrop boardslide at 3:16 hyped me up so much! But the fact that everything is done with an apathetic ease left me in awe, which makes sense since Dee just so happened to drop a 6 minute part full of bangers completely out of the blue. Anyway, this part is nuts and deserves plenty of re-watches.

Yoshi Tanenbaum has been killing it lately and doesn't seem to be slowing down after his sick Mag Minute came out.
Though it will be taken down soon, Ben Hatchell's part from Cold War was released on Thrasher showing that anything he puts out is all-terrain gold. Seriously though, the quality of the gnarly footage in Cold War is ridiculous. It might be on the shorter side but I'll take nonstop thrashing footage over an over-edited piece any day.
After Dan Murphy's shared part with Dave Bachinsky in Natural Selection came out not too long ago, he's now releasing more solid footage as a commercial for his truck sponsor, Theeve.
Almost Skateboards is one of my favorite companies because their team is nothing short of legendary and every single one of those dudes skates super creatively (to say the least) and has a blast while doing it. So this new feature from a good group of guys on the team was awesome, not to mention basically a full new part from Youness, yet another footage machine.
The LRG Europe squad is darn talented, like extremely talented, at skateboarding and it shows in their sweet tour video through Cyprus.
Nice NYC vibes throughout this video, Off The Braxx, with a crazy ender part from Dylan Witkin, who somehow managed to find loads of big handrails in the city.
There have to be hundreds if not thousands of dudes that are under the skateboarding industry's radar, but Chris Luhring and Julian Klein both came out with tight parts this week for Creation/Satori and Atlas Skateboarding respectively that should definitely help with that. Haven't heard of either of them before but their names will stick out after seeing their skating here. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Actually Next Week: Speed Demons

Since I want to do the Speed Demons justice and not fly through them on this blog as fast as their skating, I will save the posts for next week when they will be thoroughly covered. Until then, enjoy what I may say is my favorite single video part of all time below. (It's only weird to say that because it's a mixtape of footage, but it's outstanding regardless.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Next Week: Speed Demons

Skaters are getting gnarlier and crazier these days, so seeing them skate faster to push skateboarding (almost literally) to new limits is no surprise. But there are a group of skaters that just stick out because of how fast they skate, and how consistently they skate at that speed. So this week I'm going to cover the top 5 speed demons that are personally the ones I think of when it comes to fast skating.

There are tons of other dudes that skate super fast too, so it's obligatory that I mention a few names here as well:
Tony Trujillo, TNT, rips extremely hard in his part in In Bloom, street and tranny, to cement himself as one of the fastest skaters for sure.
John Cardiel, like TNT, skates so crazily fast on street and tranny in his part in Sight Unseen. The line at 0:39 is too awesome.
Corey Duffel skates down some insanely huge gaps and does so by skating insanely fast. The last ollie in his Real Street part seems unreal and will stick in your memory after watching it just once.
Danny Way deserves the mention for sure. Breaking gap distance and height records...oh and this land speed record as well.
Grant Taylor skates super fast, wild in a controlled way, and just simply powerful. Before his Chronicles part dropped, he was awarded SOTY 2011, for a definitive reason I might add, through this video part on Thrasher. That very first line gets me every time just thinking about that high-speed half cab and then ollieing over the guy on the bench.
Chris Pfanner is another dude that skates some huge gaps and goes on an all out assault at every spot. There are some speedy lines and long gaps here in this Volcom Stone-Age clip.
Jordan Hoffart has been known to skate pretty fast. Every one of his parts has some clips that are just full-on speed, but the insane ollie from Bones New Ground will be the trick from Jordan that sticks out the most.
Gilbert Crockett also skates really fast. Though pretty short, his Life-Splicing part is probably my favorite part of Gilbert's. Without exaggeration, every single clip involves some solid speed, and the final ollie still blows my mind.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Video of the Week: Ishod Wair - LOVE Gap Uncut

It's really getting ridiculous at the quantity of good skateboarding that's coming out every week. This week I could include a lot more videos but I'm going to try and keep it short enough with my favorites.
Ultimately, I was pretty pumped to see Ishod take SOTY 2013 after dropping loads of high caliber skating and looking ever-so-relaxed while doing it. The ease with which Ishod does his tricks can be super misleading, particularly for his ender from Wair N Tear. The switch frontside big spin down the LOVE gap didn't come as too much of a shock to me because I had seen the sequence in an issue of TWS and was somewhat expecting it at the time this video part came out. So seeing Ishod barely lift an arm and rollaway flawlessly from this trick made it seem like just another day in the park for him, no biggie. The realization of just how gnarly the trick really was though came this week with the uncut footage of Ishod's work for the trick above. For one, it's the LOVE gap, not small by any means. Secondly, a switch front big spin is definitely not the first choice trick for many skaters. But what gets me is just the volume of attempts that Ishod goes for the trick. The determination to not let the wind, cracks, or commotion at the spot get to his head is already a lot, and then you add on the fact that his body must be so sore after jumping down so many times. If that's not enough, throw in a broken finger, a broken board (and having to get acquainted to the homie's board), and actually sticking it numerous times without rolling away and you have a near impossible mountain to climb. But it's this very reason, and the relatively calm, non-glamorous outcome of landing this trick that make Ishod a great choice for SOTY 2013.

Uncut footage and outtakes are some of my favorite clips of skateboarding because you can connect with the skater more and appreciate the work put into tricks. So just like the 5 minutes of switch front big spins from Ishod, Nyjah's Fade to Black Outtakes are just priceless. While the video part itself was an audiovisual experience for the ages, seeing the raw footage is just as good, if not better. Personally, it was kind of cool to see Nyjah get frustrated with some tricks and just crack a laugh here and there as well. That's the stuff that brings out the fully-realized awe of watching some gnarly skating go down.

On top of that, David Reyes came out with a fantastic part via the Berrics and Etnies. His style is essentially perfect and absolutely kills handrails, along with some other sick clips for a great part overall.
Richie Jackson returns to the radar and doesn't disappoint with a new video part of one-of-a-kind tricks. It's crazy to think just how much he has innovated aspects of skateboarding and continues to do so in ways most of us never would have thought of.
The 5boro squad released a sweet video of footage from Philadelphia. They always come through with some of the best East Coast skating vibes out there.
Though the part will probably be taken down soon, Tony Cervantes' part from Cold War was released. A tad short but very sweet, Tony's footage keeps grabs and gnarliness alive and kicking.
Ashes Griptape came out with a "half full length video" called New Sheet that is just awesome. Full of some serious ripping, including some definite face-melters near the end, it's likely a first for a griptape company to come out with a full team video like this. Tons of gnarly and appealing spots coupled with a really sick European team makes this video so rad. I must also say I was scared for Chris Pfanner at 3:53 but his crazed, fearless assault on anything he comes across allowed him to just keeping on rolling.
And finally for this week, is Old Woops New Groove from Magenta Skateboards. Leo Valls and Ben Gore take the throne of SF by mixing extremely fast and stylish skating with loads of fun and a new look for skateboarding at the streets and driveways in SF. This is exactly the kind of video that gets you hyped to just go out and skate and have fun.

Euro/Ditch Frontside Flips #1: Collin Provost

 

This was one of the craziest things I've seen in a while. I thought Anthony Schultz and Chad Bartie already stretched skating over full fences to its limits, but Collin Provost's ender from Emerica MADE goes above and beyond with an insane frontside flip over a seemingly-impossible Euro/Ditch gap. You know it's enormous when just about everyone else skates the lip of the ditch. If you haven't seen his part in MADE or the whole video for that matter, get the DVD and get on it ASAP!

Euro/Ditch Frontside Flips #2: Rick McCrank

Again this post is coming a little late, so it's only fitting that it's about Mr. McCrank. Not only was it a pleasant surprise to see Rick skating in the Pretty Sweet Tour, but it was made even better because he was seriously killing it! Even though it may not make up for his lack of footage in Pretty Sweet itself, I was so pumped to see Rick's playful, casual, and totally rad style across spots in the US. Quick to forget how good Rick is (check Menikmati for proof), the reminder of his skills in the Pretty Sweet Tour came at full force. This frontside flip in particular is really incredible not only because the gap is huge and pretty sketchy, but because how nonchalantly Rick makes it look. I keep reflecting on Brandon Westgate's front shove it across this gap from MADE and think that it looked a lot harder in that case. Something about Westgate's style to me shows the difficulty of tricks as they really are, which is awesome to watch. But at the same time, it makes something so easy-looking like Rick's frontside flip that much more impressive.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Euro/Ditch Frontside Flips #3: Axel Cruysberghs

Etnies dropped AB&A a couple weeks ago with a really cool trio of European skaters. Opening up the video was Axel Cruysberghs with plenty of hammers and a fast, ripping style. Loads of fun to watch. One trick that stuck out to me (and ultimately helped inspire the theme for this week's posts) was his frontside flip out of a random Euro-gap (fittingly named here)/parking lot ditch out and over the long sidewalk gap to the street. The picture above shows that the sidewalk is quite large and Axel is soaring high, but the slow motion on the second angle of the trick really drops your jaw. Axel was hauling coming into the bank and it paid off. He boosted higher than normal, controlledly caressed the board to catch it, and floated on with the board unwavering at his feet. There's something about the power and gracefulness behind this trick that really made it stick out in Axel's sick part.
And here's the kicker (pun intended): look at the first post from this week with Justin Brock's frontside flip. I'm pretty sure it's the same gap! There must be a sign at the base of the gap saying "please frontside flip me"...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Euro/Ditch Frontside Flips #4: Jeremy Leabres

Probably the most under-recognized trick in Jeremy Leabres standout first part for Emerica's Made was his enormous ditch/Euro gap frontside flip. (Watch the full video here and look at 2:38 if you don't remember the trick.) What's crazy to me is that this was the same gap that Westgate ended the video with when he 360 flipped it! Now I don't remember seeing the gap before but I definitely won't forget it after Westgate's crazy ender. But rewatching the video shocked me when that gap appeared underneath Jeremy's frontside flip. The angle doesn't do the frontside flip justice by itself; the clip works extremely well in Jeremy's part as a whole, but thinking of the trick itself, it's so much gnarlier than it appears. Here's to recognizing Jeremy's huge frontside flip and appreciating it a bit more.

Euro/Ditch Frontside Flips #5: Justin Brock

As seen in Nike SB's latest offering, Chronicles 2, Justin Brock opens up his part with a music-less but gnarly nonetheless frontside flip over a sweet parking lot Euro Gap. That moment from the car tow-in to the lowering arms in relief for landing the sick trick all build up perfectly as the music and Justin's rugged part begin to play. Check out the frontside flip and the rest of the video here at 17:15 (while it lasts anyway).

This Week: Recent Frontside Flips from Euro-Ditches

I apologize for the late posting but it's coming no matter what! This week will be a quick and specified topic because of time constraints. Lately (as in the past 3/4 months or so) I've noticed a decent amount of big frontside kickflips out of ditches over pretty hefty euro gaps, or something similar. Could it be the next big trend? Who knows...but either way I'd just like to point out some of these Euro-Ditch Frontside Flips that I've noticed and been stoked by over the past months.
An honorable mention for this category goes to Jordan Hoffart and his ender from Jordan's Day Hoff. Huge gap, loads of speed, and endless power from Jordan. Stay relentless with those gnarly gaps!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Video of the Week: Chronicles Vol. 2

Lots of great stuff from this past week, but what clearly takes the cake is the latest Nike video: Chronicles Vol. 2. Awesome to see new parts from all the dudes and there was definitely some top notch skating. Donovan Piscopo comes out swinging with the first part I've ever seen from him with speed, style, and power. Theotis Beasley seems to pack in loads of fliptricks and those good vibes you feel watching him skate, only to have you realize just how skilled he really is when you think of what he's doing. Daryl Angel also comes through with smooth, powerful skating and a really fresh approach; no one's coming close to his ender no matter how relatively basic it may seem. Luan Oliveira shows his ninja flick with some great moves, though I must say I felt a tad disappointed with his part, I was expecting something more... Justin Brock skates the roughest spots and shows his all-terrain destruction. Shane O'Neill unveils some shocking ledge NBD's while reminding everyone of his near perfect style. And Ishod Wair somehow pulls out another huge load of footage, topping  his other footage this year in a laid-back yet super gnarly part. Congrats to all these dudes on a sick video!
You can see Ishod's part here, with the 4 other remaining SOTY contenders. At this point, with the amount of quality footage Ishod has produced this year, he better win SOTY. I'm a big proponent of awarding SOTY to someone with more than just a single outstanding part; nothing against Westgate or Nyjah whatsoever as I'd be perfectly satisfied with either of them winning too, but Ishod has been simply relentless. Which is why I wish Thrasher didn't cut down the SOTY contenders to 5 so soon, when Mark Suciu has his first pro part coming out in just a couple weeks or so, still in 2013 too! Anyway, my vote is now with Ishod!
Now Nike, why can't you just create a physical DVD of this video? You definitely have the money to satisfy the appreciative skate nerds out there and at least hold on to some sense of skateboarding's documented history. I'd say to everyone to go buy the video but when Nike's feeding the insatiable appetite of the internet mongers by forcing them to buy it online, I'd suggest just finding some way around it for now.

And with that, my ranting is over.

In other news from this past week's videos:
-Riley Hawk is now pro for Baker! No video for now but there's no doubt a footage machine like him will have something gnarly out in no time.
-Nick Matthews came out with a Mag Minute filled with a sweet trick selection and stylish skating.
-Daniel Lebron shows that he's got one of the best heelflips in the game with this feel-good part.
-Powell-Peralta welcomes Brendon Villanueva with some gnarly clips in his intro part.
-This clip of Antoine Asselin shows two things: that skateboarding is fun and that he is very very good.
-Jurgen Horrwarth released a part combining some serious skill with vert and on the streets.
-Vagrant Skateboards definitely seals their name on the map with this raw promo.
-Nick Boserio's part from Cold War was released via Thrasher.
-Congrats to Peter Raffin for joining the Creature fiends and still skating super well.
-It may be just a single [totally awesome] trick, but any Tyler Bledsoe footage is great.
-Unreleased Dane Vaughn footage is always great; I've been enjoying his skating a lot since Parental Advisory.
-Gou Miyagi redefines creative skateboarding with this part from Heroin's Video Nasty.
-Can't overlook totally naked girls skating and pumping through the corners of a bowl. Well done Playboy, well done.
-And finally, the prequel to the destruction in Chronicles 2 from Ishod Wair. The quality of this part alone says something about just how good Ishod really is.

Mid-Line Trick #1: Fakie Big Flip 360 - PJ Ladd

PJ Ladd's part in Wonderful Horrible Life has been called one of the greatest parts in skateboarding history, and for good reason. PJ's tricks still stand the test of time today as some of the most flawlessly executed technical tricks ever. And one of the major reasons this parts stands out so strongly for me (besides the frontside heelflip 360 down the stairs) is PJ's crazy lines. PJ is definitely amongst the top line skaters (I'd also include guys like Morgan Smith and Mark Suciu) and this part in particular is a big explanation for that. As seen in Battle at the Berrics the last two years, PJ's flatground game is probably THE BEST in skateboarding and he fills his lines with loads of tricks, "stock" tricks sometimes, in Wonderful Horrible Life. But there are definitely a few good unique mid-line tricks that make PJ's lines extremely memorable, the reason why this part is always discussed and doesn't fade away into the internet.

PJ has a couple just mess around lines like at 0:14 (with his ghetto-bird-like tricks including the switch varial heel back 180 in the middle - granted he messed up the kickflip after but it's definitely worth mentioning) and at 1:16 with his 3 rolling pressure flips that I will not try to name any further. Then, PJ throws in a nollie frontside flip 360 in the middle of two other marathon lines, one at 0:46 and one at 2:11 (that also has a shifty nollie heel which is also uncommon). Usually you see the nollie cab flip at the very end of someone's line as if they were to say, "I finished the main part of my line so let me see if I can whip out this random crazy trick at the end for a couple laughs." Instead of the sketchy, mess-around rollaway of the pull-this-out-of-nowhere fashion, PJ whips out this trick with cleanliness to spare for more tricks afterwards in the line.

Now the main reason why I chose this part from PJ is for his ender. (How often do you see a line as an ender anymore?) One of the sickest lines to ever go down, PJ starts at 4:28 with a fakie ollie up the curb and then winds up for the caballerial big flip (or fakie big flip 360, however you want to call it) done in absolute perfect form. The trick alone involves a lot of spinning and some flipping, enough to get people letters in games of skate fairly consistently. But to see it in the middle of a line is quite remarkable. And just adding to that, PJ half cab noseslides with a nollie 270 heel out after that...and still isn't finished!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mid-Line Trick #2: Pushing Shove-it - Levi Brown

Everyone knows Levi Brown has a wonderful style, a style that you'd enjoy watching even when he's just pushing. It's funny because in his Trio part above (at 3:42) he front shoves onto a curb and at first appears to just be pushing towards his lengthy front crooks fakie. That's how I first saw this line from Levi when I watched the part. I must've blinked or something because it turns out his first push is actually a shove-it! When you don't see him set up for a trick like this, it catches you completely off guard. In retrospect it's a very small aspect of the line that some might overlook as just messing around, needing to get the nose of the board back in the front, but to me it's the subtleness of the trick that make it extremely memorable. Not only have I not seen this before (NBD for a pushing shove-it sounds a bit dramatic though) but the fact that it is very easily missable if you look away for a split second makes it much more precious. It's definitely not some wild flipping trick that comes up on your radar simply because there's a lot of movement on screen, but more of a blip on the radar that is equally if not more enjoyable. It's great how Levi doesn't even flinch and literally pushes through the shove it, kind of kicking it around a little, as if it were nothing else but a push.

Mid-Line Trick #3: Fakie Heelflip - Austyn Gillette

The fakie heelflip used to be very scarcely seen in video parts, especially in the middle of a line because it was just a bit too awkward (at least from my experience) for what theoretically should be a basic trick. This past year or so though I've seen the fakie heel come up really well along with the overall trick versatility of skaters, such as Jordan Maxham, Neen, Flo Mirtain, and I remember a nice one from T-Funk's welcome part too. So to use it as one of the most memorable mid-line tricks might seem a bit cheap; then again, when Austyn Gillette does it like in his opening line for Cosmic Vomit 2 (above) it certainly changes things. From the song that makes you want to turn up right away to the smooth 180 down a large set to start the line, and especially when Austyn points at someone ahead right before the fakie heel with an enviable confidence, the build up for the fakie heel gives the same feeling like your favorite basketball player driving through the lane about to posterize the measly defender in the paint. Oh and it sure helps that Austyn has one of the sweetest styles, mixing high pop and a sick flick. The loose trucks swerving away as he lands the fakie heel and the couple powerful switch pushes afterwards just keeps adding goodness to this line all around, so by the time he switch tres down the second set the levels of stoke are already pretty high.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mid-Line Trick #4: Laser Flip - Theotis Beasley

The 360 flip is likely the most used trick for the middle of a line. Everybody loves a smooth tre because we're all used to its rotation by now and it's a convenient trick to keep your flow going in a line. However, how many times have you seen its heelflip counterpart, the laser flip, in the middle of a line? Heelflip variations (regular, not necessarily nollie) in general are less frequently used than kickflip variations, but even the regular heelflip or varial heelflip for that matter have been tossed around here and there in the middle of a line. When it comes to laser flips, they're typically used as the banger of the line, thrown down a set of stairs to impressively finish the clip. But I can't remember any instance other than Theotis Beasley above in his shared Bake and Destroy part at 2:34 casually put down a flatground laser in the very middle of his line. We all know Theo's got some sick fliptricks, heelflip variations included, but seeing a laser not down some stairs or across a gap is actually quite startling, in the good way. Props to Theotis for a sweet and very memorable line in Bake and Destroy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mid-Line Trick #5: Nollie/Fakie Ollie - Kevin Romar/Chad Tim Tim

Tricks in the middle of a line are usually expected to be moderately challenging and involve some board rotation whether via spinning or flipping. But that's exactly what makes Kevin Romar and Chad Tim Tim stand out when they come along with two of the most basic tricks imaginable. Kevin Romar pops a quick, comfortable nollie just over a minute crack in one of his lines from Damn, and Chad Tim Tim smoothly elevates a high speed fakie ollie into a curb cut to set up for his next trick at 2:11 in his Trio part above. They both set up with what would be their flicking foot in a position that you can't quite tell what they're about to pull off, but just watching their boards lift off into the air with no spinning is a visual relief that's oh-so refreshing. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go, and these two lines in particular are made much more memorable because of that welcomed simplicity.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Next Week: Most Memorable Mid-Line Trick

Just about every street video part has at least one or two lines in there to help coincide with the mellower verses of the song or to fill up time in the part. Or maybe some guys are just really good at stringing together awesome tricks back to back like that. Regardless, skaters need to fill in the flatground space between obstacles so you end up with your very common mid-line tricks. (By mid-line tricks I'm keeping it contained to flatground fliptricks to fill the space in between stairs, ledges, rails, etc. Basically a flip trick that doesn't involve grinds/slides or a significant drop.) Common tricks are obviously the comfortable and easy-on-the-eyes 360 flip, the nollie heelflip, nollie kickflip, fakie kickflip, and even a lot of backside/frontside heelflip/kickflip variations to switch stances without simply changing the pushing foot. Those ones are seen a bit too much these days with just about any street skater to the point where they're so common they almost feel like time-occupying filler tricks. Of course there are dudes that can make these tricks look beautiful through pop or just a stylish flick, but nonetheless, a surprising out of the norm trick in the middle of a line really sticks out. Just as your mind is about to zone out in preparation for another tre flip before or after some flatground pushing, there are those unique mid-line tricks that jump out and startle you, making the line much more memorable.
This is exactly what will be looked at this week. I may be missing some lines as I go, but the next five days will cover the ones that stick out the most to me now.

And here are a few extras that deserve some mentioning:
Kevin Phelps recently dropped a new part via Thrasher that was filled with some crazy clips and awesome East Coast skating. Click on the link and you'll see one line that clearly stuck out to me when I first watched the part. After starting the line with a stylish fakie 360 flip, Kevin comes through with a half cab late back foot flip that I totally did not see coming. I thought a half cab flip was surely on its way, but the late flip worked very well with Kevin's nonchalance.
Sewa Kroetkov does something similar in This Is Not A Test. At the pretty well known playground benches, he hits one bench and then sets up as if he were to pop a super high switch heelflip. Nope. Instead he does what I'd say is now his signature trick (or at least a variation of it): switch ollie late kickflip. Considering that you usually see the nollie version, this is definitely a trick you wouldn't expect. If the trick itself isn't shocking enough, the height and cleanliness with which he does it should remedy that. (He also does the nollie version at the same benches at 1:16.)
Similar to Sewa getting two lines at that bench spot, Mike Mo Capaldi hits up a schoolyard in Fully Flared with a rad line - ollie late back foot varial flip, nollie back heel, then a switch kickflip down a set of stairs - and then revisits the same schoolyard in Pretty Sweet with a very memorable line. Starting off with a fakie big heel (always a sweet trick), Mike Mo sets up for what looks like a tre flip at first but I can only imagine will be something wizardly, and effortlessly flicks his impossible late flip. Then he closes with a frontside flip down the set. But the impossible late flip is something I doubt will be seen mid-line from anyone else, or even in a part at all to be fair. Seeing Mike Mo implement his signature flatground trick into a line for his part was quite satisfying. And even though the trick from Mo himself isn't that surprising to see, actually seeing it mid-line is not something you'd expect.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Video of the Week: Nyjah Huston - Fade to Black

Best Quality Video at Thrasher

This week has been nuts with the release of way too many good videos. I wanted to pick a video of the week that would not have already been talked about as much as this one, but when a video part is as gnarly and well-rounded (in regards to Nyjah at least) as this one, it's too hard to not highlight Nyjah's hard work that he's put in this past year. From skating enormous rails (several on order of 20 stairs or more) to the most insane kinked rails to some huge gaps and then even to some crazy tech tricks, Nyjah's created one of the sickest parts possible today. I'd love to go over each and every clip and its awesomeness, but watching the video over and over again will work just as well. 

Then there was AB&A, the Etnies video starring Axel Cruysberghs, Barney Page, and Albert Nyberg that is watchable at the Berrics. Great editing and song selection from Etnies? Check. Three distinctly awesome styles and personalities? Check. Some very memorable NBDs from Albert Nyberg? CHECK. This video will be on replay for quite some time.

Narrowing down that European vibe, my previous wishes actually came true and Tom Knox of Isle Skateboards had his part in Eleventh Hour released. (I got the full video myself at Theories of Atlantis and would recommend it to any skate video collector.) It's really hard to beat the London spots and scenery; this video just provides that sense of awe solely from aesthetics. Mix that with Tom Knox's perfect adaption of his skating to his surroundings with his extremely quick feet and great improvisational tricks and you have one heck of a video part. 

The week of the Europeans maybe? It was great to see some new Danny Brady footage in the form of a new full part for Palace skateboards. Danny's great flick put to some unique editing for some more awesome vibes and skateboarding fans are pleased with this outcome.

I'm going to bunch together three parts that came out this week: TJ Rogers for Bones Wheels, a Travis Erickson compilation part, and a minute long Coalatree commercial for Ryan Spencer. All of these dudes rip extremely hard in these clips with just pure street skating from their personal hometown area spots. All of these dudes are also very underrated because parts like these that can be rewatched multiple times show that they should be much closer to turning pro than they currently are at the moment. 

And to wrap up this week, here are some other pretty tight videos:
-Sweet trick selection and style from John Hill in his Mag Minute
-Another tight release from the Old Dominion video by Venue Skateboards, this time featuring Jordan Bradshaw
-A reminder of how great Lakai and its team riders always are with the Lakai 'YIR' Die recap montage.
-A cool NYC montage project by Steve Marino called In The Streets (picks up nicely around 2:25)
-Equal amounts creativity and gnarliness in the Berrics blowup video from Jordan Maxham: Maxham Overdrive (his intro to Warco is still one of the most ridiculous internet videos in recent memory for me)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Spectacled Shredders #1: Justin Brock

Closing off this week's Spectacled Shredders is Justin Brock. The first part that I remember from him was his part in Nike's Debacle which also happened to be the first time I ever saw someone skate that heavily guarded triple set (in LA I think). Even though the set itself has changed in popularity over the past few years, Justin still rocks his frames while he skates. Pumped for his Chronicles 2 part coming soon!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Spectacled Shredders #2: Tyler Bledsoe

Tyler Bledsoe was probably the first guy I ever realized wore glasses while he skated. I read about it somewhere in an interview with him and while I'd say he has that pretty solid "nerd" look, Tyler absolutely shreds with a wonderful style. Just look at his classic Hallelujah part above. From what I understand, Tyler now is wearing contacts so his face will be frameless for who knows how long. But I don't think I'll ever get past his look with the glasses on.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spectacled Shredders #3: Ben Raybourn

Next up this week for the Spectacled Shredders is all terrain ripper Ben Raybourn. After dropping two sick parts this year and basically loads of gnarly footage, here's a bit of a throwback to his part in the independent video called "The Other Ones". The glasses somehow stay on even after his 540s...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spectacled Shredders #4: Johan Stuckey

Next up for the Spectacled Shredders this week is Johan Stuckey (who kinda looks like Marisa Dal Santo with shorter hair, or is it just me?) and his part in Cosmic Vomit 2. It's hard to picture Johan's face without glasses.

Spectacled Shredders #5: Marisa Dal Santo

Marisa Dal Santo is one of the first skaters that come to mind when I think of skaters with glasses. After that, there's not much else to say about skaters with glasses...So I'll leave the rest to Marisa's ripping part in Strange World. You get a pretty clear shot of her frames at 1:09 by the way.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Next Week: Spectacled Shredders

With Thanksgiving coming up, we'll be switching things up and dedicating this week to the spectacled skaters. It takes some skill to be able to watch your board and your surroundings with a pair of frames over your eyes. Wearing glasses really adds another level of difficulty most people wouldn't realize without actually trying to skate in glasses. Yet there are a group of pro skaters that do this on the daily and their skating is not compromised one bit. Props to these skaters, their accomplishment deserves to be seen more clearly.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Video of the Week: Mark Frolich in "Till Ur Legs Fall Off"


Just because Mark Frolich isn't in the US skateboarding spotlight does not mean that he has not been absolutely shredding this year. After already releasing a gnarly part in January, Frolich comes through with this solo part entitled "Till Ur Legs Fall Off". Mark skates super fast at some pretty hairy European spots but manages to maintain a really sick style. Add in the fact that his trick selection and flick are large and super awesome respectively and you have an astounding part. The fact that this part (and his earlier one this year) is 6 minutes of no artsy fillers and just pure street shredding also amazes me. Props to Mark for a large amount of destruction with his crazy part here.

Some other noteworthy videos from this week:
-The very talented and all around awesome Huf team in their Stoops Euro tour, part 1 and part 2
-A video part via The Skateboard Mag for David Bo where he always looks like he's going to lose control and slam but manages to pull out some crazy tricks with the sketchiest rollaways
-Ty Beall's part in "Old Dominion" that has some really unique spots
-The fluid skills of Cliche flow Mike Long are demonstrated in this small part via Transworld
-A well-articulated interview with Jerry Hsu over at Jenkem about leaving enjoi and going to Chocolate, and about the skateboarding industry in general (technically not a video but definitely worth reading)

And finally, congrats to Felipe Gustavo for finally turning pro! It's been a long time coming but it's finally official with this sick part of quality technical perfection that we love from Felipe. Maybe an indication of the Plan B video right around the corner...?


Friday, November 22, 2013

Clipper #1: Brian "Slash" Hansen

Slash's ender for The Deathwish Video has so many levels of awesomeness and gnarliness. The trick by itself, caballerial frontside noseslide back to regular, is easily one of the craziest tricks to go down the Clipper ledge. What puts Slash's trick over the top for me is twofold. The back foot coming off of the board for essentially a one-footed noseslide, which appears totally accidental, showcases Slash's crazed board control and makes Slash's already sick style look that much cooler. The second aspect of this trick is the fact that with the curvature of the Clipper ledge itself, Slash actually locked into somewhat of a nosegrind. Caballerial backside nosegrind. Think about how many times you've actually seen that done. I can only remember Raul Navarro doing one in his latest Adidas part, and he is a supreme ledge technician. So to think that Slash basically cab nosegrinded the gnarly Clipper hubba, even if the lock-in was unintentional and more of a switch Suski grind to get really specific, everything going on in that one clip is crazy. Slash takes the Clipper cake with this one for sure.
(Though I can't post Slash's Deathwish part, the trick is actually discussed in an episode of the Weekend Buzz and you can see the trick itself there as well!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clipper #2: Ryan Decenzo

The fact that Ryan Decenzo got 4 tricks at Clipper, that just so happened to conveniently come together in pairs, all for one video part is very interesting. Then you look at the tricks themselves, and they all don't involve the most complex/tech fliptricks into grinds and whatnot. They seem relatively straightforward with just a few 180s here and there. But each trick in itself seems rather scary to commit to down a hubba like Clipper, so managing to get 4 tasteful (and in some sense creative) tricks for one part is why Ryan Decenzo is a big contributor to Clipper. Right off the bat in his Forward Slash part (above), at 5:25 you'll see the first pair of tricks: a switch front 180 to 5-0 grind with a 180 out rewinding the shoulders, followed by an ollie over the top to boardslide on the outside of the ledge. Both tricks involve a great deal of precision, but their visual simplicity makes them very appealing. Same thing at 7:01. Ryan backside 180s into a switch 50-50 down the ledge and follows that up with a frontside 180 switch crooked grind. All tricks that can be very difficult down a hubba, but that don't get out of hand with the craziness. These additions to Clipper's history definitely help make Ryan's Forward Slash part more memorable.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Clipper #3: Darrell Stanton

It should be illegal to look as casual as Darrell Stanton does on a skateboard. Being able to get 4 tricks at Clipper, including some gnarly blunt variations, all the while not shrugging a shoulder is not something you can practice. He's just naturally that graceful and managed to get 4 beautiful tricks at Clipper. 2 of those tricks were in his Roll Forever part above. At 1:11 Darrell starts off "easily" enough with a backside 5-0 back 180 out, and then gets blunted with a super steezy nollie backside noseblunt ender at 2:13. The right arm position while rolling away is priceless. There was also a cover of Thrasher back in 2002 of a regular back noseblunt from Darrell with the ultimate steeze, almost like he's just posing on the ledge. Lastly, in Free Your Mind Darrell does what seems like an impossible trick at 5:10: ollie over to front blunt. He somehow pops his way with enough control to slide the opposite side of Clipper, but despite the insane difficulty of the trick, his left arm remains as smooth in its balancing position as possible. Gnarly tricks with such style makes for remarkable tricks.

Clipper #4: Jack Curtin

Jack Curtin is definitely one of the most underrated dudes out there. His ability to skate everything from ledges to flatground and especially to rails/hubbas in any stance is really quite incredible when you think about some of the rather "tech" tricks he puts down some handrails. Hitting the big Clipper hubba is a perfect example of this: Jack has nailed 3 pretty heavy switch tricks down the famous ledge. At 2:19 in Give Me My Money Chico you can see Jack rather perfectly execute a switch backside 5-0 grind down Clipper. There's something about switch 5-0s in general that just seem so uncomfortable to handle as easily as the regular version, so Jack's fluidity with the trick is definitely awesome. Since the switch 5-0 wasn't enough, Jack grabs two more switch bangers at Clipper, both seen in his Parental Advisory part above. At 3:22 he switch kickflips into a switch backside 50-50 grind, a pretty nutty switch combo down a hubba that size, and then for his ender at 3:34 Jack somehow gets the pop and control to switch back lip the ledge. 3 heavy switch tricks at Clipper put Jack Curtin in the top 5 Clipper skaters for sure. And the story behind the switch flip back 50 for a Transworld cover is also worth hearing about, just adding to Jack's radness.

UPDATE: I just realized that I completely bypassed two other super gnarly tricks from Jack down the ledge! Apparently he also has done a nollie noseblunt down the hubba as well as another switch trick: switch crooked grind for his FTC part at 2:05. Not only are those both really gnarly but that puts Jack's collection of Clipper tricks up to 5, which definitely moves up his position in my top Clipper skaters.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Clipper #5: Forrest Edwards

After your "basic" fliptricks into grinds (kickflip, nollie heel, etc.) the 360 flip is probably the next in line for the progression and usually done to 50-50. Forrest nails what is now a standard hubba trick (especially for him) down Clipper in his One in a Million episode. This alone is a pretty solid addition to Clipper's trick history, but I'd prefer Jamie Thomas's impossible 50-50 over the 360 flip version any day. That's where Forrest comes in with the 360 flip 5-0 grind at 2:40 in his Unhinged part above. Taking the 360 flip to anything other than 50-50 seems to add a whole new dimension to the gnarliness of the trick. Being able to catch the tre and still lock in the back truck with enough control to balance through the grind is super impressive, so the steezy showboating rollaway makes it that much better. Major props to Forrest for nailing this sick trick down the famous Clipper ledge! (And for going pro for Threat after coming out with tons of crazy clips through parts like Unhinged and Wild Power)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Next Week: Clipper Ledge

Next week is going to be a good one. We'll be taking a look at a bunch of the tricks that have gone down at the Clipper Ledge in San Francisco, California. This topic was primarily inspired by Jamie Thomas's latest addition to the history of tricks with his gnarly ender in Cold War. Just to be safe and not spoil anything further, I'll just say that while the trick itself may be used a bit too frequently these days, actually thinking about doing it down something as big as Clipper makes you realize just how gnarly that trick was. The fact that it was The Chief doing it too just adds to the quality of the history at the spot.

To keep some standards for this week, I'll only be highlighting the grinds/slides done down the ledge. That isn't to say there have been some crazy tricks done OVER the ledge too. Cody Mac's switch flip from Business as Usual (2:48), Jamie Tancowny's backside flip from Strange World (1:25) which just so happens to follow a sweet kickflip front board down the ledge, and one of the highest ollies probably ever done: Milton Martinez goes over the top and down the TWO sets at Clipper! Then there's Eli Reed and Richie Jackson getting creative and doing some footplants, Eli in his Real Street part (0:52) and Richie in this older Pig Wheels ad.
Now for some mention-worthy grind/slide tricks done down Clipper. There's James Hardy in Since Day One with his scary front 180 to switch 50-50 the hard way, Nyjah Huston's hammer of a hardflip back 5-0 from his Last Call part from last year (0:30), Greg Lutzka's really awesome frontside big spin noseslide from Forward Slash, Vincent Alvarez with a crazy switch backside bluntslide back to switch from Pretty Sweet, Ishod Wair with the stylish frontside version, and then Mark Appleyard with three beautiful tricks from Sorry: switch front tail (1:28), kickflip back 5-0 (4:35), and following that with the gnarly nollie flip back 50.

I hope I'm not missing any super gnarly tricks done at Clipper, but these ones mentioned here and the ones coming this week are the ones that stick out most.

Update 6/8/15: Even though Transworld pretty much fully documented the ABD Archives at Clipper, and Thrasher helped unleash a myriad of NBDs on the spot through The Ripper at Clipper to forever cement this spot as one of the greatest in skateboarding history (RIP Clipper), I don't think Daniel Dubois' frontside 360 from his 19th Ave part was fully appreciated, or Sam Baker's crazy ledge combo on the gnarly hubba while under construction. And I almost forgot Alex Conn's gnarly nollie boardslide to fakie!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Video of the Week: Zero's Cold War

Even though I know Zero has one of the gnarliest crews in skateboarding and has built upon their legacy over the years, I wasn't ready for Cold War. Based on the 5 parts shown on Thrasher, the video takes gnarly skating to whole new levels. I said earlier in the SOTY posts that Dane Burman and Tommy Sandoval had some crazy clips in Road Less Traveled but would need outstanding parts in Cold War to be considered for SOTY. That is exactly what happened here. I won't even begin to explain their parts because I would diminish their gnarliness, but they are most definitely at the top of the contenders for SOTY 2013 after this. And it's crazy because Brockman, Cole, and Jamie all had super sick parts too, but they were just overshadowed by Dane and Tommy's inhuman destruction. These 5 parts alone are enough for an epic video but what's even better is that there's still Tom Karangelov, Ben Hatchell, Nick Boserio, and Tony Cervantes in the full video!(and possibly parts from John Rattray and Josiah Gatlyn?) So as soon as Cold War comes out on DVD I will be getting it for quite possibly one of the gnarliest and rawest videos of the year.

Besides that, Chad Tim Tim's Transmission part at Transworld was also super steezy and fun to watch; the switch back smith 360 ender was pretty ridiculous. Eniz Fazliov came out with a sick part in a video called Rabies with his Finnish homies with some really cool, crusty spots. John Dilorenzo is on an absolute tear for what I'd call the hungriest flow dude of the year. After dropping two heavy parts in Florida Daze 2 and Against the Clock, he is now being introduced to Split Clothing with this third great part of the year. I've been feeling Rowan Zorilla ever since his part in Footage Party, and this 14-minute clip of raw footage is just so entertaining to watch. Seeing some pretty sick tricks go down after some work while having a blast with the homies is what every skater should live for. And lastly, Anton Myhrvold comes through with a sweet minute and a half of stylish, well-flicked tricks for his intro to Small Wheels.

UPDATE: This was also some major news. It just fits perfectly too.