Friday, September 20, 2013

Return to the Radar #1: Tyler Bledsoe

Tyler Bledsoe is probably one of the most overlooked skaters today.  His quiet persona matches his smooth and stealthy spot destruction.  A dizzying array of fliptricks and a spot selection that naturally flows together with any edit also help make Bledsoe footage that much more valuable.  As far as my knowledge goes, he's put out two pivotal full length video parts with TWS's Hallelujah (above) and his part in Mind Field, as well as an artsy piece by Benny Maglinao and a couple of commercials all for Etnies. Not to mention awesome clips in the Gang of Fourstar tour video (front hurricane to switch crooks at 2:29 is amazing in so many ways). Through Etnies, Bledsoe has thoroughly put out stylish footage at unique spots that demonstrates his ability to get tech with ledges without going overboard, come up with tasteful manual tricks, skate different kinds of inclines, and especially throw some tricks down gaps. Watching Tyler skate provides some kind of impalpable sensation that may come close to admiration but mixes in a soothing vibe to it; basically it's just pleasing to watch him shred.  His frontside and backside kickflips both switch and regular look wonderful and I'd say he's got one of the best big spin flips and quite possibly THE best frontside hurricane grind in the game (just take a look at his Hallelujah ender at 3:43 for proof, along with the many other sweet variations.) His gap tricks are done with a flawless style, exemplified in Mind Field with his tweaked hardflip at 1:18 and his big flip ender down Carlsbad at 2:31 (one of my favorite tricks for sure down Carlsbad).  And he keeps ledge skating interesting and fun with creative combos that stray away from the overkill of some ledge dancers.  Just look at the back lip to blunt in Mind Field at 1:39, the nosegrind shove to 5-0 at 0:50 in Hallelujah where he actually sits on the ledge and grinds for quite a bit (you see way to many short grind taps these days, holding the trick out looks much better) as well as the front board over to noseblunt at 2:07 and the back tail pop over to noseblunt at 3:38.
With very little sighting of Tyler over the past 2/3 years, I am getting very anxious as to when new footage will arise out of him.  A beautiful style like his cannot sit around for too long without appeasing the needs of the skateboarding world.

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