Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Skating the Unskateable #5: Brandon Westgate

By now, everyone's probably watched the new Emerica MADE video at least ten times by now and has witnessed the full-speed all out destruction left by Brandon Westgate. So if you don't know, now you know. But for those that knew already, it's clearly understood that Brandon Westgate is a spot-slaughtering machine. His extreme pop and fearlessness mixed with his ability to adapt to the harshest of surfaces has allowed him to set new standards for what spots can be skated, even if no one else will step up to those spots in a while. Below are a good deal of tricks that Brandon has made that has opened up new spots to skate or new ways to skate a spot.
In Zoo York's State of Mind he skate three spots in a row at 0:20 going UP instead of down (NYC Black Hubbas, the loading dock gap, and the tapered pyramid ledge spot). In Emerica's Stay Gold (above), Brandon finds a really innovative way to skate the manny banks at 0:48; no one's ever looked at the spot as actually using both banks together. Even ollieing into the bank at 1:00 was quite a new look at the spot. The SF line at 2:35 with the two stairway ollies going extremely fast was the first of many visits to that spot for ridiculous lines that only Brandon could do.  At 3:10 Brandon basically ollies the length of a house over a parking railing nonetheless and lands pretty far down in a slope. There's a gap to rail at 4:13 that Brandon lipslides that I'm pretty sure hadn't been skated before and other than Alex Olsen recently in Pretty Sweet still hasn't been touched. And then there's the ollie up at 4:19 that is just incomprehensible.
Soon after Stay Gold, Brandon came out with his Emerica Shoe Part where he finds another unique way to fly down the hills of SF at 0:46 with an alleyway ollie to finish the line. In the line at 1:54, Brandon finishes off a sweet line by 50-50ing a shoulder high rail off a natural sidewalk kicker. In a short clip of Brandon just Talking about the Westgate, he skates up two kinks of a pretty legit hubba. Definitely hasn't been done up something as legitimately kinked as that. Then there's Brandon's Real Street part where his first tricks involve him ollieing up onto an insane ledge all from a little sidewalk curb cut and then out over both the street and stairway. In his Mini-Bangin at the Berrics, Brandon 180s where no skater has before because no one would think of going from the 5 stair section out and over the tall bar off the far side of the bump section.
In Zoo York's latest promo video of True East, Brandon hits a super sketchy step up gap at 6:30 that clearly looks unskateable. He chooses to backside flip up it. Directly after that he ollies over the extremely tall bump to bar in ATL that I doubt no one else will hit in a while. And of course the ender ollie in Pittsburgh at 7:22 that is the definitive combination of sketchiness and gnarliness. No sane skater in their wildest dreams would ever picture ollieing something like that.
Finally, in Emerica's MADE Vol. 1, Brandon continues with his ridiculous SF sidewalk lines that only he can see with his experience there. There's a huge 180 over a flower patch after a quick drop down about an 8 stair. The crazy part of this would just be to visualize where in the world he could get speed from; dropping down the stairs beforehand does not seem like an option until Westgate does it. When the music first calms down for a little there's a very tall, sketchy curved ledge that drops down into another crusty hubba that he powers a 50-50 through backside. Later on in the part, Brandon ollies over a tall black pole off of a sidewalk bump (that blends into the background so a double take is usually necessary) that is unlikely for anyone else to even get the courage to skate straight on. There's the gigantic bump to bar against the full brick wall near the end that seems super hard just to keep speed up through, much less pop and land way down below. And of course the van-tow-in loading dock ollie up that defies all gravity. But of course Westgate follows his own laws of gravity.

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