Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Skating the Unskateable #4: Richie Jackson

Richie Jackson is very mystical, for lack of a better word. He goes out of his way to...go out of the way. He skates everything with his own flavor to the point of seeing him do "standard" tricks becomes the unusual aspect of his video parts. Coming up with his own tricks and variations is one thing, but doing this opens up so many more doors to spots to skate.
Take a look at Richie's part in And Now (above), for example. He opens up the part at a wall with a telephone pole support cable. That is the spot he chooses to skate and put in his part first. But it's the simplicity of the spot and the creativity of his wallride hippie jump body varial (naming tricks is not going to easy for this post) that makes this clip and all of Richie's so refreshing to watch. Being refreshing also doesn't take away from how impressive a lot of Richie's tricks are as well; there's a reason why he's one-of-a-kind. Take the ollie at 0:17: most skaters would complain about the crack right before the stairs or at the bottom but Richie doesn't mind those because he skates right through the trash can lying at the top stair. Before the fence-skating craze that I've seen at the new LES skatepark in NYC, Richie was skating directly off the fence like at 0:47, four wheels and all. No perfect flatbar? No problem for Richie! He skates chain links at 0:52 and at 2:38. And since when was a perfectly vertical structure a viable skate obstacle option? Since Richie finished his Tony Hawk video games and learned legitimate Natas spins like at 1:06 and the improved nose version at 1:39. At 1:55 people probably look at the set like it's entirely unskateable: way too long for any crazy Jaws-wannabe, and the hubbas have full length statues at the ends. So Richie just takes the easiest way down by firecracking straight through 20 stairs. In an effort to be more environmental, Richie stalls a solid airwalk treeplant (this is the best use of the "plant" as possible, in all meanings of the word) at 2:30 to finish off a line.  In the two clips starting at 2:45, skaters would typically think that the poles are in the way of the perfect ledge, but Richie's hippie qualities get him around the poles no problem. And of course, when you can't find the perfect hubbas down a stair set, just find the closest mall's escalator (like at 2:53) and skate its ledges. (I find it funny that Richie actually hits the escalator switch and rolls away switch too, probably just to bump up his score.)
Firecrackers are definitely not new, but to use the last few stairs during a firecracker as a launching step to a variety of fliptricks definitely qualifies as skating the unskateable. Please refer to Richie's Battle Commander at the Berrics for further information.

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