Thursday, October 10, 2013

Switch Backside Kickflips #2: Walker Ryan

For a guy that dominates the switch backside bigspin like no other and has tricks like switch big flips, nollie frontside flips, and switch back 360s down pat, it is no surprise that Walker Ryan's switch backside kickflip is one of his best tricks. Not only is Walker extremely skilled in a wide range of skating (mannys, tranny, gaps, ledges, you name it) but he has a special style. Personally, his style gets me every time in that I forget about what other skaters have done while I watch Walker skate and just lose myself in his one of a kind bag of tricks. It might sound weird but I'm distracted by his elegance on a skateboard so I always have to remind myself just how hard the tricks are that he does.
It's interesting because I think what also attracts me to Walker's skating style is that with a lot of his flip tricks (particularly gap tricks), as soon as he catches the usually slightly off axis flip (which adds cool points for uniqueness already) there isn't that robotically perfect board-glued-to-your-feet moment that every skater has (look at the nollie cab at 3:21 of his Graduation part above to see what I mean). The uncertainty of whether or not he can keep the board with him while watching him land his gap tricks is unexplainably exciting. Even though I've watched his parts hundreds of times and know the tricks and how he lands them, it isn't until Walker actually starts rolling away that my eyes relax from not knowing how the board will stay under his feet. And yet all of his landings are pretty much bolts too, which makes the paradox that much more intriguing.
With that being said, he is without a doubt one of my favorite skaters, so I will chronologically (as accurately as I can) go through his extremely solid resume of video parts that he's consistently put out throughout the past 5/6 years or so and visually remind you why his switch backside flip is one of the best in the game. (And while I could include variations like switch big flips or switch flip back noseblunts - because they are obviously awesome - I'm going to just highlight specifically switch backside flips.)
Welcome to Organika: switch backside flip at 2:04 out and down a pretty well-recognized NYC loading dock gap.
Focus Group: at 2:39 down a sizable stair set, while making it look like nothing
Concrete Jungle: at 2:18 down and across the "Walker-Ryan-made-famous" UCSD gap and in a line at 4:39 after a switch ollie up onto a bench and into a regular manual on another bench
Welcome to Circa: at 1:28 down the well-sized stage/bush gap and immediately followed at 1:37 over a large block to manual off the curb
Berrics Recruit: at 0:40 bump over 4 stair, at 0:57 to switch back disaster, and for his ender at 1:50 to regular backside 5-0 grind down the small hubba (like seriously, who else does tricks like these last two?!)
Shuffl Video: for his ender at 3:30 across the gap spanning two ledges at embarcadero and into a manual because just switch backside flipping that gap wasn't enough already
Graduation: at 2:40 out of a switch manual with a really cool looking off axis rotation (the thought of trying to hold a switch manual and then somehow turn switch backside scares me...), at 3:34 down the very large famous 6 block (definitely one of the top tricks done down that gap), at 3:53 to 5-0 (now upgraded from the Berrics to a street spot), and ultimately a switch backside 360 kickflip at 4:08 off a highway bridge kicker just to prove that this mythical trick is possible in the streets.
Double Rock: at 0:44 to switch back disaster, over the uneven hip in a line at 0:51, and to start a line at 2:09 very speedily down the stairs
Grow With Us: at 1:19 across a pretty well-recognized gap to manny and then front 180 out, down a really sick and pretty big set at 2:19 to finish off a line with proper tweakage, and quite possibly one of the best switch backside flips ever at 3:21 over a tall bump to bar with very little lift-off
Perpetual Motion (remix): at 2:09 into a decently long nose manual and with nice-to-see complete control at 3:21 down the pretty well-known water fountain gap

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