Thursday, November 14, 2013

Slams #2: Heath Kirchart

Heath Kirchart is very mysterious to me. I haven't heard many words from him but I've seen his video parts and they most certainly have some of the groundbreaking tricks and spots for a time. Heath has one of the best styles for skating large hubbas, handrails, gaps, etc. But because of its natural fluidity when he lands, his bails look just the opposite: impactful and awkwardly painful. Take this enormous kickflip above for example: full on commitment to a strong slam into the ground with a rough-looking whiplash.
One of the greatest parts of all time is Heath's part in Sight Unseen and one of the most memorable clips for me was his pair of back to back lipslides down two huge rails. The first one was perfect but the second one resulted in a full body force of a slam into the ground. Just look at 0:52 of the outtakes from the video part to see. Also in the outtakes is Heath's attempt at a huge 5-0 grind down a hubba that he 50-50'd in the part. At 0:10 he has a couple of solid slams trying this, one of which includes a hard head bash against the ground. Along with that is a bail for his ender tailslide gap out at 1:22 where he misses the rail and skips down the last set of stairs straight to his shoulder.
In This Is Skateboarding Heath sticks to the top of a large hubba at 0:53 and falls a long distance down to a bouncy slam. Any bail like this just hurts to watch when you can almost feel the impact of the ground.
In Mind Field at 1:24 Heath commits to one of the largest bump to bars known to skaters. The board leaves his feet with about a foot of distance in between and he still tries to stick it, only to be thrown into the ground when he couldn't roll away. (Huge props to Colin Provost for 180'ing over this beast!)
Looking at Heath's most recent footage (just before his "retirement") from Stay Gold in his B-Sides, we see Heath skidding down a street sidewalk at 0:34 for way too long as he tries his flying line downhill and kickflips over the fire hydrant. At 1:47 you'll see Heath take some hefty slams as he battle his brick rail back tail backside flip. And starting around 8:27 are a series of bails when Heath was conquering the Mega Ramp. While Heath's bails from his video parts may not have been as gruesome as some other dudes', they are extremely memorable for the spot, for Heath's painful reactions, and simply because of the energy that Heath and his filmers create when they're on a mission. Just adding to that, how many street guys can actually say they broke their collarbone skating the Mega and still got the trick afterwards?

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