Saturday, October 26, 2013

Video of the Week: GX1000 Montreal

There were way too many good videos this week, so here's a "brief" rundown.
I'd almost completely forgotten about Dennis Durrant but was so stoked that he's still been skating with that same smooth technical style. Glad to see his latest video part for Adidas International at the beginning of this week with some stupid-tech fakie flip variations into handrails.
Then Ishod Wair came out with Wair N Tear. His style never ceases to amaze me in that nothing he does looks remotely challenging, yet he comes up with some pretty stacked lines. It's almost too easy to overlook his switch front big spin down the LOVE gap because of how smooth it was. (Footage machine alert! Ishod just dropped this and still has what should be a standout part for Chronicles 2)
Through Christopher Middlebrook I came along to this Modus Bearings Portfolio montage, which was great in numerous ways. Footage of Lewis [RIP] that I don't think I've seen before was absolutely priceless, the filming was on point in every clip, John Rattray's nose manual slalom was pure awesomeness, and the assortment of skaters' nationalities from English to Australian coupled with really great clips combined for a very much appreciated 6 minutes of skateboarding.
I hadn't heard of Rowan Zorilla before, but with a standout part in Footage Party I surely won't forget him now. His carefree style and loose trucks with a seriously diverse selection of spots and terrain make for a kind of part that never gets old. Not to mention some pretty gnarly clips in there done in superb fashion.
Magenta turned Koichiro Uehara (who I also hadn't heard of before) pro by dropping this mixtape of his skating on Thursday. Man oh man does he have quick feet! It takes a good amount of skill and practice to be able to ollie as quickly as he does in this mixtape and the couple minutes of street shredding are quite refreshing.
Also, Chris Gregson came out with a super sick part that demonstrates skills of a true tranny ripper. His frontside flips a thing of beauty and his lanky style works very well with all of his ripping. You really have to stop and realize just how fast he's flying around the bowls in some clips because his nonchalance doesn't show it.
Then yesterday, Jordan Hoffart took his much deserved Day Hoff from skating. He's always been one of the guys I love seeing footage from ever since his part in Fun. From hairy out-rails/out-ledges to some of the longest street gaps I've seen (I keep thinking back to his enormous ollie in New Ground), Jordan continues his raw and impressive skating.

Despite all of this rip-tastic parts, I must give the video of the week to the GX1000 crew shredding in Montreal. For one, the vibes of the GX1000 videos are unmatchable. Straight up, raw street skating with the homies in the way all skaters dream about. Any videos the crew puts out are pure gold, and it helps that every guy in the crew totally kills it. One of my favorite things to watch from them is shown right at the start: barging indoor/underground spots with security with legit tricks as opposed to squeezing in an ollie just to run away when the guard peaks his head around the corner. Yonnie Cruz shows everyone how to get the best clips just like this.
Probably the key reason why I love this video is because I've taken a couple of weekend trips to Montreal and have skated around a few of the very same spots from the video. Seeing Antoine Asselin varial flip from the basically the street out and over a post and into a downhill road at 2:09 is ridiculous from watching it. But to have experienced actually bombing the hill after it and knowing the width of those sidewalks makes the trick that much gnarlier. Just like the tricks at the Olympic Stadium: from Yonnie Cruz's switch backside wallride at 0:56 along the very crusty surface to Charles Rivaro's Stadium rooftop miniramp line at 3:14 followed by his super long downramp manual to 50-50. Knowing what the spots are like in person makes the footage exponentially more impressive and exciting to watch. And though I haven't even heard of Charles before, I will know him now from his sick clips and his ender which is too awesome for words.

Finally, I need to shoutout Jake Johnson because I was already pumped for his double glass wallrides at 1:43, but after seeing his latest Alien Workshop ad from this very trip to Montreal, I am utterly astounded. Jake's already shown his sweet wallriding skills in Mind Field, but this wallride takes skateboarding to completely new levels. I've seen Wes Kremer and Silas Baxter-Neal do some pretty long and tall wallrides, and lately I've been digging T-Funk's wallride from his new part, but again I doubt they come close to Jake's latest wallride. The crazy thing is that I've actually skated around that very same plaza in downtown Montreal and never did it occur to me that a wallride could even be done down that entire double set wall. There are plenty of wallriding opportunities in that area, but Jake's seems simply impossible. Let's just say that I am rather eager to see Jake's next video part, whatever it may be.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mini Ramp Skaters #1: Dave Bachinsky

The greatest irony about how good Dave Bachinsky is at mini ramp skating is that he has done arguably the most iconic gap trick in skateboarding. Nevertheless, he comes up with the most insane tricks and lines on a mini ramp like no one else. From manualing in between lips like some THPS trick to probably being the only guy to utilize the caballerial heelflip and fakie inward big heel as tricks on a mini ramp, Dave can really do it all. The first time my mind was blown by his mini ramps skills was in this Hubba video above: Bachinsky Gone Wild. And most recently he released The Formula on the Berrics and somehow has progressed mini ramp skating even more than his already. Again, like Daewon and Haslam, I feel like the most justice done to Dave would be just to present these two outstanding video parts and let the sweet mini ramp skating speak for itself.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mini Ramp Skaters #2: Daewon Song

Now I know Daewon has been the subject of a lot of blog posts lately, but that's what happens when you're Daewon Song. He is particularly good in a lot of areas of skating to say the least, with mini ramp skating being one of them. To keep things simple, I will only highlight Daewon's standout part in Cheese and Crackers (above).  There are way too many random clips online that showcase Daewon's undeniable talent on a mini ramp, so it's better just to mention Cheese and Crackers because it centered a full Almost video on solely mini ramp skating.
Daewon, like Haslam, has way too much control over his blunts, allowing for insane variations like the triple blunt at 0:51 of his New Year's Dae Bonus Trailer or the blunt bigger flip. Not only lip tricks, but as seen in Cheese and Crackers, Daewon can handle just about anything thrown in his way on a mini ramp from tires to blinding curtains to sketchily crafted above-coping rails. And still to this day I don't think I've seen anyone else come up with shifting double grab judo tricks like Daewon airs out oh-so-well above the coping.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mini Ramp Skaters #3: Chris Haslam

Trying to write a description for Chris Haslam is extremely hard, considering the years of mini ramp skating he has under his belt. His timeless part in Cheese and Crackers above is enough to satisfy the needs of 10 hungry skate nerds for at least a week, considering there are tricks in there like a blunt triple kickflip. While Chris can almost without exaggeration probably do any trick suggested to him on a mini ramp, he can easily do any sort of blunt variation with an unnatural consistency (unnatural in the sense that it's not fair that he's as skilled as this, not in the sense of criticizing his style because there are no faults there at all). For proof, check out Chris nailing blunt after blunt after blunt after blunt after blunt...and just try to keep count. The fact that he ended the sequence of 200+ blunts with a kickflip out is just laugh-out-loud, jaw-droppingly stunning.
While those two videos alone will forever have me convinced that Haslam has been anointed with some holy skateboarding oil, he also demonstrates how even when just relaxing for a fun session at a skatepark he can still come up with the illest lines and tricks like no one else. Just look at these easy sessions at Welcome Park, Picnic Skatepark, and on the road with the Bones team.
On top of that, with his heavy bag of dorky and unheard of flip tricks, he can do plenty of mini ramp tricks away from the coping. Take this nollie big heel in Africa for starters. Only have enough plywood for a 2-foot width? No problem! Mr. Haslam will gladly take this opportunity to flawlessly nail a nollie big heel with more control than Kendrick Lamar.
All of these clips are just small tastes of what Haslam can do, so after checking these out, go get lost in the Youtube vortex of Chris's godly mini ramp skating.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mini Ramp Skaters #4: Cody McEntire

Cody McEntire can do some pretty magical things on a mini ramp. Between his ability to pop tricks quite high (particularly on transitions) and his extraordinarily gorgeous one-of-a-kind flick, putting these skills to a mini ramp results in some pretty unreal tricks and lines.  In his classic Smoke and Mirrors part, he opens up before the music with a sick line that when I compare it to some of Ben's awesome lines that I wrote about yesterday, really shows how talented Cody is. And then at 2:11 is an extra high nollie big spin back tail backside flip out for good measure. In Business As Usual, he whips around a deadly front blunt at 0:35 and does what I consider his signature transition trick at 2:09: a frontside 180 fakie 5-0 flip out with his awesome personal style of kicking his back foot out or something to catch the flip. Cody's Real Street part has a couple of nice mini ramp/lip tricks starting at 0:22 and his Love it or Leave it part has a terrific section from 2:21-2:55 just mini ramp tricks. The late back foot flip noseblunt has got to be an NBD for sure!
Now the video parts show Cody's all around amazing skating interspersed with sweet mini ramp stuff, but the clip posted above along with this Mini Ramp Session are what truly puts him as one of the best mini ramp skaters out there. I think it's safe to say he has THE BEST switch 360 flip on a mini ramp or transition in skateboarding. If you don't check out his other video parts mentioned earlier (although they'd be totally worth it), please just check out these two minute-long clips and have your mind blown.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mini Ramp Skaters #5: Ben Hatchell

There are skaters that can seriously rip up some transition with huge transfers and the ability to absolutely carve around bowls. Ben Hatchell is one of those skaters, but at the same time, he has the ability to perform some of the craziest "straight-on" lip tricks and destroy mini ramps with an all-too-comfortable style. Ben's got some tricks like no one else such as his feeble 270 outs (with no arm wavering or speed loss whatsoever) or his cab hurricanes that involve way too much spinning to come out as smoothly as he does. He's also got 540s and tons of blunt variations on lock. Watching him skate and seeing his trick variations is way too appealing, so I am really looking forward to what he has in store for Cold War. Meanwhile, above is a sweet line (mainly because of two tricks) that regardless of missing what would've been an unbelievable ender shows some really great tricks. When he skated Clint Peterson's ramp, he starts off with two of his perfect on-lock tricks and later comes out with moves like switch front feebles and switch stalefishes that impressed me, not to mention some other of his great tricks. This other mini ramp session shows more of his ease with blunt variations and other "simpler" tricks. And even though when Chris Ray Recaptured Ben it was on more of bowl obstacles and not mini ramps, the tricks are way too good to not mention: fakie big spin blunt kickflip, blunt kickflip at the famous tranny spot on possibly the largest extension possible, no comply front blunt, covering distance on a long back smith to feeble fakie, and a really gnarly gritty jersey barrier back noseblunt nollie backside flip out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Next Week: Mini Ramp Skaters

Skating a mini ramp is probably the easiest way to have a fun session with your homies. Basically as long as you can ride a little bit of transition, you can skate a mini ramp. Everyone usually has their preferred tricks and it's fun to see how long someone can keep a line going. Now when it comes to the sponsored skaters in the industry, it seems like everyone can at least do a few solid tricks because at some point they've come across a quarter at a park. But there are a few elite mini ramp skaters that can do tricks and lines that no one else can with a style that exudes comfort coming from years of skating a mini ramp. At that level, skating a mini becomes second nature so the pros can really branch out with their tricks. This week I'll look at my top 5 mini ramp skaters.
Before going into this week's top 5, here are some other guys that kill it on a mini:
Jordan Hoffart and Josh Hawkins are basically best buds that have skated quite a few mini ramps and transitions together. They have some really cool tricks and styles of their own so they're always fun to watch.
Shawn Hale is one of my favorites to watch skate a mini ramp. He has some of the craziest tricks (on any size transition for that matter) like the fakie tre noseblunt that gets me every time, and also knows how to flow a mini really well with some very fun tricks.
I hadn't heard of Mike Davis before his One Am part, but I was instantly blown away at his completely relaxed style and creative bag of tricks. He can smoothly flow around a mini ramp with his great style, and then come out with mind blowing tricks like a front 360 ollie to blunt to fakie, a big heel front noseblunt, and a switch big flip back noseblunt! That is a quite a mouthful, but luckily enough my jaw has already dropped from those tricks...