Saturday, November 23, 2013

Video of the Week: Mark Frolich in "Till Ur Legs Fall Off"

Just because Mark Frolich isn't in the US skateboarding spotlight does not mean that he has not been absolutely shredding this year. After already releasing a gnarly part in January, Frolich comes through with this solo part entitled "Till Ur Legs Fall Off". Mark skates super fast at some pretty hairy European spots but manages to maintain a really sick style. Add in the fact that his trick selection and flick are large and super awesome respectively and you have an astounding part. The fact that this part (and his earlier one this year) is 6 minutes of no artsy fillers and just pure street shredding also amazes me. Props to Mark for a large amount of destruction with his crazy part here.

Some other noteworthy videos from this week:
-The very talented and all around awesome Huf team in their Stoops Euro tour, part 1 and part 2
-A video part via The Skateboard Mag for David Bo where he always looks like he's going to lose control and slam but manages to pull out some crazy tricks with the sketchiest rollaways
-Ty Beall's part in "Old Dominion" that has some really unique spots
-The fluid skills of Cliche flow Mike Long are demonstrated in this small part via Transworld
-A well-articulated interview with Jerry Hsu over at Jenkem about leaving enjoi and going to Chocolate, and about the skateboarding industry in general (technically not a video but definitely worth reading)

And finally, congrats to Felipe Gustavo for finally turning pro! It's been a long time coming but it's finally official with this sick part of quality technical perfection that we love from Felipe. Maybe an indication of the Plan B video right around the corner...?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Clipper #1: Brian "Slash" Hansen

Slash's ender for The Deathwish Video has so many levels of awesomeness and gnarliness. The trick by itself, caballerial frontside noseslide back to regular, is easily one of the craziest tricks to go down the Clipper ledge. What puts Slash's trick over the top for me is twofold. The back foot coming off of the board for essentially a one-footed noseslide, which appears totally accidental, showcases Slash's crazed board control and makes Slash's already sick style look that much cooler. The second aspect of this trick is the fact that with the curvature of the Clipper ledge itself, Slash actually locked into somewhat of a nosegrind. Caballerial backside nosegrind. Think about how many times you've actually seen that done. I can only remember Raul Navarro doing one in his latest Adidas part, and he is a supreme ledge technician. So to think that Slash basically cab nosegrinded the gnarly Clipper hubba, even if the lock-in was unintentional and more of a switch Suski grind to get really specific, everything going on in that one clip is crazy. Slash takes the Clipper cake with this one for sure.
(Though I can't post Slash's Deathwish part, the trick is actually discussed in an episode of the Weekend Buzz and you can see the trick itself there as well!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clipper #2: Ryan Decenzo

The fact that Ryan Decenzo got 4 tricks at Clipper, that just so happened to conveniently come together in pairs, all for one video part is very interesting. Then you look at the tricks themselves, and they all don't involve the most complex/tech fliptricks into grinds and whatnot. They seem relatively straightforward with just a few 180s here and there. But each trick in itself seems rather scary to commit to down a hubba like Clipper, so managing to get 4 tasteful (and in some sense creative) tricks for one part is why Ryan Decenzo is a big contributor to Clipper. Right off the bat in his Forward Slash part (above), at 5:25 you'll see the first pair of tricks: a switch front 180 to 5-0 grind with a 180 out rewinding the shoulders, followed by an ollie over the top to boardslide on the outside of the ledge. Both tricks involve a great deal of precision, but their visual simplicity makes them very appealing. Same thing at 7:01. Ryan backside 180s into a switch 50-50 down the ledge and follows that up with a frontside 180 switch crooked grind. All tricks that can be very difficult down a hubba, but that don't get out of hand with the craziness. These additions to Clipper's history definitely help make Ryan's Forward Slash part more memorable.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Clipper #3: Darrell Stanton

It should be illegal to look as casual as Darrell Stanton does on a skateboard. Being able to get 4 tricks at Clipper, including some gnarly blunt variations, all the while not shrugging a shoulder is not something you can practice. He's just naturally that graceful and managed to get 4 beautiful tricks at Clipper. 2 of those tricks were in his Roll Forever part above. At 1:11 Darrell starts off "easily" enough with a backside 5-0 back 180 out, and then gets blunted with a super steezy nollie backside noseblunt ender at 2:13. The right arm position while rolling away is priceless. There was also a cover of Thrasher back in 2002 of a regular back noseblunt from Darrell with the ultimate steeze, almost like he's just posing on the ledge. Lastly, in Free Your Mind Darrell does what seems like an impossible trick at 5:10: ollie over to front blunt. He somehow pops his way with enough control to slide the opposite side of Clipper, but despite the insane difficulty of the trick, his left arm remains as smooth in its balancing position as possible. Gnarly tricks with such style makes for remarkable tricks.

Clipper #4: Jack Curtin

Jack Curtin is definitely one of the most underrated dudes out there. His ability to skate everything from ledges to flatground and especially to rails/hubbas in any stance is really quite incredible when you think about some of the rather "tech" tricks he puts down some handrails. Hitting the big Clipper hubba is a perfect example of this: Jack has nailed 3 pretty heavy switch tricks down the famous ledge. At 2:19 in Give Me My Money Chico you can see Jack rather perfectly execute a switch backside 5-0 grind down Clipper. There's something about switch 5-0s in general that just seem so uncomfortable to handle as easily as the regular version, so Jack's fluidity with the trick is definitely awesome. Since the switch 5-0 wasn't enough, Jack grabs two more switch bangers at Clipper, both seen in his Parental Advisory part above. At 3:22 he switch kickflips into a switch backside 50-50 grind, a pretty nutty switch combo down a hubba that size, and then for his ender at 3:34 Jack somehow gets the pop and control to switch back lip the ledge. 3 heavy switch tricks at Clipper put Jack Curtin in the top 5 Clipper skaters for sure. And the story behind the switch flip back 50 for a Transworld cover is also worth hearing about, just adding to Jack's radness.

UPDATE: I just realized that I completely bypassed two other super gnarly tricks from Jack down the ledge! Apparently he also has done a nollie noseblunt down the hubba as well as another switch trick: switch crooked grind for his FTC part at 2:05. Not only are those both really gnarly but that puts Jack's collection of Clipper tricks up to 5, which definitely moves up his position in my top Clipper skaters.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Clipper #5: Forrest Edwards

After your "basic" fliptricks into grinds (kickflip, nollie heel, etc.) the 360 flip is probably the next in line for the progression and usually done to 50-50. Forrest nails what is now a standard hubba trick (especially for him) down Clipper in his One in a Million episode. This alone is a pretty solid addition to Clipper's trick history, but I'd prefer Jamie Thomas's impossible 50-50 over the 360 flip version any day. That's where Forrest comes in with the 360 flip 5-0 grind at 2:40 in his Unhinged part above. Taking the 360 flip to anything other than 50-50 seems to add a whole new dimension to the gnarliness of the trick. Being able to catch the tre and still lock in the back truck with enough control to balance through the grind is super impressive, so the steezy showboating rollaway makes it that much better. Major props to Forrest for nailing this sick trick down the famous Clipper ledge! (And for going pro for Threat after coming out with tons of crazy clips through parts like Unhinged and Wild Power)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Next Week: Clipper Ledge

Next week is going to be a good one. We'll be taking a look at a bunch of the tricks that have gone down at the Clipper Ledge in San Francisco, California. This topic was primarily inspired by Jamie Thomas's latest addition to the history of tricks with his gnarly ender in Cold War. Just to be safe and not spoil anything further, I'll just say that while the trick itself may be used a bit too frequently these days, actually thinking about doing it down something as big as Clipper makes you realize just how gnarly that trick was. The fact that it was The Chief doing it too just adds to the quality of the history at the spot.

To keep some standards for this week, I'll only be highlighting the grinds/slides done down the ledge. That isn't to say there have been some crazy tricks done OVER the ledge too. Cody Mac's switch flip from Business as Usual (2:48), Jamie Tancowny's backside flip from Strange World (1:25) which just so happens to follow a sweet kickflip front board down the ledge, and one of the highest ollies probably ever done: Milton Martinez goes over the top and down the TWO sets at Clipper! Then there's Eli Reed and Richie Jackson getting creative and doing some footplants, Eli in his Real Street part (0:52) and Richie in this older Pig Wheels ad.
Now for some mention-worthy grind/slide tricks done down Clipper. There's James Hardy in Since Day One with his scary front 180 to switch 50-50 the hard way, Nyjah Huston's hammer of a hardflip back 5-0 from his Last Call part from last year (0:30), Greg Lutzka's really awesome frontside big spin noseslide from Forward Slash, Vincent Alvarez with a crazy switch backside bluntslide back to switch from Pretty Sweet, Ishod Wair with the stylish frontside version, and then Mark Appleyard with three beautiful tricks from Sorry: switch front tail (1:28), kickflip back 5-0 (4:35), and following that with the gnarly nollie flip back 50.

I hope I'm not missing any super gnarly tricks done at Clipper, but these ones mentioned here and the ones coming this week are the ones that stick out most.

Update 6/8/15: Even though Transworld pretty much fully documented the ABD Archives at Clipper, and Thrasher helped unleash a myriad of NBDs on the spot through The Ripper at Clipper to forever cement this spot as one of the greatest in skateboarding history (RIP Clipper), I don't think Daniel Dubois' frontside 360 from his 19th Ave part was fully appreciated, or Sam Baker's crazy ledge combo on the gnarly hubba while under construction. And I almost forgot Alex Conn's gnarly nollie boardslide to fakie!