Friday, January 3, 2014

Flow Bros to Blow Up #1: Nick Tucker

It would be modest to say that it's surprising to see Nick Tucker not even be am for a board company after all these years. He was basically part of, if not at the forefront of, the same crew in Sk8mafia that went pro a couple years ago, and that announcement itself was long overdue for those dudes. Whatever happened between Sk8mafia and Nick is still not clear to me, but apparently it was enough to thoroughly cut out Nick from the crew and set him back a few years. It's cool to see that it seems to be water under the bridge though as Kellen and Nick can still chill. What's even weirder is that he seems like a totally rad person too, so I can't imagine what had transpired. Regardless, after already being on a solid track to professionalism, Nick's status in the industry took a wild turn and he's had to put in work ever since.
I first found out about Nick through his FKD Park Project feature, which was instantly my favorite of the series. Even about a half decade ago he had the illest style (look at that boosted nollie heel over the hip!) and some craziest tricks like his now signature naturally boned nollie inward heel. After seeing this I looked more into Nick's footage and came across his Sk8mafia Am Video part, which continued that steezy style with a sweet display of his tech manual and ledge combos along with a nice mix of fliptricks down some large stair sets. 
After those first two glimpses into Nick's skating, I knew enough to be psyched when he got Recruited at the Berrics. Expanding his bag of tricks, he comes through with some nice surprises like a nollie front foot late flip (when it was still a video-game-hard kind of trick and not something every kid can do at the skatepark like now), an inward heel manual impossible out (which will be eternally crazy), and one of the first nollie big spin inward heelflips I think I ever saw. These last three videos from Nick were all released some time around 2009 and already stirred up quite the conversation about him going pro.
At some point on the timeline there was the divergence with Sk8mafia, but Nick stayed relevant in the industry by being welcomed to Grizzly and coming out with this Diamond commercial. Now basically fully grown, every single clip in these two commercials without exaggeration has something remarkable about it. From super stylish fliptricks to really tech ledge combos made to look simple, from bigger flips and boned inward heels to a couple full 360 ollie flips, and then to the first late front foot flip out of a crooked grind that I think I ever saw. Nick was progressing skateboarding on his own at this point through "secondary" sponsor commercials. Not something your standard am can do too easily. 
Then just this past year, Primitive Apparel dropped their full video, Pain is Beauty, with Nick getting the curtains (above). When I watch skate videos, I will definitely remember the tricks that jump out of the norm to warrant multiple viewings. Late flips, double flips, etc. all do that job, and Nick includes plenty of those in this part to keep you on the edge of your seat. But it's more than that. He comes through with new tricks for his bag (gap to switch 5-0 and switch backside flip over the bump to bar were cool to see from Nick) to show personal progress, a quality everyone wants to see out of their favorite skaters. And then throw in a one-of-a-kind style, arguably one of the best in skateboarding, and you have yourself a super enjoyable and memorable part.
And then there's the fact that he still isn't officially am for any team yet that is a shocking jump back to reality. He's had plenty of sessions with the Expedition team to at least be considered "flow" for them, and this has been going on for a considerable time by now so that's grounded pretty well. But I've never seen an official welcome for Nick to Expedition and he isn't even listed on their roster on Facebook. (Wow, roster sounds way too much like a sport now...ugh.) It's a really weird situation.
Nick already skates with a sense of professionalism already, a mastery of his fliptricks and board control that truly represent his good number of years skateboarding and coming up. Plus, being able to switch inward heel jaw-droppingly beautifully second try down a pretty large set is way too worthy to be flow for much longer. From his Full-Clip Friday, we know he's been skating this year and even improving: better consistency, more pop, flawless trick execution, and still somehow coming up with new tricks. With that as just park footage, and coming off of a good 9 months or so since Pain is Beauty, Nick's bound to have some footage in store for 2014. And since he's been consistently skating with Expedition in 2013, it only makes sense that he will finally get his official blow up in 2014. 

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