Saturday, February 8, 2014

Video of the Week: GX1000 Medellin

I already described my love for the Adidas team tour edits with that incredibly talented and eclectic group of skaters mixed with aesthetically beautiful editing. But at the same time, the utter rawness of the GX1000 edits are untouchable. "Raw" may be used quite often here but it's the perfect word for everything GX1000 puts out, from the street skating to the citites and spots skated to the fun and entertaining encounters the crew finds in their environment. The latest edit takes place in Medellin, Colombia, which can almost be compared to SF (at least with a few of those downhill-driveway spots), though more vibrant and colorful with its surroundings and much grittier as well. The city lends itself to an appealing edit (also because Medellin isn't too popular or overused with skate trips...knock on wood), but the crew of raw rippers works its magic. Some new Jake Johnson clips are always appreciated and Stevie Perez shreds so hard in the whole video, reminding me a little of Ishod with his total comfort on the board. Yonnie Cruz always comes through with a sick interpretation of the streets, as evidenced by his repeated ollies leading to a 50-50 and almost powersliding into a car at 1:16, as well as his synchronization at 4:43. Josh Velez surprised me at 2:32 with potentially one of the longest back lips and then officially seals the deal with a good two-story ollie or so at 2:57. The final bump into the older gentleman at the end sort of sums up how great the trip must've been, with locals as friendly as that. 

Also released were the B-Sides from Leo Romero's part in Made. Leo skated some crazy rails and put in loads of work into his part, which is given the necessary recognition with these clips. I would argue that Emerica is one of the best, if not THE best, at producing videos in general. The B-Sides are no different and often just about as exciting as the video part itself. The Berrics puts it best, calling Emerica's B-Sides as a "modern classic". While Leo deserves the credit once again for his sick part in Made, Emerica deserves the credit for continuing to put out the best skate videos.

Christian Vannella just came out with a part at the DC Embassy. I'm just going to say that the hardflip late flip and the hardflip backside nosegrind to manual 360 flip out were NOT the craziest tricks I saw (at least in my opinion). So take the time to witness Christian's craziness and remember his name.

In other skate video news:
Anton Arratia displays some super techincal ledge skating in his Mag Minute, along with other great tricks.
Shaun Gregoire released a new part via Pyramid County with some of his awesome style.
Stan Karbine's part in $14 The Hard Way was released and showcases his great use of pop.
Erick and Mikey Winkowski share a part filled with brotherly love...and some gnarly tricks as well.
Living in Newark, NJ and seeing this Ironbound edit from NJ Scum made my day.
Tony Hawk gets a Krooked guest deck and still shreds the halfpipe as well as any other guy out there today, showing why he's such a legend.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Name Changers #1: Boo Johnson

Even though Transworld had an interview with Boo Johnson a few years ago regarding his name, I didn't realize that his first name was Jakel until his latest New Jack interview in The Skateboard Mag. Again, just another one of those names that stuck when he was young. Keeping Jakel would've been interesting for the alliterative full name, but Boo is definitely one of those "nicknames"/name changes that is bound to catch someone's ear. And it makes sense: he's definitely well-known and enlisted by a heavy collection of sponsors. Obviously he kills it on his board, but there's no way a catchy name like Boo isn't going to help with his status in the industry too.

Watch Boo whip out some crazy tricks with effortless style in his Recruit part above!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Name Changers #2: Neen Williams

From this Thrasher interview, Neen explains how his first name is actually Eugene, but because his sister could only pronounce "Neen" at a young age, the name stuck. Even though this could be branching on the whole nickname idea, the fact that every skater knows him as Neen Williams is enough to warrant his position in this week's posts. Neen is definitely one of the most noticeable personalities in the industry, and keeping a changed first name adds to that whole character.

Check out his Chicken Bone Nowison part above!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Name Changers #3: Cairo Foster

Cairo Foster's been around for a minute and is a pretty well-known name in skateboarding. I first found out about Cairo in Fully Flared (above), where he killed it with a really solid part. The name was unique for sure but not so strangely different that it ever raised any flags for not being a birth name. Sometime after then I heard the name Roger slip out (I have no clue by who or where I remember hearing that) and still couldn't find a straight up confirmation from the man himself. According to the Chrome Ball Incident, Cairo received his new name at about 16 from his friends he skated with, after having lived in the corresponding city for a good portion of his life. So only through a close friend's account of a session with Cairo and the RVCA squad did I find any confirmation that his first name is indeed Roger. Congrats are in order for Mr. Roger Foster for keeping such a convincing first name replacement for all this time and still staying prominent in the skate world.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Name Changers #4: Chewy Cannon

I first heard about Chewy with his standout part in Diagonal. The name is unique enough, or for this matter playfully unrealistic enough, that it sticks out and is easy to remember. Since then I really gave the full name "Chewy Cannon" no double take and just went with it. But when he came back on the radar with his sweet Transmission part (above) at the start of this year, it got me thinking about his actual name. Chewy only works as a nickname in Star Wars so I knew there had to be some story behind Mr. Cannon. Didn't find a full interview about the matter but according to Kingpin and some other random photographers and friends posting online, the real name is Lewis/Louis Cannon. The Chewy-Louie theory makes the most sense. Still not sure about the correct spelling but the name is there regardless. In the skate industry, Lewis/Louis is probably more evanescent than the hundreds of web clips coming out every day. Chewy Cannon is much easier to remember.

Name Changers #5: Blue Turner

Travis Turner, as listed by SPOT, can easily forget his first name because Blue has taken over. "Blue Turner" is more than a nickname but a full-on first name replacement. As he describes in his Contenders interview, the place where I first heard about him, Blue is his middle name and was introduced really early on through his family, so it makes perfect sense that the skate community basically only knows him as Blue Turner. It's got a great ring to it and everything points in the direction that if he gets his name on a board one day, it will definitely not say Travis.

Enjoy his Video Check Out from Transworld above because Blue definitely rips. Looking forward to more from him in the future.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Next Week: Name Changers

I've already gone through my Top 5 skaters with full-on Nicknames, where the nickname overrides their actual name in the industry. Side note: I feel the need to give honorable mention to Beagle - Ryan Ewing - as well because I forgot him in the original list. That's a nickname that stuck if there ever was one.
This week I thought it'd be cool to go through a Top 5 guys that actually changed their name. I'm not talking about guys like Furby, Frecks, Moose, etc. Those are distinctively nicknames because not only are most of them single titles, but there's an added playfulness to those names that you can tell isn't official whatsoever. But there are guys out there that maintain the fake first name + last name together so much that you can't tell if that's their birth name or not. Though it's not super critical when it comes to the act of skateboarding, these are nice tidbits of trivia that I thought would be cool to put together in a Top 5 list. And it'll be much clearer once these Name Changers are introduced...