Saturday, June 14, 2014

Video of the Week: Ryan Decenzo - Double Down

Friday was a wonderful day in the world of skateboarding. The Battle at the Berrics Finals night went down, live, and boy was it an experience. Seeing everything happen with no editing, just live action, conveys the crowd's energy and skaters' nervous excitement so much more clearly than the usual individual videos of the battles. And it's because of this modified medium of watching the Finals that the whole event was simply spectacular. I legitimately laughed out loud in stoked surprise when Sewa landed Koston's pressure flip, or when Luan miraculously pulled out his pressure heelflip along with some double flip variations to match Cody. The whole night was filled with great moments like these, intertwined with the equally touching and inspiring story of Johnny Romano, along with the unexpected technical insanity that was Cody Cepeda's Recruit part. While you can check The Berrics over the next few days to rewatch most of these features, it's hard to recreate that feeling of watching it all live.

Now to psych everyone up for that wonderful Friday evening was the Video of the Week - Ryan Decenzo's Double Down part - that came out just after noon on Friday. We already know Ryan is a killer on a skateboard from his Hallelujah and Forward Slash parts, so it needs to be recognized and appreciated just how quickly Ryan can churn out these lengthy, extremely gnarly parts. Charging the biggest rails, huge gaps, getting tech-gnar on some famous rails, and redefining how to skate rails with huge drop offs, Ryan impresses in every single clip, without exaggeration. If his trick on a rail seems even on the brink of being relatively simple, he'll be nollie-ing into it to provide that extra challenge. (Cause he really has one of the most insane nollies in the game.) I personally loved the enormous front 360 at 0:56, the big 360 flip lipslide at 3:06 followed by a super sketchy nollie back bluntslide (made to look easy), and then the pair of hammers at 4:23 down and over the steep rail. The whole part is really just an onslaught of gnarly tricks at gnarly spots, and deserves to stay on top of the internet waves for a quite a while before getting swept away in its growing tides.

In other skate news from the week:
Justin Figueroa kinked crooked grind ender from Bake and Destroy, the gnarliest crooked grind ever, is shown uncut with all of the attempts leading up to the epic make. I love raw, uncut footage.
Denzel White's part in Active Ride Shop's "Where Is It?" is super sick! Never heard of him but he is definitely here to stay after a part like this. The one-footed switch front 3 after the craziest roll-in 5-0 are so awesome, and he even has a similar downhill tre flip to Ryan's...doubling down indeed.
Nick Jensen's part in Jacob Harris' Eleventh Hour (highly recommended viewing) is filled with those one of a kind London vibes and the quick-footed precision that Nick is known to provide. The ender's pretty insane too.
Raymond Molinar's Metro Lines part is pretty fun to watch. Always happy with another Raymond part and this night-skating, spot-searching experience is quite enjoyable.
Body of Water is a feature organized by Dave Chami taking Walker Ryan, Dennis Busenitz, Josh Matthews, Joey Pepper, and Nestor Judkins to New Zealand. With a crew like this, good skating is guaranteed.
Shota Kikuchi has a new deck coming out for Consolidated and released this part to go with it. The rough Japanese spots really bring out Shota's raw skating as the part keeps picking up throughout.
Heroin Skateboards worked with The Skateboard Mag last week and introduced both Zack Krull, with a wild and ripping part, along with Joe O'Donnell, who has some quick feet, crazy ideas, loads of board control, and one heck of a nose manual. They also put out a pleasing montage, Egomaniacs Diss, that properly covers a few different skate styles.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Switch 360 Flip Lipslide #1: Zered Bassett

Now the 4 other Switch 360 Flip Lipslides from this week all have one thing very much in common: the trick is done down roughly a 7-stair handrail. For a trick as technically frightening as this, landing it down a handrail similar to the standard skatepark rail isn't too shocking. Quite frankly, if we see the stair count or rail size go up for the switch tre lip, then we'll be experiencing some crazy stuff. It makes sense, we don't see the most technical of ledge tricks done on waist high ledges, much like we don't see the most tech handrail tricks done down 10 or 12 stair rails. But what makes Zered Bassett stand out in this category is that he's the only one I've ever seen take the already-super-tech switch tre lip down a hubba, the famous Black Hubba in NYC nonetheless. We all know Zered's got a beastly switch tre, along with other impressively diverse switch skills, but the visual excitement of watching him cap off his already amazing State of Mind part back in '09 with this trick is hard to describe. NYC spots already bring a certain level of stoke to a trick. Heavily skated and famous NYC spots add a whole new level to that stoke. Zered Bassett and his mastery of the city with a style fit for anywhere add even more to that stoke. And then throw in the fact that maybe only two other guys have ever landed this trick before (with proof) and the levels of excitement for this trick are off the charts! Watching Zered power through the switch lip and shift around through the Black Hubba's kink to come out clean is also a thing of beauty. Before I channel my excitement into rambling nonsense, enjoy the most unique Switch 360 Flip Lipslide at 6:23 in Zered's banging part above.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Switch 360 Flip Lipslide #2: Guy Mariano

Guy Mariano is a legend. You all know his story, so there's no reason in trying to explain it (and probably not do it justice) when it's already cemented in this iconic character's skating. Guy's progressed unbelievably through his short but impactful list of video parts, and has been at the forefront of progression in skateboarding in general. His epic part in Pretty Sweet was groundbreaking without a doubt, but not the focus for this week's topic. Although, before getting there, I do need to shoutout two pretty sweet tricks that are definitely related to this week's subject: the switch 360 shove it lipslide and the spectacular ender, both of which I genuinely don't think anyone else has done to this extent before. But anyways, if Guy can manage these miraculous tricks, then it's fitting that he is also part of the Switch 360 Flip Lipslide club...which he joined 7 years ago! After about an 11 year hiatus, Guy made the comeback of the century with his part in Fully Flared. And at 6:47 in the part above, you can see exactly just how Guy executed what is likely the first documented switch tre lip in history. It never hurts to back up some of your finest moments later on either, so that the world can watch a master at work, again and again and again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Switch 360 Flip Lipslide #3: Blake Carpenter

Blake Carpenter is on one of the most prominent come ups in skating. From being one of the Floridian Daylando homies to now getting hooked up by Tum Yeto, it's safe to say he's here to stay. And with as good of style as he has, mixed with above-par switch skills, it's no wonder why every part he's come out with is highly coveted. Blake's switch 360 flip is also a key component in making his video parts both memorable and stunningly awesome. Being able to switch tre into 50-50s and 5-0s (0:27 in his bangin) and even willy grinds on accident (1:40 in his gram yo selfie), of course Blake can switch tre lip with no problem. I first saw him nail this crazy trick down a thin handrail in his Daylando part (4:33 above), so it only makes sense that when he returned to his home-state with the AYC squad that he did it again down a thicker, rougher handrail just to show his versatility with the trick. At this point, Blake's got this one-of-a-kind banger down to it being just another demo trick. To have such an exclusive trick on lock is pretty incredible.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Switch 360 Flip Lipslide #4: Billy Marks

Even though Billy Marks was not the first one to switch 360 flip lipslide, his make of the trick should be remembered because of the story behind it. And that is why I needed to include the full page from the January 2011 issue of The Skateboard Mag. Not only was the Brainwash deadline approaching (a very compact video chock full of underrecognized, exceptional skating), but Billy's efforts to nail this banger were pushing the daylight deadline as well. Coming in clutch at dusk just before the video dawned with a trick like this is nothing short of sensational. Plus, just two clips before this switch tre lip was its regular counterpart done down a rather large 11 stair rail. Billy's part may be short in quantity of tricks, but with the switch 360 flip lipslide thrown right in the middle, it's super high in quality. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Switch 360 Flip Lipslide #5: Walker Ryan

Walker Ryan is definitely on another level when it comes to the switch game. All the switch backside tricks most people are proud of landing bolts every now and then, Walker has on lock. Switch 360 flips are no different. He's landed some heavy ones before so why should there be any problem to flick one into a switch lip? Heck, he's even been known to fling some switch tre 5-0s anyway. But the obvious answer comes with beautiful execution in his awesome Perpetual Motion part (seen at 3:44 in the remix above, but it's really worth watching the whole part). What's great about Walker's entry to the switch tre lip club is that because his switch game is so on point, he casually brings this trick back to switch. Now that you definitely don't see too often.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Next Week: Switch 360 Flip Lipslide

I've slowly been putting the skaters together for a High Five on the best switch 360 flips. But as that was coming along, I noticed that the switch 360 flip lipslide club was a bit more exclusive and concise, perfect for grouping together here. The regular 360 flip lipslide has been done countless times and is even an on-lock kind of trick for a lot of skaters. Some can even take it to smith, to nosegrind, or front noseblunt with no problem, not to mention the number of 360 flip 50-50s I've seen. Now switch things up a bit and the numbers dwindle. There have been some random guys and one time publications (like Mike Crook above) documenting the evasive switch tre lip, but these aren't the ones that you'll remember forever. This week I'm going to go through 5 guys whose versions of the switch 360 flip lipslide have gone down in the books.

Just to give proper props, Jim Greco is also part of the club through his version of the trick thrown in the middle of one of the most epic (I'd say the word epic is appropriate here) parts from the past couple years. Also, Matt Miller and Wade Desarmo both have immaculate switch 360 flips in their own regard and have taken it to noseblunt and 5-0 respectively, but I don't recall either ever taking it to lipslide. If you have proof otherwise, or even of some other noteworthy switch tre lips, do leave a comment.

UPDATE (6/23/2014): Add the exciting Cliche am Max Geronzi to the club with his casual version of the trick on Instagram.