March 11, 2014
February 21, 2014
The gap to bank above, seen here with Josh Harmony handling business, borders the Lowry Hill parking lot. It sat there on Hennepin Avenue for ages, waiting, looking doable but gnarly/maybe not actually doable, until Harmony came through on a RVCA trip last summer and got his. Soak in those rays from the picture. Soon, soon.
The caption says they were kicked out on a Saturday, returned on a Sunday and got it. In a perfect universe, there is only one person who could have kicked them out.
February 13, 2014
February 11, 2014
The merits of throwing skateboarding into the Olympics is one of those evergreen topics that will only recede with its seemingly inevitable inclusion into some future, summer games. It's gonna happen, eventually, so what's the coverage going to look like? Probably what the snowboard coverage has looked like, today.
Heroe(s) and (probably) villains!
Mainstream coverage means warm to hot sports takes*, and moreover, normal tropes of sports coverage applied to skateboarding in two ways, as far as I can tell (once again through this snowboard lens). First, there'll be the reactionary hot-takey impulse column searching for that larger takeaway. "In a sport for the young, Shaun White shows all gods eventually fall," is by Bruce Arthur, who covers sport for Canada's National Post. Here's your lede:
"Gods fall. Gods get old, and younger gods come to take their place. Snowboarding is for the young, and some young gods of snowboard call their tricks YOLO and yell “YOLOOOOO” as they leave their gold medal press conference with the long wild flying hair of a Musketeer."And, out with:
"And he gave credit to Podladtchikov, saying it was nice to see someone pushing the envelope of what’s possible. It was only one night, on crap snow, after so much glory. But it must have felt, just a little, like being replaced."Mainstream coverage will also include some of the real-talk that some find lacking in old guard skateboard media. Yes, this post is White heavy, but then again, NBC decried that that's the way it'd be. "Why Snowboarders Hate Shaun White" is by Justin Peters and Josh Levin for Slate. It's not a real takedown, by any means, but it toes the line that often isn't approached in skateboard world (unless the subject is one of those who is "authorized" to be shit talked upon). Remove White's name and mad lib at will (keep in mind this piece was for Slate**):
"After a series of runs marked by uncharacteristic falls and slips, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men’s halfpipe competition in Sochi this afternoon. This came as a disappointment to White, who was hoping to win his third consecutive men’s halfpipe gold, and presumably to NBC’s producers, who are now left scrambling to find a new cold-weather American Olympic hero. But the outcome likely thrilled many of Shaun White’s fellow snowboarders, because snowboarders, by and large, hate Shaun White.Once again a lede, and then the kicker:
Even though White is perhaps the best—and certainly the best-known—snowboarder in the world, he has never fit in with the sport’s mellow bro culture, in which everyone gets along and it’s gauche to admit that you care about victory."
"...White has long been the unreachable standard, the one athlete pushing the sport and his fellow competitors to amazing heights. That’s precisely why his fellow snowboarders should be grateful that Shaun White exists: You need someone who’s fixated on winning to goad everyone else to improve. And that guy is probably not eating candy and watching Fight Club".This all applies.
The refrain of "The writers never played the game" is rich with snowboard coverage and would most likely be magnified come skateboarding, though I know I'd appreciate some outside angles. At the very least, there'd be plenty of explainers such as this, and the comments with which they'd come.
*Say something sucks 15 different ways: Youwillsoon.com, late home of the hot skateboards take.
**#slatepitch falls apart because headline is incontrovertibly true and straightforward.
February 6, 2014
@PhilmrPhil please don't let it be another "plaza", that parks great, but lacks flow with barely any transition.— Davis Torgerson (@DavisTorgerson) February 6, 2014
@DavisTorgerson Never skated there. The point was more that we can have anything we want if we do something about it. I'd like a plaza tho.— Philip Schwartz (@PhilmrPhil) February 6, 2014
@PhilmrPhil I know what you mean, but we should build something that we can't find anywhere else, not just a bunch of ledges and stairs.— Davis Torgerson (@DavisTorgerson) February 6, 2014
@DavisTorgerson Agreed. We could have a park that would be unique to Minneapolis and be instantly recognizable to out of towners.— Philip Schwartz (@PhilmrPhil) February 6, 2014
@PhilmrPhil exactly! otherwise we'll just have another "Cali plaza". think a unique park with obscure obstacles would create attention.— Davis Torgerson (@DavisTorgerson) February 6, 2014
February 3, 2014
The Chelsey YMCA Skatepark in Mankato burned down Saturday morning. No one was inside and no injuries were reported. The fire happened the day after a month-long renovation of the indoor section of the park was completed. The cause of the fire is unknown, and in the story linked above, the CEO of Mankato area YMCAs said he hoped the park would be rebuilt, though he couldn't say that it would be, with certainty.
Collective memory says 'Kato opened in 1996, and, at least for a bit, it was the only indoor spot that was open to the public in the state. The park's early years could be called its outlaw years; for a time it stood, unlocked and unstaffed, a mini-ramp and street course a winter roadtrip away. Later in the 90's the park went legit and had hours of operation and staffing, eventually an outdoor street course and plenty of iterations inside. There's a fundraising page for the park here. Below, a couple of clips that feature 'Kato:
There's also some older 'Kato in the park section from Shitheads Vol. 8, starting around the 3:56 mark (link prompt won't allow me to start it there).
Elsewhere, if you've been around for a bit and want a little perspective on just how long you've been around, St. Paul's finest, David Jaimes, is 25-years-old today. Happy birthday, old man.
January 27, 2014
Independent research by the Platinumseagulls Institute.
What songs from The Infamous weren't used in a 411? My best attempt* at figuring that out is above. While the musical supervision in many a 411 can fairly be described as "terrible at times," the video magazine did a lot of good things on the music front as well, such as banging Mobb Deep's second album into the heads and minds of 14 and 15-year-old kids in the Upper Midwest. 411 banged that album so hard into my memory that I'm a bit surprised only about half of the album ended up being used. Take the preludes out of the mix and you end up seven** out of a possible 13 songs being used.
Troubling inaccuracies on Skate Video Site's 411 10 page: http://t.co/sXrCNKHaYu— Mike Munzenrider (@mmunzenrider) January 25, 2014
"Troubling" jokiness aside, here's where the best effort comes in. Skatevideosite has been the go-to nerd trivia/bet ending place on the Internet for a bit, but having spent a little bit of time looking at 411 soundtrack listings on there, it isn't 100% accurate. The other longtime skate video database, Skim The Fat, is still lumbering along in zombie-mode nearly five years since it's last update. While it seems to my memory to be accurate, when there's information listed, it's still incomplete as well; updates and new listings are not to be expected.
Not that long ago, Skately had a pretty good library and listing of 411s; that went away when Grind Media snatched up the rights to 411 and began posting them under the umbrella of the recently defunct Skateboarder Magazine (there was a pretty thorough scrubbing of 411 from Youtube at that point, in general). The Skateboarder reposting effort lasted less than a year (ending before Skateboarder ended), and resulted in the first seven issues of 411 being out there for pretty convenient consumption. It's likely that Grind Media (also parent of Transworld) still owns the rights to 411. It would be a service to us sad skateboard blogging class if they resurrected the resurrection of 411 and kept it going through TWS. The web content/traffic bump alone would probably be worth it. Then, maybe, I'd be able to put the question above to bed, since I'm pretty sure "The Start Of Your Ending" was used, too.
Update II: Evidently I haven't gone down the 411 rabbit-hole very recently: SkateTube is a Youtube channel that seems pretty complete on 411s through 30-ish issues and a bunch of other VHS skate vids.
On other things, it was a fairly heavy January weekend in terms of local skateboard goings on. Early returns say things went quite well and the kids were stoked. Ben Raemers is good and did moves that could easily leave one out in the cold--I had to.
**Can't say decisively that "Up North Trips" was used in a Kools ad but I know it was used IN an ad. There is a vivid memory of this.
Update: This TLDR podcast is worth listening to regarding the post above. It's titled "Hunting For Youtube's Saddest Comments" but it's ostensibly about songs and memory, which seems relevant here.