August 12, 2009

Old Man Skate Culture in CP

From City Pages:
Jay Jensen perches at the coping of an eight-foot drop, his board dangling over the curb. He's as lithe as a coiled cobra, and filthy across the shoulders—after just a half-hour of skating, he's damp with sweat and coated in a sheath of grime from knee slides and bails.

As he plots his line, he has a falcon's presence—a sharp jaw, wary, analytical eyes, a Roman nose—and his face is terse as he scans the double bowl before him. The slope and depth seem hard to fathom.

Then he drops in. He pumps into the pool, descending into its deepest lagoon, building speed. Up along the coping, he goes into a grind, then dives deep once more. Over a pasture of plywood, his wheels roar. In an instant, he is airborne, clutching his deck, skimming the lights, and sending a shower of dust into the still air.

Ripping around the turns of his park, Jensen is as smooth as a silk ribbon. He handles its dips with practiced ease. His balance is uncanny.

But when he kicks his board to his hand to hoist himself out and yield the bowl to another skater poised to drop in, Jensen grunts and favors his left knee. Jensen is 36. Behind him lay almost three decades of skating, years spent building quarterpipes in a disused barn of his father's hog farm.

While quotes of gold from Todd Brown are non-existent in the piece, I'll say kudos to David Hansen for capturing the fleeting reality of skateboarding that exists as one grows older. I would have loved to have heard more from Wizard, and beyond that, some of the older dudes still slogging it out in the streets, like Jackson or Judd, but then again, the ramps still captivate and win the hearts and minds of the general public. Still, its a missed opportunity that we didn't get to hear from Dan or Judd about being kicked out of spots by people 15 years younger than them, etc.

As a throw back, here's the "Flyboys" piece from 2001 which centered on Clint, Steve, and ZED.


joecrust said...

And supporting local skate shops instead of giant, out-to-make-a-fast-buck chain stores is the rallying cry for skaters everywhere. An anti-establishment sentiment is central to skateboarding. It's partly pragmatic, to ensure the longevity of local shops that both bolster a community for skaters and sell quality equipment. And it's partly rebel mystique. Consolidated's mantra spells it out: "Less is more. Stay pure, stay poor."

-Doesn't anyone else think its weird that people love Nike so much now and just wrote consolidated off. Even though shit got weird it seems like consolidated held it down for Minneapolis at the turn of the century.

platinumseagulls said...

The Cube did hold it down for Minneapolis at the turn of the century, much like, in a weird way, Nike has held it down for Minneapolis in the mid 00's.

Many of these talking points are like beating the now dead and decomposed horse (we are kicking a skeleton at this point), but tangibly, Nike is more relevant in Minneapolis that Consolidated ever will be, ever again. While some locals benefited from Consolidated (and from the stories I've heard, the "benefits" deserve a pair of quotation marks), and the scene whole-heartedly supported The Cube, when shit got weird, that was that. And while Consolidated did support some dudes and launched some careers for sure, any real benefit to Lil' Jimmy skateboard kid in MPLS is a specter, if not less.

While I try not to be a booster, Nike has pumped real money into things that have enriched the scene here. It helps that we have a homer in the Nike ranks, but frankly, sponsoring things like Boondoggle and Ramp Jam have given Nike a legitimacy beyond whatever Consolidated may have done by giving ZED four boards a month. Stay pure stay poor. Sure, the first instinct is to ad a "stay miserable" that whole thing, but I'm not jaded or naive. The fact of the matter is that things are what they are right now; there are winners and losers, and things change, and I'm no one to parse all the nuance to give anything like a definitive answer.

Johnny Reds said...

Nice job of putting things in good perspective Mikey. As much as I don't really care for Nike myself,they definitely have done they're fair share of helping out the scene in mpls. Thanks to Sissi for that too!

Thrashin Joe said...

I could care less about Nike or Consolidated or Boondoogle. Never rode or enjoyed any of them. The ramp jam is great without Nike on board. I'd rather pay 10 bucks for a sober bus than have to thank nike for entering the skate scene.
Never cared about anything anyone else is riding. I skate because it feels good!
Get a job and buy boards!