January 4, 2013

Attempt No. 34

A layperson's description of the events which begin at 0:25, from the June 13, 2001 issue of Citypages.
"[Clint] Peterson is trying to do two tricks in quick succession, otherwise known as a two-trick line. First there's the flip in the street, called a "fakie kickflip body varial" with an "ollie" onto the ledge; that's followed by a "backside 360 ollie" off of it. (For the uninitiated, an ollie is a trick in which the skater uses his back foot to strike the board's tail against the ground while using the front foot to pull the board into the air. Named for Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, who invented the move in 1977, the ollie is the pillar of street skating--it's the basis for almost every other trick.) Peterson comes close on one try, but doesn't quite nail a smooth landing. In his next dozen attempts, he misses the initial kickflip--either the board doesn't fully flip around and crashes with its underbelly exposed, or he steps off of it on the landing, or he doesn't have enough momentum to float into the next trick.

Here on Nicollet Mall, everything is an impediment. It's not just a matter of mastering the jumps. The real challenge is making the tricks in the ever-changing environment of the crowded downtown street. You've got to locate the spot and envision the trick. You've got to skate around the obstacles (the stream of water the flower vender tosses into the street) and the people (the toddler watching, mesmerized, mouth agape). You've got to wait for buses to pass. You've got to hide out around the corner until the police car scoots by (if a cop catches you rolling on Nicollet, he or she will hand you an $80 ticket and possibly take away your board). All these elements combine to form the essence of this creative, athletic, rebellious pastime called "street skating," or simply "street."

Peterson is unfazed by the chaos, and doggedly tries his two-trick line again and again. On attempt No. 17, he misses the kickflip and falls down on the street in an elongated sprawl, his pale arm stretching out in front of him.

Attempt No. 19: He comes close, but falls off the landing. He gets up, shakes his head, and skates vigorously back to the corner. "Next one!" Nesser calls out, encouragingly.

Attempt No. 21: Again, he falls on the landing, and with an aggravated "fuck!" taps his board to his forehead. As he skates back to the corner, hands grasping the sides of his face, he turns back to Nesser and mouths something that looks like, "I suck." Attempt No. 28: Again he misses the landing, and shares a quick analysis with Nesser: "Just a little more under me, and I've got it."

Attempt No. 31: He misses the kickflip, his hands catching him as he falls forward on to the street.

Attempt No. 33: He misses the kickflip.

Attempt No. 34: He lands it, garnering an excited yelp from Nesser. As Peterson coasts back up the street, his hands stretch high above his head. His face tilts skyward, dominated by a smile ignited by joy and relief."

The nearly 12-years-old Citypages piece mostly profiles Clint with mentions of mentions of Nesser and Zed. It holds up pretty well and harkens back to a time when this was a staunchly Consolidated town. Forgive me if I've posted this before, enjoy it if it's new to you. Happy weekend.


Wylie Tueting said...

I still hope a few of us get a chance to skate with him someday -- and his bs flip over the wood crate is the real gusto.

Anonymous said...

In 2001 the city pages was writing things like "fuck" in their articles?!... I mean, writing about skateboarding?!

sprntrl said...

Next to Midopoly this is my favorite Slice part for sure....