December 13, 2013

Suburbopoly and Other Oddities

Somehow it all makes sense that in the same week I mentioned the long defunct Graffiti Skatepark in Stillwater, I came across quite a find, the often talked about but rarely seen decade old and very obscure video, Suburbopoly (like Midopoly you know, but from the far eastern suburbs). With only vague murmurs of memory about Andy Irlbeck's part (you somehow know what's going to happen when the slow-mo kicks in on his last trick), Suburbopoly is a truly bizarre word to type multiple times and as a video, it's quite possible it's on par with your own teenage skate memories: grainy and washed Hi-8, everybody doing the same ledge tricks, long winters indoors at so-so skateparks, embarrassment, and the two good dudes and the little dude that sort of rips stealing the show. Yes, that's kind of a harsh synopsis, but so is being a teenager. Tim Bennett has an all-Graffiti part at around the 9:53 mark in the video, proof positive that he was fully formed more than a decade ago. Repetitiveness aside, it's notable that Suburbopoly looks and sounds exactly like a video from that time, as in a "real" video, an accomplishment in its own right.

As seen in the frame grab from Suburbopoly, Anthony Boone has a brief section in it and also got a "co-video by" credit. He came out with Open Iris next, which, for far too long, only existed on Youtube in a version with maddeningly un-synched music. Another version seems to have gone up about a year ago, good news for all, as now we get to see Nate Compher's part (at the time both "DC Nate" and "Jr. Mint") in all it's Lynx and Iota boards and scrawny kid with sort of a bowl-cut glory. Part rips.

The video that got me going on this nostalgia hunt is Elijah Collard's Roll One, the start of a multi-video series that stretched for years. It's a postcard from 2002 and 2003, with memories of a skatepark moving and a skateshop downtown and I-Path being a part of the uniform. The Roll videos are a genre all their own, with a calculated randomness that makes better sense in hindsight. Skating-wise, a lot of what's in the entire series is kind of summed up at around 8:20 above, when Elijah heelflips on the deck of the 3rd Lair bowl and then rolls-in, backside, to the deep end. It's that mix of random and gnarly and difficult that marked the whole series.


Hat tip to Pete Spooner for linking to clips on Facebook and thanks to the THEENCHIRIDIAN Youtube account for all the uploads.

To follow up the previous post, word is that the imminent closure of Summit Boardshop and park is linked to the Vail Resorts Inc. purchase of Afton Alps. Vail, according to a recently jobless former Summit employee, is buying out eastern metro ski and snowboard retailers to shore up its own retail operations at Afton.


SPRNTRL said...

That andy dude was kook. Real talk

Anonymous said...

Oh, you mean Andy, the successful lawyer that has helped many a skateboarder/graff writer out of shitty situations? Sounds like a kook to me...

SPRNTRL said...

Note the use of the word "was", meaning past tense.