August 18, 2015

Top Five TC Wee Park Tricks Ever*

Twin Cities public skateparks have been really quite bad for a long time but that finally seems to be changing. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is finally updating its forgettable skatepark system, lots of far-flung suburbs have their nice and shiny parks, not to mention the Front Street Plaza, St. Paul's most important trump card when it comes to its twin city. It's been a long winter waiting for all of this to come around.

But let's not get it twisted; me, you, we came up skating shitty wee park skateparks. We kind of liked it. Good parks churn out padded children and the all-terrain dudes du jour, while a proper, no-frills wee park creates something much more interesting. They make skaters excel at the awkward--nollie heelflip crooked grinds on round-coping ledges, long grinds on unsuitable quarterpipes, inhuman leaps--things that actually prepare the young and inexperienced for real life in the streets.

We kind of love wee parks. And as the metro slowly creeps into the modern skatepark world, let's not forget from whence we came, forced to do awesome things with the middling tools cities half-assedly gave us. Let us remember the top five TC we park tricks ever, and embrace them.

Darrell Pelton at Shoreview

More than a decade and a half ago (likely 16 years!) Shoreview's freshie Trueride skatepark was one of, if not the only show in town, and people flocked to it from all over. In the course of another life, I've even told the then-presiding/still-current mayor of Shoreview how much we loved that joint. Darrell's move showed up in Midopoly, it was filmed artfully and it is likely the most difficult/well-executed tricks done on those largely 50-50ed across and down ledges that dot the Midwest.

Dan Narloch at St. Anthony

Another of the original parks, St. Anthony's tier 1 spot just received a breath of life after Jammin' Jay and Woody gave it some new sheet metal. The sunken ramps were to the point of nearly un-skateable; now the ancient asphalt is the biggest issue. The channel grind Narloch does must be the envy of everyone who can't sufficiently backside smith anything and generally strains credulity, though its doubtful he knows much better. The Fulton clip this was in is 7-years-old.

Gregg Clover at Elliot Park

MPRB's least miss of a swing, Elliot Park provides the needy with something to skate without having to go to the far-flung reaches of the city. The layout was never anything that anyone who actually skated would think was a good idea, but they've since given it more room to breath. Clover's crooked grind, as seen in Boondoggle, is the wonderful end result of warming up at the same spot way too many times.

Jamiel Nowparvar at SLP

During the final summer of filming for Weekend Warriors we got into the habit of filming until the wee hours of the morning, from which springs the bright idea to film something amazing by lighting up the wee park at midnight. Jamiel did this pretty quickly, of course.

Steve Nesser at Merriam Park

Literally a gorilla fighting a trick in a phone booth, Nesser's frontside ollie is the sort of shit that'd be only a wee park myth if we didn't have the digital proof above. The mind slows as one attempts to understand A) getting speed for that in cage-like Merriam B) hitting the air breaks or whatever for casual re-entry into that landing ramp and C) the hippie jump after:
*I came up with five tricks that I could plausibly find on Youtube, I'd love to know about more.

August 14, 2015

Iota in Oshkosh

A kind commenter dropped this unseen (by me) gem last night. Evidently, 12 years ago, the majority of the Iota Skateboards dudes drove the 200 plus miles to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for what looked like a pretty decent demo. Featuring Brian Heck, Chad Benson, Olu Pratt, Jeremy Reeves and Steve Nesser, along with the Oshkosh locs. Sadly, there's no sound, but archeologists gotta take what they can get, that's a saying. Elsewhere:

Wylie eating a can of tuna

A photo posted by Kevin Horn (@kevin_horn) on

Shit's in the works.