Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flagrant Délit - 2



Even the most underground rippers can be caught red-handed sometimes. Here, Dave Caddo offers us as 'steezy' pose after a 'steezy' wallride. I don't know what is going on with his hands, but it's definitely wrong and aesthetically unpleasant

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flagrant délit

'Flagrand délit' is an ambitious rubrique aiming at higlighting professional skateboarders accentuating their style to the point of ridicule.
First on the list: Tony Cervantes in Ride the Sky.



I shall do an 'Accessorized Kamasutra of Skateboarding' as soon as I stop being lazy...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Self-Made Whiner



In 1954, Irvin G. Wyllie published The Self-Made Man in America: the Myth of Rags to Riches. The intent of the author was to explain the concept of the 'self-made man' and to see how it could be perpetuated in a world of big corporation where the emphasis was on the group and not the individual. More than 50 years later, HBO published this piece of shit of documentary in which they tried desperately to attach the sociological concept of the self-made man and the American Dream with the snobbish and hypocritical world of skateboarding.



Far from being 'men in gray flannel suit', skateboarders are among the few who do not have to make a choice between their jobs and their lives considering that their jobs is their passion as well. Paradoxically enough, this fauna counts an anormally significant number of whiners, more hypocritical than two white-collars in competition for the same position.
The most poetic of us would say this documentary is an ode to New York, while the most pessimistic would say it is meant to disguise NY skateboarders' lazyness with architectural excuses. No need to precise where I stand. Gino, who basically never had any footage in NY, is one of the first to point out NY's roughness. He's quickly followed by Pops, who used to rip seriously back in the days and who has now found a good exscuse to justify his lazyness. Perhaps, a piece of shit of European skater like me cannot understand what those modern guerillos have to say. Or maybe if they went to other spots than Macba and Bercy during Euro tours, they would have an accurate vision of Europe and know that NY is not the only place with rough spots.
At least, one thing we cannot take away from them is the photogenic quality of NY.



Keeping with the whining part, apparently NY is the only place with clubs, drugs and alcohol preventing you from skateboarding. Here again, though everyone complain about their demons it is interesting to see that some of them such as Fred Gall never fell of the map.

I guess the part I enjoyed the most was when skateboarders talked about their standard of living. It was interesting to see my illusions shattered and to realize that some of them (the less whiners, paradoxically) had a 9 to 5 job. I guessed it would have been interesting to emphasize more on this aspect. The 5 Boro team might have had a lot to say about that.

The self-made man owes his success to no one, and he is proud of that. While we might see it as ironical to see Gino and Pops (who live only thanks to their past fame and faithful sponsors) talking about it, it seems more logical to see 'hardworking' skateboarders such as Eli Reed or Zered Bassett (who actually deserve to be where they are at) sharing their opinion.


The real self-made men of this documentary might be Jahmal Williams, Steve Rodriguez and Billy Rohan, respectively Hopps owner, 5 Boro owner and skate-teacher. Those are the actual ones who seem to have struggled to build something tangible in the skatebaording world. The modesty of their achievements is contrasted by the amount of energy they put in it, and we cannot but admire them for what they built with their own hands and time. It is sad that HBO had such amazing material and concept at hand, and that they came up with such a 'cliché' documentary devoided of worthy content. It would have been interesting to spend more time interviewing the actual persons qualified to talk about being a 'self-made man'. And if the editing were better, perhaps we could have had two full sentences in a row instead of a succession of catchy slogans such as "this is the best city in the world!"

LaLodge would like to point out MC Quim Cardona's amazing performance who definetely gives rhythm and a touch of crazyness to the documentary.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Poll Results + Anthropological enterprise

So, obviously the majority of people answered "is there a good part about Adio?" Can it be possible that a brand has sponsored so many embarrasing skaters by the past such as Adio? (Shaun White, Bam, Tony Hawk, Richie Belton...)

But I have to admit that the exact purpose of this pointless poll was to know the number of people who had enough spare time to spend five intense minutes watching my blog. Well, considering that there must be some people watching and not voting, it's not that bad. Even though, I'm considering switching back to French...

Anyway, this week's poll will have the same anthropological purpose. My purpose being to know more about my awsome readership. What kind of skateboarding do you guys particulary affectionate? To that end, I have selectionned 4 skaters that I consider representative of a particular trend in skateboarding. Giving your vote to one of these professional stuntmen does not necessarily mean that you're sexually found of him, but more that you appreciate his style or vision of skateboarding. Thus, if you vote for Bobbly Puleo, you're showing you love for cellar-doors and pretentiousness, and not much more.

So, this week's champions are:


- Bobby Worrest: graciously hugged in his Dickies pants and recently fit again in Yougatgetthat, Bobby transcends coastal barriers. He does not give a shit, his trick selection, thought improving, remains unaffected by the various trends raging in the higly conformist world that skateboarding is.


- Lucas Puig: The French cupsoles afficionado might be under the influence of combo-skateboarding, but we have to admit that he is often one of the innovators in that matter and that his technical level is always on point.


Shinpei Ueno: knowing the hold of Japanese skateboading on Bordeaux skaters, I guess it would be legitimate to put this modern urban samuraï as amassador of skateboarders eager to make love to architecture. Shinpei's flip tricks might not have the lightfootedness of Lucas' but the rest of his tricks is likely to make your panties turn brown.

- Grant Taylor: the former kid and newly tall and lanky tranny-dog's skateboarding transcends time's barrier. He can actually be called an 'overall ripper' because no type of terrain seems to be able to resist to his wrath, from the radest bowls to rails with holes in them.

(I have recently learned to make hypertext links, so don't forget to watch the clips, pigé?)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day in a life with Billy Rohan


So, he is a skate-teacher for high-school and rides for Element. Is it that bad?
I don't know if I say that because I'm a fan of his skating, but it seems that he has found the right balance between mainstream and hardcore skateboarding without compromising himself.
Teaching skateboarding to kids is not that bad if you let them understand that it must be enjoyed outside of any kind of structure as well. From what we see here, the skateboarding class is mostly about putting kids on a skateboard and letting them have fun the way they want. I guess it's better than the GI Joe style: "Alrgith freshers, 20 ollies for everyone!"
And on the other end, Billy is very active in the NY skate community, from taking care of the 12th & A to filming dope parts for the Green Diamond video. Moreover, he is not getting caught into stupid trick and style trends: his 3-6 flips are OG and his ledge tricks are worthy of a 90s Girl video.

Let's hope for a full part in the next Element video now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

PWBC

English skateboarders were known for their phlegm and refinment and impeccable tricks and spot selection. Now they are famous for being crazy and obsessed by gansta skateboarding.

pwbc - pwbc 36 Mandem on MUZU

Figure-skating

This past week I have been watching various video clips of the recent edition of the Tampa Pro. I don't give a shit about contest's results and I find it rather stupid to judge skateboarding like ice-skating, but I have to admit that I love to watch the skating.
Anyway, this got me into thinking about contest runs. I don't know how come it's always the dudes who cannot stay on their board during 45 seconds who always end up winning. Take this run example:

Alright, I am willing to admit that it was pretty amazing. But who the fuck skate like that, honestly? Do you guys take you board in hand after every single trick? Personnally I kind of enjoy the cruising part of skateboarding and I feel like these dudes skate with a sort of check-list in mind: "Okay, anihilating the rail: done. Now let's move on to the hip. Let's not worry with a kickturn on the wall, it's lame anyway." You know it's like when you watch figure-skating: nobody gives a shit when the dude is cruising and everyone is just waiting for him to throw a "buttery" triple axel.
Don't get any ideas on me watching figure skating, ok? Well, I do sometimes but that is mostly for the ladies in tight leotard. Now that this point is cleared, let's move on.

Now that's what I call a run. Thank you my dear Swedish exhibitionist fellow, I appreciate that.
If I were a judge that is the kind of skateboarding I would reward. I like that the dude is all over the place: from tranny attacks to neo-oldschool tricks such as the boneless fs tail on the handrail, no obstacle is spared Pontus' wrath. He even makes the cruising in between tricks interesting. Rattray's, Trujillo's, Busenitz's runs are often as much arousing. Even if some of these dudes have already won Tampa, I feel like it was much an exception and that actual good skateboarding won't be rewarded as it should be before long.
Maybe we should get figure-skating judges for Tampa after all...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Julian Stranger's impression


Homeboy Antoine was aiming at a backtail on the bench, but he pulled out a backlip on the ledge instead. Style for miles and nice colors. Pic by Alex Richard.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Marcus


Marcus, emperor of the Bay Area.

Billy Rohan and Rastafarism



Last Update: Mar 13 2010
Sponsors: Element, Acapulco Gold , Supreme, Vans, Harold Hunter Foundation, Open Road of New York
Hometown: NYC NY Stance: Goofy Status: Pro

Whaaaaat? Yes, according to his Skatepark of Tampa profile, the ex-Floridian and currently illustrious NY-skate-teacher Billy Rohan has signed over at Element. That's a harsh one. Especially because many rumors about Lutzka signing on Element are circulating on the web at the same time. But don't get excited because Billy is still producing good skateboarding (see Rich Mahogany) and everyone knows that good OG skateboarding is never rewarded like it should be. So G-Sltuz is still gonna get a bigger paycheck and more ladies. Bummer.

I think that dude has always been in my top 5, or top 7, or 8. Even when he was under the radar, I used to watch that clip and got hyped to skate listening to some Wu-Tang. See that bs noseblunt at the City Hall? Holy shit! (sainte crotte) Maybe a bit sketchy, but that's straight gnarliness. He had an interview in a SugarMag around 00, and I remember not knowing much about what looked good on a skateboard at the time. However I soon as I saw his fs 270 heelflip at Brooklyn banks, I felt like I already knew more about style. Despite the lameness of Element, I'm psyched for him cause he deserves a decent sponsor after Zoo York let him down. I just hope he won't get the full Element package, because we all know it cannot do good to a career.


I guess what would be a good idea for Element would be to split the team in 2, a bit like they did over at Circa, with the C1rca Combat Division. They could recreate Underworld Element, and put all the good "underground" skaters and come up with a sick team that we would be willing to support. Besides this would allow them to go full speed on the corporate and rasta bullshit without hurting too much the ethically-spotless skateboarders' career.
I call team-manager first!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

18th try Fridays


In the midst of general lameness that the Berrics features, if there is one thing that really makes me shit my pants all the time, it is the First Try Fridays section. Personnally I have a really hard time popping just a flatground kickflip first try, so I can't even conceive the idea of throwing down my stiff little body on any 8 stair set in the first 30 minutes of the session. The reason why I'm not doing it during the rest of the session is to be searched somewhere else. So, those dudes (supposing they don't rig it) come out of their cars after the traditional Californian one-hour car ride, and without the slightest oriental stretching move, they pull out some seriously sexually arousing bangers. If I had to do it, I guess I would pretend my shoe-laces were untied or something and perform some discreet genuflexions to oil my rusty carcass. Or I would pick up a fight with fuckface Reda with the implicit purpose of getting warmed up a bit, which would do good to the skateboarding community at the same time.
I remember reading in a 60 Second With Rob Welsh (Skateboarder) that his technique to warm up was to throw fooplant kickflips and tre flips for 30 minutes until he considered actually jumping.

Not bad of a technique, and rather visually pleasing as well.
The thing is that you would think that First Try Fridays are reserved for healthy and fit skateboarders only, but Greco, Ellington, Templeton or Rip (the Japanese photographer) have all nailed it. I bet they were all trying to warm up in their car on the highway traffic jam. Just imagine them them waving their arms like hell through the opening roof. I mean, that's what I would have done.

Anyway, Brandon Biebel deserves the Award for the scariest First Try Fridays ever. Not bad for a Red-Bull-soaked manual aficionado.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sleep-skating : Minuit


This is old news but I would be psyched if someone actually discovers this teaser on my blog.
The guy behind the VX1000 is Yoan Taillandier. Go check his Utube account XBX2000, lots of good stuff in there. As you can see the influences come mostly from the US East Coast and Japan (and SF, did I see Carlos Young in that teaser?). The people skate fast and you would not think of skating most of the spots they skate. Hopefully we'll see the full lenght coming sooner than we think.
Oh yeah, and they're from Bordeaux, in case you did not know.

I don't know how come Bordeaux has this "East Coast" label, but I think it's pretty dope. If you guys want to go to New York but don't have the money, just buy a single for Bordeaux. In between Riot skateshop that carries a lot of East Coast underground brands (Traffic, Hopps, Shut...) and the skaters who are not afraid to cross the city pushing, I guarantee you won't be disappointed and won't even feel the difference. Well, maybe just a tiiiiiny little bit.
And if you live in New York, well, lucky you.

Miami Vice



Usually I am the first one to complain when a teaser does not include enough skating. But this one gets me seriously hyped. Lately I have become really into Floridian skateboarding. The ambiance is an ideal mix of the East and the West. The protagonists zigzag on the wheatered pavements with the carelessness of surfers on acid. It's like if Mouse and Eastern Exposure were combined into a single video.
I recently acquired the Westside skateshop boxset, which I recommend to everyone, and look forward very much to this new production by Josh Stewart.



I like that the guy came up with a particular theme (Miami Vice) that he develops with sobriety and I hope the video will live up to the expectations set by the teaser. Nevertheless, with such a line up and the nuggets that Josh counts in his filmography, I believe there is not much to worry about. I always thought that a bit of 'packaging' around the roughness of Floridian skateboarding would not hurt. Because the major Floridian videos have mainly a 'homie video' atmosphere, which I cherish (beer and liquor drinking, bums fighting), I think they have been too easily classified in the 'homie vid" category and perhaps not given all the props the deserve .

For those who want to catch up on the subject check The Last of the Mohicans, The Dango is Dead boxset (5 videos for 20$: The Good Life, The Dango is Dead, Dango...)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Manhattan 98-99 - Howard Glover

Manhattan 98-99 from Howard Glover on Vimeo.

When Bobby Worrest meets his future


In the recent independent video Yougottagetthat, Bobby Worrest shares a part with a middle-age man slighlty overweight who goes by the name of Bob. Despite the apparent cynicism of this presentation, know that this man, who skates alongside Mr Worrest, must have no shame because the quality of his performance is rather arousing. His part features switchstance moves, tranny maneuvers and combos worthy of a certain 5-year-awaited video, the whole lot with some Nike Blazers at his feet.

However, I had this weird little impression that what I was watching was actually Bobby Worrest's future. Indeed, it is not too hard to imagine the Washingtion DC ripper with a slight excess weight in ten years. And perhaps that at the age of thirty, he will finally give up his nickname and assume the manliness of the forename Bob. Besides, I can easily picture him on the Swoosh by the end of the decade. I would not even be bummed. After all, after this so far spotless career, you would have the right "to put some butter in the spinach" as the French saying has it. All in all, I guess Bobby would deserve such a peaceful retirement after being one of the few pros staying really productive over the year without being affected (too much) by the various trends that pop out each year. Ahhh...I can already picture him drinking beer on his porch with his Blazers, his Rambo tattoo and his ex-stripper of a wife... Good times.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Bourrics and Scientology



The Bourrics is a non-profit brotherhood of politically-commited skateboarders which is based in Bordeaux, France. Though the nature of their protest has often been misunderstood, these urban warriors have decided to take a stand against Steve Berra and the monopoly that the Church of Scientology seem to have obtained over political institutions, Hollywood and even skateboarding. This is how:

Qualif 8 - JP Vs. Bran from The Bourrics on Vimeo.


Yes, a game of skate with shots of Vodka every time someone misses an "offensive trick", as our dear scientologist and fake-spot-builder friend would say. Now, you might think that these people are just young and unthinking skateboarders having a good time. Wrong.

The recurrent swearing and underage drinking (well, technically they're French, so it's ok, but anyway...) constitue a cry for liberty, a return to more simple values and an acceptance of the evil part that rests in each human being. After various rumors about Steve Berra trying to get Torey Pudwill off DVS for smoking too much weed (source: YWS) or trying to ban swearing from The Berrics, people over a The Bourrics have decided to put an end to this absurd quest for perfectibility.
Moreover, they have proved something that many skateboarders started to doubt: it is still possible to skateboard somewhere else than in a LA wharehouse.

Keep up the good work, guys.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The accessorized Kamasutra of skateboarding #1

Skateboarding is all about positions. Whether we are conscious of it or not. A paunchy 30 year-old skateboarder thinks immediatley of Steve Caballero at the sight of a crooked neck. A lazy back foot on a 3-6 shove-it(a Yo 3-6 shove-it, Watson would say) would remind the youngest of us of our frenchy redhead who made the headlines after a perfect execution of the formerly-evoked maneuver during the Tampa am (0:10).

Well, I think the time to theorize all this silly nonsense has come. 2010 shall see the creation of the first Accessorized Kamasutra of Skateboarding. Its purpose is to categorize and explain the origins of these famous feet positions, awkward finger gestures or G-code postures. And perhaps we shall laugh at them a bit on the way and realize that we are all, somehow, guilty of them as well

1- The Bastien

This fresh-connoted position owes its name to the famous French self-cheering switch heelfliper newly reconverted into a guitar hero. It has to be adopted when approaching massive double sets, massive blocks or perhaps, if you are not very reckless like myself, massive flatground. The purpose of this position is to make clear to the external observer that you are riding switchstance and that you are a merciless disciple of aggressive skateboarding from the hood.It will enable you to throw weighty sw heels, sw fs 360s, sw heels nose manny if your dealing with a manual pad from Parallel or even sw fs 360 boards if you're are approching a handrail.
The outfit to adopt such a position is crucial. Any breach to the following accessories can turn you into an impostor instantly and get your ass kicked by the most radical skate-rats:

-the pants: nylon pants such as those proliferating in videos during the late 90s - early 00s would be the best. However, Flo-Marfaing-like sweatpants such as those I am sporting would do the job perfectly
-the Lordz t-shirt endorsed by the inventor of the posture in the brand's masterpiece They Don't Give a Fuck About Us.
-the cap: back in those days the New Era trend was not raging and the caps were sticker-free, however you can opt for an adjustable cap or a flex-fit (with a curved peak, of course).
-the sweatband on the arm: self-cheering and contest-winning can be very exhaustive activities. Consequently, the sweatband can prove itself to be very useful after a lenghty run including 13 declensions of the bs kick flip.
-the shoes with cupsoles: yes, back in those days vulcanized soles were to be sported only by TNT. Besides the extra cushioning might prove itself to be useful it you intend to dive over a double set. Now, you guys might be wondering why I am wearing cupsoles when I am only skating flatground. For my defense, I have a weak ankle and... well, I just like cupsoles. So fuck you guys!

The most famous disciples of this position: Bastien Salabanzi, Brian Wenning, Brian Brow, Florentin Marfaing, Frank Barratierro...
Feel free to add your own to the list.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Adios Adio

I live in France, where (correct me if i'm wrong) Adio is not really popular among non-skater people. Even though you're likely to meet some die-hard skateboarders sporting some (such as this young Gareth Hill below), the success of the brand remains rather limited comprared to the other giants of the 'board culture'.

Consequently, I never understood the hate that American or British skaters could feel towards that brand. Of course, they used to sponsor Bam Margera and the Birdman, but a lot of shoe brands have had embarrassing heads in their team by the past. Okay, they sponsor surfers, wakeboards, BMXers and other sportsmen eager for thrills ; but they're not the only ones. DCshoes used to in the past and they were accepted by the skateboard community (those were the days); Etnis still do and they are becoming more and more acceptable, partly due to the remodelling of their team.

But, enough is enough. It is 2010 and it is time to start to hate Adio.
First, the team. I know the arrival of Converse on the shoe market did not help, and that Kenny Anderson probably left rather than was givent the boot; but still it's one less reason to like Adio. The aficionados of car-racing, hair-brushing and handrail-sliding have found one less reason to like the brand after the departure of their idol for the formerly fresh DCshoes. Moreover, no more Danny Montoya and Brian Brown! The former almost got me to buy some Adios whith his part in Viajeros Locos (thank god I didn't stumble on any pair of Adios during the following month and decided to buy the same Dickies pants with the money instead!) and the latter gave some East Coast pedigree to the brand.

Then the shoes. Like most of the brands, each season featured at the most 3 pairs that were worth buying. But the main reason to buy Adio was to that you could get some Chuck Taylors in which you could skate. Yes, remember that Kenny Anderson's line (1:08).

After, that video we all checked Adio's website and found out that the handsome and environmentally-friendly Chinese technician was not wearing Converses but a pair of subtle rip-offs named Adio Dean's. Being the fan of Mr Anderson's work that I am, I managed to put my hands on these artifacts.

Well, my friends, I have to admit that I was fairly disappointed. The sole, despide its thickness, is very hard and gives the impression that you're skating without insoles. I had to replace the original insole by one coming from some Half-Cab pros. Not to mention the rubber cup on the toes, which I pictured to be as large as on the Chucks (that is, rather small).

How much my innocent hopes were shattered when I opened the mailbox and realized that the shoes had actually what seemed to be at the time a knee-pad glued over the toes! I thought for a minute of bringing them back to the para-pharmacy, thinking they were orthopedic shoes. The picture is not really explicit. But, I swear the top is huuuuge. They are the kind of shoes that are always a bit loose no matter how much you tighten them. To give you an idea, my good friend Antoine used to compare them with those:

Oh yeah, and they were really heavy. Even though it is pretty convenient to use as an excuse for the days when I suck at skateboarding, that is, rather often. I compared their wheight with another pair of mine (Lakai Howard Hi WWCD). Though the Lakais appear much bigger, they are actually lighter than the Adios from more than 100grs.

To top it all off, after a night of moderate partying and a day spent over my university work, I decided to enjoy the sunshine a bit and put on my Adios to skate some flatground. Before going on, you have to know that in 13 years of skating, I never had a single sprained ankle. Well, less than 20 minutes were necessary for these shoes and a fatal switch kickflip to break this lucky-spell.

I might be of bad faith but I blame mostly the shoes because there were really loose despite the fact that my shoe-laces were tightened and tied. Anyway, I had to walk for 3 weeks with crutches and I still have to do some physical therapy...
I'm not saying all Adios are bad, just that the Deans suck big time, that the brand has made some dubious choices regarding their image and has lost its most interesting riders. I'm rather puzzled by their present team, which includes semi-famous pros and some amateurs whose name I might have stumbled accross on the Slap Forum on a rainy afternoon. Once again, time will tell.
Nevertheless, I'll be willing to write another review (less biased by my personal experience and more detailed)providing that they send me a pair of one of their best models!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Soiled panties

Sometimes, when the skateboarding is good, one line is enough. Do you know that feeling when you watch a montage and you're like "ok whatever...ok whatever...", and then all of a sudden, in between Melcher's wallride and the Nuge's giant heelfilp (yes, there is always those two in a boring montage), appears the line you've expected all your life? The line that gets your more hyped to skate than the whole boxset of Digital videos (bonus features included). Well, my skateboarding fellows, this line, which combines the right skater, style, speed, spot and trick, happens as often as an alignment of the planets of the solar system.
Guess what? For me it happenned few days ago. "Sweet Moses".



The first line performed by this Mexican stuntman seriously arouses me. He is one of the few that you can connect with the OG Chocolate heads. A sort of young and bold Gabriel Rodriguez zigzaging and sowing 90s-inspired tricks on one of those spots that you associate at once with 90s Girl/Choco. The style is clumsy and the push, of course, is mongo when switch; but it works. There is no awkward immobility on the board in between the tricks, Vincent flies to his next maneuver with the same hunger as a fashionista on Black Monday. The tricks, timeless (fs smith) and modern (switchstance), remain accessible enough to get you hyped and at the same time, the speed is completely out of reach. If the King of LA deigns to slow down on the crazy combos, Chocolate is far from done.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ginette

Don't get your hopes too high...



I don't know what the legal problems he had to face were, but I really hope he gets his shit together for the Chocolate video.
Seems to me that the most heavenly-gifted skateboarders are always the one who care the less. Man, if I had such a sick style I would be every day a the skatepark performing my bs nollie heels in front of the ladies.