Category Archives: Internet Parts

An one-shot full part, debuting on an internet website, that is not part of a full length video project that is otherwise being sold in tangible or paid online download.

Mason Silva. Mason.

I don’t typically feel the need to jump in to point out a video that is up presently. More often I want to spend my blog writing efforts on celebrating the parts of yore and those that might have slipped through the cracks in the internet age. But, holy hell, that recent Mason Silva part for Nike SB is just on another level of monstrousness.

Kids that come up through the Element camp are guaranteed talented from the get-go, but increasingly the top of the crop is quick to move elsewhere for fear that they’ll forever be high-fiving Chad Tim Tim in the shadow of Nyjah and reissued Bam boards. Peacing out since Peace is Tyson Peterson, Evan Smith, Nassim Guammaz, Greyson Fletcher apparently, and perhaps the skater with the most to gain, Mason Silva. After floating for a bit, he is now comfortably in the stable Real/Spitfire family, getting decent checks from Nike SB, and completely taking things up a significant notch with his video output in 2020.

Every trick in this part is huge. Just take a moment to analyze any trick in the video and it dawns on you just how incomprehensible nearly all these tricks at these spots are.
How about that 4 trick line around 1:00 which should serve as a breather after a just humongous and stylish bump to bar hardflip. A huge crooked grind on the top of a bench back, landed perfectly, frontside tailslide launched to fakie on the next bench back, a quickie switch 360flip, and then a straight-on fakie ollie to switch manual and let’s just 180 out of that for good measure. And that is one of the less memorable clips in this video.

Speed. Power. Style. Trick variety. Decent spot selection. This video requires multiple viewings, several rewinds, and maybe even a pause here and there to give a proper look at just how damn steep the bank is.

The only criticisms would be the camera angle on that last ollie, which just seemed so much more monumental on the Thrasher cover, the video being titled “Mason” (which utilizes a titling concept that should’ve been retired with Dylan), and the song selection. I could see where some folks might like the Roxy Music track, but I feel like Mason’s skating is strictly hardcore.

#weskremer

By all accounts, Wes Kremer should be washed up by now. A whole bunch of the prerequisites for a long-tail coast to quasi-retirement are present in his career thus far:

  • Being marketed as a hardcore stoner.
  • Being a hardcore stoner.
  • Having already summited the mountaintop with his 2014 SOTY award (probably the last skater to authentically have won it by just skating and not “campaigning”).
  • Being treated as the face (or even mascot) of both his board and shoe company and having a guest trick in every other skater under that sponsor’s parts.
  • Being really good at manuals and other low impact ‘dork’ tricks.
  • Being incredibly well liked by everybody in the industry.

Wes Kremer would be well within precedent to never jump down a flight of stairs again. A new part from him could easily just be a bunch of wall rides and a few low-risk pole jams paired with some slow-motion footage of blowing reefer smoke at the camera and dropping Sk8Mafia hand signs.

But instead, Wes delivers the goods, on 4/20/2020 no less, in the ironically titled #weskremer part. Here are some of my favorite tidbits:

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The opening line that terminates with this ridiculous flatground slam shuts down any notions of solemnity or gravitas for the upcoming part. This is Wes. We’re gonna have fun.


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What the hell his this red thing Wes is popping 360s on? It looks like some type of kiddie climbing gym apparatus in the middle of a sandbox.


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A sunny day. An empty plaza. A shiftied out switch wallie over a bench.


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Wes is not is uptight and neither is Baker-made hardflip. The hand drag ads a little bit of unpretentiousness and makes this trick stand out.


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Jam the cannonball. A great example of a ‘dork’ trick that, upon closer inspection, is fucking gnarly.


wes Kremer switch shove
The big gap pop shove is such a good looking and underutilized trick. This one is switch. The twilight sky is just the icing on the cake.


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Switch stance frontside tailslide impossible. And this wasn’t even the ender.


Honestly, one could GIF just about any trick in this video and just get lost in the hypnotic flow of Wes. His whole oeuvre is chock full of tasty treats, so dig in.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqtj1hv4Ubc]

Dakota Servold – Green peaks

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B9cKDpa8Wo]

In the world of professional sports, the kinds of sports with championships and agents and assistant general managers studying statistical evidence, people pay a lot of attention to the correlation between age and peak performance. When there are millions of dollars on the line it is good to know what effectiveness might be expected for your dollar. And, outside of injuries, some typical patterns emerge.

For straight-up athleticism, the decline typically begins around age 26. While experience, wisdom, and a mature attitude towards training and health can extend the peak until perhaps age 30, barring the introduction of performance enhancing drugs, an athlete’s 30s are basically a battle to slow down the decline and stay viable. By the 40s you are just holding on, seeing how long you can even compete, much less dominate.

We skateboarders like to consider ourselves different – perhaps more artists than athletes. With a few ridiculed exceptions, professional skateboarders don’t “train” during the “offseason”, they don’t have “coaches”, they rarely are provided “healthcare”, they are often “intoxicated”, heck, most of them aren’t even getting paid a “living wage”. Yet, athletes they are and the peak performance pattern still holds up.

Pre-pubescent kids can show amazing talent but are yet to develop the strength and style of an adult body. The late teen / early 20s set are going crazy, touring for months straight, leaping down big sets straight out of the van, recovering quickly from injuries, smoking spliffs and drinking beers, literally while skating. But this is where many start to fall off. Some descents are caused by a decline in ability, some from injury, some just lose interest and explore the possibilities to get paid for more lucrative talents, but mostly, and sadly, so many great careers fall off from a decline of skateboard riding effort. Lifestyle casualties.

With the exception of Dustin Dollin, one typically needs to sober up (or at least get that shit under control) or already have accumulated enough brand-name popularity to get paid through the long tail of the late 30s and early 40s decline in productivity. Big street rails give way to waxed indoor park ledges. Impact gets substituted for smooth style, unique spots, and wise trick selection. Check out the blossoming fine-art career that is enough to keep that name on a board for a couple more seasons. They might not have a part in the new full length but they are performing an acoustic set during the premiere.

Knowing this pattern, one would think more skateboarders, or at least team managers, would do their best to squeeze out the greatest quantities of heavy tricks while the getting is good. To clock as much footage as possible before back pain, a spiraling chemical dependency, and/or the need to feed your family pushes you out of the spotlight.

Dakota Servold gets it. After 6 or 7 years of being a workhorse pro for a board company that apparently doesn’t pay much, as well as riding the peaks and troughs of the clothing sponsor rollercoaster, Dakota left it all on the field for his new show sponsor, Emerica. Not that he phoned it in for the past three Foundation videos, but Green is something else.

As discussed in his Nine Club podcast interview and then again in his recent Thrasher Magazine interview, Dakota wised up, took his job seriously, and pushed his limitations. Longtime Servold friend, Emerica TM, and Green filmer Tim Cisilino concurs, “… we sort of just wanted to make it happen for each of us together. We both agreed that people who work hard get rewarded so we both were working our asses off to be the best we could be.”

And it shows. The backside 180 ender would be evidence enough, but you can pull nearly any trick from the part and behold something special. The endless front blunt rail. The ollie over the Chase sign. The man-ledge version of the ramp rail ollie to curb grind. The solid frontside 50-50 transfer to backside tailslide on the kinked rail. That improbable kick flip up the loading dock. These tricks hit hard and fast, but none feel like filler. And as a fan of both normal stance skating and non-pinched handrail grinds, I have no complaints.

What I like best about this narrative is the lack of a rock bottom. As far as I know, Dakota’s career wasn’t in jeopardy from his drinking and lack of productivity. He hadn’t wrecked a car or got dropped by key sponsors or blown out his knee and couldn’t skate or gotten hooked on heroin or anything that dire. He isn’t even claiming alcoholism or lifetime sobriety. He simply made a choice to give it his all. To look back on this well documented time with pride and not wonder how good he could have been ‘if only’… but to know… Very. Fucking. Good.

With all this concentration of peak performance, I was curious if Dakota had considered quitting smoking. Tim Cisilino: “Nah, he loves that too much.”

Big thanks to Tim for answering my rambling questions.

Everybody loves Pat Burke.

Say what will you will about Virginia, but it has produced two things that have made this world a better place to live in… Gwar and Pat Burke. And while it is common enough to find a person who can’t or won’t appreciate the theatrical artistry that is Gwar, I am yet to have ever met a person (or even a person who has met a person) who doesn’t think Pat Burke is awesome. Everybody loves Pat.

There are several hits in the Big Pat-B discography that I indulge in regularly, with two freshies coming up in the past year to go along with his decade-overdue pro model. But the one that gets me grinning again and again is the 2013 stand alone gem that is Pat Burke & $lave.

[vimeo 217533369 w=640 h=469]

Pat Burke is like a muppet on a skateboard. Arms akimbo. Sweaty hair flopping. He falls like a bag of laundry and it feels like that next slam is coming at any second, probably when he is not even trying a trick. Pat isn’t graceful. Pat is sloppy and silly and unpretentious. But God DAMN he seems like he is having a lot of fun. And Pat is having fun, I am having fun.

Pat Burke & $lave hits all the notes for a feel good make-you-wanna-go-skate track. It’s got great driving music (Going Down by Freddy King), some decent slams, some tricks that got away (the frontside 360 ollie heelflip!, or the frontside flip in the rain), and his nollie backside flips are just magnificent.

So get loose and get down with Pat. I guarantee you’ll feel good after watching this part.

Pat Burke and $lave

 

Mark Suciu, Verso, and the Chiasmus vs. the Blubba

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlcxbZbHTj8]

Verso, the Mark Suciu skate video that delivered on all its promises, exists in three movements. In the month since its belated debut so very much has been written and diagramed and decoded in regards to the final portion of the video. You know the section I’m talking about – the part with the sort-of mirrored tricks. The “chiasmus“.

If you took the red pill and followed Mark down the rabbit hole then you now live in a place where we are saying trick names like “Nollie Frontside Heelflip Fakie 5-0 Frontside Revert” and then basking in the sublime symmetry created by the “Nollie Backside Heelflip Nosegrind Backside Revert” that happens 40 seconds later. You are cool with a premature video premiere coming with a prerequisite artist statement. You understand that the last trick, a simple grind, isn’t an ender… it’s a bookender. You comply with demands that one show respect by not mentioning Verso in the comments of his friend’s part’s release announcement less one steal said friend’s thunder. You have embraced a world where the ender is a concept featuring 14 interrelated tricks. You know what chiasmus means.

But perhaps you aren’t the type to delve deep into a skater’s intent. Maybe you don’t view skate videos as something to solve. Conceivably, that Thrasher interview is just too damn long and academic.

Perhaps you took the blue pill and woke up in a world where Mark Suciu, the kid who (along with Dylan) upped the value of the internet-solo-part above that of the part-in-a-team-video with his 2011 Cross Continental masterpiece, has gotten his skate mojo back. You ignore all that encrypted significance and simply enjoy the results of Suciu skating at capacity and with full Adidas funding for the past two years. Is that so bad? Perhaps it is even better.

And thus unfolds the first 2-song course of Verso: a Cross Continental continuation where Mark continues to leave his impression on global skate landmarks past and present – Lloyds, Muni, Kezar Stadium, South Bank, the Bay Blocks. But now Mark is older and wiser. His tricks are even more flawless and quick footed. The reverts are more backbreaking and unexpected. Mark goes big when needed, mixing in some solid double sets and gap-to-rails with all that ledge trickery. His hair is flawless and his pants fit well.

And then we get to the real: Mark Suciu skates New York City. This middle section is what cements Suciu’s legacy onto skateboarding forever even more so than having a namesake grind. Between interstitial cuts of subway doors and manhole cover warm-ups we are treated to one-ups at some of your favorite contemporary NYC sets and ledges in addition to some architectural treats. Mark notches his belt at the expected City chestnuts such as the 360 nollie at the D7 Blocks, the ledge dancing within the Flushings Fountain, the tech devastation of the Pyramid Ledges, and then a triad of Blubba mind benders for dessert. Toss in some stunt tricks worthy of a Thrasher cover, a few cellar door skrells, and hyphenated trick combos from rail to bench or beam to beam and Holy Cow. What a part. Just that New York section alone.

I’ve watched Verso many, many times over the past month and each time the New York section just towers over the mirrored-tricks part, yet this grouping seems already a bit lost in all the academic discussion surrounding the final act. It isn’t a stretch to say the New York Verso is overshadowed by the other parts within the same video. Which is a shame because on its own it is one of the greatest New York parts we have with wide reach. Right up there with Eastern Exposure 3, that part in Transworld’s Greatest Hits, Zoo York Mix Tape, and something else that Quartersnacks would crucify me for not mentioning should they ever read this blog.

Obviously, as I strive keep this ill-conceived Matrix analogy going, I’m more of a blue pill guy.

But maybe this isn’t an either/or situation. Maybe you snatch both pills out of Morpheus’ hands and shove them in your mouth and swallow them both before he or any of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar can stop you. Maybe the chiasmus doesn’t have to obfuscate the Blubba.

Either way, holy shit, Mark Suciu has some fucking talent riding a skateboard.

 

Kyle Frederick – 12 O’Clock Karl

From out of nowhere with little more warning than a Thrasher Magnified and Hall of Meat and a nod from Chris Cole’s clothing brand Omit, Kyle Frederick arrived, laid down one golden track, and disappeared in a puff of cigarette smoke. From his T-shirt logos I assume he was sponsored by Mystery skateboards, but I’m not really sure. I’m also not sure why he rides a quizzically old school shape (before that was really a thing), why he immediately fell off the face of skateboarding right as things were getting interesting, or what a 12 O’Clock Karl even is.

But I really, really like this part and I think it holds up pretty well after five years. So if this is the extent of Kyle Frederick’s skateboarding legacy, I gotta tip my hat and and take it for one more wheelie popping ride.

Serial Hometown Turf Murderer – Bobby Worrest again!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azWJSAyb6T0]
I know, I know. How many times on this blog am I going to erupt with praise of Mr. Bobby Worrest‘s skateboarding?

Well, as long as the parts are a good as the Welcome to Venture joint that just arrived this past week (as well as a fantastic Chromeball interview), every damn time.

Bobby just keeps bringing it. The best switch pushes, the amazing Pulaski lines, the gorgeous VXness… and all this for a truck sponsor! There is so much more to like in this video than just the tall ledge noseslide 270 out (the pretzel way) that everybody is gushing over, but holy shit check out that tall ledge noseslide 270 out (the pretzel way).

 

Turn off, Tune out, Drop in: Ryan Reyes in the Ditch Dimension

Ditches are like nature’s skateparks (and I am aware of how I’m misusing the term nature here)… An imperfect and often oversized assembly of banks, walls, edges, ledges, steep-ass roll ins, and the occasional water flow to contend with. Just as Geoff Rowley transitioned from British born vegan to American citizen deerstalker, he also evolved from a street ripper to pretty much exclusive ditch dude.

Continue reading Turn off, Tune out, Drop in: Ryan Reyes in the Ditch Dimension

Zion Wright – Jupiter Rising & Real Part

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and Zion Wright just released his second full part of the year earlier today on Thrasher’s website. Real Skateboard‘s Skater of the Year intentions are loud and clear. So let’s not waste another moment and dive right into Jupiter Rising while revisiting his Real part from June and see how his candidacy stacks up.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkRLAwLGRY0]

First off, don’t be fooled by that 8:54 running time. There are 3 minutes of credits featuring a photographic retrospective of the part you just watched and what could easily be interpreted as an acceptance speech. Still, 5 minutes of skating is damn impressive and even with all the high fives and roll away footage, it’s pretty cram-jam with skateboarding stunts.

It is quite a compliment to Zion that such advanced handrail tricks as backside 360 ollie to frontside boardslide or kickflip frontside 50-50s or long tall overcrooks have been denigrated to “stock” status. But, alas, here we are and here are tricks we’ve seen in a part just five months ago (and also on King of the Road) and I find myself craving just one goddamn manual. Would it kill you to skate a ledge or do a wallie or something.

With that in mind, the bowl footage we get stands out as some of the strongest arguments in favor of Zion’s SOTY aspirations. Aired McTwists and kickflip Indy grabs gives some much needed depth to the part. The last two SOTYs were awarded to rail jockeys (one of which also rode for Real). So with just a few choice filming missions, Zion could easily recategorize himself into the ATV slot. It would give him a boost above the current crop of Tyson Petersons, Ducky Kovakses, and countless other round rail pinchers and carcass tossers numbing up the feed these days.

Half-cabbing into these things is still next level, though.

Jupiter Rising has to be digested in tandem with the bafflingly titled “Real” part from June. I actually prefer the “Real” (I’m already annoyed at having to put the title in quotes to distinguish it from other parts he may produce with his board sponsor, Real) part. But, really, the parts are just so similar.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssKDxKWRY-8]

Would one 12 minute part have been better? I would argue that it is wiser in this day and age for footage stacking skateboarders in their prime to break apart lengthy, multi-song parts into several digestible nuggets, and then release all but one of them at the end of the year.

Drums and Space: Yaje Popson – Brick

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GneNvctGPkY]

Way under the radar in 2018 was an entertaining quick part from Alien Workshop professional and aromatics hippie Yaje Popson. Don’t let the long hair and brightly colored pants relax you into interpreting this as a feel good cruise. Brick is a gritty East Coast urban psychedelic attack. Its a bit disorienting but thoroughly enjoyable.

The filming is close, the music is distorted and rhythmic, the editing is tight on the tricks, and interstitials zoetrope animations strobe. Clocking in at just over 2 minutes, we approach the maximum tolerable length for a video like this to be comfortable. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of Thiessen’s unmistakable nauseating fish eye movements until the last trick. Five minutes of this would has the potential to get brutal and completely negate the skating, but two and a half minutes is perfect.

Tossed into the part is a surprising trashcan wallride grind at Philly’s Board Game plaza. The banked ledge backside lipslide is pretty tasty, and I’m still impressed by people skating those little lumpy garden edgers. With the exception of the terribly documented ‘ender’, the final 6 tricks kill it, with the best moment the easy style on that penultimate switch backside lipslide to regular.

I can imagine the new Alien squad often feel like they are fighting an uphill battle for legitimacy; A challenge they seem to acknowledge. But if they can keep producing regular parts like this (and add Suciu to the team already), we’ll all forget Dyrdek ever existed.