Looking back, the first tremors of the coming seismic shift in skateboarding are all present in 2009’s Debacle video from Nike footwear. I recall sitting at a computer and streaming a full length skate video for the first time, in High Definition no less, and thinking the game done changed.
And it wasn’t just watching a skate video on a computer screen without paying a cent. Nor was it the fact that I actually enjoyed and accepted a Nike product as a legitimate skateboarding artifact. The game change was seeing Grant Taylor skate and realizing he could do fucking anything, anywhere. Be it backyard bowls or European plazas, tech to rails or blasted airs. All fluid and easy.
But Grant Taylor wouldn’t go on to be another once-in-an-era superhero like Cardiel. He, along with others like David Gravette and Aaron Hamoki , were just the vanguard of what would become a regular occurrence among the young sponsored ranks of the future. We’re not talking Tony Hawk awkwardly skates a handrail out of career preservation necessity… We’re talking total domination of all styles of skating.
All this progression greets us a decade later in the contemporary era where we have such all terrain innovators as Oski Rozenberg or street maniacs who seem as equally at ease on a roller coaster rail as twirling transition 540s or ally-ooping oververt park pockets. Your Zion Wrights, your Evan Smiths. An era where a strickly park dog like Cody Lockwood just tosses in a gnarly street rail here and there.
As we truly revel and grow jaded in the common era of everybody-can-do-everything, let us look back or even look right and left, and appreciate what Grant Taylor begat.