Pee Wee Herman said it best, "I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel."
When it comes to skateboarding, more often than not, I feel the same way. Even more so during the latest global pandemic we are experiencing.
See, for the past two decades I've pretty much just skated by myself. Part of it by choice. Part of it due to the fact that pretty much most of my original crew have either moved away or we just simply drifted apart. All with no drama I might add. These things just happen. We've all experienced it. We can usually see it coming too.
It was right around the time I met my girlfriend (now wife) when my skating slowly began to take less priority in my day/week/month/year. I never quit though. In fact, I remember going skating with one of my friends a time and my girlfriend rode her roller skates and watched us. But nevertheless, it happens. Friends then begin to reach out less and less assuming that you are busy or don't want to skate anymore. That is somewhat true for me as well.
Working on a relationship is hard work. And it never ends. Ever. Well, unless the individuals move on or pass away, etc., but you get my point. And over the years as our social circles (non-skaters) began to grow we found ourselves being insanely busy. Too busy in hindsight. I plan on saying "No" a lot more come post pandemic.
Anyway, once we added kids (we had twins) into the mix it was pretty much guaranteed that my skating time was going to be an uphill battle. And it was. Still is. But I always make some time for it. In fact, my hashtag these days is #skateontheweekend instead of #skateeverydamnday.
However, because of this pandemic I have had plenty of time to think. Plenty of time to dwell on the fact that I am not happy with the amount of skating I am getting in every week. The good thing about having a crew is that there is always someone there to help push each other should you not be feeling it that particular day, etc. I do miss that part of it all. Nothing beats that vibe.
I mentioned on the podcast (Episode 16 - Skateboarding Regrets) that one of my main regrets upon looking back is that I didn't film enough. I just hated filming. I like the outcome of getting the make and being able to share and enjoy said trick, but I hated filming. Now, I wish I had way more footage than I do to show my kids or to just get me pumped up to go ride. Go figure.
Riding solo in 2020 is becoming more of a challenge for me. Maybe it's because my favorite local park, Lake Cunningham, has been shut down since March. I miss that place so much. I always dig the vibe and energy there. Even if I'm usually the oldest dude riding around. I do plan on building a small quarterpipe in my backyard to keep me busy/sane. That was originally slated for this summer, but will have to wait a couple more months.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I am going to try and make more of an effort to grow back up a crew. Even if it's a bunch of us #dadbods rolling around slashing curbs. Sure, I am a loner when it comes to my skating, but it doesn't always have to be that way.
I think by getting the momentum going on growing my squad (even if it's just one other skater) now it will help me out even more as we are planning on moving out of state in a couple of years. This experience will definitely help.
Let me ask you this, do you ride solo? Prefer it? A combo of both?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Also, let me know how you meet new skaters in your city. Do you use social media? Bump into locals and just chat it up? Or do you just make your non-skater friends pick up a board and ride?
Let me know your thoughts below. Cheers.
NO Mongo Podcast - EP 73 - Mason and Baca
What’s going on. Welcome to the No Mongo Podcast. A weekly show about all things skateboarding. My name is Rick Bata. I’m on Twitter and Instagram. @rickbata. You can also email the show firstname.lastname@example.org And if you are hearing my voice in your ears right now shoot me a quick message or @ me and let me know where you are tuning in from. Looking forward to hearing from you. Let’s get started.
I wanted to dedicate this segment to the the skater who has pretty much all skateboarders talking. And not just talking…tossing around the SOTY acronym. Mason Silva and Nike SB dropped a 6:12 part last week and it took the world by storm. It was practically flawless - from the trick selection, to the outfits, I thought Roxy Music was a great match. It was hammer after hammer after hammer. I guess if I had to list one thing - my biggest complaint would be that this edit was almost too long. Long in the fact that it was a lot of awesome to consume in one sitting.
Mason was locked in the whole time. You could see it in his eyes. Sure, the guy is stoic, but I loved that they showed some emotion — which helped confirm that he is indeed human. I was getting a little worried there for a second. Right around 22 seconds in. Two signs of emotion. And peep that smile.
Now, I simply could just mention that I loved every trick, but that would be taking the easy way out. And because this is a podcast that just wouldn’t be appropriate. So here are some tricks that really stood out to me.
Right from the start that board slide to back blunt around :32 in. So good. And I love how they left in the failed nollie back flip 180 attempt. I bet when/if they release a Rough Cut it’s just going to be that clip on repeat.
And then they cut to the title credit — notice that it’s only his first name. MASON. Much, like… Madonna. All capitol letters too. Now that’s a statement title sequence if you ask me.
How huge was that back big flip at 1:22? He caught it perfectly and that land. So clean. So fast. I didn’t truly appreciate at one until like the 3rd time I watched it.
His front 3 around 1:25 was so clean, but you have to pause it around 1:24. Look at his feet. That back foot lifts up a little then he finishes the rotation, clearing that curb.
Then the very next trick too me a couple viewings for my brain to register. That bank to 5050 on that fence pole. Oh, by the way, peep the angle of that pole. Are you kidding me, Mason? You might hear from my lawyer regarding that one.
I don’t think he could have done that backside 180 up that brick 4 more perfectly, then to fakie flip down the 5 on the other side. Bravo, man. Bravo. If you don’t believe me check it out 2:06 when you watch it. Perfection.
The back to back manual tricks at the Verizon banks @ 3:32 blew my mind. I’ve never been to that spot and I’m sure the video doesn’t even come close to doing it justice, but those tricks were so damn gnarly. How did you do those, Mason? And look at all the peeps watching him.
The Fakie hardflip @ 3:56. He even had to clear that pointed ledge part. And we’re not even 4 minutes in yet.
Here’s one I had to immediately rewind and rewatch. The frontside big spin @ 4:21. It went from B&W to color. When you watch it pause right at 4:24. That angle certainly doesn’t do it justice. The precision needed to pull that one off is insane. I can’t wait to see the rough cut on that one — unless he did it first try. Which is highly likely. Those kind of walkways/ramps are, what, like 4 feet wide? At best. And he’s coming in hot from left to right towards the wall. Very nice.
Another smile at 4:30. Pat yourself on the back man. You deserve it.
I was caught off guard on that front heel at Blubba — I thought he was going to front blunt it. Nope. He decided to front heel the damn thing. The run up got him that extra boost he needed.
Here’s another one I had to rewind. His half cab to 5050 was bonkers. In fact, pause it right @ 4:53. Look at how far back he pops. I mean he has to to clear the curb first, then have enough speed and pop to hit the rail. That ground looks pretty rough too. So glad they gave us two angles for that one.
How about that back 3 at 5:02. Not only did he have to clear the wall, he had to clear the street. So much pop needed. That one must have felt so good.
And then, of course, his ender. The cover worthy ender. Rocking the SB’s, Rocking the Hoodie. He made that one look so easy. Most peeps would get wrecked trying that. In fact, most of us, myself included would never even attempt that one. Nope. Not me.
All in all. this video kicked major ass. Plain and simple. Is Mason now a SOTY front runner? Short answer is…hell yes. And I’m just going to leave it at that. What are your thoughts on this one?
Next up, I HAVE to talk about Sammy Baca’s 11 minute My War video. I knew I’d be talking about it before I even clicked play. This one, too, lived up to all the hype and then some. In fact, I’m going to say, that this one might be THE best MY WAR of all time.
If they decided to end the series right now it will be on a high note and definitely leaving us wanting more, but I would not be mad at that decision. There are so many reasons why this resonated with me so much. I don’t think anyone will be able to top this one though.
Just the fact that it took him about 2 years and about 12 different outfits to finally get the make on his 27th visit is insane. Twenty Seven visits.
And it’s not just your average trip to your local spot. Nope. Sammy, lives in Vegas and the spot is in LA. Lives in Vegas — spot is in L.A. He didn’t fly via private jet for those attempts either. He didn’t cruise in on a chopper or Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Nope. He took the bus back and forth. A route that is normally about 4 hours in a car, but took 6 hours. 6 hours. One way! He also only did this on the weekends and was still able to get his kids to school on Mondays. Straight up dedication. No way in hell you can hate on that.
So, 27 times at about 12 hours round trip is 324 hours on the road. That’s not including the countless hours of attempts. Some days there were shorter than others depending on how wrecked he got. For one trick. This was a full on War. Sammy even said it wasn’t even about the trick, it was about the spot and it was ON.
I enjoyed all the opening images, especially of the lights @ :24. See, I didn’t really notice the lights when I originally saw the video. Or how he had to duck the right amount to clear them. Couple of attempts his beanie tapped them a bit. It was cool to see everything from multiple angles this time around. Makes the spot even more gnarly.
I kept thinking during all the failed attempts that it could have easily gone much, much worse than they did. The small gap on the other side of the rail closest to the wall could have snatched his foot or leg and it would have been game over. Even the gap between the steps and the wall as well. That could have eaten up his leg for good as well if he had landed awkwardly. There were so many potential threats for this one.
Loved the story about the timing of the Baker 4 release too and how the Boss gave him one more shot at it. The ticking clock. Knowing damn well he is going to be right in his decision and that Baca would get the clip. It was like something out of a movie. Sammy knew what time it was and got the make, BUT, yes there is one key BUT in this whole story.
There’s one key piece here. He could get another shot at it, but only after he trimmed his nose at bit. At first, he wasn’t having it, but eventually took heed. And you know what, spoiler alert, that was the only tweak he needed to do. It’s kind of funny.
Think about that for a second. After hundreds upon hundreds of hours dedicated to this trick.
After literal, blood (evidence of that was seen on the wall, his shirts, etc) and sweat, and getting absolutely wrecked on pretty much each and every occasion. Even after getting older and seeing his kids get two years older in the process and he finally did it. After all that, it was only a matter of about an inch or two that determined his fate. That’s it. Andrew had an idea. Vocalized it. Sammy trimmed the nose and got it. Fade out. Roll Credits.
Clearly, Sammy was stoked and I bet he rode that high as long as possible. However, I bet like 5 hours into that final bus ride home he snapped out of a nap, dripping in sweat, heart racing and , screaming, “Thanks for nothing, Boss. You couldn’t have mentioned this, I don’t know, maybe 23 trips ago? Not cool. Not cool. ” Meanwhile, the bus driver adjusts his mirror to see what was going on, but Sammy has since gone back to sleep. Just snoring away. Only about an hour from home.
Once again, this one is my favorite of the My War series. Let me know yours. Also, if you are fairly new to the show and are a fan of Sammy’s be sure to circle back to episode 42 where i talk about Baca 4 and more.
And finally, I wanted to give a shout out to Scott Loyst AKA spot the loonie on Instagram. He’s got a great blog with over 375 skate park profiles. Needless to say, this guy has been hitting the pavement and it has been cool to follow him on his journey to hit as many skateparks as possible. Very cool, indeed. Give him a follow and check out his blog as well. I’ll include the link in the show notes, but it’s scott dreams of skate parks dot blog spot dot com. Keep up the great work, Scott.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Thank you for tuning in and allowing me to be part of your day. I’ll talk to you next week. Be safe out there. See ya.
No Mongo Podcast, Episode 66 - 7 Octillion Atoms
Welcome to the show. My name is Rick Bata. If you are new, thanks for tuning in. I normally list off how to get in touch with me or follow along, but for now please just dig up a previous episode. I need to get right to it. I do have to admit, I almost took this week off. I just wasn’t feeling like talking about skateboarding at all. But I felt the need to vent a little so here we are. I wanted to chime on on what’s been going here in the United States this past week, but technically it applies to everyone.
But first. Here me out for a min. Let me just set it up. Feel free to take notes. Right now we are spinning about 1000 miles per hours on this planet we call Earth. Just spinning and bobbing around. A planet with 7 other brothers and sisters in our solar system. We’ve got a Sun. You know, keeps us warm and helps things grow. As we zoom out a little. We are part of the Milky Way Galaxy — a galaxy that contains between 100 and 400 billion stars and at least a billion planets. That’s just our Milky Way Galaxy. Just this one. Billions of stars. Billions of planets.
With that being said. The nearest galaxy to us is 2 million light years away from us. 2 million light years. And if you don’t know how far or long light year is…it’s equivalent to 6 trillion miles. One light year = 6 trillion miles. Stay with me. That’s just one light year!! Imagine how far away 2 million light years is!! It’s insane. That’s just our galaxy and the nearest of possibly two trillion other galaxies in the known universe.
Why do I mention all this? I mention it because I continue to be shocked, absolute horror and shock at the amount of hatred, pure hatred in like “I hate this PERSON, or Group of PEOPLE,” that many human beings can have towards each other. And not just each other per say, namely people of color, or getting more specific, black human beings.
Let me just say this here. Black Lives Matter.
I’ll say it again for those of you in the back. Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Yet, we continue to see situations with police brutality like the recent killing of George Floyd. Rest in peace. And, unfortunately, he wasn’t the first and damn well won’t be the last. This one was so horrific.
George Floyd died while being retained by a police officer and his demise was recorded for all to see. all While the officer sat there with his knee on his neck. I mean, it pains me to even say that. How? How, in the year 2020 is this still happening? How? Why!?
So back to this planet we call home. You know, The one that is floating around in space, as part of the Milky Way Galaxy. Part of a universe that is so enormous I don’t think we’ll ever truly be able to comprehend how grand it is.
Nevertheless, we have the privilege of calling this planet our home. How in the heck are we here? And why? You ever ask yourself that? In the grand scheme of things humanity is all but a blip on the radar. A tiny spec. Tiny, tiny, tiny spec of time and space. The odds of us just being here are so crazy to think about. And the fact that we get to have experiences and live. Have joy, etc. If you think about it, we should be so damn grateful to be here. TO be here Right now.
The entire known universe is made up of atoms. In fact, so are we. About 7 octillion of them in the average human body. And Despite the vast number of atoms in the human body, we are still surprisingly full of empty space - due to the space inside the atoms. That’s what we are made out of. We’re all made of the same stuff. All of it. Most of it is empty space.
Yet, we continue to have certain individuals on this planet, remember we are still spinning in space, that’s still going on, who literally HATE with a capital HATE, anyone who’s skin color isn’t white. This happens on our beautiful planet. Human beings are getting killed because of the color of their skin. Their skin! We’re all made up of the same damn thing? Maybe you’ve got 8 octillian atoms and I’ve got 7 octillian. So what! I’m not going to hate on you for that. Yet alone kill you because of the color of your skin, which you were born into.
This has got to stop. Killing and absolutely HATING on another human being because of the color of their skin. For how they LOOK. Not act. How they LOOK. Killing other people for how they LOOK. 8 octillion atoms. We’ve all got them. It’s a miracle that we are here to experience life and this planet. An absolute miracle. We are all one. We’re all made up of the same stuff. Down to an atomic level. The hate has got to stop.
Quick skate thought. I remember watching Tommy Guerrero way back in 1989’s Ban This. Go watch it if you haven’t seen it, but he was rocking a board with the words END RACISM on it. Even way back then he was trying to help the cause. It was an issue then. 31 years ago. And it doesn’t seem to be going away. At least not quick enough. This has to stop. Shout out TG.
As I wrap this episode up. I have a special moment I wanted to share from the other day. The wife and I finally decided to discuss what was going on to our kids. They just turned 8. I mean, to them it has been just another week of sheltering in place. But we hadn’t filled them in with what was also going on, you know just in case they bring it up at school, plus they need to know regardless.
So we brought it up while we were hanging out in the backyard. My wife helped do a fantastic job of explaining everything to them. The riots, etc. And you can always tell when you have a kids attention or interest or not. Mine were both locked in.
Here’s where I almost broke down in tears though. After we finished talking. The very first thing my daughter said. Right after she raised her hand. We don’t require that it’s just sometimes she thinks she’s in a classroom. I still think it’s awesome when she does it. But the very first thing she said was “I feel sad that that man died” The very first thing. Not what did he do? Not how, or why?
It was one of those moments that was instantly added to my permanent memories bank. I told her I felt the same way. What a moment. I just had to share that. Only because I truly believe there is still hope. Hope for us all.
Police brutality has to stop. The teaching of hate has got to stop. Kids aren’t born to hate. Stop teaching hate. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope to one day racism will be a distant memory. For all races. We are one.
I love you all.
Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash
If you've been following me for a while or have listened to the podcast you know that I am a big fan of Brandon Biebel.
For one, the guy was one the best to ever do it. He has such raw talent to him and his confidence in his ability also showed whenever he stepped onto a skateboard -- or pretty much anything he put his mind and energy towards.
And two, his positive attitude and outlook on life is contagious. And I never even met the guy. But I always feel inspired whenever I hear him talk. It's hard to describe, but if you are a fan of his you know what I mean.
Nevertheless, Brandon Biebel apparently walked away from skateboarding sometime in the past year or two and has never looked back. There was no goodbye or social media post. Nobody knows why. And it's not like he vanished from existence. He has been putting in work bodybuilding and pushing his limits over there. He's always on Instagram. Always.
Now, if you are like me you are probably wondering what happened. What made him step away? Is it for good? I started thinking about this more and more and finally decided to DM him on Instagram requesting an interview.
Sure, it was a long shot as he has no idea who the hell I am, but I figured I'd give it a shot.
I sent the message on a Thursday evening. He was ACTIVE NOW and read it immediately as I saw the message go from SENT to SEEN. However, I did not see the words TYPING appear. I didn't think I would. Honestly, I figured he was busy pushing weights or getting those 20K steps in.
I went to bed that night telling myself that I will see a message from him in the morning stating that he was willing to do the interview.
This was going to be great. I would finally get some answers to so many questions we all have!
I was wrong. Nothing. Crickets.
So, I just went on with my day/week and eventually reached back out to him on Saturday night. I said that I'm pretty sure now is not a good time for him, but that that offer will always be on the table.
He read it and quickly replied with "No Thank U Bro".
Honestly, I can't say I was shocked, but I was really glad he didn't just leave me hanging. I told him something like, "Keep killing it, man. You are an inspiration to many." carried on with my night.
Not gonna lie, I was really hoping that I could get Biebel on for one last chat about skateboarding. And that it would be on my show, the No Mongo Podcast.
I was able to dig up what appears to be his last appearance on a podcast talking about skateboarding. It was episode 44 of the Kill Cliff Podcast and he was interviewed by a host that never skated in his life. So that was kind of a bummer.
There's that old saying in sales that a "No" only means "Not now" so I figured I would post the questions I had ready for him on this site. That way when/if it does happen I can just fill in the blanks.
Below are the questions I had all locked and ready for my BRANDON BIEBEL INTERVIEW.:
What's up Brandon? Actually I've been a fan and have been following you for years. I know exactly what has been up. You've been getting your fitness on, man. Very inspiring I might add.
How much time do you spend at the Dogpound these days?
I've always noticed that you had this thing about you in that you are always 100% committed to something. Meaning that you don't half-ass anything. You are either all in our out. With that being said, what's your thought on having natural born talent versus grinding it out to get results?
Another thing I've noticed and admired about you is your attitude. Or, positive outlook on life. Where did that come from and how has it impacted where you are at today?
How much has skateboarding influenced your life and did it help you create the success you are having today?
Back in the day, would you say that you found skateboarding or did skateboarding find you?
Skateboarding is a very personal experience. It's basically you versus your mind or your board. Nothing better in my opinion. Seems like bodybuilding is very similar like that, right?
I can barely throw down consistent pushups. Can you even describe what it feels like to push 500 lbs just once?
Are we going to see you as a fitness coach in the future? Or is that already happening? I can see you totally crushing that job.
In fact, I'm 44 years old and have been slowly working on getting more in shape. What's the best piece of advice you can give me that won't kill me in the gym? I need a slow and gentle plan!
I've never been to India, but have heard lots of great things about it. How transformative was that trip you took there last year?
***HERES WHERE I WAS GOING TO JUST GO ALL IN***
The last skateboarding clip you posted was way back in October, 2018. Is it safe to say that the world has seen the last of Brandon Biebel on 4 wheels?
Your departure seemed to go out very casual and unnoticed. Almost like an Irish goodbye. Is there anything you'd like to say to all your skateboarding fans?
***I would have come up with some questions on the fly depending on the answer***
While I still got you. Do you have anything you'd like to plug? Or give a shout out to?
Wrap up. Give thanks. Appreciate the time, etc.
***THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE END OF THE INTERVIEW***
I've been on a crazy buying trend as of late.
In the past year I have purchased two physical copies of skate videos. Yep, that's right TWO!!
This is huge as my last skateboarding video purchase was Pretty Sweet way back in 2012 -- right around the time my boy/girl twins were born. And it's not like I really planned this break, but obviously having children (yet alone two at once) takes priority. You parents out there are nodding your heads right know. You know.
However, I'm on a mission to slowly get back into the game so-to-speak. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that now my kids are 7 years old they are cheaper to raise/provide for. Quite the opposite actually as my son is now hardcore into soccer and my daughter loves to draw/make art. It won't get any cheaper until they are well into their adult lives.
Nevertheless, I'm getting extra funds by selling stuff on eBay or using credit card rewards points, etc.
I really missed buying skate videos. There's just something about having a physical copy near by. My only DVD player is in my Playstation 3 so until that thing dies I won't have to worry about that.
I do own some classic skate videos on VHS and sold my VCR long ago. I've been hunting for a new on online and every time I stop by a local Goodwill store. I wish I would have saved that PANASONIC VCR I had back in the day. Oh well. I have been keeping an eye on eBay for VHS gems as well.
Some are still really expensive!!!
What about you?
Do you only stream these days?
Do you do a combination of both?
What are some videos you are proud to own? Or embarrassed about?
One of these days I'm going to challenge myself to only consume physical media for a month. I wonder if I would last a full 30 days. That would not be easy by no means. I won't commit to that just yet as I need to build up my collection again.
In the meantime, I will continue to keep an eye on the interwebs and at discount stores. I'll be sure to let you know of anything I find worthy of mentioning.
Curious to hear how you consume your skate videos on the regular.
Photo by Ciel Cheng on Unsplash
Now, those of you who have been following this blog and/or the podcast know some of the hot topics that get me going. Not having any identifying credits for skaters in their videos has to be the top of my list. I've become very forgiving over the years as I've gotten older and wiser.
Nevertheless, I still continue to see movies come out without any. Why is that? Have they not listened to me speak about this? Don't they know how detrimental this is to their business? Their brand?
I don't claim to be an expert, but I sometimes play one on this site. I'm mainly just here to help.
I've also been doing a lot of thinking about this issue and have been attempting to come up with an idea to fix this issue once and for all. I think I've found one.
SKATE UNIFORMS. Yep, you heard that right. Skate uniforms. Keep in mind this is something that I am totally against. I don't want it to happen at all, but I think it will unfortunately have to. And to think this could have all been eliminated if brands just took the extra few steps to add titles to these movies.
They did this to us!
I know, I know. Before you fly off the handle, hear me out. It could also work to our benefit.
Think about how easy it would be to recognize your favorite skaters. Nyjah would probably rock a 00 and Dustin Dollin a 69. David Gonzalez would represent 666 and I could picture Suciu sporting 3.14. They would have to wear their uniforms anytime they would be filming for a part that would be outside of their personal social media accounts. Otherwise they would risk getting fined by their sponsors or even a league.
I know I would love it because when the teams who don't take the time to properly intro riders in their videos release content I would just be able to look it up on their team website or via an app (potential business opportunity). That way I won't have to worry about my blood pressure rising as I grow frustrated at watching a bunch a skaters who all look the same bust their tricks on screen.
Think about the revenue producing opportunity this presents as well. Teams would sell more merchandise. I bet we'd see a bunch of older skate dads out there supporting their favorite skaters at the park. Or supermarket. It could be a win, win for all.
So there you have it. Will there be skate uniforms required in our lifetime. At the rate we are going that is a solid YES. Can we stop this insanity in its tracks? Yes, we can as well, but it is going to take a village to help those out who feel that by just throwing footage onto the world wide web is just good enough.
Only because by assuming that everyone is a skate nerd and can spot out entire teams just via their silhouettes will never work out. It will never happen. Not for the masses.
I like to think that one day ALL skateboard companies will each have an "A HAH!" moment and realize that they have been making a very simple and yet critical mistake for their brand. It's either that or get ready to print out skateboard uniforms for all. The choice is yours, brands.
I wonder what team would represent vomit green? Whose jersey/uniform would you buy?
Photo by Marcel Strauß on Unsplash
Photo by Karol Kaczorek on Unsplash
At the time of this post, I have not checked out the latest episode of The Nine Club, but it definitely sparked something in my crazy little brain.
The latest rider to grace their presence with Chris Roberts and crew is Chad Muska. The Muska as most people call him. I don't know him personally so I'll just stick with calling him The Chad.
Chad Muska has been a name in the game for decades. He has always stood out from the crowd with is wicked style and huge portfolio of tricks. In fact, one that comes to mind and inspired this post is the grind he did with a boom box in his hands. I think it was a crooked grind? I'll have to double check, but nevertheless, the dude busted out a trick with a boombox. A freaking boombox.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I skate I need to focus all my attention and ability on the trick. I don't even like riding with headphones. Yet alone, holding onto a speaker or a baby or some shit. There's just so much that can go wrong in any given day on a skateboard. It's enough having to worry about pebbles, cracks, etc. You get my point.
But I think Chad takes the cake in regards to riding with accessories. Only a couple other riders come to mind. Actually, I think even clothing accessories can hinder a rider's performance too so I've made a list of some of the one's I've seen over the years.
Here are my top 5.:
Well, it's been about a month since I last posted on this page so I figured now was a good time.
Over the past few weeks many skateboarding videos have been released. Some were excellent. Others were pretty good. However, regardless of the awesome skating that has gone down there seems to a growing trend in the industry. One that really annoys the shit out of me.
Now, just so you know, I have become way more forgiving over the years. In the past I used to nitpick on things that in hindsight were just lame to waste even a second of energy on. Life's just too short to worry about the small stuff. Sure, there will continue to be skate videos with horrible choices in music or have riders doing "illegal tricks" or multiple skaters per video video part, etc. You get the idea.
What annoys me the most in skate videos (not all, some) today is the fact that the creators seem to think that it's okay have literally ZERO insight into who we are seeing on the screen. Many skate videos today almost seem to have minimal personal connection like some of the classics. Even a new skater today can instantly get a feel for what Brandon Biebel is on and off the board when they pop in or YouTube his part in Yeah Right or Fully Flared.
I don't know about you, but if I were pro today and I just spent the past days/weeks/months/year busting my ass for a video part that is going to be distributed for free across the interwebs, I'd be pretty damn pissed if I didn't get any intro or have my name listed right at the beginning of my part. I'd be miffed that I could be potentially missing out on a board sale because by the viewers are too lazy to watch the credits, rewind, confirm, take a screen shot of the name, etc. for future reference.
How are companies okay with this?
Skaters names = advertising.
Let's face it. Skateboarding is a business. A business that wants to move product. All kinds of products. So why not include the names of the riders we see in these videos? Sure, there will always be that one skate nerd that knows each and every rider on the planet and can spot them a mile away or simply by seeing their shadow, but most of us don't have the time or ability to have such insight.
This is why putting titles with the skaters names worked in the past and should continue to be utilized today and moving forward. It's simple and doesn't really cost that much. I talked a little about this in Episode 17 if you feel like circling back and checking it out. I mean, at worst put in some audio in post. You don't even have to have the same person. Just hire Sal Barbier to do all your intros like he did in the H-Street video. Talk about a win, win.
But anyway, it was the latest Nike SB video "Trust Fall" that really triggered this post for me. I absolutely loved the video. In fact, I might even talk about it on the next episode of the No Mongo Podcast. The skating was so damn good and the whole time I was watching it I was taking it as a huge statement to all of Nike's doubters that they are a legit brand and have an equally legit and talented team. Oh, that and the fact that they appear to be on a mission to take over the world.
You know, to basically kick ass and take names.
Speaking of names, while I thoroughly enjoyed the video I had no idea who the hell I was watching half the time. Yeah, I follow a couple of these riders on social media, but that doesn't matter. Skate videos should have skater intros or titles. Period. They have in the past and should continue to until infinity.
I mean, unless you can convince me otherwise in the comments below. Please. Enlighten me because I just don't get it. Simple questions continue to pop into my head like:
Why would you not want to give the audience the most info possible in these videos?
Don't you want to sell some boards? Shoes?
Why not simply put their social media handles on the screen?
Why am I even talking about this?
Another recent video guilty of doing this was Welcome Skateboard's "Seance". Same thing. Great video, but I had no freaking idea who I was watching half the time. This time I kept asking myself these questions over and over and over.:
Was that Ryan Lay?
No, it's a girl so it HAS to be Nora.
Wait, that dude looks like the guy a few seconds ago.
Is that the other Ryan?
Who the hell is this guy? Was that switch?
Is that Ryan Lay? Do I follow this guy on Instagram?
Wait. Is that Ryan Lay?
What's really sad is that these questions take away from the experience of the video. Sucks the enjoyment right out of it. Well, at least for me. Only because I am waisting precious energy on things that aren't necessary. Put. Names. Or. Titles. Or. Some kind of info on skate videos please.
Or, as I mentioned above, convince me otherwise.
You could be like, "Dude, Rick. You have it all wrong. It's the titles that are a distraction, man. You should know the names and faces of every single rider on the planet." or "You know, Rick, putting the names of the skaters for their parts is against law. You just can't do that. Give it a rest." I'd love to hear your thoughts either way.
Even Nike SB's "Gizmo", which was their first ever all-women's skate video, had zero intros for their riders. Huh? Luckily, I already knew many of them, but it was still annoying as shit.
Maybe it's just my Reticular Activator causing me to focus and notice this stuff? I just think it's a horrible trend in videos right now and I am just really confused as to why? I know there have been a few videos over the last few decades to not put titles for their riders, but it's being talked about more and more as of late.
I suggest you give Sal a call and offer him some Michael Buffer money to intro your videos. That'll help solve the problem.
Drop a line below or hit me up on Twitter @rickbata. Let's get to the bottom of this growing trend in skateboarding. One I consider it to be way worse than "big pants, small wheels".
And yes, I just went there.
Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash
So, it's only been about 12 hours since the Men's Street League Finals results and I just had a thought.
Will we ever see a perfect score of 10?
There were plenty of 9's being tossed around today and mostly on the men's side unfortunately, but still...plenty to go around for many. Basically, if you tried hard enough you could have scored a 9 in this contest. Now, that's not saying that the score wasn't worthy or that there is some questionable scoring going on, but there were a decent amount again today.
I decided to go to the Street League website and do some more research. As of today, the highest score ever is a 9.9. A 9.9! And you can probably guess who was able to get that score. It's actually two riders and you guessed them right; Nyjah Huston and Shane O'Neill. A nine point freaking nine.
Here are the trick breakdowns for the 9.9's:
Shane O'Neill - Switch Double 360 Kickflip
Nyjah Huston - Backside 270 Noseblunt
And we can even break it down even more on the 9.8 scores. And yes, you guessed the right riders again; Shane O'Neill and Nyjah Huson. You're getting good at this!
Here are the trick breakdowns for the 9.8's:
Shane O'Neill - Switch Double 360 Kickflip
Nyjah Huston - Gap to Backside Noseblunt
Nyjah Huston - Full-cab Kickflip to Backside Lipside
So I'll ask again. Do you think we'll ever see a perfect score of 10?
If so, what trick do you think it might be? Or what trick will have to be?
Which rider do you think will pull it off? Nyjah? Shane? Yuto? Leticia? None of the above?
These are actually really good questions (humble brag not intended) as I honestly don't know if we'll see it anytime soon. Only because we have gotten so used to seeing 9 Club tricks that we've almost become desensitized to them. Or maybe I just have. Fans have grown to expect seeing 9's.
I always try and judge along with contests and see if I would score the same or similar scores. Sometimes I have been close. Others I was off by a point or two. However, when I did see the 9 Club tricks today it just didn't give me that same feeling as before.
So as I wrap up this post I truly do not know if we'll ever see the coveted 10 Club score anytime soon. But then again, we might. Either way it'll have to be a trick that is so damn good that I stand up from my seat and scream, "That's f*cking 10!" and yes that will have to be verbatim.
In the meantime, I'm going to continue to score along with the judges who obviously get paid to score, as I am just some random blogger and podcast host chiming in.
Will a Kickflip backside 270 to Bluntside seal the deal? It just might.
I do think that it'll have to be perfectly executed trick and all bolts. It can't have a whiff of sketchiness to it at all. It literally has to be absolute perfection and I just don't think that will happen anytime soon.
Let's talk. Post your comments below.:
Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash
Today was the day we finally got to hear about Shane O'Neill's board company, April Skateboards. He had originally announced his departure from Primitive Skateboarding way back in June, 2018 and has been riding blank decks in the meantime. So after almost a year the time has come.
I had been waiting anxiously and even mentioned it on the podcast. We were all waiting to find out what was next from the tech wizard, but he seemed to have his eyes set on May, 2019 for his launch.
I was so excited to finally see some footage of the new crew. Congrats to Yuto as well -- it's about time damn it. However, my excitement was short-lived. Something dawned on me.
Do we have too many board companies now?
Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
Are there too many options these days?
Or does it just seem that way?
How can the little guys survive?
In the past few years we've had Roller Horror, Dugout, All I Need, Street Plant, New Deal (back from the dead), Visit, Brainchild and now April launch board companies. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm having more and more trouble deciding who to go with these days?
I have been riding Element boards for the longest time and recently switched to Street Plant. I wanted to break away from the standard popsicle shape for a change. It's been a fun ride so far. Nevertheless, I was almost overwhelmed with the decision. And I'm not on any flow or anything so I pay full price and my decision has to be a wise one.
Oh, and notice how I am only talking about skateboards. There are so many damn gear and clothing options out there that's a whole other blog post in itself. It's almost getting out of hand.
Maybe it just feels like there are too many board companies these days as social media seems to be more in-your-face than having to wait weeks or months to READ about a launch in Thrasher or Transworld (RIP print edition). Or maybe the industry is right where it needs to be?
These riders work hard to make a name for themselves and have the right to spinoff and launch their own brand. This, in turn, helps keep the big brands in check too with the threat of one of their well-known riders leaving for the latest and greatest brand. In a way there does seem to be enough talent to go around. And not just locally. I'm talking global talent is in full force. So there is that.
I guess what I am trying to say is at what point will it be oversaturated? Are we already there? Or will it never happen?
Curious to hear your thoughts.
Skateboarding changed my life.