Thrasher posted an event I hadn’t heard of called the “Hardies Can Jam NYC.” The logo was a parody of the Space Jam cover art logo and it took place at Blue Floor in Brooklyn. It was Tyshawn Jones’ hardware company. It involved skating trash cans. This sounds like a sick way to pass five minutes of idle computer time, right? Wrong. Despite the talented young skaters just mashing around at a local spot this thing played as stale as a demo in a skatepark and couldn’t have been more boring. Even with Gary Rogers, my subject from last week, announcing, and tricks like Sean Pablo’s massive backside flip, I couldn’t care less. Too bad.
AND THEN, inexplicably, a few days later, I navigated to the ExtraCrispyNYC recap from the same event. The thumbnails lack of pretension – it wasn’t an image of skateboarding and didn’t have a poorly branded logo – made me reconsider the event. Thrasher recaps tend to be pretty formulaic, right? Right. This version of the event made it seem like it kicked ass. In typical Extra Crispy fashion there’s no music, just a free-flowing camera that’s right in on the session, logging the bystander’s perspective of all the best tricks but featuring the stolen moments that make skating in groups so much fun. You felt the crowd and the communal aspect and the – well, jam – of the jam. Whoever shoots these and puts them together is considering the entire activity of skateboarding when portraying it, and it made me feel a part of the whole thing. And Cardiel DJing in Labor is just sick and funny.
Skateline, Gary Rogers’ show on Thrasher, is a better version of what I do here. He recaps the week’s skateboarding clips through an enviously concise and hilarious parody news segment, shit-talking and congratulating both the high and lowbrow of the skateboarding world. His attention for skating is authentic and open in a way that exudes his passion without ever having to actually mention it. I love watching Skateline every Tuesday.
Similarly, Donovan Jones and Cephas Benson of The Bunt pull no punches in their skateboarding analysis and it takes just one episode to get a feel for their deep love for it. Having Gary on was a no-brainer. On this episode, they get him to formalize his passion for skateboarding and he explains why and how his show works. Seemingly camera-ready (he announced for the X-Games as well), he said he’s actually turned down a job as announcer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and tried out the Hollywood thing but isn’t into it. Smart, ambitious, talented, humble, and hilarious all in one just isn’t fair. This hyped me up for life, not just skateboarding.
Further listening: Gary Rogers on the “No Jumper” Podcast:
It really isn’t that different than looking down and seeing the Swoosh, or the Three Stripes, or the One Star, but seeing the New Balance N on a skate shoe is just fucking dumb. It’s a letter from the Latin alphabet. The letter N. Why is the New Balance skate program called “Numeric” instead of “Alphabetic?” Whatever. Getting past that, I’m psyched that people like Karl Salah, who’s last name is Arabic – which historically uses an entirely different alphabet – are getting put on. I’ve seen bits and pieces of him in Blobys clips and other goings-ons but this is the first proper part I’ve been privy to. Imagine being able to do that many ledge tricks on your nose?
Matching your outfits to your New Balance kicks is pretty out-there, though, like if a bunch of long-distance runners suddenly got into streetwear and skateboarding. Overall, it seems weird to see Karl Salah in this context but many of his Blobys bretheren have their own big-shoe contracts so it makes sense. Additionally, I don’t recall anyone skating to “Act Like You Want It” before, which is slightly better than editing something in 2018 to Big L. Still, the whole New Balance clip “My Road” is pretty cool and rap music-ed out, displaying a whole lotta ledge wizardry from two other great skateboarders I’ve never heard of. I liked Karl’s part the most out of anything I’ve seen this week, Big Shoe-centric or not, and Free Magazine uploaded it individually.
I really wish I could revert out of a crooked grind.
(I was trying to embed this, but it doesn’t seem to be working)
Nearly two and a half hours of ramblings between two of Massachusetts’ older guard is what did it for me this week. It took place on Anthony Shetler’s podcast, The Shetler Show, which I discovered a couple years ago when scouring the internet for things to fill the void created by traversing the endless miles that is transportation in Los Angeles. It’s a weird little passion project with 264 (!!!) episodes, so many are hit or miss, and often Shetler’s comments and prompts are childlike and corny. The love and dedication he has for skateboarding, as well as whatever work ethic keeps this podcast off the ground, make it endearing, though, and I stay subscribed to see who comes up. I like that he’ll interview all sorts of random people and, in between episodes with local legends, friends, and whoever seems to have been around, he’ll squeeze out ones with truly interesting and often unheralded skate people like James Kelch, Greg Carroll, Sammy Baptista, Matt Eversole, and Mike York.
This week, he chats with his old buddy “Lurker” Lou Sarowsky, who can be categorized somewhere in between local legend and known skater. I know who he is personally, at least, and knew it would be a good listen. The two-hour-and-nineteen-minute runtime didn’t scare me because A) I have a shit-ton of ground to cover in Los Angeles and B) I figured Lou could hold the entire time on his own. I was right. Lou does most of the talking, Shetler chiming in with a feeble but affirmative “Hell yeah!” every now and then. They cover Lou’s history growing up in Cape Cod, mashing back and forth to Boston and New York, the Zoo York apartment days, Vicious Cycle, Lou’s art, his new part, his brand, and pretty much anything you can think of. Lou’s a top quality chatter and has a wicked sharp memory. Most inspiring to me, though, was his detailing of his filming missions with his crew and their love of scouring for spots in an attempt to sate their undying need to skate and keep it fresh while doing so. It got me so damn stoked, I immediately ran out and hit the streets when I finished listening to it. When was the last time you did that after a podcast?
The spots are cool, the tricks are smooth, the skaters invigorating – it all adds up to a quality atmosphere for a fun little summer tour clip from some faces I recognize with no names on screen to even know. The riffs and beat of Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” got so meshed in with the vibe that it took me a while to even place it. It was cool to see someone do that roll-in at Police Plaza decades after Jules Sampson did it in Division East’s Daggers. The smiles permeated through the computer screen for me on this one.
Finding this kind of footage on the internet is what this blog’s best dreams are made of. Sure, all this footage could have been cut down to a minute and posted on Instagram and indeed was – but in a shorter version. Instead of leaving it at that, Free Skate Magazine put a slightly longer version on their YouTube channel. Neither version references each other, which is awesome and trusts their readership. People don’t need to be directed from one platform to the other – if they’re genuinely interested in the content you have to offer, they’ll see both. When I saw the version on Instagram I was duly impressed, as any footage of Nik Stain inspires, but watching it in slightly longer form here with some additional footage from Nik, Casper Brooker, and Kyron Davis really got my gears turning. I paid attention to the whoops and hollers from South Bank’s dark corners after a made trick, checked out the casual bystanders in the background of shots of drinking some red adult beverage, and generally got a better feel for the session. All of this made me actively want to be having a few drinks with some friends during a night session in public. Damn, doesn’t that sound lovely?
It’s very fitting that for the one year anniversary of this blog I got most stoked on my old friend the Snackman’s new montage for his site, Quartersnacks. A founding tradition of the site, self-proclaimed crummily-shot montages filmed on whatever of whomever was out that week used to be the bread-and-butter of the venerable New York institution (after the spot list, of course). Like many skate content providers, they got swept under the rug in favor of erratic-thumb, mobile phone friendly GIFs and Instagram Stories.
We here at SOTW swoon over montages – they’re our (I’m using the royal we voice that’s done so well over on quartersnacks as tribute – you know damn well it’s just me running this thing) absolute favorite type of skate clip and, honestly, what led us to create this blog. Some of us still believe that a collection of tricks from different people, saved for any period of time, edited together does the best job at representing the vibe of skating – there’s room for tricks to breathe and be processed, fuck-ups to be addressed, hints at relationships to surface, and the bystanders and ephemera of a spot to be represented and remembered like a photo album. As the Snackman put it himself: “Montages have vibes! Montages are memories! Montages are beautiful!” Amen.
So, it’s with glee that I get to say I genuinely got most stoked on this clip. Not just for the sights of New York (and Prague) in the summer or the casual, absolute crushing of Antonio Durao (when we get to see a full part from this guy, it’ll be a doozy – Nike, Numbers – where you at?) but for the return of long(er) form montages to my favorite site. Snackman said the real camera’s going out in the streets more, so I hope there’s more coming. Montages create a mood! Montages cultivate thought! Montages are stoke!