March 2011

03.31.2011

Styley

Not like we needed any more proof that Joey Pepper is one of the most underrated awesome dudes ever, but well… we got some. Expedition just put out a remixed part full of archival footage from their Madness promo along with a bunch of bonus material — basically, plenty of examples of the flowing, casual style indicative of a total natural. He comes across as one of those guys that can do pretty much whatever he wants on a board, but chooses instead to do what he likes — it’s only natural, after all.

Skaters on the whole would do well to take that concept to heart. Just because everybody else is out there getting their impossibles dialed in time for Skate Season 2011TM, that doesn’t mean you have to struggle to keep up if your happy place exists somewhere around the coping of a mini ramp instead. You may also be surprised to learn that rolling your skinny jeans at the bottom won’t actually help your impossibles, so you might as well go ahead and abandon that trick and that fashion trend at the same time. Your swollen, bruised ankles and Dylan Reider’s PR firm will thank you.

Anyway, that’s enough pontificating for today. Just watch the clip already.

As I’ve recently begun experimenting with downhill terrain after years of not being all that into leaving pieces of my scalp on the street, that ollie at the end really is the stuff of sweet dreams.

03.31.2011

Class War

To be totally honest with you, skateboarding hasn’t been doing good things for my life lately. In fact, it’s become something of an addiction. Or at the least, the addiction I’ve been happily functioning with for the past decade has started to consume my days. With temperatures in New York creeping into the fairly tolerable range, I’ve been battling an irresistible draw to get on my board and spend several hours of my evenings having fun and forgetting about the litany of annoying “adult” things I have to take care of in the next week. That’s right, I said it. Having fun. I told you. I’m out of control.

Anyway, I hate the term “shortboard” but we live in a strange skateboarding climate these days, and the distinction must be made.

ride a shortboard or gtfo Class War

Figured I’d break the situation down into some simple lingo the kids can understand.

Maybe I’m totally off base here. Or maybe I’m just a purist. But if you live in an urban area, no doubt you’ve noticed the sudden influx of longboarders in the past year. Entire metropolitan areas are beginning to look like liberal arts college campuses, with hordes of goons on brand new Sector 9s pushing mongo into the sunset of everything that was once cool about skateboarding. While many longboarders are relatively solitary, content to cruise back and forth along the busiest blocks in the hippest neighborhoods, others move in packs, swarming local skateparks like a traveling circus sideshow, embarrassing not only themselves, but everyone there who was once proud to stand atop four wheels. You do understand this is our very own version of a zombie apocalypse, right?

There seems to be an increasing perception in the longboarding community that they are a separate entity from skateboarders entirely (which is fine because we don’t want them anyway, and it probably happened in part because everybody talks so much shit about them in the first place) — I take offense only because they also seem to assume that longboarding is superior to skateboarding, which is, obviously, laughably incorrect. Longboards are only superior to skateboards in size, and this isn’t high school any more so nobody cares about the length of your stick. If you really have something to prove, try learning how to balance on a normal board instead of going the easy route with your griptape-covered aircraft carrier.

I realize this all might come across as a bit aggressive. Granted, longboards can be fun, and of course there’s the gray area of cruiser boards and old school shapes, so it’s difficult to determine exactly who are the interlopers here. And really, I try not to be too judgmental… okay, actually, that was a lie, I do. Essentially, it comes down to ones own dedication to the culture and to skateboarding’s roots. Do you actually care about skateboarding and all the independent companies struggling from the ground up that keep the industry authentic and interesting, or are you just along for the ride?

03.30.2011

First-Person Plumbing

Regrettably, First-Person Super Mario Bros is not a release title for the new Nintendo 3DS. Indeed, gamers hoping to finally get a better sense of what it would actually be like to jump on a Goomba’s head will have to make due with this video put together by some seriously huge nerds that simulates a first-person Mario game. The 2D side-scrolling PiP is a nice touch, though more blood and boobs would have been nice.

I realize this is far from one of the cooler things I’ve posted on this site, but I can’t help myself when it comes to shit like this. Nerds are notoriously good at Dungeons & Dragons, and it was clear that I fell under some kind of dark mage’s spell years ago when I first played Wolfenstein 3D. I’ve been powerless against first-person shooters ever since. Personally, I still consider my early education in nazi-killing more valuable than any grade-school grammar lesson. Indeed, who needs spelling bees when you can already spell “killing spree” by the time you’re in Kindergarten?

03.29.2011

Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

Since we started the week off with some shots from New York’s underground, I thought I’d offer some contrast today with photos from the aboveground. They’re not necessarily any less gritty-looking, but that’s NYC for you. …At least for the time being anyway, and even that’s rapidly changing. So enjoy your grit while you can, because one day soon the only used syringes in this great city will be found in multi-million dollar condominiums.

open your mind chalk Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

pizzeria neon sign Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

But fear not, for as long as there are places to acquire a slice of pizza (that may or may not make you shit blood1) for a dollar, New York is not entirely lost.

1 Based on actual anecdotal evidence.

lights in sidewalk Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

Throughout the city, you can find sections of the sidewalk with lights, often burned out, perforating the concrete — many such examples still exist in SoHo and the West Village. An older gent once told me that they were used to light the sidewalks before there were streetlights. After a frustrating several minutes worth of Google-scouring, it turns out the old man was full of shit. Dating from the late 1800s, these embedded lights are actually little portholes more than anything else, designed to let light into cellars below the street. So basically, the total opposite of what that guy told me.

Vault lights were marketed to building owners and architects as a safe, inexpensive daylighting system that allowed for the conversion of previously “unusable” basements into “rent-earning, productive work space.“

Vault lights were also widely employed in the early 1900s construction of New York City’s first subway system. Purposefully employed by the designers of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company’s subway, vault lights were constructed in the ceilings above the platforms to create an inviting underground space for a public unaccustomed to subterranean travel. [source]

tagged up alleyway Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

Nonetheless, there are plenty of places above the street that aren’t light, safe or inviting — but they still can be productive, depending on how you spend your free time.

light reflecting in puddle barred window Unaccustomed to subterranean travel

You know me, I just can’t say no to a creepy window.

03.29.2011

Red Mist

The Internet is a treasure trove… if you consider garbage treasure, I suppose. I’m only half-kidding. There’s a lot of interesting shit to be found out there if you have an inattentive boss who doesn’t notice you’re on Facebook and Twitter 68% of the day. During one of my many prescribed social networking breaks for the day, I recently discovered Eric Anthony’s blog and there were some rather fine photos lurking on it.

vincent alvarez kickflip Red Mist

Vincent Alvarez, kickflip - photo by Eric Anthony

Eric Anthony is a photographer and designer working in Girl’s Art Dump, which in non-skate-nerd terminology translates to “art department.” These shots are from a shoot they did for RED a little while back. I know I have been one to complain about the flood of generic indoor skate park footage inundating the various skateboarding media channels in the past couple years, but I’m always happy to see some fresh ideas, and frankly some red lighting and a smoke machine are really all it takes to keep things interesting.

david loy lien Red Mist

David Loy, lien to tail tap - photo by Eric Anthony

Obviously.

elijah berle grind up Red Mist

Elijah Berle, 5-0 up the hubba - photo by Eric Anthony

mike carroll hurricane Red Mist

Mike Carroll, hurricane - photo by Eric Anthony

Hurricanes are a good-looking trick. Mike Carroll’s hurricanes are a particularly good-looking variety.

Anyway, you can catch the video they put for the project here if you didn’t catch it the first time around. Otherwise you can expect more breathtaking detritus from across the Internet this time tomorrow. Dedleg: we may be disappointing, but at least we’re consistent about it.

03.29.2011

Grand

Things are getting away from me.

sylvester knocked out Grand

I hate that I’ve been resorting to these cop out posts more and more often. Eventually they’ll all become cop out posts and then what’ll we have? Well… a fucking Tumblr blog, I guess.

I don’t have a drawing today. Last night, with a mountain of work rising into the sky behind me, I took off into the streets in the pursuit of skateboarding. What can I say? While it may not be all that productive, skateboarding, like chicken soup, is good for the soul. Only I don’t believe in souls, so I guess I’m going to have to come up with a better excuse. “I have a real job and the people who read this website don’t care if I live or die” just sounds lame.

03.28.2011

Another stupid headline about Kyle "leeping" to a new sponsor

Kyle Leeper is the newest addition to the Stereo team, and by the looks of his welcome video, he fits right in. One of the most enjoyable web clips I’ve seen recently — simply put, it makes skateboarding look fun, and isn’t that the whole reason we got into it in the first place? I mean, aside from hoping we’d look cooler and get more chicks.

Stereo’s one of those companies that is occasionally brilliant and occasionally really forgettable, but right now it seems they may be poised for another comeback — especially if they stick to the style and flow of this little video. Great track, great skating, and a great edit altogether. Whether or not the company as a whole will reclaim their legendary status is yet to be seen, but at the very least they’re reminding us how much fun skating a curb or a bump can be — a reminder which is needed much more in skateboarding today than another Plan B-esque super team or epic, full-length video paying tribute to ramped slow-mo.

03.28.2011

Diaper Blowout

Feeling pretty zoned out this morning (if you can still call it that considering it’s now 12:07 PM). Must have been all the Chinese food I ate yesterday. Yeah, that was it. Went pretty hard this weekend.

Anyway, here’s a quick round of photos from a weekend spent walking around — or rather, underneath — the city.

train going by Diaper Blowout

train pulling in busker saxophone Diaper Blowout

Meanwhile, in another city, another fantastic headline in hilarious police activity appears!

boston woman cocaine diaper Diaper Blowout

Sounds like a shitty situation. Will she be found guilty? Well, I guess that depends icon mad Diaper Blowout

03.26.2011

Baby Prison

clarissa explains it all baby prison Baby Prison

Seems like a pretty good hiding place to me. Spacious, too, so it’s not even inhumane.

03.25.2011

Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Speaking of groan-worthy headlines…

If The Huffington Post was a physical newspaper, you’d find it near the checkout at the grocery store. Generally speaking, it’s not the best idea to find your world news alongside reports of Bigfoot rapes, but that doesn’t mean these publications aren’t a superb form of entertainment. HuffPo recently posted up a pile of hilariously stupid police blotters, and something about Hillary Clinton adopting a baby alien.

police blotter11 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

A common mistake.

police blotter21 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Indeed, this was no ordinary hood beat down. These guys were serious. They were making a mother fucking soufflé up in this bitch.

police blotter31 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Sometimes after eating a burrito, you kind of feel like you’re carrying child, but this is something else entirely. What I really want to know is, does the guy who reported this eat a baby whenever he feels like getting Mexican for lunch?

police blotter41 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Seriously, I want to know what the fuck a “suspicious coin” even looks like. What if I’ve seen one? I wouldn’t even know!

police blotter5 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Hey, if you find out… let me know, man.

police blotter6 Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

Hahaha. Hmmmm…

terminator cut out Law and Order: Special Headlines Unit

03.25.2011

Speed-D

Lessons in groan-worthy headlines, number… uh… frankly, I’ve lost count.

dedleg varsity banner Speed D

Not much to say about this one, just something I cooked up last night in a haze of pot smoke. You might be able to tell, I didn’t have much of a plan going into this. It sort of just evolved. Like humans. Because God is just a security blanket for people who can’t accept how badass death really is.

That was a little tangential. Sorry, but the failings of humankind have been on my mind the past few days. Don’t know why. After all, we live in such happy times.

Although, at this moment, we kind of do. You know it — Happy Friday everybody! icon mad Speed D