A big thanks to kill-joy for suggesting the Viscious Cycle video download (see, "I Quit" comments). It was neat to see spots in the Apple, some of which I recognized from magazines and others that were new. If I were able to travel back in time and show this vid to my skate buddies from ten -more like fifteen- years ago, we would all be bugging out and likely throwing our decks in the wood chipper out of sheer dispair. Some of the sequences probably wouldn't even register in our consciousnesses, the way they say that a true UFO would go unrecognized by perception because it can't be related to anything we allready know. "Not only is he ollieing up to manuel across a huge ledge and doing a tre flip out, he does it backwards!!"
At the same time, I was also starting to doze off a bit while watching this vid, and it wasn't just because of the new-school rap music. There were a few wickedly complicated technical tricks that I haven't seen before, not that I watch alot of videos, but the main emphasis in vids these days seems to be doing the same bag of tricks on newer, bigger and crazier obstacles. I'm glad that people are making use of public art for more than just eating lunch and feeding the pigeons, and grinding away at handrails and marble is a laudable response to corporate culture in my opinion, but I'm getting tired of seeing tre-flips and crooked grinds and huge stair bombs. Not that I can do any of those tricks myself. There was probably only one move in that entire video that I could likely pull off: a kind of bench-plant variel where the guy focuses his tail upon landing. So maybe some of my boredom has to do with my not being able to relate to the skating because I simply can't do it.
That being said, what I miss seeing is style and innovation. It would be nice if the makers of videos, and the skaters who are featured in them would take the chance to showcase moves that aren't necessarily the hardest, most technical or current, but that reflect more the individual pesonality and taste of the riders. There is a limit to how far skating can go in any given direction, though the level to which skaters have risen far exceeds anything my friends or I would have been able to dream or predict when streetskating was in its infancy. Skaters will inevidably seek new challenges in terms of technique and terrain, but when I see current videos or magazines I often feel like the fun and creative aspect of the sport is being usurped by a competative, 'keeping up with the Jonses' kind of mindset. I predict that there will be a retro backlash in which the weird old tricks of the past are resurrected and celebrated, allongside all of the wild new innovations, and it will be a huge skateboard block party from coast to coast to coast with live DJ's spinning wicked mixes of every cocievable musical genre. Until then, if I see another tre-flip I might just puke.
So that's my Dinosaur rant. Next week I'm going to write about some of my favourite tricks, and indulge in further reminiscences of my sordid skateboarding career.