Thursday, May 05, 2005
Who the Heck is Natas Kaupus?
One of my favourite spots to skate in Toronto is out front of the old Steam Whistle brewery. It's a great spot because; a) nobody ever kicks you off; b) you have a great view, right across the street, of the C.N. Tower and The Stadium Formerly Known as Skydome; and c) there is an angled wallride-to-curb structure that I can't skate worth beans, but it attracts other, more competent skaters, whom I can watch from the many benches that decorate the place.
I was sitting on one of those benches one afternoon, trying to feed the pigeons, but the clattering of skateboard wheels was keeping them away. So I started trying to feed the skateboarders, but they just looked at me funny. I guess they didn't like breadcrumbs as much as I do. Very quickly, I was left with no other option but to run away or get up and do some skating, the latter of which I did. Then I got tired and sat back down again. People have often remarked that I look like Rodney Mullen when I skate. Maybe a little taller and handsomer, but I do some of the same types of moves that Rodney used to do--about 15 years ago, before he started getting silly with all those darkslides and things.
When I'd sat back down, forlorn now for lack of pigeons, a younger skater approached (aren't all of them younger than you by now?-Methuselah). He sat down and, after some chit-chat ("Hey, nice trucks.", "Thanks. Nice wheels", "Thanks. Just got 'em" etc.), he asked me who my favourite old school skater was. I knew what he wanted me to say. In the ADHD addled brains of kids these days, the entire entourage of 80's skate pioneers collapses down to about two names. You have your Tony Hawk camp, and your Rodney Mullen camp--with a few Mark Gonzales connesieurs thrown in for good measure.
I knew that the kid wanted me to say that Mullen was my favourite old schooler; Rodney "The Mutt" Mullen's legacy was written all over the shove-it manuel combos and railflips that I had been doing. But I wanted to expand the young shredder's mind a little, give him something to think about, so I answered, "Natas Kaupas".
"Never heard of him."
And that was that. The guy wasn't really interested in learning about what, to him, must have been ancient skateboard history, so he skated off. But You, dear Fakiegrind reader, are interested. I can tell by the way you're fogging up the monitor with your baited breath. And soon I will tell you everything I know about the skater whose naked photos appeared in our first, and likely only, issue of the Fakiegrind 3-D Newsletter.