Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Public Domain Revisited

Getting out of bed--I sleep on the floor, so it's more like picking myself up--was difficult this morning. In yesterday's heat I gave my legs a real work-out. Today it's strained muscles every which way I turn.

I've been watching the old Powell video "Public Domain" and realize that almost all of my tricks harken back to 1989. Mike Vallely does most of them in his sloppy but stylin' New York segment in this video: step-offs (now called "no comply"), fakie flips, 360 shoves and airwalks.

Ray Barbee's smooth footwork at the beginning of this film are one of my all-time favourite video parts. The opening segment of the four Powell amateurs cruising down the sidewalk doing crazy tricks signaled the birth of street skating as we know it today, and the legendary Craig Stecyk captured the moment brilliantly.

Then there are the mind-blowing, slow motion sequences of Mullen doing insane airwalk combos in front a fountain, on his tiny freestyle board.

Watching Mullen and the then-young Danny Way in this video made me realize that some people are just genetically gifted with superior reflexes and agility. In my time, I don't think I have practiced any less than the top pros, but I can never land such complex tricks with the seemingly effortless consistency that they muster.

Mike V's sloppy slouching towards radicality is more my style. In the short interviews with Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, arguably two of the best skaters in the world to this day, one is struck by another odd fact: they both come across as slightly nerdy.

2 comments:

Michael said...

"In the short interviews with Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, arguably two of the best skaters in the world to this day, one is struck by another odd fact: they both come across as slightly nerdy."


Aren’t all Skaters just nerds who happen to trade in their computers for decks in order to get chicks?

Ha! Just kidding chap......Not really. But I am.

flatlander said...

In the Public Domain video, Lance Mountain and Steve Caballero come across as pretty cool; Lance makes some weird comments in a robot voice, but you can tell by the way he talks that he's "with it", while Steve is shown playing in his rock band. Nicky Guererro doesn't have any speaking parts, but you can tell that's he's cool just by the way he bombs the hills of San Francisco.

In the nerd camp, Rodney is shown doing algebra homework and talking about his good marks, and Tony confesses that he's "just an electronics guy". And then there is the segment of Mike Valelly running through the graveyard, still a puzzling image to this day. With his shaven head, one is reminded of Nazi punks kicking over tombstones--but we know that Mike isn't like that because in a later shot he is shown reading the names on the Viet Nam cenotaph.

As for getting chicks, I think one has just as much chance of hooking up with someone through Internet chat rooms; I've never really met any hot babes through skateboarding. Maybe I need to change my style from quiet and introverted to brash and obnoxious. Certian girls like that bad-boy image.