People will say we lost it. They’ll say our brains are fried, that we’re out of touch with the skateboarding world. They’ll say it’s a plot to steal the spotlight from the skateboarding media magnates...an unsubstantiated conspiracy. We see through your fucking bullshit...and enough is enough. We’re here to expose you...all of you, who continue the cycle of “Kickflip Privilege” that dominates the many feeds of the skateboard industry. Most people scroll through instagram without even noticing and yet they don’t even blink when Aaron “Body Armor” Homoki kickflip melons a 45 stair, or how they coo over Luan’s chest high kickflips, powered by his low crouch and brawny crossed arms.
It’s permeated the subconscious. Can’t figure out what I’m getting at? Feeling a little bit confused? I’m talking about the discriminatory practices of mainstream skateboarding media...I’m talking about the bias against those who heelflip. Sure, one could argue that skateboarding is more liberal and inclusive than ever before. That having fun is at the top of the priority list. That chucking your board into a wall, causing a racket, and jumping back onto it is a socially acceptable part ender nowadays. Yet a look at our not-so-distant past tells a much more troubling story.
Lindsey Robertson was at ground zero for this travesty and disposal of skate media ethics. He was right there, indy grabbing a perfectly executed heelflip over a grass gap and into the punchline of many a shit talker’s jokes for years to come. What was it about the heelflips that rubbed people the wrong way?
The most cut-and-dry, real life example of this is the Wallenburg Bust-or-Bail contest from 2009. Lindsey had heelflipped the legendary four-block at the original BOB in 2004, and he came back for another shot at glory this time around, in the form of a backside heelflip.
The result? He roasted that shit, and barely bent his knees upon impact (a direct fuck you to the struggle many face when hucking their carcasses over the 17 foot long stair set). While yes, a lot of other tricks were done that day, including a backside 360 and switch frontside flip from Chris Cole, Lindsey’s feat felt criminally undervalued in the recap videos that followed.
In addition to the full recap video of the event, Thrasher gradually released follow-up videos to accommodate individual tricks that were made, along with some close calls like Kevin Romar’s nollie backside 360 attempts. Of all the tricks that went down, can you guess which one was conveniently omitted in the interview-style, individual recap clips?
Surprise, sur-fuckin-prise, Lindsey got snubbed.
Maybe it would help if we put this into perspective. We’ve all seen Stay Gold, and if not the full video for whatever reason we’ve certainly all seen Reynolds’ part. Where am I going with this, you ask? Well folks, you might just remember the ramped slo-mo of Andrew Reynolds’ backside flip. Not coming to mind? Well maybe you remember the Thrasher cover.
This, folks, might be the clearest example of kickflip bias known to man. As we mentioned, Lindsey was unaffected when he did his backside heelflip. Just another day in the park. Whereas when Reynolds backside flipped the set everything stopped.
Here - we put together a short film to help better understand.
Lindsey received no cover. No love. Was not framed in eternity. Instead - he was disregarded, left to the wayside amongst other heelflippers. No respect.
But why is this the case? It's not like they look that bad. I saw Gershon Mosely do a heelflip once - pretty cool. But for some reason there is an underlying belief that the heeflip is truly and unjustifiably worse than the kickflip. But yet I see things like this everyday:
"Who does heelflips lmao"
This is the world we live in. Another example:
I am sure that 9 out of 10 of those of us born before 1997 can remember being heckled by jocks or assholes for skateboarding. But the strange part is that there's something built into the bloodstream of the heckler that forces them to say something along the lines of "do a kickflip ya fucking virgin!!"...
The point here is that you would never hear somebody say "do a HEELFLIP". Ha - no, no, no. There's something about doing that kickflip that would somehow prove to the jock that you are NOT a virgin, and have indeed slept with a woman (even though you haven't). If you had done a heelflip after he taunted you do you think it would go unnoticed? Absolutely not. Had you done that the whole car of jocks would stop what they were doing and beat your ass.
What we had originally written for this was a based-on-a-true-story novelette following the life of our hero Lindsey Robertson through the hundreds of scenarios we've encountered regarding hatred and injustice towards heelflippers. But it was way too long so we cut it down to this.
At the end of the day all we ask is that you do your part to resolve this injustice. So next time you see a heelflipper out there - shake their hand, and make a friend.