Sean Pablo and the One-Down™: A Case Study


We live in a world of one-ups. One-upped at work when Chad got there earlier than you, one-upped at the bar when Sylvester orders a more expensive drink than you, and one-upped in skating when someone half your age makes it look like you've never stepped on a board in your life. Let's just say that if you kickflip a gap, you can rest assured that by the time you wake up somebody has already posted their switch, 'third try warm up fun one' on Instagram. But don’t let this get you down. SMLTalk has discovered that we no longer have to worry about any of these issues, and are free to go on as we please without regard. You may be saying, “but how? How could this be true?” or, “What does this even mean?” or, “You’re an idiot, get me back to The Berrics”.

Well, hold on, let’s take a moment and review some recent events that lead us to believe that one-upping is a thing of the past, and thanks to Sean Pablo, we are now able to simply One-Down™.

Exhibit A:

Danny Renaud, ‘Mosaic’, (Castrucci/Strobeck, 2003)

In 2003, Habitat released ‘Mosaic’. A classic video with some of skateboarding’s biggest names for the time. From Pluhowski to Janoski to Getz to Garcia, the video covered a good amount of skateboarding with a certain style-focused aesthetic. Castrucci was the perfect person to direct it, and having Strobeck on board filming a good amount of the video certainly didn’t hurt. Danny Renaud was somewhat a new jack around this time, and when he dropped this part (partly thanks to Cymande's 'Crawshay' IMO) people knew his name. Renaud’s style was on point, great trick selection, and the hand drag on that nollie flip. You know what I’m talking about. But the trick I want to bring up is this backside 50-50.

Danny Renaud 50

LOOK AT THOSE IPATHS. *tear of joy*

Exhibit B:

Sean Pablo, ‘SICKNESS’, (Strobeck, 2015)

Cut to 12 years later. Wait, I’ve seen this spot somewhere before. It can’t be. Yes, it is, it’s the same rail that Danny Renaud back 50’d. I wonder what Sean Pablo’s got.

Sean Pablo boardslide


Okay. So we have a few things to question:

A) Was this actually the same rail?


B) Is backside 50-50 definitely more difficult than backside boardslide?

Yes. Justification: Boardslides are the first trick that you learn on any flatbar; backside 50-50s will more likely than not smoke you on any rail.

C) Is there anything stylistically that we are missing, or any particular reason to believe that Sean Pablo's style is overwhelmingly better than Danny Renaud's?

Perhaps some may argue that Sean Pablo's style is better than Danny Renaud's, but it would be a difficult argument to make and is not so much better that it could be a clear, objective truth.

So, with all of these things reviewed, we are left to assume that Sean Pablo intentionally performed a One-Down. But what does this mean for the rest of us?

Well, it's actually really great news. It means that next time you go to a spot and want to film a trick, you no longer have to stress out. Everything is fair game. Local homeboy switch tre flipped that gap? Fuck it, do it regular. In fact, you probably don't even need to skate switch anymore. IN FACT, you probably don't even need to skate anymore at all. It doesn't fucking matter.

So next time you're at the bar and Sylvester rolls up on your girl trying to spit game, just remember that for everything he does, you just have to do slightly less and she'll be crawling right back into your arms/bed.

Thank you Sean Pablo.