Canadian skateboarders have it rough. I mean - not only do you have to deal with cold weather and snow for 12 months out of the year, but even if you do break through, get some legitimate sponsors, and maybe even release a cool video part, you are forgotten immediately by the remainder of the skateboard community. We at SMLtalk have decided that there are some brothers from the north that deserve to be put on the forefront for once. You may already be trying to think of some guys we might mention, so let me help. Basically if you have to type "skate" after their name on Google, they're either Canadian, or you.
Here is our best attempt at understanding the nature of the Canadian skater, and why they have been placed behind the curtain of the skate world.
If I could just speak to the entire skate industry right now, I just wanna let ya'll know that ya'll have sincerely fucked up. Put this dude the fuck on. Ya'll serious with the "Vans Canada" shit? Why don't you just call 'em the "Lesser White Guy Team"? Think about it Vans, you don't even have to pay Antoine that much. If you do the conversion from US to Canadian doll—ohhhhh shit. I just found ya'll out mid-sentence. Our weak bullshit currency is what's stopping Canadian skateboarders from rising in the US industry. Mr. Corporation ain't gonna pay Antoine, worth a dollar in Canada, when boring am from Oklahoma only costs $0.89 here in the States. That's big business, 101. Antoine, if you're listening, it's not your fault, my man. You keep doing you, when we bounce outta this recession you're next up, swear to god.
Not even guest starring in Tony Hawk's Trick Tips could save Colin from being held prisoner to the fate of a Canadian skateboarder. Here's how the story goes: Little baby Colin starts skating and starts getting good. Real good. He gets so good, that he might even be, one of the best. He starts a cool team called Plan B, maybe even the best team of the time. He even puts out a killer, flawless part in Virtual Reality where he skates to KISS and Steve Miller Band, and his ender is a fucking fakie fs flip no grab on vert...perhaps the hardest trick done on vert, ever. So why then, why is nobody caring too much about him? Oh yeah, because in an Art Garfunkelesque twist of fate every major step of his career has been in the shadows of fucking Danny Way. He was the Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, the Solange to Beyonce, the fucking Jane Brady to Marsha Brady. Wow - cannot believe I just referenced the Brady Bunch, but c'mon Marsha was smokin'. Sure people know Colin, and he is still skating great today, but he is surely a victim of the curse of the Canadian skateboarder.
Keegan Sauder, the guy who was on Stereo, then left to pursue a career in Man Am status. Keegan's breakthrough was in Way Out East (a tour video), where he skated along side Clint Peterson and Benny Fairfax, so his destiny was really laid out for him right there. The team had great skaters with some of the best style, all of the appropriate tricks, a good mix of transition and street, but all three had something unique to bring to the table. So what happened? Why is it that Clint and Benny are prominent figures in the skate community but lil' Keegs got left behind? You may be saying, yeah, but he went pro for Zero. Ok. Now ask yourself, WHOSE CAREER HAS THAT EVER HELPED. Exactly. Maybe the Chief knew. Maybe it was all a master plan to take down the straight-edge Canadian guy. All I know is that Keegan got fucked and should have been the next McCrank. Now he's 33, has what appears to be a pity pro model on Blood Wizard, and still lists Anti-Social Skateshop as one of his sponsors. It's like Matt Beach's story with less success. I'm fucking crying.
This dude was like the original jock-skater. And I don't mean sports-jersey-ghetto-gown jock skater, I mean like backwards-hat-so-tight-on-my-head-I-want-to-kick-your-ass-for-no-reason jock skater. Mike Hastie was the type of bro that hated gay dudes in high school so much that he couldn't get good grades, he was literally too focused on the fact that gay dudes existed in the world ("It's fuckin' gross!!"). Along with smashing pussy, Mike had a good run of coverage in American magazines when people were fooled into caring about Moses Itoken and RDS. He even scored the opener in Darkstar's Battalion, which is kind of like "The Flavor of Love" of contests, even when you win, you sort of lose more. I assume his downfall just came from lack of oxygen to the brain due to extremely small hats coupled with an extreme bought of depression after losing his first game of beer pong.
The North Two: Port Moody Blues Crew - Might have to do a DVD review on this one, truly a classic with some of the most unforgettably forgettable dudes that have ever stepped on board. This video will leave you saying, "wow, that guy's part was so sick. what was his name? no, not that one but he was sick too. oh, man what was his name? oh well." Honestly you have a better chance at remembering every song in this video before you get all of the names, but the following guys need specific shout outs.
Tony is one of the original Plan B dudes, and he STILL GETS NO LOVE. Un-fucking-real. I mean, is nobody else confused as to why the kickflip frontside noseslide was never renamed the Ferguson slide? Well guess what boys and girls. We just renamed it. Boom. Still when you google search his name you come up with a fucking mma fighter. What has this world come to.
Sheldon is super gnarly, has a great style, gives a good mix of tricks and skates to Bigmouth Strikes Again. What more is there to say about him? Oh yeah - HE HAS ONE FUCKING EYE. If any consideration was put into skateboarding he would be the dude on the SOTY trophy. In fact, SMLtalk is going to have him on our trophy. Or maybe just have a framed picture of him in our office. Or maybe we already do.
There's this crazy rumor that Russ Milligan warms up by switch flipping over innocent children. I personally haven't seen any video, but a friend of a friend saw him on some random street just switch flipping over crosswalks with children passing by. I know, it sounds insane, but it's true. Seriously.
You know it's bad when you have to search out specific video parts in order to find anything on a skater. McDermott was flow for Habitat (yes you read that correctly) and didn't really move much from there. This guy had one of the best backside 360s I have ever seen, specifically the one in his last line of North Two. If you're not a fan of the front foot off, well then. I just don't know. Mike should have been pro for Habitat, then moved on to Traffic or something. He looks like a nice guy though, and is probably living a nice normal life. I'm happy for him.
A cross between a failed middle school hockey coach and an aspiring white rapper, Moses Itoken existed at some point in the early 2000's. I put him on this list for two reasons: This dude could frontside noseslide literally anything at considerable length and he could 540 on vert. You may notice that Moses is also one of two people in all of skateboarding that rocked a dad goatee, Kanten Russell being the other proud advocate of the rare paternal look. Moses' dad style obviously bolsters his failed middle school hockey coach side, while his clear problem with authority and frequent scuffles with security guards tend to add more to his aspiring white rapper side. I'm not sure what side finally took over, but Moses disappeared some time after RDS's FSU video, probably to pursue coaching aspiring white rappers still in middle school.
Rob "Sluggo" Boyce
Damn, Sluggo. You've had it tough. You've been running the backflip SINCE DAY ONE, and ain't nobody paid proper respect. A backflip on vert, on any transition for that matter, is easily one of the craziest things you could do on a skateboard. Even if you just flew it out to the deck, it's still gnarly. Sluggo runs them to fakie...excuse me, has been running them to fakie, and you're telling me this dude's not famous? This leads me to believe that Sluggo is Canadian. This also leads me to believe that his nickname, being more of a step-dad's pathetic attempt at "scoring points" with an estranged step-son, has taken away from his marketability in the American skate industry. You want a cool nickname? Try Spiderman (Drehobl), Spawn (Dustin Dollin), even Lil' Fucky (Jamie Tancowny...also Canadian but hiding it well), is actually kinda cool. Well, good luck with everything, Sluggo...Tiger...Ranger...Bud...Sport...Squirt...
Honorable Mention: Chet Thomas
First off, Chet's name is the Canadian form of Chad. There can only be one acceptable use of the name Chad (especially in skateboarding) and I'm pretty sure you already know who I'm talking about. Secondly, let's say it here: you do the illusion flip. Stop acting like what you do is considered a hardflip. You can call it a Canadian hardflip, but either way you do the illusion flip, so shut up. Thirdly, you've been cast as a Canadian skateboarder despite being from America. I'm not saying that this is any type of punishment or that it's wrong to be Canadian, but that's like crazy disrespectful that we know you're American but we made you Canadian. Like wow, we really did that to you Chet. Fourthly, are you running the music choices in all your videos? Even if you aren't, I blame you. You strike me as someone that listens to shitty music and all your videos have shitty music, ipso facto, you choose the fuckin' music and it sucks.
Have a good weekend, everybody.