What Ever Happened To: The 'Slams' Section.

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Slams are hilarious. Slams are cringe-worthy. Slams can often never be un-seen't. Remember that Hubba Hideout leg breaker tossed in at the end of Austin Stephens' original sponsor video? The crunch, followed by screams only a human being in a state of absolute horror could produce. I'm still not over it. Maybe that sharp eye for gore and appreciation of pain is why Ed brought Austin (the original handsome skateboarder) on the team in the first place. At the time companies like Toy Machine and Zero celebrated the Slam, dedicating entire sections in their videos to these unflattering symbols of failure. But why was this trend in skate video post-production so short lived?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-5HlxbjVhA&w=420&h=315]

The way I see it, a good slam represents all that is pure in skateboarding. A humbling, painful, and raw reminder that no one is perfect. Some slams are harder than others. Sometimes you break a bone and it ruins your sense of confidence for the rest of your life. Sometimes you slam so hard it gives you a weird adrenaline rush that motivates you to try again. Sometimes a slam can be so powerful that it knocks your shoes off your feet.

Whatever the case, a slam is something special, and in a world where nothing is sacred anymore I suppose it makes total sense that this beloved video segment faded into obscurity. They sort of go hand in hand with the concept of full-length skate videos in general, which are also teetering at the brink of obsoletion.

Remember, slam sections are compilations. A bunch of bails from everyone, condensed into one montage, in one place. Seeing something like that as a kid was powerful and left a mark, inspiring considerations such as "Maybe it's socially acceptable to wear a cup while skating a handrail?" or "Is being pro actually worth it?" The answer to either of those questions remains to be seen.

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And isn't it an odd coincidence that the presence of bail montages were sort of aligned with the roll-out of hi-jinx videos like Jackass and CKY?  In an era where Xtreme sports were experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity, recklessness and debauchery was in. I feel like while there was definitely just a general need to show people that dudes were getting broke the fuck off and working their asses off to put out a video part, it was also a means of keeping up with the times. Basically if your video didn't have a bails section you were blowing it, and none of the Bam-Margera-obsessed youth were ever going to buy your crappy VHS.

These things were everywhere. From some of Toy Machine/Zero's earliest releases, to 411's infamous 411-911, to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater... Yup, THPS. Skate video games were even getting in on that shit. The list goes on. But now what remains? Not to knock on it, but sometimes a Hall of Meat just isn't enough...unless it's Alex's Filho's comprehensive slam-ography. One slam, sandwiched between two 15-second advertisements just doesn't do it for me these days.

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Think about it. How rad would some of skateboarding's more recent full-lengths be if they too held onto the bails section? Pretty Sweet, complete with a Super-Slowmo-HD Slam-Tage, edited to any song off of Reflektor? Cold War, resurrecting the group slam highlight reel, edited to literally any punk rock song Jamie Thomas chooses? And lets be honest, nowadays there are a lot of douchebags out there getting paid to ride their skateboards. Wouldn't it be awesome to watch them all eat shit, together in one compilation? Rojo said it best:

"And there's so many kooks in the industry now. I'd much rather watch them get hurt than land tricks straight into mountains of pussy and money."

We deserve better, so this is a call to action: Bring it back. Someone, anyone - I want to see a full bails section, edited to some shitty Dropkick Murphy's song, smack dab in the middle of your next full-length video. You're so capable of it. I'll buy you Shake Shack. Or Bon Chon. Whichever one you're feeling. Options man. Shouldn't that do it for you? If not, watch this and then we'll talk:

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxbZ8ItGbUw&w=420&h=315]

TY.

-Evan

Whatever Happened To: The Rasta Skateboarder.

I know. Kind of a weird way to kick this segment off, but Rojo brought it up to me the other day and he makes a good point. What really happened to rasta skateboarders? I know like at least half of you fools own the infamous Ipath Summer Preview promo (not knocking it at all, best video), which came out in '05. That one was pretty heavy with the vibes mon, so what the fuck happened? I mean, you still see these dudes here and there, but there certainly isn't the over-abundance of dreaded, green-yellow-and-red toned dudes doing front board pop-outs for a living that there used to be.

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Hear me out. When I think about first starting to skateboard around the turn of the millennium, picking up a CCS or even going to Coliseum to buy shoes, that irie vibe was EVERYWHERE. Companies were BASED OFF OF this shit. Like that was their entire company message. What a ballsy move. Hemp. Earthy tones. Bob Marley. Stash Pockets. Think about it. We got Rasa Libre. We got Ipath. We got Organika. Element even went through its own phase having Nyjah, Tosh Townend, Jake Rupp, and Brent Atchley (actually that dude deserves his own feature for this segment, don't let me forget about that shit) on the team.

If you didn't look at a pair of Ipath Cats as a preteen/teenager/grown-ass-man and NOT want to get a pair, then...you probably, um...actually I guess you probably had decent taste in early 2000's skateboard footwear, so fuck you, cuz I didn't. I still own a pair of Cats, and it amazes me how my mom didn't notice the insanely obvious intention of that clever little pouch underneath the tongue. We all know what was going on there.

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Anyways, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that these dudes just don't exist the way they used to, and it's kind of a bummer. Their whole subculture was honestly rad as fuck. Look at the entire Ipath roster anywhere between 2000-2005 for example. Kenny Reed, Matt Field, Freddy Fucking Gall. There was a clear identity, which a lot of companies struggle with nowadays.

I think that's a big reason why myself and a lot of my friends will look back at the early 2000's so nostalgically. Back then, the best companies in skateboarding were the best companies in skateboarding because of their identities. They each brought something unique to the table, that, as an impressionable kid, you could sample and figure out what you liked best - Where you identified, or, as corny as it sounds, where you "belonged". Zero has maintained its hard-ass, "go-for-broke" image since its inception, which a lot of young huckers can relate to and strive for. Girl and Chocolate have experienced all sorts of changes with team members throughout its 20-year history, but you know what? They bring it back to the same schoolyards and picnic tables in every fucking video. I love that shit. Consistency is hard to find these days in a brand, and unfortunately I feel that the Rasta demographic just wasn't large enough to carry that type of skateboarder through another decade.

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Now not to sound like an old man here, but I also feel that skateboarding has become a bit too fast-paced for the Rasta to survive on the professional level in 2014. Dudes are doing gnarly shit in every aspect of skateboarding these days. We've even got hipster dudes doing tricks that Rasta skateboarders made popular, and, dare I say it, they're doing it better than them. This is all completely opinion based of course, but I just don't think they were able to survive in such a fast-paced industry.

We need the new Thrasher part every Friday. We need Hellaclips, which is checked multiple times daily, maybe more so than Pornhub. If all else fails, you know we can always go on a Youtube binge and watch guilty pleasures such as "Best Carlsbad Gap Montage Ever Made", all 7 minutes of it, for the thousandth time (I know I'm not the only one watching this shit)...And isn't it fucked up that soon enough people will look back at Bob Gnarly's Youtube channel with that strange, twinkle-in-your-eye nostalgia your parents likely view record stores with. Like on some "back in my day" shit. Isn't that insane?! Its a Youtube channel god dammit, not the record store your dad bought a first pressing of Led Zeppelin II from in 1969.

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Oh my god did this turn into a rant. How the fuck? I totally get why people post shit on blogs now. The point is this, Rasta skateboarders may not have even disappeared, we might have just stopped paying attention to them. This all goes hand-in-hand with the concept of trends, and who knows, maybe there will be a resurgence for these dudes years from now. Its a shame and definitely a sign of the times, and I suppose for now the best thing to do is accept it. Yup. RIP Rasta Skateboarders, thanks for the chill vibes. All I know is that nothing could ever be as authentic and sincere as Adelmo Jr. unapologetically roasting a varial flip on flat in his "It's Official" part... Come to think of it, did this just turn into a "What Ever Happened to: Adelmo Jr.?"

-Evan

Matt Schlager Vs. 13 Flat 13: A Comprehensive Review of the Riskiest, Most Under-Qualified Amateur Skateboard Stunt Ever Attempted.

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This dude is the best. On a day most refer to as "Throwback Thursday" (ayy #tbt), who better to feature than the most god damn legendary try-hard of the century, Matt Schlager. I bet you almost forgot this dude tried to ollie a 13-flat-13, IN THE RAIN, during high school lunch break. What were you doing in high school? Drinking your first 40 oz? Smoking weed in your parents' mini van you just learned how to drive? First handjob? Well Matt was probably doing all of those things too, in addition to HUCKING HIS SLIGHTLY OVERWEIGHT BODY DOWN A FUCKING 13-FLAT-13.

What was the motive there? Did he have an end game with this life threatening stunt? Who was he trying to impress? Or was it a completely selfless act aimed at providing his homies the ultimate pleasure of witnessing a near-death experience? So many questions. Why, Matt Schlager? WHY?

Whatever, lets do a play-by-play of this crazy insane thing that happened 7 years ago.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe3go8jT9tI&w=420&h=315]

 

To start, sick fucking titles dude. Not kidding. Look at that shit. Red. Wow. Whatever effect he used, he knew what he was doing. "Matt Schlager VS. 13 flat 13". Epic. Here we go, oh what's that? The muffled sound of someone saying "suspended". Anything could happen, your boy Matt could literally die trying this thing, but nothing could ever match the ultimate consequence of high school suspension. Getter done, Matty-Boy, and get it done quickly, because apparently its cold as shit out there too.

I've watched this video countless times and there's something about the fastening of the bandana that goes down about 20 seconds in that, to me, pretty much defines Matt Schlager as a human being. How fucking rad is that? Pressed for time in the midst of your lunch period, about to take the biggest risk of your adolescent life, yet you absolutely need that bandana tied around your head while you try this shit. He looks ready now...walking away...nope, YOU KNOW HE HAD TO TURN AROUND FOR ONE LAST LOOK, THEN GIVE THAT 13 FLAT 13 A CONFIDENT HEAD NOD. That's a real rockstar move, Matt. I like your style, kid.

Alright enough of that. Lets get to the good shit. The main event. The "Kickstart My Heart" of this epic, sold out, superstar showdown. Matt Schlager Vs. 13 Flat 13, just like the title said. This is what you've paid for, and oh my god you're about to get your money's worth.

"I'm fucking shaking, Matt", says bitch-boy of the year. You know, the dude NOT about to try and ollie something larger than the leap of faith while not being Jamie Thomas. Oh shit everyone shut up, he's really riding up this time.

This is when something more miraculous than the conception and birth of Jesus Christ combined happens. He fucking goes for it, doesn't even ollie, clears only to the top of the second 13, and performs a human firecracker smoothly down the entire remainder of the set. I wanna give the slippery surface provided by the rain all of the credit here, but no. Matt cheated death. He slammed harder than anyone I've ever seen slam. But holy shit, no broken bones, no nothing. Him and Serge Murphy's DNA should be extracted and combined to produce the formula for immortality. Then the shot heard 'round the world goes off. "That was so tight!".

.............................................

Are you kidding me, Matt? Oh my god. I can't even believe anything anymore forever. You're the sickest dude who has ever skated. I just blacked out I think. You thought that was tight?! God you're a sick son of a bitch and I love you for that. That was the worst case scenario for this stunt (besides dying or being suspended of course, in that order), you lived... and you thought it was "tight"? God bless your evil soul, Matty Schlags.

"Ben's hella gonna suck your dick" is my favorite quote of the aftermath celebration that breaks out after Matt proves he's still alive for us. Who is Ben? Is that Matt's boyfriend? Or was this whole thing a dare? Did Ben boldly, defiantly, and smugly declare that he'd suck Matt Schlager's schlong if he even hucked himself down the 13 flat 13 one single time?

Well Ben, if that's the case then pucker up, because you're about to suck the shit out of Matt Schlager's dick. What a god damn legend.

-Evan

What Ever Happened To?

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Alright, so here I (Evan) am sitting at my desk trying to think of something remotely cool or original to add to Small Talk cuz hey, as it stands, I haven't done JACK. SHIT. for this beautiful(?) thing yet (and I apologize for that Rojo/D. Lew) when I believe that I've struck gold. I've figured it out. This is my contribution. I'm the fucking best to ever do anything ever. The segment will be called "What Ever Happened To?", and will feature primarily some burnouts or dudes who were so close but just not close enough to make it in the struggle. I say primarily burnouts or dudes because the list ain't gonna be limited simply to human beings. I'm going after everything. Trends, products, colors, musical taste, whatever. God damn, I'll even tackle filming techniques. And I know nothing about the technicalities of filming (seriously, literally least qualified dude to talk shit about this shit ever...fire or call the cops on me as soon as possible Rojo).

ANYWAYS, I thought I struck gold and this was it. An idea of my own. HODE UP though, TURNS OUT YA BOI ALREADY DID THIS SHIT. That's right, in high school I wrote for a skate blog (keeganspots.blogspot.com RIP) and did the exact same thing. I wrote one on Matt Allen. I was genuinely concerned about the dude's whereabouts/what happened to him...and ya know what, I still am, quite frankly.

So basically fuck it, I'm going to pick up where my high school, virgin self left off and dig deeper this time. Who's gonna call me out on it? Everyone copies everyone's ideas ever (right? triangles, marijuana Leafs, for example), and I just happen to be copying myself, so get over it.

I won't/will disappoint you all.

TY/sorry,

-Evan