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  1. #21
    Active Member Njord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev J View Post
    The thing is that the only real "Specialized" gear is the wheels. The Powell Mullen reissue deck and most of the freestyle decks that I've checked out have been 7.5" width. You can easily get a 7.75" Street Deck and split the difference. I know you're in the UK it seems like most of the newer freestyle videos I've seen are European skaters, and more than a few of the freestyle specialty skate shops I've seen on the web are in Europe.

    I realize that people will always find skate spots. It just seems like as a skate spot becomes popular some external force (business owners, law enforcement, etc.) comes down on it.
    Hey, would it be possible to send some links of any European skateshops (even if they are freestyle specialized)that you consider decent? I am looking into it at the moment and my research is not fruitful so far...

  2. #22
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    http://www.nesk8-shop.de/en_GB
    Never Enough Skateboards are sort of freestyle based, but they sell all sorts of stuff. They are based in Germany.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadBlueSky View Post
    People seem to have a really skewed idea of how popular freestyle was even in its "golden era", when it was still a relatively marginal practice in terms of actual participation and visibility. There are some seriously rose tinted glasses being shared around and I think it is in part to do with older generations wanting to remember "their thing" as being more significant than a footnote in the rise of Rodney and the rise of skate nostalgia as a valid market due to the first generations of Big-Three era skateboarders moving in to middle age.
    Not sure what kind of glasses you were wearing back then across the pond. I'm not speaking from a point of organized competitions either. There weren't really many of those at all anywhere but SoCal back in the 70s. I'm just having my little lizard brain flashbacks to what we actually did with no parks around most of America until the later 70s and early 80s. Sure, we had skateboarder magazine, which was already very pro ramps and vert even still showing a lot of homemade ramps, but we didn't have many other options short of building our own ramps. DIY ramps didn't last long. City would tear them down and few had real concrete pools or decent back yard halfpipes.

    So, we'd skate around town and stop and practice tricks here and there.. dropping stairs was very much part of those escapades, but we still called it freestyle, not street skating. I don't think people started calling it street until everyone was doing ollies.
    Last edited by NoSwitch; 06-04-2013 at 11:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MN_Mike View Post
    When I started skating in 91. Freestyle was still pretty popular, at least in the area I grew up in.
    Mike, did they still have that old fiberglass skatepark around there somewhere when you started out? Last I remember hitting it was outside of Eden Prairie Center in the early 80s. I think I had heard from someone that they moved it around to some indoor warehouse locations after that.

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    Say what you what about Kilian but the way I see it he planting a seed. He's also doing a lot of stuff that I haven't seen people do in years.

    I recently watched an interview with Kevin Harris from Brazil where he talked a little about what happened to freestyle in the 90s. He essentially said "Rodney killed it" without it sounding like sour grapes. After Rodney won 35 out of 36 contests he entered the NSA decided to stop having freestyle contests because they knew Rodney was going to win and relegated freestyle to demos. If you look at some of the other things that were happening at the same time if you were skating vert against Hawk and Hosoi the best you could hope for was 3rd place but there was still the excitement of, "Who do you think is going to take it Hawk or Hosoi?" As opposed to "Rodney's going to take this one again."

    MN_Mike's points also go echoed in this interview (forgive me if it's too long I realize this is the internet and rife with short attention span):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1p_A2yEfPo

    Looking back I kind of joke that freestyle skaters were kind of like the guys that got beat up for their lunch money. The guys I skated with made fun of what the freestyle skaters were doing but trying to figure out what they were doing later. Just watch the videos from that period and 90% of the videos were vert and street with about 10% being freestyle.

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    Active Member Njord's Avatar
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    Hey this looks like a really cool shop. Thanks alot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSwitch View Post
    Mike, did they still have that old fiberglass skatepark around there somewhere when you started out? Last I remember hitting it was outside of Eden Prairie Center in the early 80s. I think I had heard from someone that they moved it around to some indoor warehouse locations after that.
    That was just a little before my time, but I did go to skate oasis a lot when I was a kid. Way back when Darren Navarette was a local and pretty much ran the place.
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    So what would it take for a full-on freestyle resurgence? Would it take a paradigm-shifting skater like Mullen? What about the recent longboard resurgence, doing all sorts of old-school freestyle tricks on 50" dancing boards? Does that count as a rebirth?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockst*r View Post
    So what would it take for a full-on freestyle resurgence? Would it take a paradigm-shifting skater like Mullen? What about the recent longboard resurgence, doing all sorts of old-school freestyle tricks on 50" dancing boards? Does that count as a rebirth?
    Perhaps... Torger Johnson, or maybe Ty Page?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockst*r View Post
    So what would it take for a full-on freestyle resurgence? Would it take a paradigm-shifting skater like Mullen? What about the recent longboard resurgence, doing all sorts of old-school freestyle tricks on 50" dancing boards? Does that count as a rebirth?
    There are some things that I have seen happen since this thread started (and probably before that I failed to notice.

    I think that if it happens it will have to do with things outside the mainstream skateboarding community. Sure Connor Burke did a part for Ride Channel but there are some other things that I have noticed.

    Let's start with Kilian Martin who is largely ignored by the conventional skate media from what I have seen. Granted I have been in exile from that scene so it could have changed. But the first part that made me fall in love with his skating "Altered Route" was financed by Mercedes. That is a company that doesn't waste money. He was also in a commercial with Alfredo Urbon for the Smart car where they shared a longboard. He was also did a project with a Ballet choreographer for Ballantines Scotch, was profiled by Rolling Stone Magazine, was interviewed on Carson Dalys show, and was featured in a Foot Locker commercial.

    Mullen has been doing TED talks. But on top of that before he dropped Liminal the making of was covered in Wired and instead of a skate company dropping it it was dropped by Vogue.

    Also 13 year old Isamu Yamamoto has been making the media rounds both on social media and some of the daytime talk show circuit. And not just for his age but any age he is world class. I would seriously put him up there with Mullen at the same age.

    The thing is aside from a few taking the Witter Cheng/Frank Lavallee route of starting out as a street skater and getting into freestyle after injury I see more getting into freestyle after seeing any of the above and being shown that there is an alternative to X-Games, Sheckler etc.
    "Before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by assholes," William Gibson

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  11. #31
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    Sorry for the double post but I just saw this:



    Unlike the Tony Hawk Doritos ad he is actually skating in this.
    "Before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by assholes," William Gibson

    I'm trying to be more Zen. What is the sound of me not giving a fuck?

    C/S,
    Rev J

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    So then, what's the best way to get freestyle out of sideshow/TV Commercial territory and back onto the X-Games?

  13. #33
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    The thing is I don't think it will get into X-Games territory. It is kind of like Gymnastics or Figure Skating.

    I started skating as a part of the '85-90 skate push that at least in my part/recollection had more to do with "Back to the Future". After that other movies jumped on the band wagon some outright featuring skating like "Gleaming the Cube" others like "Police Academy 4" put in skateboarding sequences whether they fit in with the rest of the movie or not. MTV was still showing videos and you would see skaters like Gator and Hosoi in the video for "A Deeper Shade of Soul" by Urban Dance Squad, some anonymous skater doing a board slide across a park bench in the video for "Devil Inside" by INXS, or Chris Miller doing a frontside air in the video for "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty. Nick had a weekly half hour show every Sunday morning called "Skate TV" where they would show skate videos and interview various top pros.

    From listening to "The Freestyle Podcast" I've heard that a lot of longboarding events are having freestyle skate demos as a part of them. Some corporate events are hiring freestyle skaters to put on demos. Like this:



    In some ways I think that X Games and Street League are unhealthy for skating. It only shows 2 types of skating Obstacle Course and Vert. I have a hard time calling what I see in competitive street skating street skating it really is an obstacle course. This philosophy has been stated for years. The downside to this is that kids who would like to try skateboarding are only exposed to these 2 things and think that they can't skate because they don't have a skate park near them.

    The thing is that since for freestyle all you really need is a fairly flat fairly smooth space. By going someplace like a playground or basketball/tennis court in your neighborhood and freestyle skating the kids will see that there is something else. It gives them a more personal connection to it having seen it in person as opposed to on screen. They can come and talk to you, ask you for advice etc. To me that promotes it on a very real level.
    "Before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by assholes," William Gibson

    I'm trying to be more Zen. What is the sound of me not giving a fuck?

    C/S,
    Rev J

  14. #34
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    I don't see a lot of distinction between today's "street" events taking place in a pre built features area and old school freestyle on a flat platform. both are equally different than vert skating. Both involve very little actual riding and more tricks.. In street the tricks are just done down stairs instead of on flats and with a little more forward (or switch) motion involved. Add a couple rails and a box to the Freestyle platform and we're probably close to an X-Games level event.

    Same thing happens with snowboarding and freestyle skiing, X-Games versus USSA/FIS and Olympic Snowboarding/Freestyle events.

  15. #35
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    The interesting thing though is that when Dew Tour comes to SF their course is essentially a bunch of classic SF skate spots (like Hubba Hidaway and China Banks linked together. The 2 ends of the course are essentially quarter pipes.
    "Before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by assholes," William Gibson

    I'm trying to be more Zen. What is the sound of me not giving a fuck?

    C/S,
    Rev J

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev J View Post

    The downside to this is that kids who would like to try skateboarding are only exposed to these 2 things and think that they can't skate because they don't have a skate park near them.

    The thing is that since for freestyle all you really need is a fairly flat fairly smooth space. By going someplace like a playground or basketball/tennis court in your neighborhood and freestyle skating the kids will see that there is something else. It gives them a more personal connection to it having seen it in person as opposed to on screen. They can come and talk to you, ask you for advice etc. To me that promotes it on a very real level.
    Skateparks are 30% of street skating. Curbs, random ledges and foundations spots is where it's at. The limits are up to your own creativity as opposed to freestyle where you are really limited in what you can do.

  17. #37
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    I respectfully disagree. If you look at street skating everything is flat deck meaning all of the flips and spins are full. Nearly everything starts and stops in a flat board position. Within freestyle there are tricks that start in tail stop position, primo (both heel side and toe side), truck stand/pogo, half flips into casper, bi directional flips such as kick backs and underflips etc. And that is just single tricks the thing about freestyle is that it is all about how you flow and combine your tricks. To me it takes a lot more imagination and creativity figure these things out and work within those limitations.
    "Before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by assholes," William Gibson

    I'm trying to be more Zen. What is the sound of me not giving a fuck?

    C/S,
    Rev J

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev J View Post
    I respectfully disagree. If you look at street skating everything is flat deck meaning all of the flips and spins are full. Nearly everything starts and stops in a flat board position. Within freestyle there are tricks that start in tail stop position, primo (both heel side and toe side), truck stand/pogo, half flips into casper, bi directional flips such as kick backs and underflips etc. And that is just single tricks the thing about freestyle is that it is all about how you flow and combine your tricks. To me it takes a lot more imagination and creativity figure these things out and work within those limitations.
    +1

    On top of that, look at Keith Butterfield...dude skated freestyle on a sheet of plywood in the Iraq deserts. No curbs, no parking blocks, no foundations, no ledges...Just him and his board.

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