Skip

The unglamourous side of skateboarding
June 15, 2012 10:54 AM   Subscribe


 
That kid is amazing at falling!
posted by rosa at 11:01 AM on June 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's like he's not even trying out there.
posted by klausman at 11:03 AM on June 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Unedited parkour and wingsuit jumping are like this, too.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:03 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe he should have shown up a few days earlier and practiced. Would that have helped?

The most amazing thing to me is the burst of SLR camera shots on every one of those jumps. And any of those pics would look good whether or not he landed it.
posted by sixohsix at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that the potentially successful landings must be the scariest.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's great, if seen as a metaphor for just about anything difficult that will be worth doing but takes a dozen failures to get there.
posted by TreeRooster at 11:05 AM on June 15, 2012


He's the greatest faller-down of all time.
Seriously, this is perhaps the apogee of skate videos.
I hope to Christ my kid is this good at getting back up again.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:07 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vaguely remember from childhood martial arts class being taught how to fall that way. Allow momentum to roll you forward over your bent arm, not try to stop yourself with your hands. I wonder if he discovered that on his own.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was kind of amazing. I'm a fan of Chris Cole's skating but every time I've seen him, he makes about 75% of the stuff he tries. I can't believe he could take so many falls like that without breaking anything, it's kind of amazing really.
posted by mathowie at 11:08 AM on June 15, 2012


It seems to me that the potentially successful landings must be the scariest.

Ya, he's really good at falling when he misses completely, but those ones where is almost makes it are frightening.
posted by Chuckles at 11:10 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not so great if seen as a kid who is too cool to wear a helmet. I just found this other video of the same guy demonstrating why you should wear one. Lucky.
posted by TreeRooster at 11:11 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I counted - that's 66 failed landings, one where he sort of makes it but almost falls off, and the final good one.
posted by echo target at 11:13 AM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's like he's not even trying out there.

In all seriousness, this was pretty awesome. Crazy to watch someone try the same trick that many times. Also, attempt number 60 looked painful.
posted by klausman at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2012


Strangely, this doesn't inspire me to take up skateboarding.
posted by fredludd at 11:25 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's like he's made a bet to see whether he can stick the landing or crack his head open first.
posted by iamabot at 11:25 AM on June 15, 2012


Please tell me that guy has health insurance.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2012


So it took 3 minutes and 40 seconds for him to succeed at this? Impressive!
posted by KokuRyu at 11:28 AM on June 15, 2012


You can see him getting tired - his rolls get much looser and less effective.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:29 AM on June 15, 2012


And that's how you skate to Carnegie Hall.
posted by The World Famous at 11:29 AM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know how you keep doing that. You've got a handful of friends sitting around for probably hours, you've already missed it 40 times, your arm hurts like a bitch. Doesn't anybody go, "Uh, maybe we should try those shorter steps down the block?"

Anyway, kudos for not giving up.
posted by Phreesh at 11:35 AM on June 15, 2012


He's going to feel every one of those bails when he's in his forties. Take my word for it.
posted by photoslob at 11:36 AM on June 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


If at first you don't succeed
posted by braksandwich at 11:36 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


if the skateboard wasn't at slightly different angles each time, I'd swear it was the same fall being looped over and over again..

Nice rolls out, but yeah, that kinda abuse over time adds up..
posted by k5.user at 11:38 AM on June 15, 2012


I wonder if he discovered that on his own.

Probably not. It's the standard "tuck and roll" skateboarders have been practicing and teaching each other since the stone-age of skateboarding with clay wheels and skinny little sidewalk surfing boards.

It's even detailed in some early 70s era tragically unhip instructional skateboarding safety film. If I recall correctly the film even suggest practicing it often in soft grass until it becomes natural instinct.


This video also shows why people shouldn't pick fights with skateboarders, no matter how short or skinny they appear to be. Throwing themselves off of high ledges into concrete is what they do for fun, so they have extremely high pain tolerances. And they're all whipcord muscles and bones, so it's like trying to pick a fight with a baboon or chimpanzee.
posted by loquacious at 11:40 AM on June 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Any one of those spills would have sent me to the hospital.
posted by marxchivist at 11:48 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


multi-camera angles suggest he didn't actually take as many falls as the piece suggests (ie: same falls seen more than once).
lack of helmet + pads does not impress.
glad he's not my son/brother/nephew/friend
posted by philip-random at 11:51 AM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have to be willing to fail, repeatedly, to accomplish amazing things.
posted by LordSludge at 11:52 AM on June 15, 2012


Now try stringing together an entire video part... ouch.
posted by pwally at 12:01 PM on June 15, 2012


The remarkable thing is that the video is labeled as uncut. I am astounded by this man's ability to teleport.
posted by idiopath at 12:05 PM on June 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


Brought to you by Acme Elbow Pads.
posted by The Deej at 12:08 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I started the video thinking it would be something like Unsane's Scrape video, but this was much better. It became mesmerizing and the quiet frustration of it isn't even fully realized until he yells out a "Fuck!" around 1:30 into it. After a couple more minutes, I started just hoping that he finally made it in the end, because that would be just about the worst cliffhanger if not.
posted by mysterpigg at 12:09 PM on June 15, 2012


I don't know if I am more impressed or less impressed.
posted by Cosine at 12:21 PM on June 15, 2012


looks about right to me.

That BTW was an awesome 360 flip down an awesome stair-gap.

That right there, is, skateboarding. Falling on your ass a hundred time for the thrill of one landing.

The near-landings are the scariest and most dangerous, yes. There lie broken ankles.
posted by roboton666 at 12:22 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wonder what unlucky person gets to shuttle him to his neuro rehab appointments for the rest of his shitty life.
posted by docpops at 12:27 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wonder what unlucky person gets to shuttle him to his neuro rehab appointments for the rest of his shitty life.

He can just carpool with the football players.
posted by The World Famous at 12:33 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone over the age of 20 had to at least suspect this is how nearly all stunt videos work, right?

I thought it was interesting that he doesn't really seem to get better from beginning to end. His success seems nearly random. Not that he doesn't have skill! Just that finally nailing it seems to not be due to him improving in skill, just that super skill isn't enough. Falling over and over looks tough as hell.
posted by jclarkin at 12:46 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]



Wonder what unlucky person gets to shuttle him to his neuro rehab appointments for the rest of his shitty life.


"STOP LIKING THINGS I DON'T LIKE!!!"
posted by pcrsweetness at 12:53 PM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought it was interesting that he doesn't really seem to get better from beginning to end. His success seems nearly random.

It's a very psychological thing. After failing so many times, it's hard to tell your body to do the right thing given how likely it won't work anyway. Plus the whole exhaustion factor from trying 50 times in a row means that you'll get sloppier as you go. But once in a while, your mind goes into the right state, not overthinking, just feeling it, and then something beautiful happens.
posted by knave at 12:54 PM on June 15, 2012


His body wasn't doing the wrong thing. Landing it depended on variables he couldn't control putting the board in the right place for the landing. He was doing his part "right" every time (which is incredibly difficult).
posted by The World Famous at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


"STOP LIKING THINGS I DON'T LIKE!!!"
posted by pcrsweetness at 12:53 PM on June 15 [+] [!]


I love skateboarding. Longboard on local roadways myself. This kid is an epic tool for the simple fact that if he injures himself some poor sap gets to put whatever life they were living on hold to take care of him. Some basic safety precautions will lower that risk. Sorry to be a buzzkill.
posted by docpops at 1:06 PM on June 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, call me a square but I'm with the doc on this. The guy is basically playing russian roulette. Throw yourself off a staircase enough times and eventually you are going to land on your head no matter how much practice you have at falling.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:09 PM on June 15, 2012


As adults, we often forget how difficult it is to learn new skills, and give up easily. As kids, we often have no choice (think how many times a toddler fails before finally learning to walk).

This is very instructive, and is a fine example of how success is borne from REPEATED failure.
posted by spacediver at 1:15 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember when I found out that skate videos where not all 100% perfect tricks, more the edits of tricks that worked and the rest of the footage thrown away. It was like being told that Father Christmas didn't exist.

But it does, at least, make skating more accesible to me. Except I could try that jump a million times and never land it.
posted by 13twelve at 1:35 PM on June 15, 2012


I know of two teens in the last couple of months that died as the result of a longboarding accident. One had previous medical issues but still.....be careful out there.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:38 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. OKish. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. OK! OK!
posted by andreaazure at 1:49 PM on June 15, 2012


This is awesome. A 360 flip over that kind of gap is pretty impressive, and it's cool to see someone work it out. Plus, he has a really nice approach style that is pretty cool to watch over and over.

I hope he (or anyone else) doesn't injure himself badly, but whatever. He's doing his thing, and haters gonna hate. I never wore a helmet, I'm 33 and still skate, and I still don't wear a helmet. Some do, some don't.

longboards aren't skateboards!
posted by broadway bill at 1:50 PM on June 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


The most amazing thing to me is the burst of SLR camera shots on every one of those jumps. And any of those pics would look good whether or not he landed it.

I think that that's actually just the camera motor zooming in and focusing. :)
posted by Vamier at 1:50 PM on June 15, 2012


FUCK IT WE'LL DO IT LIVE
posted by The White Hat at 2:07 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


His success seems nearly random.

That's not how I saw it at all.. All of the near misses are in the second half.
posted by Chuckles at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2012


More info on those stairs.
posted by empath at 2:27 PM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love how people are always yelling about helmets and they aren't considering that with another half a pound on his head, his neck would be taking abuse in a situation where he obviously has pretty good control. He probably would have hit his head a lot more often with the helmet as having a heavier, oversized head makes it a whole lot harder.

I challenge any one of you to go out and try to practice those rolls with a helmet on.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:33 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weird--I was just watching Chris Cole's Battle at the Berrics V stuff. For those of yall who think all the failures somehow mean he's not any good, or something, this.
posted by Zerowensboring at 2:38 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a differe...oh hey what do you know?
posted by samsara at 2:41 PM on June 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


I love how people are always yelling about helmets and they aren't considering that with another half a pound on his head, his neck would be taking abuse in a situation where he obviously has pretty good control. He probably would have hit his head a lot more often with the helmet as having a heavier, oversized head makes it a whole lot harder.

I challenge any one of you to go out and try to practice those rolls with a helmet on.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:33 PM on June 15 [+] [!]


Funniest thing I've seen all day. Thanks.
posted by docpops at 2:44 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skateboarders are all essentially amateur stuntmen. Some of them are even professional stuntmen! Psycho-alchemy has a good point about the weight of a helmet. I wonder if some of the posters here would wear a helmet while hiking, or driving a car.
posted by hellphish at 2:52 PM on June 15, 2012


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a differe...oh hey what do you know?

Indeed. It's not the definition of insanity. It's the definition of practice.
posted by The World Famous at 2:57 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love how people are always yelling about helmets and they aren't considering that with another half a pound on his head, his neck would be taking abuse in a situation where he obviously has pretty good control. He probably would have hit his head a lot more often with the helmet as having a heavier, oversized head makes it a whole lot harder.

Multi use helmets are not very light, and single use helmets (like racing bike helmets) would be... wasteful. In addition to the added weight, the helmet sticks out 1"-3" in all directions, implying a lot more head impacts.

I'm not certain either way, but there are lots of arguments against..
posted by Chuckles at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2012


Helmet was not my first thought. Kneepads, though? Maybe look into kneepads.
posted by corvine at 3:13 PM on June 15, 2012


It's like the sport is a highly specialized form of parkour, the art of jumping down staircases. Once in a while he accidentally lands on a board with wheels on it.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:20 PM on June 15, 2012


Ow. I was a wussy little kid with an overprotective mama bear so the few times I did try skateboarding I was so completely covered in protective gear that it was absolutely no fun. The payoff of riding was not worth the workout to get ready. I can totally understand not wearing protection.

I was recently at a coastal town full of tweens and teens longboarding around in shorts and bikinis with flipflops. All I could think about was sunburn and roadrash. All that beautiful young skin surrounded by cancerous rays and harsh pavement. Then I felt old and that made me sad.
posted by M Edward at 3:24 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like the sport is a highly specialized form of parkour

Saying street skating is a highly specialized form of parkour is like saying tennis is a highly specialized version of ping pong.
posted by The World Famous at 3:32 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


He couldn't wear one of these? Oh, that's not gangsta. This is pretty gangsta, however.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:35 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember entire summers like that...
posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:44 PM on June 15, 2012


Watching it again, is it my imagination or does he break the board at around the 1:39 mark (2nd fall after the "Fuck!")?
posted by jontyjago at 3:54 PM on June 15, 2012


This is how I write my plays. I throw myself at my keyboard and one time out of 40 it produces a useable word.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:01 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


does he break the board

Yes, but I doubt he goes out to film with just the one board.
posted by robcorr at 4:07 PM on June 15, 2012


The fact of the matter is: Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!
posted by Ritchie at 4:18 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I couldn't figure out why that video felt so familiar, given that the closest I get to extreme sports is taking the tube home half cut, but then I remembered: Supeeeeeeeer Meat Boy!
posted by lucidium at 4:34 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is one of those posts where I have to read the comments first to see if I can bring myself to watch the video....
posted by marvin at 4:40 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is why I failed at skateboarding. I didn't have the focus. I couldn't take the repetition. Oh, that and the falling down.
posted by hot_monster at 4:47 PM on June 15, 2012


Did anybody stick around to the end? His forearm looks kinda messed up. Hope he got someone to look at it. And yeah, really hope he has some excellent insurance.

Like many others here, I was also really surprised to see that the closer he got to success, the more dangerous it was. I wonder if that causes it to take longer to figure out how to do a trick. Part of your body must be subconsciously trying to stay away from landing on the board, while your brain is trying to tell your body, "No really, just land on top of the board and keep your balance".
posted by marsha56 at 6:20 PM on June 15, 2012


I'm reminded (in a less bone-break-y way) of Derren Brown tossing a coin "heads" ten times in a row. At the end of the show that clip was part of, they showed excerpts from the 9 hour recording session it took before he got a 10-heads sequence.
posted by hades at 6:21 PM on June 15, 2012


Yeah, call me a square but I'm with the doc on this. The guy is basically playing russian roulette. Throw yourself off a staircase enough times and eventually you are going to land on your head no matter how much practice you have at falling.

Meh, he's a grown man, and he skates professionally. I'd be more concerned about all the teenage kids who see him do it and think they should, even though they don't necessarily know how to take a fall like he does.
posted by empath at 7:13 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, not to lame up the thread, but I competitively in-line skated (cue jokes here) from 1997-2000 and this brought back a lot of good memories. My friends and I would scope out the perfect rail/gap/transfer/transition then spend hours trying to master it with success being maybe two or three successful attempts. Rarely on film, but often enough that we had some cool videos. Thinking about it now, that was pretty good preparation for life in general.

With respect to the helmet/pads issue, that one is loooong ago kinda dead with the "extreme" community being split into - meh and whatever. Some wear it, others don't and there is little difference between them. The older guys seem to wear them cause they grew up on big ramps while the younger guys typically grew up on street and you generally didn't need it for street. What others say about learning to control your falls is absolutely true, and you get hurt the worst when you almost land the trick.

Most of the physical injuries I had/have still would not have been helped with any padding. I broke nearly all of my fingers on ramps and in stair corners or on handrails. I blew out one of my knees from a twist, not a fall - though there were plenty of those enough for mild bursitis. The real doozy though is the fractured L5 with herniated disk (at age 16) that I skated on for years as a result of the thousands of successful 10 foot drop to flat landings. The unsuccessful ones you can roll out of with some scrapes if you are going fast enough in the forward direction. It hurt, but eventually went away. Now it flares up from time to time.

I can't remember ever hitting my head though.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 7:56 PM on June 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This makes me feel like a wuss for cutting my guitar lessons short because my fingers were starting to hurt a little
posted by Lucinda at 8:21 PM on June 15, 2012


Wow. It's like a metaphor of my dating history.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:40 PM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't remember ever hitting my head though.

Yeah, that's the thing about head injuries (kidding).
posted by The World Famous at 8:43 PM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do we really need a special video for this? This is basically my walk home from work.

I take special enjoyment that just when the skaters are acting the coolest and most arrogant is when they tend to dramatically bite it.
posted by Miko at 9:02 PM on June 15, 2012


Fall down 67 times, get up 68.
posted by SenorJaime at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2012


I take special enjoyment that just when the skaters are acting the coolest and most arrogant is when they tend to dramatically bite it.

I think mainly this just happens in your head.
posted by ominous_paws at 8:34 AM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


It happens on the "pedestrian" mall.
posted by Miko at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2012


Shit, no one tell my kid Wallenberg is in San Francisco! He showed me that video last week, not realizing it's less than 50 miles away. Now I get to show him the one of Chris Cole (who was my favorite skater before my kid: saw him at the Portland Dew Tour a couple of years ago doing the "bus stop" when the announcers didn't even know what to call it) hitting his head there.

Pro-Tec's Bucky Lasek helmet uses a lighter weight, translucent shell.
posted by morganw at 9:44 PM on June 16, 2012


« Older Road to Valor   |   Book Burning Party to Save a Library Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post