Rodney Mullen:Yoda :: Kilian Martin:Luke
July 3, 2011 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Here are two videos of the astoundingly creative and masterful skateboarder Kilian Martin: 1 and 2
posted by mhjb (32 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
One wonders if he has acrobatics or dance experience.
posted by axiom at 8:51 PM on July 3, 2011

It is very mullen-esque, and technically impressive. Unfortunately, that whole style just isn't quite as visually impressive as huge air and ollieing gaps between roofs or dropping into half pipes from helicopters.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:54 PM on July 3, 2011

Kilian Martin has a lovely Zen style. Something minimalist and spacious about it, poetic. Gene Kellyish, muscular, lean, a dancer's precision.

Amish boarding is elegant too. Lemons into lemonade.
posted by nickyskye at 9:03 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

*applauds* I was going to say something about thinking the two-board tricks were the least interesting but the one where he bounces off the tree made me revise my thesis.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:08 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

The production deserves almost as much acclaim as the skating. Excellent stuff.
posted by Edgewise at 9:31 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, you finished it.

Continue testing
posted by Slackermagee at 9:31 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sometimes, when I'm walking down the sidewalk... even when I'm paying attention to my feet, I trip.
posted by avoision at 9:46 PM on July 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

Killian Martin owes ALOT to Rodney.
posted by gcbv at 9:46 PM on July 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

I could watch skateboard videos on youtube ALL DAY.

I am very happy this wasn't shot with the usually ubiquitous skater's fisheye lens.
posted by incessant at 9:52 PM on July 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

There's a couple of other skaters that are bringing back the creative hippy flatland style mixed up with street and vert, and for the life of me I can't remember who they are... But I love it.

There was a video on reddit recently that had someone with similar style, but it had this totally eye-popping moment where he was towed into a flat hip/bank by some guy on a Harley and he ollied a 6-8 foot chain link fence. So, yeah, crazy, goofy wallrides and weird footplants and fast plants and one-footed manuals and nose-pivot wheelies all mixed with truly big street rides.

I love this stuff. Really, this is what "Street Skating" was like when I was a kid and skateboarding purveyors like Tracker and Powell-Peralta and Vision were new, back before "street skating" became about videos and sponserships and hitting that rail or ledge two hundred times in a row until you get that perfect video and a couple of broken ankles.

Skateboarders used to play. You'd just cruise around and never hit the same thing twice. Keep moving, flowing over the terrain. You'd have flatland freestyle skateboarders on their little narrow decks with fluorescent trucks and hats cruising around with vert riders or street thrashers and just go ride all over a curb.

And then it got all serious and hard and stuff. You skated "this way" and anything else was fruity and not punk or hard or radical enough. The bag of tricks became static. People stopped playing because suddenly it was really big money.

Yeah, skate boarding has always been kind of rough, but the commodification of skateboarding into a "male dominated" sport scared off all the girls, the queers, and so on. Punk and skateboarding has never been anti-gay, anti-homo, anti-girl - it was a wholly invented marketing phenomenon. It's just what sold to radical kids in Peoria. And so even today it's pretty big news to be an openly gay or trans skater that's sponsored or rides Pro or Am.

And I and other kids bought into it. It nearly killed skateboarding, a good 5-10 years before the skate park renaissance. Seriously, why'd they scare off the girls? There's no reasons why girls can't skate. It used to be way more 50/50 back when it was still basically just flatland, downhill, freestyle... snake runs at parks. Girls/women rollerskate and ride bikes and motorcycles and horses, but female skateboarders are rare.

Anyway, yeah. Bring back the hippy shit and play in skateboarding, so everyone can join in. It's what skateboarding is really about.
posted by loquacious at 10:03 PM on July 3, 2011 [25 favorites]

Killian Martin owes ALOT to Rodney.

Given that Rodney Mullen is credited with inventing the (flatland) ollie and kickflip, one could say that all skateboarders owe a lot to Rodney.
posted by mhum at 10:14 PM on July 3, 2011

Given that Rodney Mullen is credited with inventing the (flatland) ollie and kickflip, one could say that all skateboarders owe a lot to Rodney.

Except for the fact that 99.9 percent of skaters aren't directly emulating Rodney's style and approach to tricks.

He's a great skater, but watching him is just like watching Rodney.

If we're going to watch interesting skate videos, this guy is quite original.
posted by gcbv at 10:22 PM on July 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

This guy is better at skateboarding that I will ever be at anything.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:12 PM on July 3, 2011

This guy is better at skateboarding that I will ever be at anything.

Eh, keep in mind that the secret to most skate videos is the fact they'll try stuff over and over again until they get it just right, and then they choose the best of each.

I've seem people like Mullen and Hawk skate in person, and it's rarely as consistently graceful or pretty looking when it's live. Sure, someone like Mullen could tear up a street course or bowl and link together tricks and grinds for an impressively long time, but there's a human limit to that. Even most pros can't handle more than 10-30 hard passes in a row on a full size half pipe, or 5-10 street tricks. It's a huge amount of effort and work, and it's really fiddly/delicate work. A pro skatelite covered ramp is very slippery, so it's not unlike trying to run around on ice or something. Eventually fatigue sets in and you get sloppy and you fall down or step out to catch a breath. Pro skateboarding is probably nearly as difficult as ballet, and uses similar muscles - strength, hopefully with grace.

But, yeah, he's really good.
posted by loquacious at 11:27 PM on July 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Reminds me of Daewon Song, in how he reminds me of Mullen.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:52 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

More rad flatland vid links plz. I love this shit.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:24 AM on July 4, 2011

I used to always watch skating videos/demos because they're just plain entertaining. This guy pulled off some very impressive land based tricks, some of which I've never seen done before. Think I'm gonna go check out some more videos now.
posted by Threesix at 12:30 AM on July 4, 2011

Amish boarding is elegant too.

oh, come on. that person is clearly a Mennonite.
posted by mexican at 2:40 AM on July 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

There's a couple of other skaters that are bringing back the creative hippy flatland style mixed up with street and vert, and for the life of me I can't remember who they are... But I love it.


Chris Haslam Part 1 via Epicly Later'd.
Part 2.

And if you love anything about having fun and being original in skateboarding,
then you know and love
posted by gcbv at 5:12 AM on July 4, 2011 [6 favorites]

posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:28 AM on July 4, 2011

Love the Fred Astaire shit most.
posted by mediareport at 6:25 AM on July 4, 2011

...and the soundtrack is just exquisite. I'd never heard of Patrick Watson; fortunately, there are a couple of albums on Rhapsody to explore.
posted by MrVisible at 7:59 AM on July 4, 2011

I like my skating aggro and breakneck. The mellow flatland style described by loquacious doesn’t interest me as much unless it’s documentary footage from the 70s.

The second of the two FPP linked videos set me against Kilian Martin perhaps forever. About 2/3's of the way through that video, Kilian skates up and onto at least two works of publicly installed art. That kind of shit deserves nothing but scorn.
posted by mistersquid at 9:09 AM on July 4, 2011

Whoa, those one-footed manuals are crazy hard, both videos are pretty fantastic.

My favorite part is when he's wearing 1980s Vison Street Wear shoes in about half the shots.
posted by mathowie at 9:13 AM on July 4, 2011

Yes! This trick made my day.
posted by klausman at 4:31 PM on July 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

A few things:

1. This is awesome, and thank you, mhjb, for posting it.

2. There's not as much love out there for flatland tricks as I wish there was.

3. Fingerflips might not be as hard as doing the same things without your hands, but I still love them dearly.

4. I agree 100% with the comments by neuromodulator and klausman.

5. I don't think I've ever seen someone skate in an empty pool without curved edges before.

6. If we gave all street skaters high-speed cameras, they might have a shot at competing with vert for the public's attention. I mean, yeah, it's exciting to see someone shoot up 10 feet into the air, but I think the biggest advantage that, say, a 540 has over a hardflip is that it's easier to see what's going on in the first one. I can count how many times the vert skater spins, but honestly, when ever someone does a flip trick more complicated than a kickflip or a heelflip, I usually can't tell what the hell is going on.

7. Thanks to all the links people just posted, I'm not going to get any sleep tonight, am I?
posted by ErWenn at 8:52 PM on July 4, 2011

After watching gcvb's linked video:

Hands down the most creative rail work I've ever seen.
posted by ErWenn at 9:22 PM on July 4, 2011

I still think that the most impressive thing about Mullen is that he can land anything into a nose manual.
Darkslide, kickflip, impossible, weird flatland trick, whatever - "fuck it, I'll end with a nose manual just because I can."
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:40 AM on July 5, 2011

Yep, much love for the flatlanders.
posted by Mister_A at 8:58 AM on July 5, 2011

This post and the comments within made my day the other day (and I came back today to watch some of the videos again). Thanks.
posted by safetyfork at 9:24 AM on July 5, 2011

I agree about the public art thing. A few years there was an uproar about city officials skate-proofing a piece of public art...the artist threatened to remove the entire art piece if they did so. In his opinion, if you prevented people from utilizing public art as they saw fit, then nobody deserved it.

I've heard this argument from architects too in regards of parts of buildings that are good for skating...if they didn't want people skating it, they would design it differently.

Thanks for introducing me to Chris Haslam! What a humble dude.
posted by schyler523 at 4:03 PM on July 5, 2011

I have mixed feelings about the skateboarders vs property in public issue.

On the one hand, simply putting something in public doesn't give everyone carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want to it. At one end of the spectrum, I wouldn't defend someone who runs around trampling in flowerbeds or attacking public sculpture with a sledgehammer (even if there aren't signs explicitly prohibiting them), but at the other end, I would defend someone who say, stands up on a public bench to get a better view of a parade or who sits down on the lawn in front of a public building while waiting for a bus (provided there's no "keep off the grass" sign). So somewhere in between, you have to draw some lines, probably based on a few different factors, like how much damage will be done by the activity, whether or not it's been explicitly prohibited, and (if it's not prohibited) how likely the owner is to expect the activity (you can't have signs for everything).

Skaters should realize that repeatedly grinding on a cement ledge is going to damage it and putting wax on a surface is going to change what it looks like (possibly for the worse in the eyes of the property owner). If the property owner is going for a crisp clean look, they might be prepared to deal with the slow damage done by foot traffic and people sitting on benches, but other, less common activities might do damage at a significantly faster rate. If the property owner asks you not to skate on such things, your desire to use that in-public (but not necessarily owned-by-the-public) property as you see fit shouldn't outweigh the owner's desire to have a clean-looking design.

Of course if those benches already have cracks and smudges and bits of gum stuck to them, banning skating on them is a silly thing to do. Sadly, that doesn't stop people from doing so. Many people in positions of authority have a nasty knee-jerk response to skaters and sort of feel like their mere presence anywhere outside of a skate park is necessarily a bad thing (much in the same way that they might be horrified by someone sleeping on a park bench or, a few decades ago, by a black person walking through a white neighborhood). Such people will often do absurd things like kick skaters off of the property even when it's not prohibited, post signs prohibiting skateboarding in places where there's no good reason to do so, or skate-proofing art installations without even asking the artist.

Since skaters get treated this way all the time (as if skating were one step away from gang violence or something), I can understand why it wouldn't ever occur to many of them to consider the damage they might be doing to the structures they're skating on. I can even see why some of them would willfully ignore posted signs or verbal warnings. (I can see why, but I don't think it's a good idea.) Unfortunately, that kind of punkery only contributes to the negative view of skating held by people in positions of authority. So I can see why it would never even occur to those people to say, ask skaters not to grind on the benches instead of banning skating anywhere in the vicinity. I can even see why they might go out of their way to hassle skaters who aren't violating any rules. (Again, I can see why, but it's still a bad idea.) It's a nasty little circle of reinforcement. It'd be nice if the skaters would be less dismissive of the desires of the people who own and/or maintain public property, and it'd be nice if security guards, property managers, etc. would be less nasty towards skaters.

But I'm not holding my breath.
posted by ErWenn at 10:43 PM on July 5, 2011

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