kickflip, powerflip




At the closed BP gas station/Subway food shop across the street---seen late one summer evening, Vermilion, Ohio, 1992.

Sometimes the boys sit and talk in low voices on the step by the front door of the closed gas station --- their own after-hours space. (They've been chased off of many other sites in town.) This space is filled with obstacles the skateboarders can play with: the low cement markers placed in front of each parking space as a sort of wheel stop for the cars, and a 3' drop between the gas station's lot and the Subway lot. The boys continually jump the parking lot markers, or straddle them with the boards and skid down them to the end, then wheeling off. The biggest challenge of course is making the 3 ' jump to the next lot without falling off the board. Several boys can do this every time, while others fail most times. But all try this feat repeatedly.



 a half-pipe trick: Switchstance Melanchollie

  "Lately I have mastered a new trick which is basically a popshove-it
with a kickflip. I know it isn't a 180 flip because I don't spin 180
so what the hell is the real name?"

"Me and my friends just call it a shove-it flip is this right?"



   There are about 8 boys in the empty lot this Ohio night. But while skateboarding they constantly form and reform smaller groups of 2-3 while playing; the others are either watching and commenting or involved in trying out their own routines. The formation of these groups is constantly shifting.

The skateboarders cross boundaries that no one else does, and use the compartmentalized spaces of urban capital and property entirely differently from the daytime consumers for whom these spaces are designed. For the skateboarders, the features that are most prominent (the stores and their function in the economy) are those that they ignore, and vice versa---especially the space marking the dividing line between "private" spaces created by capital and commerce. The boys test the rifts between these spaces of the consumer strip, the fault lines, with their own bodies---spaces that are meant to be ignored because they mark the edges of consumer culture, not its heart. These spaces they turn into the sites of heroic performance and improvisation. The boys are no doubt enthusiastic participants in consumer culture in the daytime; surely some of them have bought at sandwich at the Subway, for example. But their nighttime selves have found a wholly different use for these spaces once the stores have closed.



Amplitude = Height + Style

s you walk reel with infinitudes, patterns and imagined stories about everything you see. And all layered---in ply and in play. (ply from Latin plicare, to fold.)

But one of the patterns you must think on should be the denial of infinitude in what you see, the fact that each of the sites you visit (like the BP station described above) had its fate shaped and determined by its "developers" (cf. the gas station's sidewalk/apt complex sidewalk)---asphalt laid down, cement berms put up, etc. It is within these limitations---or off of them, as in a shove-it flip move---that the skateboarders work.

All spaces are layered, with different and clashing visions of what they could be and how they should be used: the skateboarders vs. the working adults, etc. Focus on the markers of these layerings as well as on individual layers themselves. Focus also on any markers you can find of a contrast between patterns suggesting infinitude and those that are suggest confinement or restriction, imposed choices, a frightening void in the middle of abundance or asphalt.

Or is this all a too simplistic set of categories and oppositions? Won't all uses of a site that merely focus on exchanging money also tempt with the illusion of plenty? Restriction disguised as infinitude....

But what about these midnight dances in the vacated spaces of capital? Their energy is not the energy of irony, it's: pop-shove it!

Power Ply: a way stronger deck




  "Adam Bender wrote:
/ How do you ollie off of a launch ramp, or, in my case, one of those
/ wheelchair ramps in the sidewalk? I see people busting big ollies and
/ heelflips out of them in mags, but I can't even ollie off of one.
/ Does it have to do with how you lean or how fast you go?
/ Thanks in advance...."

ollie ollie all in-free
(from hide-n-seek, not played much anymore?)

"Adam, In answer to your question, all I can say is that it's not just a case of doing an ollie off the top, you need to go as fast as you can handle and USE the ramp to get the lift.
It's sort of like pumping on a halfpipe only I doubt these sidewalk
thingys are that steep.

If you learn all of the basics---e.g. ollie, nollie, kickflip, heelflip, 180 ollies and 180 shove-its (f/s and b/s), nose slide etc, learning ANY other trick will just be a variation on these and will be easy to learn.

Why try to run before you can walk?
You'll end up doing only one trick and variations of it and not be able to do fuck all else."
---Luke T



  skateboarder's quotes:
from alt.skate-board discussion group
and from skate WWW pages such as


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