Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nike Campus lakejumping (finally!)

Hola. Sorry it took me so long to post this, the best part of the Nike 6.0 trip I went on a week and a half ago. Would have posted it earlier but a Vegas trip (and recovery from same) got in the way. More on that later.

To recap, Nike 6.0 flew a bunch of us action sports journalist types out to Portland, Oregon to get a better sense of the inner workings of Nike (which I already knew pretty well from my days at SLAM) as a whole and the 6.0 division specifically. Um, more on that later, too.

The day on campus concluded with a demo from the entire team—which, seeing that half the team is snow/surf/wake, was delivered primarily by the riders. Garrett Reynolds and Mike Spinner threw 360s and talwhips anywhere they pleased, while Nigel Sylvester stuck mainly to the wedge landing of the boxjump. That is, until a launch ramp was positioned by the gigantic manmade lake in the center of campus.

Said lake doesn't see much action. It's not stocked with fish, and, up to this day, the most oft-told story involving it was about a maintenance man who—on his first day, no less—drove his cart straight into it while trying to cut a corner too close.

Well, then there was August 16th. Nigel had to be talked into it, but only a little. He took two or three runs to scope it out, but that was it.

T-shirt and New Era were laid aside, and he 3'ed in on his first attempt.

Once the bike was wet, the only thing to do was try again.

Tuck no-hander.

One of the snowboard kids joined in—also on Nigel's ride. This was when I realized there were better positions to be had.

Same kid threw down one hell of a backflip on his second attempt. He went down with the ship, taking a big scrape to his back in the process, but it didn't seem to bother him much. He also couldn't find the bike right away, which made for an entertaining minute or two.

OK, this was crazy. When Nigel had the littlest kid on the team stand on his pegs, I had all sorts of bad visions—loopouts, coming up short, kid stepping off at the wrong time. But the launch was flawless.

The bike made it through the whole ordeal with flying colors—although he did snap his left crankarm yesterday. Collateral damage?

Riding on the back of Nigel's bike off a launch ramp into a lake wasn't even the most insane thing the kid did all weekend. Yes, that's spraypaint.

I guess other people were worried about the possible results too, because that was it. Nike giveth, Nike taketh away.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More riding shots from campus (Mike Spinner edition).

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Mike Spinner is still pretty much a kid. Sure, he's beating the big names in pro contests and cashing checks from big-time sponsors (still dude, put the Monster bottle down and slowly back away), but first and foremost he's a dude who loves riding his bike. That's still what counts most, right?

And, to paraphrase another Nike athlete, anyone else pull a 1080?

That's what I thought. On with the show:

• 360 table. Child's play. So to speak.

• One-handed X-up. Who doesn't love x-ups?

• Tailwhip air. When I told him I wanted to get a shot of him riding the quarter, he was like "sure, I'll do a tailwhip. Stand on the right side of the ramp." He did three whips, I got one timed right. Sort of. What I'm trying to say is that Mike's better at doing tailwhips than I am at taking photos. Sigh.

• X-up. Clicked. And beyond.

• Tailwhip. Not as good a shot as the one I posted a couple days ago, but hey, at least it's a different angle.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More riding shots from campus (Garrett Reynolds edition).

Garrett Reynolds turned 18 just two weeks before the trip out to Portland. He's from Toms River, New Jersey, and has been killing it for years. Damn kids.

• Nosedive 360. I was standing too far away. That's RIDE photog Keith Mulligan in the correct location. Damn professionals.

• 360 tuck no-hander. Garrett has a boatload of 360 variations, and he broke a lot of them out on campus. No need to dip into the really crazy stuff for a crowd that wouldn't be any more impressed anyway. Incidentally, I moved closer, but he was just too high for the fisheye.

• Truckdriver to fakie. So fresh and so clean.

• Tailwhip air on the street spine. I really wish I clicked the shutter a half-second later. Everything else was spot-on—the sky, the ramp, the angle. Oh well, practice makes perfect, right?

• Autographs. All three of the dudes got rushed, but I think Garrett signed the most. At one point I turned around and saw him signing some kid's cell phone. I had to ask. "Is that the first time you've signed a cell phone?" He looked at me a little funny. "No." Sheesh.
Lakejumping flicks coming soon. Promise.

Illest car in the PDX

Woke up to roll out to Nike campus on Friday, and saw this Impala parked across the street from our hotel. Badass. A few minutes after I sat in the street to take the photos, the driver got in, jacked it up (hydraulics!) and drove off. Love the stock (and dented) beater body and factory steel wheels with the lowrider suspension.

Nike 6.0 Trip


Spent the last couple days in Portland on Nike's dime checking out the latest from 6.0—their somewhat inclusive action sports division. More on the trip (and the shoes) later, but for now, a few select photos. On the 16th, they actually built ramps on campus (Nike's HQ is called "the campus" for very good reason) and let their athletes loose on it while hundreds of employees drank dollar drafts and watched them go off. Obviously the wakeboarders, surfers and snowboarders were pretty much out of luck, but Mike Spinner, Nigel Sylvester and Garrett Reynolds had a blast.

• Mike Spinner, tailwhip. This is one of the best photos I've ever taken, in my humble opinion. It certainly helped that Spinner can throw whips whenever he wants. (Two days after this, he won Dew Tour Park.)

• Garrett Reynolds, manual to whip. The whole black/blonde hair thing is confusing, but when you're as dialed as Garrett, I guess you can do whatever you want.
• Nigel Sylvester, 180 bars. It was funny listening to the announcer (who I believe is also the TM) talk about Nigel—that he doesn't enter contests or ride big ramps, and he instead rides to make video parts and that kind of stuff. I think he meant well, but Nike may still have a little to learn about street riding.
At the end of the session, Nigel became without a doubt the first rider to jump into the manmade pond/lake in the center of campus. Photos of that to come. I expect there's still water in his bike.

And after it was all over, after dinner and a trip to the arcade, I went with the team to the former Savier (now Nike SB) skate warehouse downtown and partook in a closed-door session. By the end, it was just myself, Nigel, and a pair of Nike skate guys—and I was wishing I brought an additional flash. Or two. I missed Nigel's bar to smith to hop bar out, but I did get this barspin on the same obstacle. Still a little underexposed, but oh well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Joey Crack

He'll hate me for saying it, but Joe Piazza's been on a mission lately. Downtown rail ride despite a bent-to-hell rear wheel (well, actually said rail ride was cause of said bent-to-hell rear wheel). On Sunday the 12th. After a bunch of tries, he pulled it clean at the end—which means I get to use all the flicks. (Last shot was the one.)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Street Dreams

June 25th, 2007. James Horan with a true rollercoaster grind at an undisclosed location less than 10 minutes from Union Square. Think of them as urban trails, or steel velvet ropes.

This spot, more familiar terrain. Over Smith in a line, end of the day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Skavenger, again.

So I'm sitting here at 4:17 a.m., stone sober, drinking an Ito En Green Tea and watching BASE Neighborhood Superheroes (can we get a DVD release please, Enos?), and, well, I may as well post something.

Watched the Skavenger video the other day (thanks much, Rone), and realized that, not only was I there for a lot of the filming (you can distinctly hear me say "yeah" after George D's ridiculous ledge combo) but I actually shot some flicks of tricks that showed up in the video. Which, I figure is a good reason to re-post some of them. Right?

(By the way, if you haven't bought the video yet for some reason, step your game up.)

Sleezy E, cover shoot, Halloween night. The "LA" is for Launchpad, wreckanize.

Edwin Delarosa, 360 street gap. Pretty sure you can see my flash fire in the video. My bad.

Aaron Ross, feeble to manual to 180. If I remember correctly. Tribeca in early October, no flash. Still pretty psyched on this shot, actually.

Skinny, fakie to bars on a not-totally-brick day at the end of December. I'm actually not entirely sure if this was the same clip from the video, but what the hell.

This definitely wasn't in the video—because no one was filming—but seeing that Nigel did a ton of 180 bars in the video (including some while he was still riding for We The People). So, yeah.

Um, same thing here. Not the same icepick Ralphy Ramos fires out in the video, but same trick at the same spot. And I don;t think I've ever posted this photo before either, so there.

Um, apropos of nothing, Keith Mulligan's section in Neighborhood Superheroes is really, really good. Not as good as Will's (which is one of the best BMX video sections of all-time) but really good, nevertheless.

P.S. Come back, Rich Andreu.

Monday, August 06, 2007


OK, after a ridiculously long wait, the Skavenger (what key do I hit to get the "k" to flip around?) video is out. You know the deal: Vinnie, Edwin, Tyrone, Scerbo—along with "lost" Vic Ayala footage and ridiculous sections (I assume—I haven't actually seen it yet) from Marlon Europe and Nigel Sylvester. Actually, I don't HAVE to see it to know it's ridiculous, I was there while some of it was being filmed. So just buy the damn thing. (I couldn't find it on Empire's site, but I'm sure they've got it by now.)

Photos. Skavenger representation at Max Fish, and Marlon with a nose wheelie at the Banks on August 1st.

Oh yeah, X Games.