An alternate future (circa 1999) | Simply Ranked

Plus: Mami Tezuka is pro, The Manny mindest, $110,000 for your troubles and more.

The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other online things that I cannot stop consuming and how they make me feel, personally.

Mami Tezuka soars to the ceiling

Rank: 1
Mood: 🐧🎉

Shortly after watching Mami Tezuka’s fantastic pro debut video part for BloodWizard and witnessing her absurd off-the-ceiling ender, I turned to see a house sparrow flitting around outside my apartment’s balcony window. It darted from the floor to the railing to the table caked with dirt and grime kicked up from the Broadway traffic below. It cocked its head, eyes trained on the suet block feeder above. The bird then lept to the metal cage that held the congealed block of fat and nuts, got startled as it began to spin, and bailed. The food it wanted was so close but not yet in reach. It tried again, spun off and back down to the table. Finally, it soared, gripped the cage's bars, and steadied itself before it began to feast. Once it had its fill, it fluttered out of the balcony, where I lost sight of it in the lush spring green of a neighbouring tree.

The Manny mindset

Rank: +1
Mood: 😀 😃 😄 😁

There is something comforting about having an endless font of positivity available to oneself at any moment of the day.

This place of quiet reflection.

And earnest reinforcement.

That continually prods us with gentle reminders of what really matters.

Because sometimes it’s those simple gestures of kindness.

And optimism.

That gives us the courage to get back out there and make a difference.

Blue, eyed

Rank: 2
Mood: 👀

Much of the discussion around Dylan Jaeb’s latest video part has been about whether  the talented young skater will ever land and stick with a sponsor or if he’s the second coming of Michael Capaldi—both valid points of interest.

However, one question that hasn’t been raised or answered is why Jaeb appears to have painted the steps and curb at a sizeable gap he’d go on to hardflip?

The blue-tipped paintbrush lying at attention in the bottom right-hand corner of the screenshot would tell us that he or his crew was responsible for the highlights. Was it purely for aesthetics, to add a visual pop to an otherwise drab and lifeless parking lot? Or is there another reason? Perhaps Jaeb was struggling to make it out past the curb, and the only way to encourage him was with the threat of getting fresh paint on his fresh fit.

Whatever the case, in our current age, where the spigot of content is always open and flooding our lines of sight in any direction we turn, it’s not an easy task to capture the eyes of the skate world for more than a scant few days. It must mean something to have us pause and press enhance on the spots you’ve skated or the boards you’ve used so we can piece together a wholly imagined narrative around your professional pursuits. Because, for better or worse, you have us paying the day’s most sought-after currency: attention.

An alternate future (circa 1999)

Rank: -900
Mood: 🔮

PERFECT STRIDE was a first-person, post-apocalyptic skateboarding videogame by independent developers Arcane Kids (Ben Esposito and Russell Honor). In 2013, they asked what would’ve happened “if in 1999 Tony Hawk didn’t land the 900?” Unfortunately, the answer appears to be catastrophic flooding, the cessation of our planet’s normal understanding of gravity, and the rise of an immortal Time Wizard after Hawk was unable to "[trigger] an explosion of corporate skateboarding."

In regards to the latter, Esposito would tell Polygon, "So, after Tony Hawk did not land the 900 at the 1999 X-Games, it set forth the course of events that allowed… a Time Wizard to come into power. He himself is immortal, so he prevents everyone else from dying… He wishes for death, but he can't [die], so he reigns over the world so that [other] people can't die." Alright.

The goal of the game? "Well, there's rumors that there's one bullet left on earth," Honor said, "and so your mission is to try and find that bullet so that you can kill the Time Wizard." One assumes that would also free humanity because eventually, immortality becomes a prison that one must escape, for it is not living but merely existing. And what better way to bring yourself closer to a life than by skateboarding?

PERFECT STRIDE would never be fully completed or released, but you can download an unfinished version of the game for free from the Internet Archive.

$110,000 for your troubles

Rank: +110k
Mood: 🦴💰

In what could be described as a win-win, Tony Hawk has rid himself of the skateboard that served as an accomplice to breaking his femur and he sold it to be-helmeted Canadian music producer deadmau5 for 110,000 USD—all of which will go to Hawk’s The Skatepark Project and The Gumball 3000 Foundation. The latter is the charitable arm of an annual 3,000-mile celebrity motor rally. Its foundation “works alongside established charities to assist in their charitable efforts and guide their respective and considerable philanthropic attentions to causes that Gumball can identify from as its position as a youth brand.” Says its website.

However you slice it, whoever is cutting the cheque, that’s a nice chunk of money now going towards building skateparks, ramps—the very thing that broke Hawk’s femur. So if you look at it another way, this is ultimately an exercise in letting things be water under the bridge, burying the hatchet, mending fences, bones, etc.

Something to consider: Memes and the makings of a cult classic, from Morbius to Casablanca.

Some filler: "The roadway was then cleared of all hot dog debris."

Until next week… if you have a shared laundry room, do a small kindness and empty all of the lint traps.