Cross-training proven to increase pop, pinch, grind length | Simply Ranked

Plus: Things you can't believe actually happened, B&E, a validating brand presence 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.

What’s a bizarre historical event you can’t believe actually took place?

Rank: _______
Mood: 🌎 🌍 🌏

Ty Evans once made a skate video featuring a two-song ender part from eventual SOTY Jamie Foy and footage from generationally talented skateboarders like Tiago Lemos, Antonio Durao, Guy Mariano, Mason Silva, and Bob Burnquist. Unfortunately, in a somewhat impressive feat, the video is so rife with disorienting digital effects and editing choices that it’s nearly unwatchable, a 53-minute full-length fumble rightfully pushed to the back shelf of history. Oddly titled The Flat Earth (2017), this project was released at a time when conspiratorial, anti-science, and general anti-reality thinking had started to take a concerning hold on the public conscious.

Evans explained to Thrasher, “…the whole concept of The Flat Earth is that I wanted to make this film a little different. I started experimenting with a couple of new cameras, ones that can record in full 360, and it gives you the option to manipulate the footage in new, different ways. I realized you can bend the horizon super crazy. You can take footage that’s all bent 360 and flatten it out. That’s where the video title came from.”

A lack of self-awareness and the misuse of a powerful tool in an embarrassing display of hubris? A tale as old as time.

Inadvisable action, relatable feeling

Rank: 1, but not in an encouraging way
Mood: 🪚

In February 2002, winter’s grip on my rural Albertan hometown was absolute. Like most evenings, 12-year-old me had successfully begged my mom to move her almond-shaped Chrysler Intrepid out of the garage so I could skate in the only warm, dry space in all of Lakeland County. Gently, I placed Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory into the cheap, tinny-sounding CD player tucked into the corner of the room, pressed play and got to work.

First, I pushed the slush that’d slopped out of the Intrepid’s wheel wells up to the sectional door and soaked up the puddles with oil-stained rags. Then I dragged an approximately 5’x3’ piece of plywood to the garage’s counter and placed one end of snuggly into the space between its lip and the drawer below, which I’d pulled out a few precise inches. Next, I rested the other end of the plywood on a sawhorse, creating the slight decline of my runway. From there, I placed a piece of well-used angle iron leading from the sawhorse down to an unsteady pile of hacked-up 2x4s on the ground, my handrail complete.

Climbing up onto the counter, I placed my board onto its lip: takeoff imminent. Dropping into the plywood, I steeled myself for the challenge ahead, holding my breath as Chester Bennington screamed, and I turned my board 90 degrees into a slide down the angle iron to the concrete and shards of dimensional lumber below. It came easier than expected. I would do this boardslide for hours on end before the inevitable snap of my skateboard. Still mired in winter and at best, 212 km from the nearest skate shop, I was stuck. Stranded. Now separated from skateboarding for an indeterminate amount of time.

I would have done anything for a new deck, up to and including breaking and entering. So, I get it, the urge to cut a hole in the roof of a small business, descend on a rope through the dark of night into the consuming black of the storefront, all of this detestable effort made to get your hands on that one thing you can’t go without.

Validating brand placement

Rank: 2
Mood: 📽 🎞 📺

There used to be no greater thrill, besides skateboarding itself, than spotting skateboarding brands in film and television. From the DVS and Matix stickers on Joey and Chandler’s fridge in Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond’s brother standing beside a magazine rack with Brian Anderson’s Thrasher Skater of The Year issue at its front, to Supreme finding its way onto the big screen before the turn of the millennium.

Now that skateboarding is as ubiquitous as it is, the excitement of catching a piece of our cultural ephemera in our daily deluge of pop culture doesn’t have the same oomph it once did. But on rare occasions when costume and set design dig a little deeper, that feeling is still there. Faint but present enough to warrant a screenshot, at least.


Rank: 3
Mood: 🛹 ⚽️ 🏀 🏈 ⚾️ 🥎 🎾 🏐 🏉 🥏 🎱 🪀 🏓 🏸 🏒 🏑 🥍 🏏 🪃 🥅 ⛳️ 🪁 🏹 🎣 🤿 🥊 🥋 🎽 🛼 🛷 ⛸ 🥌 🎿 ⛷ 🏂 🪂 🏋️‍♀️

Sure, why not. There’s no reason skateboarders shouldn’t have designated cross-training facilities like this. Mini-golf at the pump track? It does make sense. You’re going to get bored of riding up and around those humps in about 15 minutes anyhow. What about bocce at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, California? There’s lots of open and varied terrain for your balls to roll there. Or maybe try American Gladiator-style jousting in the Pink Motel pool, à la Skate or Die!? Our gains are only bound by our imaginations.

A wonderful, not at all horrible multi-hyphenate life

Rank: 1
Mood: 🏛-👩‍🎨-🛹-🥇

Architect-artist-pro skater-Olympian. Grammatically, Alexis Sablone’s string of titles is already daunting, and now we can add another to the mix: Olympic coach. Sablone will be leading the USA Skateboarding women’s team going into the Paris 2024 summer games, a role her heaping stack of medals would indicate she’s more than qualified for.

Admittedly, it remains a somewhat strange sight to see skateboarding news make the news-news as this story has, with Forbes detailing Sablone’s appointment and touching on her backstory that likely reads as lorem ipsum to the general Forbes audience.

She burst onto the scene at 16 in 2002 as the only woman to have a part in PJ Ladd’s Wonderful, Horrible Life video…

She took “part” in making this PJ Ladd’s life wonderful, but more concerningly, horrible? And these events took place on video? You may hear a young entrepreneur ask the empty workshare space around them.

Something to consider: Perhaps this piece in Kotaku about the evolution of clues and answers in the New York Times’ crossword also explains why the Spelling Bee wouldn’t accept “badonkadonk”?

Good things: Beaver dams.

Until next week… maybe try a new card game. Cribbage is fun. A nice way to pass the time. Puzzles, too. Puzzles are good.