Fly me to the moon (and leave me there) | Simply Ranked

Plus: Foy on SAG, overthinking, Decenzo in amber 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.

Jamie Foy, get that SAG card

Rank: 3
Mood: 🎭

Someone, somewhere, has seen promise in Jamie Foy. Not for his unparalleled ability to hold a front crook through a handrail’s many kinks, but for his dramaturgical flair. Foy, the actor, has recently surfaced in a number of commercials. He’s strictly a character actor, mind you—one who solely plays himself, Red Bull hat and all.

A commercial for his signature New Balance shoe opens with a particularly brutal childhood bail from Foy, which he pretends to dust himself off from in the present—time travel a heady concept for any young thespian, but Foy handles it ably. He then interacts with his digitally rendered pro-model as it floats before him, assembling and disassembling to showcase the shoe’s features. “That’s a good toe,” Foy says, brow furrowed with conviction.

In “The Shape Stalks Jamie Foy,” a Thunder Trucks commercial for Tom Karangelov’s signature truck, Foy gets to showcase his range. At the commercial’s dramatic peak, Foy is seemingly in danger as a stalking Karangelov approaches, shiny object in hand, poised to strike. “Yo, yo, yo,” Foy deadpans to those around him, a warning they heed, leaving him to face whatever fate awaits on his own.

Another recent Thunder commercial titled “Spot Hunting with Jamie Foy” sees our titular character looking for fishing holes with the same verve as if they were a new bump-to-bar. The premise is a bit hokey, but Foy plays himself well. “I got the spot.” He declares at one point, something he’s more than likely said off-camera before, his life and his art bleeding into one another at this moment. Foy then pilots a boat onto open waters.

That spot? The Pacific Ocean.

Sometimes a bird’s nest is just a bird nest

Rank: …
Mood: 🕊

You know, I’ve been thinking about this, too. It’s an analogy for something. Just look at it. Bird makes a home out of the tools designed to keep it from roosting. Maybe it’s like a skateboarder incorporating skate stoppers to help execute a new and better trick or like how absurd our levels of consumerism are that we’re constantly buying stuff even if it’s to our detriment, or maybe it’s like the representation of internalized self-hatred instilled by the discriminatory policies of the church and state or it could be like a section of the population making the willful disregard of public health protections the core of their personalities, leaving themselves and their neighbours at risk of becoming a home for a virus to roost or perhaps I should stop thinking about it and try to strip away the anxieties preventing me from enjoying a funny animal photo or video without attempting to ascribe it some deeper meaning.

Yesterday, today

Rank: 2

As some have noted, Ryan Decenzo appears to exist in a bygone decade. A place where 3/4 sleeve baseball tees roam, Rincon enders are demanded, and all of one’s anterior cruciate ligaments remain intact.

Remember 2011? A seemingly simpler time. Yes, the many faultlines that have ruptured in our current age were still there, either ignored or quickly creeping across all facets of waking life like a spidering windshield. But for most professional skateboarders of the era, the path was clear: find bigger and bigger stairs and rails and do tricks on them that no one has done before.

Decenzo hasn’t strayed from that path. His skate spots remain gigantic, continually pushing towards the preposterous. Yeah, so he still wears those large and loud RDS graphic t-shirts. What of it? How many pros have maintained a sponsor as long as Decenzo has been on RDS? He’s done that by staying true to the version himself we’ve come to know. This, of course, also means that when brands like Globe shoes want to refresh, the Decenzos and David Gonzalez won’t survive the purge.

But would we even want Gonzalez in Big Boys or Decenzo strictly skating curbs if it’s not a natural evolution and just a calculated move to stave off extinction? For as long as a professional career allows, let them exist in amber. Glowing artifacts that can still change our understanding of the world around us.

Fly me to the moon (and leave me there)

Rank: .6
Mood: 🌕 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔

At first, I didn’t understand what mood Stevie Williams was referring to either. A picture of Williams at the Virgil Abloh memorial runway show photoshopped onto the body of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial isn’t the easiest thing to decipher. Williams is pasted into the scene from the Spielberg film where E.T. is about to give each outlaw-child cyclist the gift of flight. For Williams, does this mean that things are only going up from here? Is his stock on the rise? Or is this a shoutout to all of the people who’ve helped him get to where he is today? Perhaps it’s just another funny image, no need to put too much thought into it.

A subsequent scroll through Williams’ Instagram page would help define that mood—for me, personally. The post after the E.T. image is Williams teasing his own line of NFTs. Another skateboarder trying to make a buck off of this culture-wide grift. But honestly, who can blame them. If the totality of your life’s work is meaningful and marketable enough that strangers will dish out actual money to “own” a sub-par digital rendering of your likeness that lives in the great blockchain in the sky, capitalize on it, I guess.

However, witnessing all of this makes me feel closer to E.T.’s mood than expected: alienated, lost, confused as to why all of these people are willingly in pursuit of something that doesn’t exist.

In the grand traditien

Rank: 1!
Mood: 🚎

Like Krooked [sic] and Enjoi [sic] and Krux [sic] and Dekline [sic] and Life Extention [sic] before it, Limosine [sic] skateboards have freed themselves of the constraints of proper spelling and grammar for the sake of branding, which rules. The brand launched this week, releasing a fantastic first video in Paymaster as a hook for us consumers.

In skateboarding’s era of content over-saturation, it can be difficult to appreciate a video—especially something nearing full-length territory—before our attention shifts to the new daily release. Paymaster, however, feels different. From a classic Logan Lara edit, the on-screen reuniting of the 917 team under a different name, Aaron Loreth’s incomprehensible ability to make his board flip in the tightest of transitions, the coronation of a new heelflipper in Santino Gagliarducci, to the wonderful chaos of Nelly Morville’s makes and bails; this video would appear to have the much-coveted power of retention.

Aaron Loreth—wut?

Something to consider: this story on the ways we lie by Bill Adair in Air Mail.

Good things: Mark Suciu is Thrasher’s Skater of The Year.

Until next week… maybe try tidying up your computer desktop. Right-click all of those unused screenshots into the trash.