How much for Szafranski's jacket? | Simply Ranked

Plus: USAS update, world record crotch, return of the athleisure villain, and more.

How much for Szafranski's jacket? | Simply Ranked
Sza’s jacket via MidJourney
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.

World record crotch

Rank: 1
Mood: 👖

If you search “skateboarding” on the Guinness World Records website, you’ll find 177 different entries. This includes records for everything from the biggest skateboard (36 ft 7 in long, 8 ft 8 in wide, and 13 ft 7.5 in high), the longest stationary manual (2 hr 55 min 22 sec), the highest score on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2: Hangar Level (30,887,653), to the longest human tunnel travelled through on a skateboard by a cat (13 people). But none of the official records really connect with skateboarding culture in a significant way. Instead, the skateboard is merely used as a prop to earn a plaque.

However, there is one recent Guinness World Record that reflects the heart and the interests of skateboarders much more authentically than an oversized board or having the ability to manual through the duration of The Godfather. And that’s because this record focuses on something skateboarders actually care about: pants.

Sure, all “world records” are inherently silly and are generally pursued by unserious people, but still, this one resonates, does it not? It shows us the quality build of Takahashi’s trousers and the passion he—and all of us—share for pants that don’t just fit well but also stand up to the specific forms of abuse we put them through. Tell me you’d rather watch Rob Dyrdek set the record for most nollie kickflips done in one minute than Takahashi scream with primal urgency as he rips on his crotch for 30 seconds, and I’d call you a goddamn liar.

Does anyone want an Olympic skateboarding update?

Rank: 2024
Mood: 🤷‍♀️

Following the collapse of USA Skateboarding (USAS) over the summer, the organization is slowly picking up the pieces ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic games. While most of their board and athlete director roles remain vacant after the mass resignations that resulted from the chaos of USAS’s historic mismanagement, two positions have been filled: Eric Koston is now Team USA’s new captain and Element founder Johnny Schillereff is the organization’s new CEO.

Can these two—and specifically Schillereff—help right the ship? Can they fix the easily-avoidable compliance issues that the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s (USOPC) audit revealed (finding that USAS only met 12 of 48 required compliance standards) and led to the previous leadership’s downfall? We’ll see.

Although, it already seems a bit conflict-of-interest-y for Schillereff to own The Heart Supply, the board company that sponsors current Team USA skaters Jagger Eaton, Heimana Reynolds, and Paige Heyn, while in the position of USAS CEO. Not having a board-approved conflict of interest policy was one of the compliance standards that USAS hadn’t met, which appears to have led them to amend their bylaws shortly after the audit was released. And if you parse the legalese of their bylaw’s conflict of interest section, it seems like Schillereff might need to make a disclosure or two.

Section 17.3. Conflicts of Interest.

If any director of the Board, officer, committee or task force member has a financial interest in any contract or transaction involving USAS, or has an interest adverse to USAS’s business affairs, and that individual is in a position to influence a determination with regard to the contract, transaction or business affair, such individual shall: (i) disclose the conflict of interest, (ii) not participate in the evaluation of the contract, transaction or business affair and (iii) not vote on the contract, transaction or business affair.

Return of the athleisure villain

Rank: 5?
Mood: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If you reign at the top of any athletic endeavour for long enough, eventually, fans will turn on you. Dominance is boring. Exceeded expectations become expected. And if you don’t continue to lap your contemporaries, you’ll be quickly dubbed to have “fallen off.” Of course, people might just not like you because you’re an asshole; there’s always that. Also, in the case of Nyjah Huston, maybe it’s your Ty Evans filmed video parts shot on drones and with contorting lenses that cause motion sickness in the viewer and look more like Skater XL replays than hard-earned clips in the streets.

It’s clear that core skateboarders are not the intended audience for these projects. Still, from the Christian rock to his athleisure villain aesthetic and the bizarre filming, it’s difficult to understand who the intended audience for Huston’s latest effort, Shine On, is. Despite the obvious bleeding-edge absurdity of the tricks he does, it feels lifeless, like a Volvo commercial that somehow has less heart. Maybe that’s it, though. Perhaps the alienation is intentional? It does feel like a theme that runs through Huston’s career, whether purposeful on his end or not. Now he’s just decided to lean into it. Is this a path he’ll continue on? With another part dropping on November 28th, I guess we’ll find out.


Rank: 4
Mood: 👑

Last week Tyshawn Jones, potential repeat SOTY and one of the greatest talents to have ever stepped on a skateboard, teased his new board brand, King Skateboards. It’s probably best to reserve judgment until the brand officially launches in December, but we’re left in a tricky position until then.

Because our first look at King’s logo is, frankly, underwhelming. Especially after months of waiting to see the next steps for Jones and Na-Kel Smith. The pair left Fucking Awesome earlier this year with the expectation that they’d start their own company. We were dealt a bit of a bait and switch when Jones announced Brick Underneath shortly after leaving FA, which turned out to be an underwear brand. Since then, we’ve seen glimpses of the crown logo on the underside of Jones’ board in his latest video part, The General, but it seemed like a placeholder graphic. A blank with a dash of pizazz.

While it’s hard not to want or expect stronger branding from a company that is home to some of the biggest names in the industry, there’s still time. In fact, in the days since the brand’s announcement and the light roasting from fans that followed online, King has updated its website’s homepage with a new, stylized wordmark.

But, in the event that the seemingly unironic clipart-esque crown remains King’s primary logo, that’s okay, too. Starting your own board brand is a daunting task that requires significant time, risk, and sacrifice. Considering all the work Jones has likely put in, he should brand it in whatever way he sees fit. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who think it rules, and hey, its simplicity could have an upside.

Skateboarding’s estate sale

Rank: $27,000
Mood: 💰💰💰

What level of career and popular success does someone have to reach before fans buy their used trash cans for $5,500? Or spend $7,000 for some shells and pebbles they found on the beach? Could a skateboarder ever be so beloved that once they kick the bucket, their everyday junk has fans bidding half of the average person’s yearly salary for a pair of sunglasses they may have worn once or twice?

How much would you pay for a Braydon Szafranski leather jacket? Or a broken hubcap from Ishod’s old BMW? Would you take out a loan to own a fin from one of Elissa Steamer’s surfboards? Despite the reality, the answer deserves to be yes, and the figures gallingly high.

Something to consider:

Good thing: the hypnotizing power of well-executed sports photography.

Another good thing: 🥲

Useless thing: give me more unnecessary product gimmicks. MORE gimmicks. MORE GIMMICKS.

Until next week… if possible, go for a bike ride. Be careful, the fallen leaves have turned to a slippery mush, but the breeze is sharp and enlivening, the sun a distant but invigorating warmth, the neighbourhood’s autumnal palette piercing yet fleeting, and when you arrive wherever you’re going, you’ll feel awake in a way you haven’t all day, your cheeks burning from the cold and an involuntary grin stretching wide at the realization of just how beautiful things can be.