Irked by seltzer | Simply Ranked

Plus: Timeless marketing ploys, crowd control, posting for the love of it 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.

Oasis Bound

Rank: 4
Mood: 🌴😔🌴

Tolago is a California-based hard seltzer company co-owned by upwards of 34 notable artists, musicians, surfers, snowboarders, and skateboarders, including Mason Silva, Louie Lopez, and Curren Caples. The company is founded by Saint Archer Brewing Company’s former Director of Marketing, Nick Greeninger. To date, they appear to be executing a marketing strategy that’s much the same as Saint Archer’s; bring in influential people from various youth-centric industries to be the faces or “high profile owner advocates” of the company who’ll then give it some sense of legitimacy and appeal to the 18-34 demographic of potential premium hard seltzer drinkers.

Which is probably a smart game plan, and things seem to be going pretty well. If you believe the press release they submitted to PR Newswire, last year they had projected revenue of a quarter-million dollars, which is nothing to sneeze at. But if you’re looking for something that’ll cause an involuntary bodily reaction, it might be this:

…Every journey needs a beverage that will ride alongside you. #OasisBound

What does “A Journey In Every Can” mean? Is it a journey of flavour? Perhaps it suggests you lug a can around with you everywhere like a pet rock. And apologies for continuing to rip on whoever does their socials, since that is a grinding and thankless job, but posts like this convey that they’re not trying terribly hard:

How often can you realistically be imitated, Tolago, hard seltzer company that started just two years ago? And I understand the impulse to categorize themselves as a “better-for-you seltzer company,” and on its face, it’s admirable to donate 1% of their annual revenue to environmental causes. However, it all starts to feel a bit hollow when they describe a collaboration with Igloo Coolers—a company that churns out millions of large plastic coolerslike this:

As a newly found business dedicated to innovation and quality through creativity, it is our mission to make the lives of those in our community better with the products, partnerships, and people involved. For this collaboration, we set out to bring the nostalgia of the classic 1950s @igloocoolers to the modern better-for-you hard seltzer category by showcasing the @tolagoseltz community working hard and playing harder. A mantra rooted deep in the Igloo company culture from the start and something that the entire Tolago Team strives to embody on a daily basis. #OasisBound

None of that means anything. It’s all overly serious, empty marketing gibberish. Which I guess would align with this quote Greeninger gave when talking to Charlie Katz about launching the company.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

There are no funny stories with Tolago. I take everything about it very seriously.

But maybe there are some things you shouldn’t. At least let yourself have a bit of fun with the messaging, because it’s going to be hard to sell someone on your idea of #Oasis if it sounds just as lifeless and empty as the desert around it.

Timeless marketing ploy

Rank: 1
Mood: 🤔

Now, this is the good stuff. Lakai has a new team member and they want us to guess who it is, harkening back to the days of old when Plan B teased its debut roster with the infamous ad listing some of the biggest names of the era and declaring that “Five of these ten pros will be leaving their current sponsors in order to create a new company.” Well, it’s sort of like that. Maybe. The spirit is there if you look hard enough.

Anyways, spoiler alert: it’s Kyonosuke Yamashita, which was probably an easy guess for most. He was the ripping youngster in the latest Primitive video. The only skater in it wearing Lakais, a statement that wouldn’t make sense if it was typed out in the mid-to-late ‘00s. His debut part for the footwear company was released on Wednesday, and it’s a great showcase of Yamashita’s technical ability, spot selection, and versatility. Hell, he even pulled an Oski.

It’s also another solid addition for the shoe brand that has quietly rebuilt a sneaky good roster over the last few years.

The case for a few more feet

Rank: 10-20
Mood: 📏

Aurelien Giraud with a hardflip lateflip (?) from Monster Euro Tour – Episode 1

The energy here is great; I love it. Everyone seems to be having a blast. But if I could just offer a quick note—and feel free to take it or leave it—I’d suggest that the crowd backs up a little bit. Just a few more feet. Maybe ten more. Twenty? Whatever distance the skater gets to experience riding away from their trick for more than .9 seconds.

Perhaps I’m an old fuddy-duddy, that’s true. But seeing the throngs of people here or at CPH Open leaving barely navigable amounts of space for skaters to operate within, watching those writhing masses constantly taking boards to their shins and catching skaters who have no choice but to fall into their thrashing sea of limbs, makes the solution that much clearer. Just a few more feet. But only if you want to, of course.

Crowd support

Rank: 1!
Mood: 🥳

Whether at the spot or the skatepark, if you’ve been trying a trick long enough, friends and bystanders will inevitably become invested in your success. They’ve witnessed you toil and repeat the same few bodily motions to varying levels of success for tens of minutes, perhaps even hours. It’s classic theatre—the truncated hero’s journey. It’s also a test of will, not just for the trick-trier but for those watching. The audience wants to see you ride away, but they also have other things to do, like try their own tricks, get groceries, or literally anything else.

But if you can ride away, the payoff is immense for all parties involved. You’ve just landed something that took a piece of yourself in exchange. Then the crowd gathered on a nearby ledge get to stand up, shout their praise, and perhaps even run over to you, embracing the exhausted but elated husk that is your body. The thing that is now more feeling than flesh as you roll towards your agave lime flavoured Tolago hard seltzer and wonder to yourself if the journey was simply the friends you made along the way.

A working theory of success on the internet (or posting for the love of it)

Rank: 54,000,000
Mood: 💘

Earlier this week, as will sometimes happen, I had the urge to listen to Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line.” A quick google search would lead me to the classic song of love and regret via a fan-uploaded YouTube rip. The YouTube channel owner, MissTerri1979, has uploaded only 31 videos over the span of 12 years and yet has managed to amass 45k subscribers. Their upload library is a mix of repacked early-internet videos, shaky handheld captures of everyday events they happened to witness (like “Tearing Down a 100 Year Old Barn” or “Blake playing PS3”), and rips of classic songs.

MissTerri1979 did the majority of their posting over a decade ago. The early 2010s were a moment teetering on the edge of history, that short period of time when not quite everything was on the internet yet. And for posters like MissTerri1979, they were able to upload songs they loved, like “Right Down The Line,” and be one of the first to do so. Their video has since generated over 54 million views to date. Those tens of millions of people have listened to Rafferty pry his heart open with both hands and then watched as MissTerri1979’s upload ends with a low-res selfie that serves as an admin reveal of sorts. It’s emblematic of the strange editing quirks that defined the era, flourishes of an earnest generation introduced to social media with excitement and little of the trepidation we should’ve had.

Many of those millions found themselves on MissTerri1979’s video thanks to “Right Down The Line” being featured in an episode of HBO’s Euphoria. Further evidence that “success” on the internet is generally a matter of who gets there first, that higher online engagement is as much chance as it is algorithmic or strategy-based. It’s also a rare case of someone seemingly not being interested in embracing that success once they get it. MissTerri1979 hasn’t uploaded anything in over three years; their last video a seven-second clip from the Netflix animated series F is for Family recorded off of the television screen, camera unsteady in their hands.

Something to consider: Two decades have passed since Avril changed the face of skateboarding as we knew it.

Good things: Chad Dickson and Rose Archie are pro for Colonialism Skateboards.

Until next week… find the welcoming shade of a tree. Spend some time there. Read a book. Take a nap. Contemplate the day and the way the clouds cross the sky.