I’ve got 5 CAD on it: betting on the future of skateboarding in 2022 | Simply Ranked

Plus: Yuto goes fast and small, we get cursed, find redemption 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.

A quick, violent start to the New Year

Rank: 6’
Mood: 🎉🥂

Japan’s New Year’s Eve events are one of combat sports’ most treasured traditions. Over the course of decades and promotions—including PRIDE FC, K1, DREAM, RIZIN, and more—fighters across disciplines have been entering the New Year concussed. These events will sometimes lean into a particular brand of spectacle that banks on the absurd as entertainment. See 233lb Russian MMA legend Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko fighting 341lbs behemoth Zuluzinho at PRIDE’s “Shockwave” NYE event in 2005, or last week at RIZIN 33, when 23-year-old kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa took on shopworn Japanese MMA icon Takanori Gomi in a custom rules bout that could be considered cruelty towards the 43-year-old Gomi.

These are things that probably shouldn’t happen, but if we’re lucky, they can lead to surprising and entertaining results. Did it make sense for RIZIN 33’s opening ceremony to include “Tenshin’s friend” and Olympic gold medalist Yuto Horigome reaching lightspeed before boardsliding a six-foot-long flat bar? No, but that’s the underlying premise of these events, one that works right up until it doesn't: why not?

I’ve got 5 CAD on it: betting on the future of skateboarding in 2022

Rank: 1:1
Mood: 💸

While what drives skateboarding culture can be mercurial and everchanging, the industry that underpins and feeds off of it is more akin to a woolly mammoth begrudgingly learning a TikTok dance craze from five crazes ago as it sinks further into its tar pit. That makes predicting what skateboarding’s future holds an unpredictable but not impossible task, one that a person could put a friendly wager on if they had nothing better to do with their time or money.

To that end, here are Simple Magic’s predictions and unofficial odds for what will happen in skateboarding in the year of our lord, 2022.

(-200) The agents of popular professional skateboarders attempt to gain favourable coverage of their clients from Gifted Hater.

(-150) Board brands realize they can have more than one woman on their teams at a time.

(-100) Brandon Turner one-ups himself to land the biggest switch hardflip of all time.

PROP BET: What spot does BT switch hardflip?

  • (-150) Hollywood High
  • (-100) That big gap to the street at MACBA
  • (+300) UC Davis
  • (+450) El Toro

(-150) The Berrics and all of its IP are bought by the subscription-based diet app Noom.

(-250) Thrasher enters the NFT space, selling classic non-fungible covers.

(+150) Mob Grip releases a full-length video, and it’s actually really good. Seriously.

(-200) Rayssa Leal wins every Street League event she enters.

(-500) Your favourite AM turns PRO, and as you scroll through the celebratory Instagram posts that follow, you feel a sense of relief and satisfaction, as if all is finally right in the world.

PROP BET: Who’s turning PRO?

  • (-300) Shintaro Hongo
  • (-150) Rowan Davis
  • (+100) Nelly Morville
  • (+150) Shay Sandiford

(-200) The Lurpiv trucks case finds a second life as a weed container, outlives use of Lurpiv trucks by years, decades.

(-500) You finally learn that trick you’ve been trying forever.

(-1000) You find love or continue to love and be loved.

If this newsletter exists by this time next year, we’ll check in on these predictions and I can cash out, presumably, big on all of them.

A gift and a curse

Rank: 2
Mood: 🎁☠️

Last week, a kind reader of the newsletter blessed and cursed me. They emailed me #yourpART, a Montreal-centric skate video delivered via chain letter that came with the following message:

Everyone has a part. Yolo Dan has last part. This video is about who you
are, not the image you wish to project of yourself. 100% edited on
iMovie on iPhone, 100% vertical : This is #yourpart .
Send this email to at least 10 of your friends and airdrop the vid to 5
strangers or you will die in 3 days.

The video itself lives on Dropbox and apparently anonfiles. A fun, if not a bit dubious, alternative to skateboarding’s usual two-to-three content hubs.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I should be dead by now. I did not share the video as many times as required. Hopefully, writing about it here will stave off my impending demise, at least for a little while, because as the chain letter concludes:

P.s. #lastpart coming out next year, #lastpart is going to be fucking

Hero’s (animated) journey

Rank: 3
Mood: 🦸

At first, it was a distraction. In the opening minutes of Swiss P’s recent Free Skate video part, we see a weary, digitally animated skateboarder sloshing through a subterranean purgatory. This gloom belies the high-level skating and upbeat, clunky dance remixes that it serves as the interstitials to. But as the part progresses, I’m taken by this pixellated skater’s odyssey.

From the darkness, they eventually emerge into a bright, vast cityscape. The pace and difficulty of Swiss P’s tricks increase as his animated counterpart becomes more confident in their new path. By the time we see them climb an infinite ladder towards the deck of a megatower drop-in, I’m more invested in how their part ends than SP’s.

Finally, as if understanding my state of investment, the animated skater gets the last trick. Standing on the deck of the megatower, they lean forward, swallowed by a burning orange sky as they descend.

Like a stone

Rank: 4
Mood: 🪨

It’s true, not all of us are as thoughtful and willing to admit to our faults as Al Borland, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. That’s the beautiful part of being human; we can seek forgiveness, receive it and become better for it. There’s always time to reflect and change course away from unnecessary, rocky shoals.

Because regret sits heavy in the body, like a stone. But if we’re prepared to be honest, like Borland, we can look inside of ourselves, find that stone, pull it out and cast it across a clear, tranquil sea of possibility. Each skip across its waters is a step taken away from our past mistakes and into a future with an endless horizon.

Something to consider:

Good things:

Until next week… make some time to take in the pure wonder of Ja Morant.