Let your soul smile | Simply Ranked

Plus: Classic sports moment, prairie storms, Simple Magic's #1 pound-for-pound four-eyes, 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.

Let your soul smile

Rank: 100%
Mood: 😀 😃 😄 😁 😆 😅

Via @seanycinco on Twitter.

The lack of effort the folks behind VapeSoul put into branding their generic disposable electronic cigarettes is impressive. From using a near direct ripoff of the Spitfire Wheels logo as their own and placing a crudely drawn vape in its mouth to the fact that this half-hearted effort appears to be a rebrand. The “Vapesoul by Itsuwa Group” LinkedIn page still carries the previous branding while listing the Spitfire-branded VapeSoul’s website as its own.

Itsuwa, VapeSoul’s Shenzhen-based parent company, even has products with both the old and new branding on its website. Perhaps this sort of brand theft and confusion shouldn’t be surprising, given that Itsuwa’s roster of vapes appears to be cheap alternatives meant to flood an already crowded market. But, I was still curious about how and why VapeSoul would steal such an established logo to use as their own, so I emailed them and asked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve yet to hear back.

Does this vulturous marketing tactic mean the people behind VapeSoul are calculated, craven profiteers with no regard for copyright law? Or are they just lazy? I’d say it’s a bit of both. And it’d be easy to get mad at the company, but if you read the VapeSoul website’s “about us” page, it lets us know that, at least when it comes to their product, they only want the best for us.

We feel a need, a need to feel happy !

An old saying that life is built on 90% of daily issues and 10% of true happiness…

…Our product aims to turn the 10% of happiness into 100%, Vaping with Vapesoul releases stresses from all aspects!

Aren’t we all, in our own way, striving to reach 100% happiness? That moment when your soul opens into a wide, potentially copyright-infringing smile. So instead of holding onto that anger, maybe we should just relax, inhale, exhale, and watch the stress just float away.

Classic sports moment

Rank: 1
Mood: 🥇 🥈 🥉

Whether it’s boxing, gymnastics, or the dancing horses of dressage, waiting for the judges’ scorecards to be tallied and announced in a tight contest always builds a certain level of anxiety for the competitors and excitement for the audience. During the Women’s finals of last weekend’s SLS Jacksonville event, after the remaining eight skaters got pared back to four in the “super final,” and it was clear that neither Momiji Nishiya nor Pamela Rosa was in a position to claim the first or second spots, it came down to Yumeka Oda and Rayssa Leal.

Brazil’s Leal had taken an early lead with a solid run and a flawless kickflip backside smith down the course’s medium-sized rail in the Best Trick section.

Soon after, Oda would bump Leal into second with a stunning first-try kickflip frontside feeble down the biggest rail in the park.

With only one attempt left to land a trick that would score a 7.5 or higher, Leal stuck a heelflip front board down the mid-sized gap-to-rail. And from there, the two competitors had to wait. As the judges deliberated, Oda and Leal held onto one another in anticipation. The crowd burbled with hoots and the occasional holler until the score finally showed up on screen: a 7.6.

Separating in joy and despair after their high-level, back-and-forth affair, this was another testament to the rapid progression of women’s skateboarding and—if you like those classic moments of bated breath that competitive sports offer—how fun it is to watch.

Mr. Snuffleupagus Sheppard

Rank: 1
Mood: 🦣

Since the release of Rob Butterfield’s Baby Steps in 2005, Bradley Sheppard’s closing section has remained one of, if not my favourite, video parts of all time. Some 17 years later, Sheppard’s surprisingly technical moves on crusty Lower Mainland spots, along with those strangely graceful tick-tacks and turnarounds, have remained at the fore. How can something have such staying power across someone’s personal evolutions of taste and aesthetics? Does that mean it was ahead of its time? Or perhaps it exists out of time, a protean collection of movement and feeling somehow preserved perfectly in amber (YouTube).

It’s all the more confusing when I tell others about it, and they’re unaware of its impact and influence—things that sometimes feel directed solely at me. Sheppard’s nearly two-decade-old video part my Mr. Snuffleupagus, a bestie that no one believes exists until they finally take a moment and allow themselves to see.

Top of the world

Rank: 3
Mood: 🌞⛈

To have the top of your world, the space above that infinite horizon, be so volatile and non-committal to any permanent state of being as a prairie sky is, requires one to be constantly aware. To watch its shallow blue wallpaper with awe while the sun bakes;  muse about the twisting of clouds into dark, heavy things; and feel a stirring in the centre of our chests when thunder rattles and the earth and sky share a brief, hot connection—all of this happening within moments—causing us to run for the cover of trees, awnings, homes.

The rush of getting caught by a curtain of rain is a pleasure, annoyance, or a mix of both. Something to laugh through as you throw your soggy clothes in the dryer and curse once you’ve wrapped yourself in a towel and realize you left your skateboard sitting helplessly in the box of your pickup truck.

Simple Magic’s pound-for-pound #1 four-eyes

Rank: 4
Mood: 👓

As a bespectacled skateboarder, I always have a soft spot and a clear bias for other glasses-wearing skaters. So much so that I’ve decided to update and maintain the only official pound-for-pound ranking of skateboarding’s premiere far and nearsighted peoples. And as the list debuts in the newsletter this week, it’s only fitting that our inaugural #1 four-eyes had a big week of their own.

  1. Diego Todd: Todd plants himself firmly in the top spot with a fun, chaotic last part in Hockey X.

  2. Marisa Dal Santo: In a list of legends, Dal Santo lives near the top.

  3. Jahmir Brown: Makes the frames fashion, which isn’t always an easy task.

  4. Steve Olson: Pre “Crazy Monk” Olson is always in contention.

  5. Max Wheeler: One would guess their glasses also protect them from debris kicked up by all that St. Louis crust.

  6. Una Farrar: The darkhorse of the list.

  7. Lindsey Robertson: Caballerial stalefish? Robertson’s lenses were portals to another plane of understanding.

  8. Evan Wasser: A miracle that specs can stay fixed to this wildman’s head.1

  9. Chris Milic: Assuming Milic is farsighted, as he’s been peering ahead of the curve for years now.

  10. Genesis Evans: Switch impossible—c’mon.

Something to consider:

Good things:

Until next week… if possible, find yourself a nice shady patio to sit on. From this vantage, enjoy the day and watch people pass by. They will most likely have dogs. If they get close enough, try to pet them (dogs).

  1. There were a lot of glasses-free Wasser clips in Much Needed After A Long. Not sure if this means Lasik, but if so, that would be a disqualifying procedure.