On the mound, we are dripless, utterly devoid of swag | Simply Ranked

Plus: Tony's big precious bone, ☆The Violet Promo☆, props to my lord and saviour, 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.

Non-transferable skills

Rank: -1 swag
Mood: ⚾️

Like Jim Carrey without the titular mask in “The Mask” (1994), the skateboarder is powerless if not accompanied by the skateboard. The skills and styles we laud and lionize are purely contextual and rarely transferrable outside of our small, scattershot universe. Conversely, consider standout South Korean figure skater Kim Ye-Lim turning the first pitch at a KBO season opener into a performance with the same precision, grace, and poise she regularly employs on the ice.

The skateboarder cannot contend. A pinched 50-50, lien air or well-caught frontside flip mean nothing here. On the mound, we are dripless, utterly devoid of swag.

Perhaps this is why we drag our skateboards around everywhere we go, like a treasured teddy with a paw frayed by our nervous gumming. It grounds us and gives us definition, even if we can’t use it and look a little silly for lugging it along.

Props to my lord and saviour

Rank: 3:16
Mood: 🥤✝️🥤

Whenever a professional athlete publicly thanks their higher power or prays to a chosen deity to help them succeed over a fellow competitor, it feels like the Coca-Cola cross—a comical flattening of meaning in hopes of financial and promotional gain. Does a divine being, the creator of all, want to pick winners and losers from its handiwork? And is that not cheating, which is at minimum a venial sin? So would they really suck that nollie flip up to your feet at Street League or use their invisible hand to help you slip a jab and land a knockout blow in the boxing ring?

Well, probably. Gods do a lot of messed-up stuff. Allegedly.

Here, There, everywhere

Rank: 1
Mood: 🌎 🌍 🌏

In a departure from the somewhat fixed structure of major skateboarding video releases online, which usually premiere in whole or in pieces on a single website; individual video parts from There’s “Ruining Skateboarding” have premiered on Thrasher, Jenkem, Mess, CCS, and then, in totality, uploaded to their own YouTube Channel.

Sure, contemporary practice would suggest that since Thrasher has the largest reach, why not just host everything with them? But with Thrasher’s Constant Content Churn, videos and video parts are often gone from their homepage in a matter of days. There sharing their video among outlets gives individual parts extra shine, room to breathe, reasons to post about them on social media, and access to different audiences, ones who aren’t devout followers of The Bible.

Those crumbs dropped across the internet will then (hopefully) lead viewers to “Ruining Skateboarding” in its entirety, which lives on their channel alone—giving There the views and total content control. It’s a divide and stoke marketing tactic that makes sense.

Big precious bone

Rank: 2
Mood: 🦴

Just over a month after breaking his femur, 53-year-old Tony Hawk is back pumping around the smaller quarter pipes in his compound. A cursory scroll of the internet says it takes about 4-6 months for femoral fractures to heal completely, which by my amateur diagnosis, means Hawk is far ahead of schedule, or he’s putting his recovery at risk.

In Tony  Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off, the Duplass Brothers produced and Sam Jones directed documentary released last week by HBO, Lance Mountain and Rodney Mullen opine about the risk-reward exchange one accepts by pursuing a lifetime of high-level skateboarding. Mountain believes he has the degenerative brain disease CTE from repeated head trauma and states flatly that he and Hawk will die on their boards, a price they’ll willingly pay. Mullen, being Mullen, articulates things more thoughtfully, even providing Sam Jones with the doc’s title.

It is darkly fitting that a film that asks how long can the bodies of these aged legends withstand the agreed-upon beatings skateboarding dishes out dropped its trailer the day after Hawk suffered one of the worst injuries of his career. Chasing after the wheel that’s fallen off and rolled into the ditch is a test of will he seems up for, though. But please, for now, just be careful with that big precious bone, Birdman.

Simply reviewed

Rank: 3
Mood: 💜

The ☆The Violet Promo☆ is everything we’ve come to know of a William Strobeck offering. Dizzying zoom-ins and nausea-inducing camera pans, a complete lack of titles for the skateboarders on screen, and extreme close-ups of kids smoking. But the skateboarding, b-roll, music, and the emotion born out of them are, as per usual in Strobeck videos, electric. It’s a swirling mess of intensity. Wild stunts, slams, intimate moments, and a fresh group of skaters bring the video to life. It might be frustrating to watch at times, but it’s a must-watch nonetheless.

Something to consider: The underappreciated power of the ass.

Good things: Raps in 6.

Until next week… Look a crow in the eyes, start a conversation, see where things go.