Reblogulate the planet | Simply Ranked

Plus: There will be no white flag above Gabriel Summers' door, an uncomfortable truth, ducks in awe, Jeffrey Cheung: ripper, and more.

Reblogulate the planet | Simply Ranked

The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other things online that I cannot stop consuming and how it makes me feel, personally.

Down with the ship

Rank: 1
Mood: 🚫🏳️

There's a lot to like about Gabriel Summers' No White Flag video part for Zero Skateboards that Thrasher uploaded on Monday. It is, of course, incredibly high-level skateboarding. It is also frighteningly gnarly. But the appeal to me, and to Summers in general, is his endearing everyman style, where the absurdly difficult tricks he does look absurdly difficult when he does them. That could be interpreted as a slight, but I view it in the highest regard. Often, the sweeping confidence and grace of a Wair, Huston, or Leal masks just how otherworldly their physical feats are. With Summers' lumbering wide-eyed plunges into the unknown, the audience is never sure whether he's about to successfully navigate his way down a mountain or end up as a Looney Tunes-esque plume of dust at its foot.

Via @mmunzenrider on Twitter.

No White Flag is also pleasantly Zero-coded. From the recent naming convention Zero has employed where their videos share a title with a song from their soundtrack, Summers' penultimate trick taking place at Jamie Thomas' infamous one-more rail, to the overall editing style — it's unmistakenly Zero.

Even using Dido's "White Flag" is on brand, as Thomas is known to throw a curveball into the timelines for the sake of "surprise and delight" or the emotional or thematic tones of a project. Did John Rattray skate to The Proclaimer's "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in Dying to Live because the band is also Scottish? It's probably safe to say, yeah, definitely.

"White Flag" is a song about never giving up on love. Dido sings that there "will be no white flag above my door," and she'd rather "go down with the ship" than let go. In the song, the message is a bit discomfiting (he's just not into you, girl), but in Summers' context, the intent is clear: here is a talented, if bullheaded journeyman professional skateboarder who will not relent or waver; slam, sack, or maiming be damned. This love is where he belongs, a love he can't quit despite its destructive force.

It's a bit blunt in its application but resonant nonetheless. It doesn't even matter that the song was already used for the final section in Erik Fisher's video HELLHOLE. At this point, it's an anthem.

I listened to "White Flag" on repeat while writing this and for the rest of the afternoon afterwards and I'm still not tired of it. In fact, I'm just going to keep it playing. The only thing I will put my hands up and surrender to is the rhythm.

An uncomfortable truth

Rank: ...3?
Mood: 🥉

Speaking of sweeping confidence, Mark Suciu spent nine days with Brendan Bill and delivered Thrasher what could be considered a full video part, even excluding the skatepark footage included within. While I'd say skateboarding skill exists on a spectrum, there are clearly also levels — and branches. Gabriel Summers and Mark Suciu are both undeniably talented skateboarders, but we can't rightly compare the two.

Could Suciu grind the rails in Summers' latest effort? There's evidence to suggest he could, but nothing on that scale to prove it, leaving Summers further out on the deadly-rail-skating spectrum. Is Summers able to compete with Suciu's quick-footed technicality? I haven't seen anything to suggest it. That's where the levels come in. Summers is at a high level, no doubt, but Suciu just exists on a different plane. That said, can either of these guys do a backflip over the Mega Ramp? No. That's a branch too far.

In other sports (or athletic endeavours if you're nasty), there are usually roles that players fill and teams to support by fulfilling said roles. Those role players' skill sets can be limited, but still successful when considering the whole. In skateboarding, a handrail specialist is often seen as one-dimensional, inflexible, or as belonging to a bygone style of skating (until the trend-winds blow back their way). The culture has since shifted, but that used to be okay. The norm, even. At one time, a skateboarding company's team nearly had unofficial positions Rail skater. Stair skater. Technician. Transition ace. Now, in the professional realm, being well-rounded is not just encouraged, but expected. Hockey still has room for one-dimensional brawling galoots like Matt Rempe. Sometimes a centre in basketball is just the tallest jamoke on the team.

Of course, we also can't rightly compare skateboarding and team sports. Excelling in your one dimension works differently when you have others to fill in the gaps. Pure grapplers will generally lose a mixed martial arts bout to someone who can both grapple and strike.

Why does any of this matter? Why spend so many words illustrating the obvious? The answer is two-fold: the gummie I had earlier kicked in, and this has all been a long-winded way to address an uncomfortable truth none of us want to confront: Jagger Eaton is the most well-rounded skateboarder out there. A contender in both Olympic Street and Park competitions, he recently made the podium at both in the Olympic qualifiers in Shanghai. He can switch-backside-noseblunt down handrails and backflipped the Mega Ramp when he was 11 years old. Spectrum, levels, branches — all of it is covered and maxed out. I need to go lie down.

A welcome truth

Rank: 1
Mood: 🗣️

Jeffrey Cheung fucking rips. Every time the Unity and There Skateboards mastermind shows up in a video, you're going to see something something messed up (positive). That remains true for the recent adidas Skateboarding and Unity effort Fill the Hole in Yr Heart. This then begs the question: is Cheung currently the most ripping brand creator/manager/artist?

Paul Rodriguez is certainly an all-time talent, but he's admitted publicly that he doesn't do any of the day-to-day work that makes Primitive Skateboards run, so he is functionally just a team rider on his own company. Jamie Thomas would likely take the top spot, but he doesn't make Zero's board graphics. Austyn Gillette seems pretty involved with Former, but I've never seen any Former gear out in the wild, so I'm not sure it even exists. Jerry Hsu is the stiffest competition as he appears to handle most everything to do with Sc-Fi Fantasy. However, he needs to start dropping more clips to really be in contention. You can't rest on your laurels and expect to be top dog, Jerry!

When I lay it all out like that, I'm inclined to believe myself. So it's official: Jeffrey Cheung is currently the most ripping brand creator/manager/artist in the business.

Reblogulate the planet

Rank: uh oh
Mood: 💻🌐

As we continue to spend more and more of our lives online, working and streaming and scrolling and banking and coordinating our day-to-day functions through apps and emails and various web portals, the landscape of our online world deteriorates and disappears. The internet is often framed as forever, but it is decidedly not. According to a new Pew Research Center study, "38% of webpages from 2013 are no longer accessible."

A line chart showing that 38% of webpages from 2013 are no longer accessible

The study also found that "23% of news webpages contain at least one broken link, as do 21% of webpages from government sites." This is referred to as "digital decay" and "link rot," maladies of our shared digital space. Think of websites you used to frequent before social media became an intermediary and then, ultimately, the destination. Most probably sit in a graveyard of squatted-on URLs or 404 messages. It's a quiet devastation of online culture.

There used to be a surfing and skateboarding site called that functioned as a resource for people visiting Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland the interior of British Columbia, and beyond. The site catalogued skateparks and also blogged about local skaters and scenes. In the early 2000s, it was the first place I saw photos of Ryan and Scott Decenzo (and might have been where they got their first coverage), a grainy digital point-and-shoot photo of the elder brother ollieing off a roof gap at the University of British Columbia is burned into my brain. Yet, it no longer exists, at least on, whose URL redirects to a hosting provider's splash page that lets visitors know the domain has been parked.

That is over a decade's worth of local skateboarding archives lost. Wherever you're reading this, you probably had a similar website that catered to your scene, which someone poured an inordinate amount of effort into, but now leads nowhere when you type its name into the search bar. Those shoddy HTML builds were imperfect but special, and more importantly, ours. Now, we all exist on platforms like Instagram, which are run by companies that lustily corral us into their apps and profit from our passions and personal lives while actively making their user experience worse in search of endless growth.

We need more websites, not less. Good ones, blogs we want to visit each day. We can do this, I swear. It's time to reblogulate the planet.

In awe (of more niche CanCon)

Rank: 1
Mood: ☄️


Via @Dexerto on Twitter.

The awe that these Portuguese ducks are taken by as a meteor streaks across the night sky is something we'll all succumb to at some time or another — if we're lucky. Thankfully, awe isn't inspired by atmospheric disturbances alone. It can come from anywhere or anything. A piece of orchestral music whose swelling strings strike some piece of your soul that reverberates across your body and into its past, a painting that draws you into the emotion behind every brushstroke, The Driving Crooner.

Awe does not pick and choose where it surfaces; it simply becomes itself in ourselves — an unexpected bloom. For example, awe can arise whenever you see a Travis Stenger clip come across your timeline. Did he really switch backside flip over a full-sized bench? In 2005? Stenger shove — yes, Stenger shove. That line down Beatty Street with the nosegrind pop-out on the navel-high ledge?


Shoutout Village Psychic for the awe-inspiring Instagram Story. Clip via Green Apple's Modern Love.

Awe can have a shelf life. That orchestral arrangement may become ordinary with enough listens — or it remains just as potent each and every time you experience it, smacking with the same strength whenever you walk past that navel-high ledge as you make your way downtown.

Which I think is just awesome.

Something to consider:

Good thing:

An oral history of one of New York’s most famous skate spots, TF.

Another good thing: A great new video by Liam Trainor featuring a bunch of Vancouver-area sk8rs/r1pp3rs.

Why yes, another good thing: The CanCon doesn't stop. Chris Haslam is the latest guest on Beyond Boards.

Episode 80 - Chris Haslam | Ausha
Episode 80 with Chris Haslam, professional skateboarder from Vancouver, Canada.Together we discussed his life and career from growing up and picking up his first board in Singapore in the mid 90’s to starting his own board brand Brainchild in 2019 and everything in between through surprise questions from friends of his: Bill Weiss, Danny Gonzalez, Colin Kennedy, Greg Lutzka, Louie Barletta, Joe Perrin, Alex Craig, Adam Cassidy, Jose Rojo, Seu Trinh, Jason Rothmeyer, Shawn Perez, Mark Nickels, Cairo Foster, Jesus Fernandez, Michael Burnett, Jan Kliewer, Joel Pippus, Kirill Korobkov, Liam Searle, Austin Gardner, Caleb Shenkman, Andrew Cannon and Ronnie Creager.(00:13) – Intro (01:13) – Chris life recap (04:38) – Bill Weiss(09:13) – Danny Gonzalez(11:20) – Colin Kennedy(16:11) – Greg Lutzka (27:01) – Louie Barletta(33:20) – Joe Perrin(39:50) – Alex Craig(43:26) – Adam Cassidy(46:56) – Jose Rojo(49:33) – Seu Trinh (52:25) – Jason Rothmeyer (55:31) – Shawn Perez (58:21) – Mark Nickels (01:06:06) – Cairo Foster (01:08:03) – Jesus Fernandez(01:11:58) – Working on “Sterling Golden”(01:13:49) – Michael Burnett(01:14:50) – Jan Kliewer(01:21:08) – Joel Pippus(01:35:38) – Kirill Korobkov (01:40:32) – Liam Searle(01:45:07) – Austin Gardner(01:54:01) – Caleb Shenkman (01:56:16) – Andrew Cannon(01:59:29) – Ronnie Creager(02:18:09) – ConclusionFor more information and resources: Hosted by Ausha. See for more information.

A good thing about a not great thing:

Selling Your House For Firewood
Media companies are cutting deals with OpenAI that they will regret.

Until next week… if you go to an eye specialist and they bring their face centimetres away from yours and press a glass lens directly on your eye, do your best not to laugh, no matter how funny the face they're making as they examine your potential ailment. They won't appreciate it.

Laser Quit Smoking Massage

NEWEST PRESS, available April 1, 2024


My new collection of essays is available now. I think you might like it. The Edmonton Journal thinks it's a "local book set to make a mark in 2024." The CBC called it "quirky yet insightful." lol.

Book cover by Hiller Goodspeed.

Order the thing

Right, Down + Circle



I wrote a book about the history and cultural impact of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater that you can find at your local bookshop or order online now. I think you might like this one, too.

Here’s what Michael Christie, Giller Prize-nominated author of the novels Greenwood and If I Fall, If I Die, had to say about the thing.

“With incisive and heartfelt writing, Cole Nowicki unlocks the source code of the massively influential cultural phenomenon that is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and finds wonderful Easter-eggs of meaning within. Even non-skaters will be wowed by this examination of youth, community, risk, and authenticity and gain a new appreciation of skateboarding’s massive influence upon our larger culture. This is my new favorite book about skateboarding, which isn’t really about skateboarding — it’s about everything.”

Photo via The Palomino.

Order the thing