Santa x Sriracha | Simply Ranked

Plus: fashion animals, Carl Aikens is pro, fortune favours the Matt Damon 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 mirror through space, time, fashion

Rank: 3
Mood: đź‘’

We are all simply mirrors, reflecting or refracting all we observe back out into the world around us. The paths these light rays travel are infinite and arrive from everywhere, transcending all aesthetic constructs—especially fashion. Do I dress like this bird? Absolutely. Was I directly inspired by its approximate visage of a folded-knit toque? In a sense, yes. Its many reflections likely passed through the animal kingdom, time, and into the human realm, beginning with sailors and the trainers of old-timey pugilists before flashing through skateboarders and onto me. And yeah, my ears do get a little cold.

Carlisle Aikens: Pro

Rank: 1
Mood: 🎊 🎉

In all of our little corners of this vast internet, we grumbled. After every edit where Carlisle Aikens would author the moments that most stuck in our minds, we chided Crailtap for not being present and in the now—striking while the proverbial iron was hot from some massive switch frontside bluntslide. How could they string along another talent like this without turning them pro? In the time of the brand’s necessary reconstruction, they should be so lucky even to have them on the roster. Oh, how we groaned.

Then Chocolate Skateboards announced their new full-length video Bunny Hop. Aikens graced the poster. Fans in the comments felt hope but also familiar, looming despair.

Please. We all wanted it but couldn’t shake the memories of Ricardo Carvalho, or the variety of flow riders left too long to maturate who either quit the team or phased out. However, Jordan Trahan and James Capps had turned pro just months before, so perhaps this was only an imagined issue, simply a reason to criticize a legacy brand for becoming what our new favourites were not: old. Or maybe it meant the company was listening to the criticism.

Whatever the case, last week, the video premiered and our little corners of the internet were abuzz. First impressions that leaked online seemed good. There was only one Chris Roberts clip. A Vincent Alvarez double part. Aikens’ section appeared to be great, no, fantastic. They better turn Carl pro, we all thought and typed. Would they do it at the premiere? Of course. It only made sense. We waited as the screenings unfolded. Time an elastic band pulled back tight, the tension slowing our perception—until it was released.

Fortune favours some, not others

Rank: uh oh
Mood: 🤕

Some things seem like a good idea until you try them, like wakeboarding, falling in love or investing in crypto. We have an idea in our heads of how that thing could and should work; all that’s needed is the courage to try. As Matt Damon says in that cursed commercial while walking through a stilted gallery of heroism’s past and future—fortune favours the brave.

Yes, there’s something to that. We exist as creatures assembled piecemeal from unearned hubris, often wanting the idea of a thing without fully considering anything about it beyond its attainment. Do we first think about getting dragged around a lake on our face by a speed boat, mull over what it means to consider someone else other than ourselves for once in our godforsaken lives, or reflect on how we might be getting rinsed in a new and even more asinine way? No, not us.

This isn’t to say we should never try new things or be daring, but much like backflipping off a skateboard, it’s helpful to know what a backflip entails before trying.

Hypothetical stocking stuffer

Rank: 4
Mood: 🤞

Let’s all focus. Centre ourselves. Feel our collective energies rising. Now, let’s direct this pure hot beam of will at making next year the turning point when skate brands finally move away from these never-ending waves of collabs. The novelty of brand partnerships was picked off like a scab years ago, and we’ll just keep bleeding out unless we let them be—ah shit.

Future promise

Rank: 1, again
Mood: <3

However big or small your future goals are—from getting on Shake Junt to New Balance, securing a small college bursary to a full-ride scholarship, winning $20 on a scratchy to scoring the flat of eggs and bacon at your local Legion’s monthly meat draw—2022 is your year.

Something to consider: We’re all trying to be something for some reason or another.

Good things: Patricia Lockwood on Knausgaard for the London Review of Books.

Until next week… take a long afternoon nap. A couple of them. Over the course of a few days.