Loving yourself (and your tricks) | Simply Ranked

Plus: Dime name drops, municipal colourways, DIY disappointment, 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.

Shall we move

Rank: 1
Mood: 😤😊🏆

Something happened in the mid-2010s. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. Social media cresting as the defining means of communication, perhaps. Younger generations tiring of the confines of what their elders and industry leaders deemed cool is an okay guess. Whatever the case, skateboarding began to take itself less seriously. Or more seriously, but with less judgement as a rejoinder.

Pants that would make Garrett Hill blush became the norm. Tricks Louie Barletta created a career around are now the everyday. The type of self-celebration that Bastien Salabanzi was ridiculed for is now expected after one rolls away from a difficult trick.

These shifts in attitude and acceptance? They absolutely rule. And when it comes to the latter, it even came with a universal rallying cry. One that transcends skateboarding into professional sports leagues, Fortnite victories, drunken nights out with pals, winning $10 on a scratchie —

Yes, let’s go. To a place where we can be excited about what we accomplish and share that excitement with our friends. Is it corny to scream those words as the handrail shrinks into the distance behind you? A bit, sure. But there’s no shame in this place. So throw your hat to the ground, pull your shirt over your head, and savour the cries of your crew as they run cheering after you — this world won’t give you much better than that.

Localism largely lauded

Rank: 2
Mood: 📍

Last week in this very column, I expressed with sincerity how the revived shoe brand éS has been doing some Good Things. They’ve rebuilt their team around a familiar, cohesive theme of “smooth tech skater” and even brought Tom Penny, the archetype of such style, back into the fold.

There’s no “but” coming here. éS is still doing that. In Marcus Shaw’s recent “RÅDZ” video part, we see the Norwegian in Oslo, skating solely at his granite home base of Rådhuset. The growing trend of one-spot-centric video parts continues. It’s a compelling one. We get to see the extent of a skater’s creative eye when they have room to dig into crevices unexplored when limited to only two or three clips.

éS has taken notice, too. They’ve started their “Landmark Collection,” a series of colourways inspired by famous spots from MACBA to Oslo’s city hall. It’s a surprising, pro-local local government initiative from the brand, as one would assume each respective public institution and municipality will be receiving royalties.

We only have now

Rank: 2.5
Mood: 💆‍♂️

While on a drive with friends, one shared with the car that Eckhart Tolle lives in Vancouver and once came into the restaurant they worked at for dinner. From the backseat and confusing Eckhart with the formally ubiquitous TV chef Emeril Lagasse, I muttered Bam! No one acknowledged me, and the conversation continued along.

Later, I would google Tolle and sigh. The Power of Now guy. The slight German spiritual teacher whose self-help book I’ve seen on my mother’s shelf. I scrolled through his YouTube page and looked at videos whose screengrabs bear quotes like “Hurry Slowly,” “Presence is Beauty,” and “The Time is Always Now.”

Perhaps I misunderstand the man’s teachings, but his core tenet of “wherever you are, be there totally” seems terminally flawed. How can I be present, sitting in front of my computer during work hours, when I’ve just seen this tweet:

Impossible. I don’t need to be here now; I needed to be at the courts ten minutes ago.

Name drops

Rank: 3
Mood: 🏷️

Like the milk crate challenge or Gangnam Style, there will always be some cultural trend that burns dangerously bright before reducing to ash — occasionally stinging your eyes again when the winds of nostalgia blow. One that continues to flicker, much to my frustration, is skate videos that refuse to name the skaters on screen.

GX1000’s offerings are where I first took notice of this. At the time, it was refreshing and even made a strange sort of sense. This cadre of hill bombing daredevils was simply moving too fast and with such a singular focus on destruction that giving names to them almost felt irresponsible to their cause, like doxxing. Just let the anxiety-inducing rush of what they were presenting take over. Titles would pull your eye from each precious millisecond of carnage.

Years later, I still don’t know most of their names. Or the names of skaters in any other video that doesn’t feel the need to tell me them. And hey, that’s their prerogative, but I’m trying to do a YouTube search here. Thankfully, the pendulum swings.

Dime, to be fair, has always made sure of this. All of their videos are sufficiently, almost comically over-titled — which is appreciated. How else would I know who Max Wasungu is, the breakout star of their new video, if they didn’t tell me three-four times in an eight-minute video?

Before sunset

Rank: 4
Mood: ⚰️

There will always be a little pang of regret. The coveting of time lost. But that’s part of the understanding going in. When a DIY spot gets built on public property, its days are sure to be few, so you skate it every day. Then every other day. Eventually, you grow a little bored of it. The spot becomes something of an afterthought. That’s when the city comes with jackhammers, and you wish you’d just tried that trick at least once. You knew you had it.

RIP blue barriers.

Love, you love to see it

Rank: 1 (tie)
Mood: ❤️❤️❤️

Breana Geering is pro, in love, and loved by her community — that’s probably the best this world has to offer.

Something to consider: Doing it for laughs, not applause.

Good things:

Like over there you could just figure out clips?

Until next week… do that thing with Bugles where you put them on your fingers like claws.