The perks of being a switch god | Simply Ranked

Plus: My friend (fridge), Aleka and Ibu, pro model body slams 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.

My friend (fridge)

Rank: 3
Mood: 🗄?

Aidan Mackey as Randy Farkus

Household appliance, creative partner, friend. Randy Farkus, or as we’ve come to know him, Aidan Mackey, is well acquainted with what appears to be one of the kitchen’s central tenants, the refrigerator. We see their collaboration in action in the first few moments of Mackey’s latest video part for Fucking Awesome. Man and fridge, fridge and man. He grinds its length and stalls its horizontal height.

Is this Mackey’s appliance? Removed and replaced in his home by some new soulless, stainless steel behemoth with french doors and a spacious bottom-freezer that silently glides open to reveal the rock-solid torso of a turkey. Being let go from your job is an insult, but they’ve put that slight aside; harbouring ill will does not help. We all grow and change. Now, if anything, their relationship has become more intimate. Before Mackey would open its door, pour himself a glass of whole milk, and that would be the last of their interactions until the human had grown thirsty or hungry again. But here, in the streets, presumably lugged around in the box of a pick-up, this mass of plastic and metal and coolant is more than a receptacle. It is a dance partner, punching bag and accomplice. The relationship is still mostly one-sided, but now at least, each party is sacrificing one’s health and safety for the other.

Inside that box are just leftover memories. Outside, with a camera taking in his every movement, that bright orange flash destroys and preserves.

The perks of being a switch god

Rank: 2
Mood: 🔁

When I think of my stance on this, regular, what comes to mind is the broken arm, fractured pinky finger, torn ACL, and damaged elbow ligaments—all injuries sustained to the left side of my body while in the act of skateboarding. The misaligned hips, the right butt cheek that eclipses the left in size and tone, all come from a common choice not to be a switch god. An ignorant refusal to recognize the dual-stance deity that dwells within us all.

My friend Greg used to push switch (not swongo) up hills to train his ambidexterity. Each swing of the opposite hip was an offering and a prayer to that burgeoning divinity inside. I see that now. The more you devote yourself, the greater the return: a balanced being in body and ability. It is a holy pursuit, one’s switch game. So turn around, allow that pale cheek to feel the sun and redefine yourself as your own personal—

You have to be there

Rank: 1
Mood: 🏳️

Some things are hard to capture on film, like smell, cryptids or what it feels like to watch particular talents skate in person. Aleka Lang’s NorthUnda video part for DC Shoes is an excellent introduction for Lang to the wider world of skateboarding who may not be familiar with the Canadian. Technical yet understated, stylish down to the push; Lang doesn’t trade in big tricks for the sake of big tricks here. He excels as a storyteller, piecing together flowing lines that catch you in the in-between moments.

As great as this video part is, there’s an essence to Lang’s skating that I’m not sure can be copied onto tape or SD card. On several occasions, I’ve watched in person as he circumnavigates a skate spot or skate park for minutes at a time, the casual torrent of tricks left in his wake more afterthought than effort. Riding away is not an expectation but an inevitability.

His billowing ‘90s nostalgia regalia surely adds to the charm; saggy flags for a beloved era flying at full mast. All of this together, the intangibles and the baggy tangibles, make a Lang sighting hard to forget and harder to transfer onto our screens. Even explaining his on-board presence feels like trying to describe the aurora borealis—you can’t understand the way it moves, the way it shimmers, until you see it for yourself.

The double jump mechanic

Rank: 1
Mood: 🔼 🔼

Ibu Sanyang in the Carhartt WIP Skateboarding video INSIDE OUT

If you’ve played enough platformers or Metroidvania-style video games, then you know the acute frustration that comes with seeing a cliff you just can’t reach or an item your character’s little pixellated head can’t quite touch. It’s a matter of lost potential, not being able to make the most of the world around you.

What’s clear after watching Carhartt WIP Skateboarding’s video INSIDE OUT, is that Ibu Sanyang has achieved the much-desired double jump ability. He can clear that cliff, claim that item, and leave the rest of us slack-jawed in wonder as we watch him do it.

Pro model body slam

Rank: Another 1
Mood: 🤼

While I’m not sure Jason Acuña was ever technically “pro,” over his decades-long career as himself, he’s proved to be a genuine and passionate advocate of skateboarding. This is something worthy of recognition, whether it comes in the form of pro models or pro wrestlers body slamming him at dinner, the man deserves his laurels.

Something to consider:

In the absence of anything more cohesive or more ennobling, a versatile but otherwise useless resentment has become the signal core emotional fact of American public life.

David Roth from his piece “Cheer Up, Aaron Rodgers” for Defector. One could say the same for things up here. *Looks towards Ottawa*

Good things: Artist and illustrator Lorna Goldfinch talked to Solo about drawing (and skating) DIY spots.

Until next week… have you cleaned the grout in your bathroom lately? What a calming practice, tracing the latticework of tile beside the tub, watching dirt a grime break free, arteries unclogged.