Tag Archives: NYC

Mark Suciu, Verso, and the Chiasmus vs. the Blubba

Verso, the Mark Suciu skate video that delivered on all its promises, exists in three movements. In the month since its belated debut so very much has been written and diagramed and decoded in regards to the final portion of the video. You know the section I’m talking about – the part with the sort-of mirrored tricks. The “chiasmus“.

If you took the red pill and followed Mark down the rabbit hole then you now live in a place where we are saying trick names like “Nollie Frontside Heelflip Fakie 5-0 Frontside Revert” and then basking in the sublime symmetry created by the “Nollie Backside Heelflip Nosegrind Backside Revert” that happens 40 seconds later. You are cool with a premature video premiere coming with a prerequisite artist statement. You understand that the last trick, a simple grind, isn’t an ender… it’s a bookender. You comply with demands that one show respect by not mentioning Verso in the comments of his friend’s part’s release announcement less one steal said friend’s thunder. You have embraced a world where the ender is a concept featuring 14 interrelated tricks. You know what chiasmus means.

But perhaps you aren’t the type to delve deep into a skater’s intent. Maybe you don’t view skate videos as something to solve. Conceivably, that Thrasher interview is just too damn long and academic.

Perhaps you took the blue pill and woke up in a world where Mark Suciu, the kid who (along with Dylan) upped the value of the internet-solo-part above that of the part-in-a-team-video with his 2011 Cross Continental masterpiece, has gotten his skate mojo back. You ignore all that encrypted significance and simply enjoy the results of Suciu skating at capacity and with full Adidas funding for the past two years. Is that so bad? Perhaps it is even better.

And thus unfolds the first 2-song course of Verso: a Cross Continental continuation where Mark continues to leave his impression on global skate landmarks past and present – Lloyds, Muni, Kezar Stadium, South Bank, the Bay Blocks. But now Mark is older and wiser. His tricks are even more flawless and quick footed. The reverts are more backbreaking and unexpected. Mark goes big when needed, mixing in some solid double sets and gap-to-rails with all that ledge trickery. His hair is flawless and his pants fit well.

And then we get to the real: Mark Suciu skates New York City. This middle section is what cements Suciu’s legacy onto skateboarding forever even more so than having a namesake grind. Between interstitial cuts of subway doors and manhole cover warm-ups we are treated to one-ups at some of your favorite contemporary NYC sets and ledges in addition to some architectural treats. Mark notches his belt at the expected City chestnuts such as the 360 nollie at the D7 Blocks, the ledge dancing within the Flushings Fountain, the tech devastation of the Pyramid Ledges, and then a triad of Blubba mind benders for dessert. Toss in some stunt tricks worthy of a Thrasher cover, a few cellar door skrells, and hyphenated trick combos from rail to bench or beam to beam and Holy Cow. What a part. Just that New York section alone.

I’ve watched Verso many, many times over the past month and each time the New York section just towers over the mirrored-tricks part, yet this grouping seems already a bit lost in all the academic discussion surrounding the final act. It isn’t a stretch to say the New York Verso is overshadowed by the other parts within the same video. Which is a shame because on its own it is one of the greatest New York parts we have with wide reach. Right up there with Eastern Exposure 3, that part in Transworld’s Greatest Hits, Zoo York Mix Tape, and something else that Quartersnacks would crucify me for not mentioning should they ever read this blog.

Obviously, as I strive keep this ill-conceived Matrix analogy going, I’m more of a blue pill guy.

But maybe this isn’t an either/or situation. Maybe you snatch both pills out of Morpheus’ hands and shove them in your mouth and swallow them both before he or any of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar can stop you. Maybe the chiasmus doesn’t have to obfuscate the Blubba.

Either way, holy shit, Mark Suciu has some fucking talent riding a skateboard.

 

NYC Montage from Transworld’s Greatest Hits – 1997

A standard feature of the skate video full length since the early 1990s is the montage or “Friends” section. Usually a song in length, we get treated to an assortment of tricks from skaters not featured elsewhere in the video and rarely even on the team in a pro/am sense. It is a highlight reel of geographic pals, sister-company associates, flow  international team riders, and otherwise unclaimed ‘other’ tricks that went down during the filming sessions.

While occasionally refreshing and at random times containing a surprise banger, these parts are easy to forget. There are, however, exceptions.

For your consideration, the NYC montage from Transworld Skateboarding‘s 1997 Greatest Hits video (itself basically a 35 minute montage of montages). Note: Greatest Hits was the title of TWS’s 3rd video (4th is you count Dreams of Children) featuring all new footage and not a greatest hits video in the typical use of the word.

Filmed mostly by Ryan Gee (I assume), I’m looking back at these clips through a lens 20 years thick and thinking this part does a surprisingly satisfying job of encapsulating NYC skating in the mid 1990s. All the more unusual being produced by a magazine that is staunchly SoCal.

The spots, the skaters, the sounds, the grit, and the crowded, cavernous feel of skating in a pre-skate stopped (and pre-9/11) Manhattan… Huf is popping, Keenan is alive and well, Puleo is doing a variation of the cellar door thing, the Banks are covered end-to-end, and Quim is at his most Quiminess. Some tricks from obscure-only-if-you-weren’t-there legends like Chris Keefe, Ryan Hickey, and Peter Bici give the part a little more authenticity. Now, if only Transworld had sprung for a Mobb Deep track.

I also miss back when it was ok to put the skaters name on screen. Why did everyone stop doing that?