Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slapchat: Special Curb Stall Edition, With Kristian Svitak

The ever popular, Truck-Grab Butt Stall

When I hit up Kristian Svitak to do a Slapchat, I figured it would be the the journalistic equivalent of a slappy on a red painted roundy. Svitak’s from the midwest, he came up at the end of the 80’s, hell, he was a teammate of John Lucero and Jason Adams for years. I just sort of assumed that this Ohio-reared shredder would have a deep devotion to the sacred slappy. 

Never take anything for granted kids, especially in skateboarding. When I called him up on the road with my standard list of questions, I got a minor shock.

“I’ve never really had a slappy phase,” Svitak explained. “I enjoy doing them...but this whole slappy thing, my buddies are always trying to get me to do slappies. ‘Hey let’s go do slappies!’ Yeah, that sounds fun, but, nothing against the slappy, but when I think about the limited time I have to skate, I want to do all sorts of things. I’ve got skateboarding ADD, I only have so many slappies, and then it’s like: ‘Is there a set of stairs around here?’”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Ace Of Curbs

Depending on your point of view, skaters like Ace Pelka are either saving curb skating, or ruining it forever. On one hand, watching this 18 year old shredder rip a curb is a lesson in stoke. On the other, seeing him pop a variation like a slappy to ollie impossible out is enough to make any veteran curb skater question whether a good, solid, frontside slappy is enough anymore.

“I totally don’t mean to turn slappies into a tech thing,” Pelka says, defending himself. “I just like impossibles, they’re my favorite flat ground trick. I was super-pumped to do a slappy and impossible out. I tried it and it worked out.”

Of course, this does nothing to excuse him for the slappy kickflips, or all the other variations he has completely dialed. Pelka is a monster. But if he’s a monster, then he’s a monster of our own creation.

Monday, May 11, 2015

SLAPCHAT With Mario Rubalcaba

The slappy: it's oh so much more than a skateboard trick. Its an attitude, a way of life, a philosophy. Every once in a while we get a chance to ask a bona fide master of the Dao of Slap a set of questions that go to the heart of the art and cut to the very meaning of the slappy.

Our first slappy sensei is Mario Rubalcaba. Mario has been terrorizing curbs and brutalizing drums for decades. He was a pro for the legendary Alva team in the late 80’s and early 90’s, a role model for the curb generation, and the beat behind too many bands to recount, including 411, Off, Rocket From the Crypt, Earthless, and Hot Snakes. He still drums, he still rips and he’s still putting out decks with Assault skateboards. Those who pursue the way of the slap should all familiarize themselves with the work of this San Diego Curb Crusher. Here’s Mario’s perspective on the sacred slappy.

First off, what counts as a slappy? Do you have to get your trucks involved? Some folks consider a noseslide on a curb where you don’t lift your tail a “slappy noseslide” or a slapped in blunt sllide a “slappy blunt”?