G’day and welcome to the first instalment of Vandals, Posers, Athletes (VPA), a new fortnightly skateboarding column written by me, Nat Kassel.
I’m a rapidly balding, chronically untalented skateboarder who’s currently hiding away in a shack near Mullumbimby. I write feature articles about skateboarding and music for a few different websites and magazines, including this one. If you’re thinking, Who is this chump? He can’t possibly have the skate-cred or qualifications for a column, you’re absolutely right. I’m a nobody. But here we are, so hello and welcome to VPA.
Yesterday I read a news article about how the Australian Sports Commission reckons that skateboarding will become the second most popular ‘sport’ in this country by next year. They’ve put together a special sub-commission called ‘Skateboard 2020’, which has started training skateboarders how to eat right, work out and get coached for the Olympics in Tokyo next year. What a time to be alive, eh?
And you know what that means.
Bit of an anticlimax, but it probably means fuck all for you and me. It might be a slightly weird time to be a skater, but in many ways, things are the same as ever. Nyjah might make a couple more million next year but, let’s face it, you’re still going to be watching VX clips and drinking long necks on the street with your friends this weekend. The cops are still going to hate you. If you’re lucky, there might be a little more funding for a new skate park in your area, but don’t hold your breath. The government still hates you too.
Speaking of hate, I’d like to get to know you a little better. In the interest of market research, please identify which category of skateboarder you fall into:
- Cuffed-trousered wallride enthusiast who answers all questions with the word ‘chur’.
- Chronic stoner skater who deeply understands the importance of a healthy vegan diet.
- Olympic hopeful who refers to skateboarding as ‘training’ and dreams of having an energy drink sponsor one day.
- Ageing alcoholic tranny lord who enjoys frontside grinds almost as much as shit tatts and bubblers.
- Young sugar-addicted street skater who enjoys switch flips almost as much as fast food and trap music.
- Padded-up vert dad.
- Young female skateboarder fighting for the right to exist.
- ‘OG skater’ who doesn’t skate anymore but spends his time attacking young female skateboarders’ Instagram clips for not being ‘core’ enough.
Well, that about covers it. Now that I’ve neatly divvied you up into eight little stereotypes, it seems appropriate that we get on with the news. Because that’s what VPA is all about, keeping you up to date with skateboarding gossip that I’ve hand-picked from the internet.
Alleged Neo-Nazi Jason Jessee Was On The Nine Club This Week
In case you missed it, in late-2018, a thread surfaced via the Slap message boards that veteran pro skateboarder Jason Jessee was probably a Neo-Nazi. There were instances of him wearing swastikas, using the n-word in an interview and an account of an altercation he had with an African American skater, amongst other things. The post was followed up by a VICE article that resulted in Jason Jessee getting dropped by all his sponsors. He apologised at the time via Instagram, but it was generally seen as a pretty weak apology and failed to go into specifics about what he’d done wrong or what he believed about swastikas.
This week Jessee went on Chris Roberts’s The Nine Club to explain ‘his side’ of the story. The result is more than three hours of a bumbling, rambling and admittedly nervous Jessee who is clearly aware that he’s up shit creek without a paddle, but still not switched on or articulate enough to apologise sincerely. Instead, we’re left with, ‘Yeah, I said some terrible shit… and if I say what it really was, it will sound fake, so I almost have to lie.’ Then he goes on a tangent about motorbikes. I recommend watching this at 1.5 speed, or if you want to skip the first hour and a half, he says he’s not a racist at 1.37. Do you believe him though?
The DC Supertour Hit Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland
On a lighter note, DC came through ‘Straya and NZ with their ‘Supertour’ in late-Feb and early-March, putting on a coupla top quality demos in Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney. It was a nod to the OG DC Supertour, which happened back in ’97 and was documented in 411 Video Magazine #30. Back then, Mike Carroll, Rick Howard, Rob Dyrdek, Josh Kalis, Keith Hufnagel, and a few others donned matching jerseys and tore the European parks a new arsehole. Twenty-two years later, it was a similar deal, with international big dicks such as Tiago Lemos, Wes Kremer, Evan Smith, T-Funk, Jaakko Ojanen, and John Shanahan joining local heroes Tommy Fynn, Alex Lawton and Shaun Paul. Watch the Melbourne demo above, replete with a switch flip back Smith from Tiago and a shoey from Evan Smith. The Sydney demo at Waterloo was probably even more red-hot and much to everyone’s surprise, it didn’t get rained out (for once).
The Sour Solution II
I suggest you inject this video into your eyeballs immediately. It’s all filmed with VX and full of mad, cutty street lines and singles. The jazzy soundtrack really rubs me up the right way. It was directed by a quiet Norwegian fella by the name of Gustav Tønnesen who also skates really well. Unless you’re a proper skate-nerd or super familiar with the Euro scene, I daresay you haven’t heard of all the dudes in this particular video, but do yourself a solid and get into it. It’s 38-minutes of visual pleasure, especially for those who say ‘chur’ to cuffed pants and wallrides.
See you for the next installment of VPA exactly two weeks from now at Bronson Canyon halfpipe, nine o’clock. Joust. Be there.