What Is The Next Olympic Action Sport?

5 01 2012

With all the talk of the FIS taking the reins on the Olympic slopestyle qualifications lately, and the fact that Shaun White says his next real focus will be to get skateboarding in the games I have been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of action sports in the world’s largest mainstream sporting event.

What are the chances Shaun succeeds in bringing the shred to the Olympics yet again?  If he does, what will it look like?  And finally what impact will this have on another of the sports we love so much?

To answer the first question, in a word I’d say yes.  I truly believe that thanks to the success of the winter sports as well as the recent addition of BMX to the games there is a very good chance that in the near-ish future we could see skate make an appearance alongside the other Olympic exercises.  The reasons why I believe this are plenty but in the interest of holding your interest I will try keep it to a few.

For starters the Olympics is trying so hard to be cool that there really is no telling what lengths they will go to in order to modernize the games.  With that being said let’s look at some of the criteria in place to get a sport included.

The IOC states that for inclusion “A sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.”

Of those criteria I fail to see one that isn’t already in place, with the obvious exception of it not being recommended to the IOC itself, but that part is relatively easy.

The sport has mass appeal worldwide, has millions of participants and can be done in more locations than nearly any other sport.  Add to that the fact that all you need for a venue in the case of White’s version is a single ramp, able to be constructed in any pre-existing Olympic-ready building.  So I think there is a solid case to be made for it as an easy fit.  As for the other form of the sport…

…On to the next issue.

What form would “Olympic Skateboarding” take, and here is my thought is that.  Any Olympic version of a sport seems to be the least threatening version possible.  By that of course I mean the IOC charter speaks in volume about fair play, sportsmanship and a bunch of other things that make the street skating side of the sport a little scary at first glance.  Halfpipe skating however, has the ability to transform itself into this clean cut account of the sport, where there is no need to be raw, and rough and get kicked out of your “venue” by the cops.  Ramp skating can be seen as Danny Way’s monumental leap in China, or Mitchie Busco, potentially the cutest little nug of a skater ever hucking a 900 and being praised by the elders of the sport.  So I think that if and when skate gets in, halfpipe will be the tip of the sword.

Ending off this rant, I’d just like to talk a little about “What impact this might have on skate, and the other ‘alternative sports’”.  This is where I feel like it gets tricky.  Look at the effect that snowboarding in the Olympics had on the sport as a whole; they decided to put racing in the Olympics years back and the concept of a stiff, ski-style boot still makes some people (including myself) a little nauseous.  Then look at what happened when a snowboarder was caught smoking weed (not inhaling, or whatever) great for the public image of the sport that’s for sure.

Action sports are forced to fight for respect and media attention every day, but in the same breathe I don’t know if altering our image to fit the mold of the perfect aspirational athletes is the way to get it either.

Outside of that, think of the impact it has on people inside the sport, who live it, and don’t want to see something they love taken from them and tainted for the sake of fitting in.  Terje’s Olympic boycott, and the current issues facing slopestyle are shining examples of that, and it is a solid truth that if we don’t send the best in the sport, no one wins.

So what I am saying with all of this is that the chances of skateboarding, and eventually a host of other action sports cracking the list of events in humanity’s oldest sporting festival are pretty good.  But whether or not that is what’s best for the sports themselves, or the athletes who perform them remains to be seen.

As always, thanks for listening,

-t





Shaun White Is Officially A Company

9 10 2011

Over the weekend it was announced that Shaun White has a new business venture.  It’s called Shaun White Supply Company and the aim is to bring you the best skateboards, bikes, stunt scooter, helmets, ramps and handrails at a price point the even the average weekend sender can afford.  According to a company called D6 Sports, who will be working alongside SWSC the products are put through their paces by not only Shaun, but a team of athletes and testers who ensure that the products can perform at a professional level as well as hit retail with a decent price tag.

Now I know what you are all probably thinking (or at least the majority), this is another lame project by Shaun White, the king of commercial action sports to boost sales at Target and put his name on as much merch as Gene Simmons.  I was one of the I’m assuming many people who thought this, then I thought about it, and then thought about it some more.  Then I realized, this is something action sports NEEDS.  Look at what Wayne Gretzky did for the popularity of hockey in out of market areas, or what Ichiro did to bridge the gap for Japanese baseball players in America.

Someone needs to be that trail-blazer who is willing to be a little too mainstream for the hardcore, in order to help our industry grow.  I think Shawn is the perfect man for the job as well.  He clearly loves the spotlight, he can sell better then most real estate agents and he has a face that is identifiable in every home in the world, which few others can say.  Look at another great example of this; Tony Hawk.

I’m sure you have gone over to a buddy’s house and played one of Hawk’s games on their console, even though they may not have owned a skateboard.  If you disagree, then here is a stat to back it up:  The Tony Hawk video game franchise has grossed over a billion dollars in worldwide sales.  I think just a few people outside of skate may have bought the game.

And yes, getting back to the original point to SW based products, I did say “stunt-scooters”, but I know there are a ton of parents out there who are more than happy to let their child get the hang of skateboard, by using one that has a handle on it.  So this idea is not all that bad, in fact, I believe that the Shaun White Supply Co. is going to do the culture of action sports a world of good.

And I guess we will find out, as the picture above states, we will be able to check out the product launch at this weekends Dew Tour Championships in Vegas.

 

-t





Jesus Gives Thanks!

11 10 2010

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Is It Awesome I Found This Pic On YoBeat.com?

As we move closer to another snowboard season and the end of another calendar year a few things come to mind. One of them is how excited we all are for another set of months with snow on the ground for us to play in.

The other thing, and on a touch more serious note (I emphasize a touch) is what an amazing last 12 months it has been and how blessed I feel for having experienced everything that has come my way in the past year.

Not only am I now past the one year mark being back kicking it with the crew at Spareparts, where this all started but I have had the opportunity and the ability to have my thoughts go down in writing on streetjesus.net.

So many amazing people have crossed my path in the last year that I can’t possibly begin to name them all so let me start by saying thank you to all the people that I will no doubt forget to mention in this post. I am going to do my best to cover all my bases in as short a time as I can.

To Matty OC, Ry Willisko and Drew McOuat for straight up helping me live the dream while keeping a roof over my head. To Matty Evans, and Mark Ennis for helping keep rent at a reasonable amount so that I don’t have to live in my truck. Without you guys, none of this would have happened.

To Justin, Jesse, Levi, Mark, Craig, Adam, Anthony, Dylan, Scotty K and all the others who have made SJ a place that is full of fresh, relevant and banger content. I owe you all I huge bro hug. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

And Schmid. Dude-bro, you have taken my pure motivation and heart and shown me that I can do something worthwhile with it. You made me realize if I keep hustlin’ and grindin’ anything really is possible. Along this little trip we have been on over the last 10 months or so I have grown to respect you as a writer, self-taught web designer, creative genius and even more as a friend. I love you dude.

Action sports really have changed my life for the better and I don’t think I would still be here with the positive attitude I have without it. So I want take this chance to say a thanks to the whole action sports community for everything that you do, every day to make life better.

I thought the other day, how cool it would be to take all the dudes who live this shit everyday and figure out what we are thankful for. I took down a list of buds whose opinion I really value and asked them to tell me the moments, people and things that put a smile on their faces in 2010.

I want to kick it off with someone who I am also very glad I came across. It was years ago I met Ben McIntyre, but the kid never fails to amaze me with his absolute stoke, dedication and love for what he does best. Slays the shit out of everyday life. Here is Benny’s top 5 moments for Two Oh One Oh.

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Funnest. Kid. Ever!

For starters, Ben titled his email to me “12 Months of Awesomeness” and it truly was.

Ashley Leugner winning Canadian Nationals.
Ash goes out with the boys all the time and does more than keep up. She steps it up on a consistent basis and it all paid off when she took top spot this year behind the boat in front of the entire country’s wake community.

Travis Pastrana’s Double Cork 720 at X Games 15.
Although he didn’t manage to put both wheels down on this trick in the contest he truly showed everyone what is possible in action sports and really raised the bar for FMX as a whole.

Mark McMorris’ first win on tour at Shakedown.
Mark has shown everyone what he is really capable of in 2010 and this was a shining example of just how gnar he is. 16 and destroying it.

Bobby Brown’s PERFECT score in Ski Big Air at Winter X this past winter.
Switch Double Cork 1440 Misty Mute. Oh ya, and he followed it up with a win the next day in slopestyle.

TORSTIEN HORGMO.
Triple Cork, enough said. What a nice little cherry to go along with an amazing season and pushing the limits at the top of the greatest sport in the world.

On the heels of Torstien and on the topic of snowboard dominance, let’s get right into the brains of the Sunshine kids. First up, Jesse Bryksa. Jess never really gave me an order for these picks. Nor should he have, I mean how do you rank this?

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Creator Of The "Superpark Showdown"

Starting with Mark McMorris’ run at the Arctic Challenge.
Double Cork 10, Double Rodeo 9. Should have one the contest, and if instant scoring didn’t fail us all he would have. Mark had an all-around amazing season, and this showed us all how truly talented he is.

Sean Malto’s performance at Street League.
One trick for 150 000$. Kid is solid and deserved it 100%

Levi Ziegler at Woodward.
Switch Back Rodeos? Really? Pat Milbury asked him to be in his webisodes for the camp and he ended up with the opening shot for the camp’s first session. Love this guy to death and maybe this will get him to stop hating on me for going to “Mamma Mia” with my mom.

(SJ note – We have heard amazing things about Mamma Mia)

The birth of Streetjesus.
Fun fact, Streetjesus was never crucified. He is actually alive and living somewhere in the north end.

Lil’ Bryks’ performance at the fist annual “Bryksa Superpark Showdown”
Even though he was slightly intoxicated and the judging was far from professional, his Skate 3 skills spoke for themselves and he took home the gold. For the record there was a judging error and Mark McMorris was robbed of his deserved second place. That makes Cole Welter third, I hope that taking responsibility for this can end all the drama and I can move on with my life.

And with that we move forward and hear from Lil’ Bryks’ himself. This should be gnar-tastic.

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YEAH LARRY!

“Ahh man, been so stoked this year it’s hard to think of only 5…Daku, I think you can relate!”

“Yes my bro, yes I can!”

Haldor Helgason’s part in “Black Winter”
Going into the season I had never heard of these guys and now I know they are two of the funniest, steeziest hooligans in the sport and totally brought back the fun to snowboarding!

BATB 3.
I think everyone would agree this was the longest most clutch performance of Prod’s career, so stoked for PRod !

My boy Larry (Mark) McMorris.
Back Double Cork 12 to take third spot at the Ante Up contest in Whistler. YEAH LARRY!

Meeting Chad Otterstrom at Woodward.
So stoked to spend some time with one of the pioneers of today’s snowboarding. He was such a rad dude and made the whole experince of Woodward so epic!

The creation of Streetjesus FER SURE.
Just always on top of the news in action sports and helping progress action sports not only in Regina but also in all of Saskatchewan. I love what Streetjesus is doing, whether it be snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, or any other action sport. Streetjesus is on it and keeps the kids informed on the next big thing.

“Those are my top 5 stokes for the year, again so much to be stoked on in the past and for the future. The Sun Shines on SJ!”

Levi Ziegler was a bit of a tough dude to get a hold of for this project, as I’m sure he was out poKing people like nobody’s business. But having the amazing persuasive powers I do, after a short while I got an answer out of him, and it was a good one.

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Do It Like... ZIEGLER!

The number one thing is the ultimate contest.
The Bryksa Superpark Showdown. One of the greatest brainchildren ever came from Jesse Bryksa and changed all of our lives forever.

The Team Shoot-Out.
This year blew minds. Transworld’s Team Shoot-Out is always pushing teams and riders to step up and change the video game. This year was no different.

Number 3 is “Skate 3”
Even though it might say that EA created it, I’m pretty sure the Lord invented this amazing game.

The McMorris bros.
Can they seriously get any more amazing? Riding with these boys pushes me to get better, so stoked to be able to grow up with Mark and Craig and learn so much from them.

Thank you for…Daku!
Seriously though, thanks most of all for Streetjesus.

PEACE!

After all of this went down with the boys, I figured I should step out of the Regina-area box and go with someone who is a little less local and get a wider perspective of the world of action sports. Who better than Streetjesus’ very own source and industry pimp Scott Kerslake. Scotty was witty, articulate and entertaining as always.

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The Man. The Myth. The Bro!

Number one was The Berrics.
Steve Berra is the creative mastermind behind the Battle at the Berrics. What started as a simple bro-down game of S.K.A.T.E has turned into the most popular site in the industry.

Number two, Street League.
Rob Dyrdek has single-handedly raised the bar for skate contests by securing and offering massive cash for wins and a National television deal. Dyrdek is exposing elite skateboarding to new audiences and ensuring that participation and interest in skateboarding continue to grow across the globe.

Number three was the 2010 Olympics.
I was fortunate enough to sit beside the first family of snowboarding while Shaun White threw down his gold medal run. His Double McTwist 1260 definitely upped the ante for Sochi in 2014.

(SJ note – Scott is a jerk)

Number four was February powder days.
If you live on the west coast you certainly know what a late start we got to the 09-10 season. Taking a break from the Olympic hustle and bustle, we took a trip to Mt. Baker in Washington and were blessed with almost two feet of fresh snow. It was epic!

The final piece to the five was simply, Innovation.
Companies that are working to make action sports better and push boundaries will be successful. I certainly appreciate the fresh thinking of new start ups that are trying to make a name in the game for themselves. Just today I read about a company called Smoking Snowboards who is combating online sales by offering discounts to customers who mention the name of their local shop when ordering a board.

Check em out here! Smokin Snowboads!

I really had to sit back and think after I read what SK had to say about things, as he pretty much hit every point I wanted to hit on. There was only one dude left to chime in and it is definitely the bro who’s opinion I value the most personally. Jefton has been on the coast with the fam for this holiday and managed to take some time out to hit me up with some picks and no doubter content for this piece.

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What's Up Streetjesus?

The number one pick is perfect evidence of why I love the way this kid’s mind works.

Chicks who wear slouchy beanies and tall hoodies.
What more needs to be said about action sports than a good old fashion nugget with some steeze?
Amen Jeff, Amen!

Number two is the obvious bro pick, Ryan “M’Fin’” Sheckler.
Direct quote from my boy “Thank you for always going sooo big, driving Ferraris and not being a total douche like all of your jealous haters.” Nail on the head again Jefton.

Number three was simple. The Backside 180.
The reason I get out of bed in the morning.

Number four, Devun Walsh.
Thank you for continuing to do Backside 180s (with the occasional Switch Back 3) and continuing to hit powy jumps in the Whistler backcountry. Also for not pushing your stance together and doing pretzels like some goof.

Number five straight up gave me shivers.

Tyler Daku – The Franchise.
The best friend a person could ever ask for.
Thanks bud, you know they feeling is mutual!!

I didn’t really know what else to add after all the kind words and straight up truths told by the dudes I love the most. There were a few things I would like to throw in that might have gotten lost in all the awesome that was 2010.

Cam Sinclair for comeback of the year. This kid BROKE HIMSELF OFF early in the year attempting the new benchmark of FMX, the Double Backflip. Many people thought he would never return from the injury, let alone regain the magic of pre-injury Sinclair. Cam showed them all what was up and landed the very same trick in several big contests later in the year and is now back ripping like always! Chea Cam!

In the wake world Harley Clifford showed us all what is possible by going virtually undefeated all season and taking home top prize at the Parks Double or Nothing contest. Harley is young, talented and ready to take the world by storm. Watch out as this kid is no doubt the next big thing in wakeboarding and has all the skills to take the entire sport to the next level.

Garrett Reynolds from the BMX universe totally made me take a step back. I followed BMX religiously for years and haven’t seen anyone really step up and take over the game like Garrett since Dave Mirra was nicknamed “The Miracle Boy” years ago. Similar to Clifford he is unsanely talented and has what it takes to force BMX into the mainstream and make EVERYONE take notice. Props to both of these young slayers along with all the other kids who deserve some mention from the past year.

You all know how I feel about Curren Caples if you read my piece on Alli about the shred. The McMorris’ on snow and kids like Dane Tudor on skis, Ryan Dungey and Levi Sherwood in the moto scene and Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith on the ASP WCT.
At the end of it all it really boils down to the fact that action sports have given us a ton to cheer about in the last little while with no doubt there is more on the way in the immediate future.

I’m glad all the boys were willing to throw down and tell me what they got stoked on, so that I could pass it on to all of you. Sorry for the epic long post, but I really feel like if you made it this far that you share my sentiment and feel very lucky to be in the place we all are. The most amazing, inspiring, thankworthy place in the world, this life is a straight up gift!

I LOVE ACTION SPORTS!
Thank you all!





Shaun White Making Moves

3 06 2010

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According to several web sources we have learned that Shaun White has parted ways with his agent of 8 years.
The 23 year-old Cali kid has made the move from international juggernaught IMG and agent Mark Ervin.

All sides insist that the parting was amicable, but I really feel for Ervin! While under their representation Shaun signed major deals with Burton, Oakley, Red Bull, HP, American Express and Target among others. Many of those deals included lucrative signature lines and partnerships. Not to mention the partnership the Ubisoft that spawned Jeff’s two favourite video games! I would certainly find it hard to walk away from my cut of $7.5m a year amicably

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All signs are pointing to White signing with CAA. A casting agency that will help the Shaun with music, movies and other non action sports related endeavours. I for one don’t fully agree with what is happening here, but that being said I; a) Don’t know shit about the details of this deal b) Also don’t know shit about managing the most successful athlete in our world.

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All I can say is I hope this helps the entire tomato empire become like ketchup and cover everything on his plate. I would love nothing more than to see a legitimate move by an action sports pimp to mainstream stardom. I love Louie Vito, but I would way rather see the diminutive super-shred doing something other than shaking it in sequins.

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At the end of the day I feel it comes down to this. Shaun White has very little left to conquer in the world of action sports. With the Olympics now his bitch and winter and summer X medals hanging around his neck, I have no doubt he with take total control of whatever he decides to tackle next and kill it.

Check out the full story at:
GO211.COM
SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL





Shaun White Skateboarding Trailer

25 05 2010

As if Shaun White Snowboarding wasn’t bad enough, have a look at this…

Are you EA sports? Is your game called Skate? Ok, then please give up. Thanks. Why the hell would Shaun White even have a skateboarding game? I love the kid, but he skates about 20 days a year. And while I’m on this rant, someone PLEASE make a decent snowboarding game already!!!





Suck It Mainstream Sports!

22 03 2010

A combination of Twitter, Facebook and a freshly rekindled love of breakfast cereals brought me across this.
Enjoy…





On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone

16 03 2010

Last night my roommate handed me a copy of Rolling Stone, on newsstands now. The reason he gave it to me was because Shaun White is the cover boy.  Obviously I read it, but it wasn’t what I expected.  Ya it said Shaun won gold in Vancouver, but that was about the extent of the predictable.  The article cover things more along the lines of what the Shauner listens to on the road and how he hates Miley Cyrus.  Well her music anyway.  I mean who can really hate that girl?

The majority of the article talked about White’s tastes outside of snowboarding and how he plans to focus more on skating in the future.  Some of the Tomato’s goals for the next few years include getting skating in the Olympics and smoking people at that.

I was interested to read about how normal the kid really is.  He just wants to skate around and look at old rock n’ roll artifacts, like Axl Rose’s jacket which is on display at the Hard Rock in Vegas.  He explains to Rolling Stone how the things in the casino allow him the mental freedom to part ways with $60, 000 in one sitting.

Anyways… I won’t ruin the whole thing for you.  Go grab a copy at 7-11.  While you’re there, if anyone wants to get me a Slurpee that would be rad too!








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