WALK THE PLANCHE

Date: April 26, 2018 Author: Jeff Thorburn Categories: features
Back

Don’t Call it a Purely-for-Marketing-Purposes Comeback

by Cole Nowicki

Alright, now that the quarterly meeting of internationally recognized and respected skateboarding magazine, King Shit—err—King’s elite corporate governing body has commenced, let’s talk about the year ahead.

Marketing just released its projections of 2018’s hottest trends that we’re going to look to focus on this fiscal year. Obviously nostalgia is still the industry’s most fertile financial flavour, and we’ve got a great feature on “Biggest Tricks Done with the Smallest Wheels” coming up in the April issue that will coincide with the release of SML Wheels’ XS Wheel—clocking in at a cool, pebble-like 32mm—but we’ve got another new-old idea that will allow us to continuously bring the ’80s, ’90s and early aughts into now. Two words: The Comeback.

We saw the comeback trend really start to kick off in the last year with Wenning, Bam, Antwuan, Duffel, Nick Dompierre’s biceps, various cumbersome puffy shoe model reissues, voiceovers being used again in skate videos, park footage being allowed back into video parts, skateboarding being “fun” again, and for some reason, Droors. Proving that the skaters, brands and trends of yesteryear still maintain a solid emotional grip on the 21-45 year-old demographic.

Some of the comebacks we’d like to cultivate this year—and to be clear, we aren’t manufacturing these, we’re just helping them along by putting together organic, meticulously constructed timelines for when each of these “comebacks” will begin, rise, peak and fall as another takes its place, all of which just so happen to be tied to some sort of product that companies will then advertise for in the pages of our hallowed magazine—are: 

  • Frankie Hill, the godfather of the kinked handrail. Why Frankie? Because kinked rails are surprisingly still really Jamie Foy is doing the goddamn Macarena down them and the kids love it. So we’re thinking we do a retrospective piece on Frankie, get Powell to re-reissue some of his boards, and then towards the end of the first quarter we get Frankie on the redemption trail working towards getting his groove back. Then throw him down a quintuple kink in March. Land or bail––and it’ll likely be a horrific slam––the high drama will attract a lot of eyeballs.
  • Z-Rollers! The truck with an aluminum roller so you don’t have to wax shit! Don’t grind, roll! It sells itself. Think of how far Tiago Lemos would be able to Switch Front Crook with those babies.
  • Shit talking. The skate world in the ’90s was a pretty toxic social environment; there was a lot of mudslinging going on in magazines and interviews. It was damaging to a lot of folks. Let’s bring that back. Beef sells! Fuck you!
  • Skaters used to pray a lot more. And you know a devout skater is going to be loyal to the brands they buy. I mean, it’s already a venial sin to not skate Indys––make it mortal!
  • Jocks suck again! Remember when jocks were our enemy? Then remember how skateboarding steadily grew in popularity and social relevance until we essentially became jocks ourselves? That’s not good for our counter-culture appeal. If we have an “enemy” who is trying to “suppress” our freedom of expression, we have a fight—and a movement. Which is really fucking marketable. Let’s punch down on those stupid jocks! 

OK, Bradley is going around the table handing out our 54-point implementation plan. Let’s get moving on this. It’s going to be a good year, y’all. I’ll give Tiago a call about the whole Z-Roller thing.