Okay, I’m really going to try and stay positive on this one…..really. Lil Wayne likes to ride skateboards now. Maybe you’ve heard this already. Fine…..just fine. He was inspired by Alex Midler, so he decided to pick up a board and become a “skater boy.” Again fine….just fine. Then things changed. Then he started his own “skate company.” He’s now pushing around with some professionals, he’s on the Berrics, and he’s getting shine from a ton of people including Lil Stevie. Then he went and said “Yes, I made skateboarding cool,” and now he has a signature shoe for Supra……maybe the Mayans were right.
photo courtesy of ditcradio.com
On the positive side, he’s taken some decent slams and continues to get back up. He’s trying to get better at skating, and seems to really be putting his heart into it. I like to see that. He’s promoting skateboarding, and clearly he has a lot of people listening. These are all good things. I do however have some serious concerns.
photo courtesy of livemusiccityblog.com
You did not make skateboarding cool. Please be careful about what you say and how you approach the world of skateboarding. For many of us skateboarding has been cool since you were in diapers. I’m only 4 years older than you my friend, and yet skateboarding has been cool for me since 1984. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Jay Adams made it cool. For others skateboarding has been cool since before Nashworthy urethane became the norm. For many of us skateboarding was cool when the world loved us, then when they hated us, when they thought we disappeared, and then when they loved us again. Skateboarding was cool when we were beat up just for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool even when most girls hated us for skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool when…as an only child in the streets, my friends and my board were my escape.
I’m glad to hear that you are promoting skating, and it’s a good thing that some kids now think skateboarding is cool because of you. Again though I ask that you are careful in your words and actions. Right now there are kids sleeping in cars and on couches in Southern California just to get sponsored and make a life out of skateboarding. Those kids are hungry as fuck. Those kids would kill for a shoe on Supra. Those kids are what make skateboarding cool.
Congratulations on your success in the music world. I don’t like your music at all, but I give you credit for coming from meager beginnings and succeeding like very few ever have. I ask that as you move forward, please set a decent example for our kids in any way that you can. Don’t tell kids to drink Mt. Dew, let alone mix it with Codeine and Jolly Ranchers (you should stop that shit too by the way, it sounds fucking horrible). Set a good example in terms of skateboarding as well. Don’t forget, that for many of us it is not a passing fad. Skateboarding is who we are. There is a storied history to our world. Have some respect for that.
Edition 2: Shoes
Even though I only picked three to review, this is a post that could go on for days. Shoes are the most important part of your setup. I know for surfing and snowboarding shoes aren’t quite as big of a deal. However, in skating shoes are the most integral component outside of your quiver. When I was a grom “skate” shoes were Vans, Vision Street Wear high tops, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, or just whatever shoe you happened to skate in. Shoes were (and to some degree still are) how you wore your badge as a skate rat when you weren’t pushing. If the new kid in school showed up in some Airwalks in 87′, the poser test was on. “You skate?” “How high can you ollie?” Eventually he would have to prove it. It used to be a rare thing that a shoe company would focus solely on skateboarding as a demographic. As you all know now, this shit is everywhere. Usually surf kids skated too, and would wear skate shoes. Eventually snowboard kids would rock em, and now the little fat douche down the street wears his signature DC Dyrdeks just to play Xbox and eat nachos. I do love nachos though….won’t hold that against him. Anyway, being a grown-ass man that still skates, I rock skate shoes. Grown-ass man skate shoes…
First and foremost: The Gravis Dylan
You knew this shit was coming right? I know I know we’ve all seen “Dylan” the movie. No doubt that the kid destroys it. Dylan Rieder absolutely rips. So what happens? A snowboard company that makes skate shoes gets Arto on board (I’m sure for a a fat sum), and then brings on the kid from Westminster. He gets clean, puts out an insane video part, and takes a huge risk on his signature shoe. Hence we have the “Dylan.” These are very close to grown-ass man shoes. Unfortunately they’re a little closer to college hipster shoes. I love that both Gravis and Dylan took a huge risk stylistically though. These look like slip on dress shoes (great for when you need to get formal), feel like slippers, and wear like skate shoes..sort of. Unless you were lucky enough to get 1 of the 240 limited pairs in oxblood, you’ll have to settle for black wrinkle or asphalt. The look is great. The style is a little too fixed gear for me, but certainly acceptable for most grown-ass men. These shoes are definitely comfortable also. My only real beef is skatability. Yes you can feel the board nicely and yes you feel light and sleek for sure. I like durability though. The leather holds up pretty well and I love that there’s no laces to rip and replace, but there seems to be almost no cushioning. Zero high tech anti heel bruise technology going on here. I’m not looking for bulky D3’s by any stretch, but I need a little more sustenance.
Over all I give em: 3 rare steak Pho Bowls.
photo courtesy of activerideshop.com
Second up: Lakai Belmont
Gotta love Lakai right? The Belmont’s are bad ass too. These come in black or brown leather. The vulcanized Belmont is crazy comfortable as well. I love the look. You can rock em damn near anywhere. These are almost the perfect grown-ass man shoes. If it’s good enough for Rick Howard it’s good enough for me. These shoes skate like a sonofabich also. The Belmont is sleek enough to feel what’s going on, and durable enough to take a decent beating. The leather’s tough and the rubber will hold fast like an old pirate. These aren’t full time skate shoes, but I’m definitely still a fan. Chill in em, skate in em, or play frisbee with narwhals in em.
Over all I give the Belmont: 4 stars.
photo courtesy of lakai.com
Finally the: Supra Skylow.
These kicks are sweeter than yoohoo. The Skylow is the Chad Muska Signature shoe. They’re an amazing all around grown-ass man shoe. They come in a few different colors (especially if you go for the Skylow 1.5). The look is skate casual for sure, but good for most occasions. They’re also vulcanized, with extra cushion in the heel, and the Skylow is pumped full of “Suprafoam”. Not sure what that is, but it sounds technical and awesome. These are basically super durable, high quality skate shoes, that don’t look stupid off board. My only slight drawback is if you have wide flintstone feet like me, they will be a touch snug. I’m sure The Muska rips roads, makes beats, and gets artsy in these bad boys. He’s got steez, not you. Throw on the Skylows and you might get some shine too.
Over all I give em: 4 finger rings and 2 Venice Boomboxes.
photo courtesy of sneakernews.com