run while you can

Rick Mccrank: Like an indisputable wave.

Taste the air, fakie. Courtesy of Skateboarding Magazine.

In the early twenty-first century skate analysts began to reach a consensus concerning the status of vert skating. The universally embraced theory was that, at length, vert was dead. At Like a Wave, our chief sages have spent innumerable hours entrenched in fireside debate discussing this very topic, the epic downfall of vert skateboarding.
The year was 1999, Disney teamed up with Phil Collins to churn out the most heart-wreching version of Tarzan ever produced, and Tony Hawk landed the the first 900 in the history of skateboarding. ActiVison began targeting impressionable boys with a new series of videogames that empowered young minds to ollie over houses. Rodney Mullen would soon skate to the sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Wheels were small; shoes were big. New sponsors were flooding the industry with new money. Gillette was trying to sell razors to 12-year-olds; Carhartt had not yet realized that their core demographic consists of hunters/skilled laborers. Skateboarding was growing at a rate that was simply unsustainable. Then it happened…
All the boys got girlfriends or jobs; all the sponsors pulled out; everything fell apart. Skateboarding found itself in the depths of its first great recession.
The true skaters fled from X-games broadcasts and button mashing. The street was the best they had; they weren’t even welcome to that much.
With a decade behind us, skateboarders are slowly unearthing the past. Vert skating is experiencing a micro-renaissance if you will. Pool skating is gaining coverage. Emerging amateurs are almost expected to excel on all terrain. Turns out, all vert needed was to return to its roots, transition. That’s that. It seems these days the kids are all into smooth backside airs and tweaked grabs, as well as, tic-tac technical mayhem. After all, what’s better than the best of both worlds?

Rick Mccrank is the best. If you’re looking for outlandishly large gaps and insane airborne maneuvers, Mccrank is your man. Moreover, Mccrank is a humble legend. His alter-ego, Blair Stanley, poignantly critiques skateboarding’s serious side. Rick just wants to slip a smoothie and pivot fakie. Give him a break; he’s paid his dues and then some.
Mccrank has casually killed it since turning pro for Plan B skateboards. Video evidence is widely available (The End, Menikmati, eSpecial, and, of course, Yeah Right!). Basically this guy has carefully kept the torch of gnar burning for a solid decade.

Rick, you’re rad. Please grace us with one more video part before retiring. Please, please, please. Sure, you have a daughter to look after, a skate shop to run, and a vegetarian lifestyle to enjoy… but please. You are a rare breed, an indisputable true skater.

Photographer too. Courtesy of Skateboarder Magazine.


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