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Monday, July 16, 2012
Who's following who?

And so, the imitation game comes full circle...

It used to be that we snowboarders knew our place in the board-riding hierarchy. Surfers were the revered originators who nailed the style elements, the skaters came up with all the tricks, and we snowboarders nicked all the best moves and took them off to the mountains.

There's no arguing -- we're guilty as charged. Our slashes were borrowed from Tom Curren, Neil Blender had the Patent Office on speed-dial after we took the method from him, and the fact that we took the humble frontside air and re-named it the Indy grab still has skaters apoplectic with pedantic rage. Oops. Sorry.

After we saw Trevor Jacob land the first double cork on a skateboard, we thought, maybe it's about time to stand up as snowboarders and say enough is enough. Yeah we've rummaged around the board-sports trick bag and stolen all the easy tricks, but the ones we're putting back are next level stuff. And guess what? It looks like our board-riding brethren are taking notice.

So here are ten moves that skaters and surfers have nicked from us.

The Backflip
Blame stuntman, skateboarder and high-diver Rob Sluggo Boyce if you want: he was the first person to take snowboarding moves and start doing them on his skateboard. First up was the straight air backflip (he nailed the cover of TransWorld Skateboarding with the move back in 1998), before taking it to the vert ramp and doing 'em to fakie too.

You had to have this first...

Huge Skate Ramps
That it took Danny Way to drag skate jumps into the 21st century is telling. The ex-pro snowboarder (remember his H-Street model?) took snowpark-sized jumps back to the skatepark and built ramps so ludicrously large that he was able to jump over the Great Wall of China.

Naturally, this led to skaters stealing the idea of doing cliff jumps, which in turn led to the classic cliff-to-basejump-on-a-skateboard, as done by Bob Burnquist over the Grand Canyon. Ok ok, but only one of those is a video game.

To get this.

Spin To Win
Yes, we know that Tony Hawk landed the first 900 at the 1999 X Games. And yes, we also know that 12-year-old wonder skater Tom Schaar recently landed the world's first 1080. But Terje Haakonsen was busting out cab 900s on his snowboard back in 1992. So what gives?

Going Big
The video game version of skating - where you can do snowboard sized jumps, drop houses, grind down miles of rails and launch hundreds of feet into flat banks would literally fracture every bone in your foot even if you were foolish to try it in real life. But as snowboarders have shown: find the right transition and speed truly does become your friend.

You read that right, snowboarders are giving back to surfers in the form of some actual equipment. Mervin Manufacturing, home of Gnu and Lib Tech Snowboards, is now producing surfboards that make regular epoxy resin, fiberglass and foam boards look like the engineering equivalent of a wooden cart.

Surf Airs
Let's face facts here: While a lot of Internet attention was diverted by Volcom's $10,000 dollar prize to the first surfer to land a kickflip it's really the surf aerials that Slater and Jordy Smith do that get all the mag coverage. And there's no denying that they lean heavily on Peter Line's off-axis rodeo spins. Hell, they even nicked the name, with Kelly adding the word 'clown' to his because of his massive feet. Or something.

Would there be a rodeo for Jordy Smith to pioneer in surfing if there wasn't one in snowboarding first?

Ok this isn't exactly a trick, but is it any coincidence that 1998's Trasher Mag's Skater of the Year Andrew Reynolds -- who's still rated as one of the best skaters there is as -- reckons the key to longevity is stretching and eating well, like snowboarders do?

"I tell younger kids all the time: You better start stretching now, because you are gonna get sore and gonna be hurting later," Reynolds said in a recent interview, "But you only start doing it when you realize that your skating depends on it." We reckon it's because he's been following in the health-food-shop-bound footsteps of Todd Richards, whose claim to 720 the biggest kicker in the funpark on his 40th birthday is a benchmark for anyone to measure themselves against.

Guess who got the loop-the-loop first?

The Tomahawk
Ignore the fact that no-one's done this on a skateboard yet -- it's only a matter of time. And it'll probably be Shaun White himself since he's taking moves like Rodeo Flips back to the wooden halfpipe and making them look easy.

The Loop the Loop
Yeah Bob Burnquist did it in a fullpipe and Tony Hawk joined the Jackass crew for an attempt at looping the loop but it's the Icelandic genius of Halldor Helgason who found a way of busting out a loop-the-loop without the need for a qualified joiner. Surely there's a pair of lampposts somewhere in the world with transitions?

Double Corks
Yes Trevor Jacobs is more of a snowboarder than a skater, and yes the foam pit in the background belies the trick's evolution, (and might make a few 'core' skaters spit their breakfast Jack Daniels out). But there's no denying that a double cork on a skateboard would never have happened were it not for snowboarding.