Posted: September 23, 2010
Real High Voltage
By David Broach
Maybe the lighting bolt’s a little over the top for an intro photo, but when all else fails, use lighting bolts. They grab your attention and are always cool. I’m not too sure what lighting and Real have in common other than that they both run on high voltage. Did you see that? That’s what we in “the biz” call a bridge. Really don’t know if they use the word bridge as a term in the biz—not really even sure what biz I’m referring to. I think it’s music, actually. But did you understand? Lightning photo, high voltage, Real. Get it? I know, that was something your dad would say, but stay with me, folks. Bad dad jokes are my new thing.
James comes through with a Hardy noseblunt. Yuk yuk, another dad joke. This is how your parents would want you to noseblunt. Click image to enlarge.
Real’s video is coming soon to a theater—or a computer screen—near you, depending on how you chose to consume your videos these days. Consider this just a taste of what you’re in for. I’ve been working with them a bit throughout the filming, and from what I’ve seen, you guys are going to be really stoked when it drops. I don’t want to build it up too much, but goddamn, these dudes don’t play. Actually, they do play—maybe that’s why it’s so fun to watch these nut jobs ride. Not to sound like a hippy, but the energy is high right now, mon. The deadline for this thing’s creeping up fast, so they’re literally on a roll.
I’ve occasionally found myself on trips where you could tell that the guys in the van didn’t really want to be around each other. It’s not much fun for anyone when it’s like that. Lame, long van rides of silence suck the fun right out. I won’t get into who those unhappy campers were, but it’s not the case with Real. As far as I can tell, Real puts all the new guys on multiple trips together as a test. If you blow it, you’re off. Doesn’t matter how good you are.
Jake’s girlfriend is into demolition derby—she drives cars and smashes them into other cars for fun. Don’t know what that has to do with this backside 180, but both are pretty cool. Click image to enlarge.
All the guys are buds, which adds to the chemistry of the sessions, and it also lends to the high volume of their productivity. At heart they’re all still 15-year-old skate rats. Ishod’s the newest guy and may still be of the right age to act this way, but the rest of the guys are a little older, having had ample time to grow up. And by grow up, I mean get sucked into the bad stuff in life and blow it. Take, for example, a shit job just to pay bills instead of following your dreams, just because someone convinced you that’s what you’re supposed to do. The list of ways to blow it in life is really long. It’s a lot easier to blow it, you don’t have to do shit. Trying to not blow it takes work.
Ishod not blowing it with an ollie no set-up and a big kickflip.
Don’t get me wrong: These guys are completely fucked, too. So let’s get to the ball-busting, because that’s the fun part of writing articles. As the photographer, I get shit for not being able to skate that well. These days it’s just sad. Like, whoever gets me on the next King of the Road is bummed. With the exception of Jaya Bonderov, and maybe a few others, skate photographers are just a bunch of guys who couldn’t skate very well, but figured out a way to live the dream through other people. Typically we’re a little fat and out of shape, but with decent upper body strength from carrying heavy-ass camera bags around and lugging them over fences. Beer guts are a must; maybe even a little early-onset male pattern baldness. So here’s my revenge…or wait, did I just bust my own balls? Shit. Maybe I’ll take this in another direction.
Chima started off the trip with this long-ass front board. First day, first spot. Click image to enlarge.
Justin Brock seems to enjoy the more depraved side of nightlife, but he can still wake up the next day and kill the damn spot no matter how hung over he is. Doing the damn thing at night and doing the damn thing during the day is not an easy task. It’s like having two full-time jobs. A lot of people try fooling themselves into thinking they’re great at it, but they usually just end up moving to New York and hanging out at Max Fish way too much. Let me tell you, skating a weird natural tranny spot and drinking with pro skaters isn’t doin’ it; although, it could work out well for a dude like me. Reality is, it won’t get you very far in the getting-paid-to-skate department. Justin’s definitely not fooling around, although tomfoolery might be his middle name. I can just hear him now, saying something corny like, “Welp, yup, I play hard, and welp, yeah, I work hard, too. That’s my motto,” in his twanged-out country-ass voice.
Pete would love to join in on said tomfoolery if he could, but he flops around on the ground like a fish in an epileptic seizure if he drinks too much. He has to take it easy on the party these days. No hard booze for Ramondetta—just a few beers, maybe some grass, and he’s done. I’ve seen him flop a few times and it really sucks. About two years ago, we all went out on the night before Peter’s wedding. He wasn’t drinking at all back then—I don’t think he’d had anything to drink for six months or so. But he ended up having a shot, a shot that then turned into I don’t know how many. Long story short: Dude woke up on the day he was supposed to get married and ended up out fished out in the shower, flopping around on the tile of the bathroom floor. Not cool, and pretty scary when it happened, but now that time’s passed it’s turned into kind of a funny story. “That’s one way of getting out of marriage,” I thought to myself when it happened.
Justin woke up from his full-time night job to start his full-time day job of doing the damn thing with this boardslide bigspin. He had to do it two times because I blew it at my full-time day job because I’d tried to pull a full-time night job.
Needless to say, he didn’t get married that day. They had to postpone for a few weeks, but his wife’s now started talking to us again. Ms Ramondetta is a really cool lady, but who could blame her for being pissed? Pete’s stupid friends ruined her big day. Sorry, Josie. You too, Pete, for using a personal story to fill up some space in this article. But I’ve got a minimum word count to meet here.
Chima and Jake are quick to point out Ishod’s flaws; poor kid gets hammered by them constantly (insert Dan Wolf’s “That’s what she said” jokes here). No opportunity is passed in telling him how he’s blowing it. Not in a hateful way, at least not most of the time. It’s how older brothers would pick on a little brother. Ishod brings it on himself, in a way. The kid just talks and talks and talks about nothing all day long. It’s like when a girl’s telling you about her day and you’re tired and could care less about what she’s saying. You just start going, “Yeah,” “Oh, wow,” “Crazy,” “Seriously, wow—I can’t believe she said that.” While in reality you’re not even listening. You don’t want to be rude, but if you did listen, your brain would explode. That’s how you have to deal with Ishod from the start. Otherwise you’ll be forced to inflict Indian burns and purple nurpels on the kid, like Jake and Chima do. The conversation to get this issue’s Five Greats was a 45-minute recording that should have only taken five minutes. He’s a good guy, he’s just got way too much energy. It serves him well on a board, but not so much in life. I think he’s still on flow, but if they give him a part in this new video people are going to trip. Kid’s good.
No flopping around for Pete on this one. Switch crooks out into the bank, just enough to make it a little harder. Wait for that video I was talking about. Click image to enlarge.
If you’re old enough to have kids, James Hardy is how you’d want them to turn out. Better yet, he’s how your parents wish you were. Mild-mannered, always with a “please” and “thank you.” If he didn’t skate I could picture him working on a farm, doing things farmers do, like lifting heavy stuff all day and mending fences so the cows can’t escape. I don’t know if you can tell from his footage, but he’s huge. Real has special boards made for him with an extra sheet of ply inside, but he still manages to snap ’em. Not that he lands wrong all the time, it’s just simple laws of gravity. If you drop that much force onto a piece of wood it’s going to break no matter what. He thinks his record is around 20 boards in one month. I trust the guy, too—he’s not the type to exaggerate. I bet he saves the broken boards to build huts for the impoverished villages of Uganda while simultaneously helping restore clean water supplies to people dying of HIV. Wait, what was I thinking? They don’t die. He saves them too.
I’ve been into this quote that I saw a few weeks ago: “Make media that matters.” It may seem like something you’d read on some inspirational poster in an office or on a doctor’s wall, but it struck a chord with me. In an industry overrun with skate-for-pay individuals, it’s refreshing to know that these guys are still doing it for themselves. In turn, it’s easy to make something that matters with people like this. I’m pretty sure that if Real couldn’t pay the team anymore as of tomorrow, the skaters would elect to ride for free. I’ve known Peter for many years, and I’ve always thought that about him, but the whole team seems to be this way. You can’t be a kook and ride for Real. They’ll sort you out of the mix real quick.