I have a theory: the comments section is usually right.
Okay calm down.
What I mean is that usually if you were to take the responses to a video and give them a rating from 1 to 10, where 1 is pure hatred and 10 is unbelievable, uncontrollable love, and you found the average, that would probably represent a pretty accurate judgement of the video’s worth. The comment sections, from my experience, are rarely completely off base.
Christian Rigal’s new Markit edit however has received 72 comments since it was posted yesterday and the responses were split down the middle with some people calling it amazing and some condemning it as one of the great atrocities of our time. It’s difficult to tell if the reception was overtly negative or not but there was definitely a lot of hate being slung. Here’s why that’s stupid.
Let’s start with my quick list of reasons why that edit was great:
1) It was put together perfectly (filming, editing, everything was on point, which is to be expected since Christian films and edits himself), so let’s get that out of the way.
2) It had a strong cohesive theme. If Christian had stuck any one of these clips in his next video part, I would probably think it more goofy than inventive. Truthfully I wasn’t a big fan of the clips in the Demolition video where he put that plastic ledge after that cement rail. I didn’t have a “what an idiot” response, but more of a “ehhhhh” moment. Just my opinion. But something like this is different. He took that ledge and themed the web video around it.
3) Historically, this sort of thing isn’t really that out of the ordinary. The Gonz used to cart a launch ramp around with him in the early 2000′s and use it to jump from parking lots, to the tops of buildings. Ratboy would put a launch ramp in front of a set of stairs and do tricks up the set. Josh Heino carried around a ramp and would use it to grind super tall rails before his time. I’m sure there are other great examples that extend past my reference base.
Granted a ledge is a bit of a different concept, but historically, this kind of thing has been done before. It was cool then and it’s still cool now. Any attempts to argue that The Gonz, Ratboy and Josh Heino were anything less than 100% legit will fail miserably.
4) He did amazing stuff. If he had took that ledge out and filmed a bunch of stock, easy clips, I could understand the hate. But instead he went out and did absolute bangers on spots that he had created, but that you would never find naturally. And some of the clips are on spots that you would just never be able to ride at all, or at least you wouldn’t be able to do anything worth filming on.
That being said, I do understand why people might not have been a fan of this edit, I just disagree with their logic. The notion of “real street” has been around forever (I remember reading that it was coined on one of the early Road Fools) and it has a place. There have been instances where really blasphemous, strange things have been done on street in which the term has some validity (yes, Allan Cooke, I am looking at you) and I’ve definitely seen some spot mod’s that have pushed the limits of “real street” so far that I wasn’t sure what my opinion was. But for the most part, the term “real street” is pretty much useless.
Here’s why: everyone has their own standards of riding. I’ve seen Mike Mastroni lay down plywood on spots, saw metal fences in half and drive his van into rails to create spots. I know a lot of riders who wouldn’t do those things, but Mike does and he’s not ashamed. We all wax ledges and rails. We’ve all ripped branches out of trees, smashed skatestoppers and kicked dirt out of the way to make spots friendlier. People who are trying to claim that certain spot mods are okay while certain ones aren’t, are missing the point; everyone has their own personal definitions of what they want their riding to look like and it’s totally illogical to state that certain spot mod’s are acceptable while other ones aren’t.
It reminds me of the whole Ian Schwartz controversy (no, not that one) from a few years ago where he stated in his Ride interview, that he wasn’t into landing into grass. He made it really, really clear that he was talking about himself: HE didn’t like filming clips where he landed in grass. He was talking about himself. It’s okay to have your own personal standards for your riding, which he clearly did. But because BMXers are, generally, really stupid, the whole thing got taken out of context and blown up into something it was never meant to be. It went from Ian not personally wanting to film himself landing into grass to people assuming that he didn’t approve of ANYONE landing into grass (and even if he did, who gives a shit? Everyone is allowed to like what they like). BMXers as a group have a weird reading comprehension issue where nobody can state their personal feelings on anything without it somehow being taken as a universal hatred of said topic. I could Tweet “I am never wearing a green shirt ever again” tomorrow and within a few hours there’d be a messageboard thread about how I am trying to ban green shirts from BMX.
Back to Christian, the whole spot mod thing barely applies to this situation since it’s not like anyone could mistake the fact that there was a big red ledge in all the clips. What’s awesome is that Christian made this edit knowing full well that people would take offense to it. He went out and he had with his friends, put in work, made a really fun, creative edit and did some tricks that everyone should be able to appreciate.
Ultimately the video also raised other questions in my mind. Like, is that rollercoaster uprail possible without the ledges in place? And what’s this about the video songjacking a snowboarding video? Are you people seriously admitting you watch snowboard videos?