If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you’ll know I’ve long been a big fan of Anthony “Ragdoll” Scalamere – early on in my skateboarding life he was a massive influence on how I viewed street skating, and his creativity has had a major impact on how I skate even to this day. “CRAWL” marks his first new full part in years, and it’s classic Ragdoll, albeit with less firecrackers down 20 stairs and more low impact, chilled out moves.
As he has stated himself whilst this video has been in production, Ragdoll is realistic about where he is physically and mentally, and knows he isn’t that same kid from Blackout anymore. Having said that, this video still features plenty of gnarly as hell tricks, and might very well be his best part. Yes, firecrackers do make an appearance, with plenty of funky manual to firecracker combos, and even grinds to firecrackers. He also turns drop ins into an artform, firmly answering the question of “Are drop ins a trick?” with a staunch “FUCK YES”.
Throughout this 6 and a half minutes, Ragdoll also pulls out a lot of “board to board” action: if you’ve seen any of his old parts, he does plenty of stuff involving jumping from one board over a huge distance and landing on another. There’s a ton of this in CRAWL, with some inventive use of leaving one board and landing on another – the last trick in particular (no spoilers) utilises this in a really cool way, as he revisits one of the more infamous spots from his Slaughterhouse part.
Not only is this part just incredibly rad to see in 2021, it’s also just super inspiring. Ragdoll’s philosophy of not comparing yourself to the biggest pro’s and top tier of skateboarding, and pushing yourself to be the best you can be within your own niche of skateboarding, is a lesson we can all learn from. I think there’s often an overwhelming feeling that as we get older we need to push ourselves to keep up with the kids. I think CRAWL proves you don’t need to be doing the same tricks as every 20 year old at the skatepark, and as long as you are doing the tricks you enjoy, the tricks that express who you are, then that’s all that matters.
In that respect Ragdoll’s trick selection is definitely refined, more creative and possibly performed better here than at any point during his career. He might not be throwing himself down the biggest stair sets anymore, but he is still one of my favourite street skaters, and this whole video part is a perfect explanation as to why. I don’t want perfectly executed, robotic, bolts Tre Flips down huge stair sets, I want relatable, tricky, expressive, inventive moves done with authority and aggression on spots I would want to skate myself: and CRAWL has that in spades. Somebody give this man a pro board again!