A good photographer knows how best to communicate with their viewer. In skating, that frequently means expressing your vision through someone else’s trick. Unfortunately, a battle that we face all too frequently is that we have seen the trick so many times that we develop a “right way” of thinking. For example, how many topsouls on drop rails have you seen? A battle I frequently fight is waged solely on trying to break norms of how a skate photograph is “supposed to look.” A lot of times that battle is mine to fight alone, but other times I get a lot of help from a skater (think people doing super creative moves). This photo I took of a long-time friend doing a trick he invented is an example of a battle that he won for me. Super normal rail, super normal photograph, but to the skate-trained eye, this trick is far from normal. Ben Fredrikson did this trick, and I communicated it to the viewer.
A long time ago, tricks were being invented all the time. However, the times of “inventing tricks” are, for the most part, past. This photo is like hiking in the jungle and finding a new species of frog. We know there are frogs, and where they may live, but this one is different. We know tricks, we know rails, we know topsides and we know negatives, but this is (to my knowledge and that of my assigns) a new trick all together.
Skating is extremely creative. One of the most interesting things about creativity is how it evolves. For a long time being creative in skating meant grabbing a fishy with your opposite hand, or spinning more in to a topsoul. More presently, skating creatively has involved a combination of spot finding and resurrecting forgotten tricks and putting new flair on them. That is badass, but for this photo journal, enjoy a little old fashioned grind inventing. Folks, I give you the Loathing grind, courtesy of Ben Fredrikson! — John Haynes