After 12 years, skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen is back on deck with a new video called “Liminal“. Since his last showing in 2004’s “Almost: Round Three”, Rodney had suffered an injury-related fusion of his femur and hip bone. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone Mullen explains:
After much deliberation, with doctors doubtful of my recovery, I engaged in medieval ways to break apart the bone fusion – hammering the end of screwdrivers into my flesh, climbing into the wheel well of my car to apply leverage while pulling on the car’s frame. After thousands of hours, over years of doing this, I began breaking those dried-gum-like strands of fascia. I would often become overwhelmed, screaming violently in pain, panic-stricken that I was doing more damage than good and I would never be able to skate again. Until one night, hanging from my car, I heard a thump. And when I got up, I realized that I had broken the calcification and my hip-joint was mobile again.
What makes this all more amazing is that since his hip-popping breakthrough in 2010, Rodney Mullen has had to relearn to skateboard with his opposite foot forward. This was not simply to learn how to skate switch, which is common. To skate without re-injuring his hip, it was crucial that he once again train his body the tricks he came up with more than three decades ago, as well as any new ones, with his right foot forward. Mullen has reversed his native stance and is now more adept at skating with his right foot forward as he was with his left. He has found bona fide goofy-footedness – an idea he calls stancelessness.
Rodney says of the Front-Rail To 360º-Shove-It To Back-Rail (Performed above and at the 2:27 mark in the new film).
“This trick has never been seen or done, as far as I know. It is rooted in an obscure freestyle trick dating back 30 years. However, it was only done landing on all four wheels. This rail-to-rail version requires another level of power and control. On top of that, to do it on a modern (bigger) board, and landing on axles, is so daunting that I had never done it until now. It was particularly inspired by the camera action, because of how beautiful it would look: a rotary motion in a rotary system.”
More detailed descriptions of Rodney’s tricks, and the technology used to create the film, can be found on the film maker Steven Sebring’s website.
Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains — Thomas Carlyle.