Chaz Ortiz, Zoo York, and the Evolution of Skate Styles
The Chaz Ortiz Video shows the Zoo York pro's gulliest skills, but do they reflect the ZY tradition?
The Zoo York team just let loose a brand new four-and-a-half-minute video part from the young veteran Chaz Ortiz. Steez Ortiz exhibits his skills over a plethora of spots in cities like Miami, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and more. Backed with Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy” as the score, Chaz Ortiz once again proves that his style is one of the cleanest and technical by completing countless complex lines in an orderly fashion.
Although his lines and tricks are remarkably clean, that cleanliness kind of cuts back from his overall style. Ortiz is a member of the relatively new class of street skaters that are so technical they almost seem robotic. Him as well as Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, P Rod, and others seem to focus on getting their video parts down perfect, to the point they are landing on bolts every time. This type of mechanical style of skating seems to be raking in most of the dough in the industry through events like the X Games and Rob Dyrdek’s Street League, while more stylish abstract skaters are having a harder time financially surviving.
This highly robotic technique contradicts the legends and pioneers of street skating like the Gonz, John Cardiel, Jason Lee, and Stevie Williams—who focused on making a trick look as funky and gnarly as they could. That style of the way a skater did a trick, not just the fact they landed the trick, is what created the dopest of skaters and the most entertaining to watch. While there is still newcomers with impeccable style like Nick Trapasso and Jimmy Mcdonald, it seems the robotic ones throwing themselves down the largest rails they can find or doing the next crazy tech trick are the most lucrative and successful as of late, causing a decay in the amount of styles and their level of creativity (Why Style Matters).
This change in styles, from edgy and sketchy to flawless and polished, is even evident in the transformation within the company of Zoo York. Their changing of styles is evident just by researching the history of the originators, the “Soul Artists,” and comparing it to the original guerrilla style of Zoo York skate mag, to the fact they are now one of the worlds largest manufactures and distributors of skate gear (learn here). It seems in total that skating is trading in some of its underground and gritty roots for a more Hollywood polished steez.
Watch The Chaz Ortiz Video above as well as this shot of Chaz when he hit Atlanta and linked up with Black Dave and the ATL Twins.