Tom Karangelov’s New Part Keeps the Skateboarding Flame Burning Bright
Watch the Skate Mental rider thread the needle his own way through some very tight spots and gnar-chitecture in “Keeping the Flame.”
Published on October 10, 2017

We’ll let you in on a little secret. Even though multitudes of skateboard videos and parts hit the Internet every single day, but very few make it to MERRY JANE. And that’s not a bad thing, it’s a quality control thing. Not everything deserves to bubble to the top and garner the attention of your busy and limited day. It’s also not to say that those other videos don’t showcase worthiness in skateboarding skills or ability. What it truly boils down to is the “it” factor. Does it fly or does it die? It’s also about flow and feel. Yes, the criteria is very ambiguous as to what that specifically means for skateboarding, because it’s such a come-as-you-are and interpret-by-your-own-standards (from within the culture) art form, but cool is cool, man. We may not be able to always articulate it in words, but when you watch enough videos on a steady basis, you know it when you see it. That being said, Tom Karangelov’s new “Keeping The Flame” part is an absolute go!

Let us also state that skateboarding in general will always be a paradox of everything and nothing. Things shift, trends die, and what was great back then may be a total pile of cow manure now. However, the ability to carefully pick and choose the style, demeanor, and trick selection that a rider decides to develop and showcase for the world will forever be the magic of watching the art in action. And apparently New Balance and Skate Mental shredder Tom K. knows how to pull the rabbits out of his hat. This three-minute bonanza of mind-bending and technical combinations of no-complies, wallies, and manuals that are tethered to stair sets, gaps, ledges, and rails is an absolute treat to watch. Plus the guy has an insane knack for obliterating spots that you can barely squeeze a walk through, let alone skate. Tom threads the needle his own way through narrow lines to acquire bangers like an expert tailor. The result is a one-of-a-kind outfit that you’ll want to rock with pride.

The video’s filmer and editor Matt Bublitz also accomplished a very overt bonus by syncing the amazing part to the new wave/surf rock sounds of Kelley Stoltz's “Keeping The Flame”. The tempo, lyrics, and feel work perfectly with what Tom K. accomplishes on his board. It also adds to the overall conversation of what makes skateboarding; creativity. Again, the art form is simultaneously a children’s pastime with no importance to anyone outside of the culture, and has also become a multi-billion dollar industry that drives the fashion, style, and attitude of many other disciplines and sub-cultures. Here’s to fanning the quintessential flame and keeping things crackling whilst others may just be bringing sand to the beach. We don’t need no water, let this motherfucker burn!  

Rainey Cruz
Rainey Cruz is a Caribbean-born spirit based in New York City with interests in art, music, skateboarding, mysticism, street, and world culture.
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