Beaver Fleming Lands One For Taylor Swift | World Firsts
Action sports and music go together like peanut butter and chocolate — two things that are pretty awesome on their own become even better when you combine them. But when you think of the type of music that goes well with a day at the skate park, Taylor Swift probably isn’t one of the first artists that comes to mind. Unless, that is, you’re Nitro’s Beaver Fleming.
Beaver grew up in Knoxville, started skateboarding at age 10, and for more than a decade he’s worked to become one of the gnarliest young athletes in the game, competing at all levels. His passion for the sport took him to California, where he currently trains at Woodward West when he’s not touring the world with Nitro.
For the past three years he’s been a regular member of the Crew, and so of course he’s had his share of World Firsts. One of his most recent is a trick he calls the Swift Roll. “The idea came up as a total joke at first. I always thought it would be awesome to name a trick after T-Swift,” he says. “Tony Hawk made the Madonna in the ’80s … and I am really into Taylor Swift’s music.” A determined Nitro athlete with an idea and a foam pit is tough to stop, and so Beaver set about practicing new tricks.
One day during practice he realized that no one had ever done a Special Flip on a skateboard — that’s where the rider does a backflip independent of his (up to this point) bike, which stays upright from start to finish. “I tried a couple of those, more as a joke, not really thinking it could work,” Beaver says.
He was basically right that it wouldn’t work, at least not as designed: “Doing a straight backflip off the board is insane, and the board just goes flying, so I started doing a sort of corked 360 body varial.” Even in the BMX and FMX versions of the Special Flip, the backflip is off-axis, so his adjustment made a lot of sense. Eventually. “Many attempts into the foam went so bad, but then finally I snagged the board on one, and that was the switch.”
The most difficult part of the trick, he says, is the takeoff, surprisingly. “I have to be so light on my feet, yet get enough pop away from the board so I can rotate my body and the board doesn’t fly away — you pretty much know right at takeoff if it’s going to work or not.” It took him countless tries into the foam and off of Giganta to stick it, and even though he has landed it now, the trick won’t be complete until it catches the attention of a certain singer-songwriter. “Sadly, no response from T-Swift yet,” he says. “I hope she sees it; that would be rad.” So, Taylor Swift, if you’re reading this, here’s the trick named in your honor:
Such an awesome @nitrocircus US Tour!! Stoked I landed a new trick in practice. Here is the #swiftroll @taylorswift this one is for you!!!! Thanks @travispastrana Tag @taylorswift so she sees it!!! #blessed #skatelife #ridingaboardandpraisingtheLord #tswift #summer89 #skateboarding #NitroCircus #livingthedream #taylorswift #worldfirst #stoked #newtrick #getTaylortoNitro #tagtaylor #thankyou #skatecrunch
As a parting note, Beaver says, “Skate or ride how you want. Don’t be limited to what’s already been done. Be creative, get different, even if it’s something others may think is stupid. Push yourself, and enjoy it the way you love it.” And, of course, let T-Swift know about the Swift Roll!
Come see Beaver Fleming and the whole Crew attempting World First tricks live! We’re headed to Europe and Australia early next year, before coming back to North America next summer. Check out those links for info and tickets, and sign up for our mailing list to be first in line when we’re coming to a city near you!