Snowboard Grabs: Melon

The Grab:
Front hand grabs the heel edge between the bindings.

The Tweak:
The textbook melon has the front leg boned, poking the nose straight out as far as possible. Typically performed with a flat poke, here Castro pokes this melon a bit backside, with a mellow little tail kick out. Giving these grabs your own twist is one of the beautiful freedoms of snowboarding.

Performed By: John Castro.

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The History:
The melon grab name is actually a shorthand spelling evolution of the original grab name melanchollie, which is a clever piece of wordplay. Originally performed mid-ollie, skateboarders would poke this grab in a very similar fashion to a sad plant, yet with the front hand on the backside rail. With the word melancholy being a synonym for sad, and essentially containing the word ollie, the melanchollie title was born.

Who was the wordsmith behind this bit of genius? This is where history scratches its head. TWSKATE alumni Garry Davis and Miki Vuckovich checked with skate pioneers Tony Hawk and Jeff Grosso, and nobody could confirm where the term originated. The top ideas were that it was possibly coined by Neil Blender (a certifiable creative genius) or that it was perhaps a Hawk/Lester Kasai collaboration. What we do know is that the first published shot in TransWorld SKATEboarding of a melon, ran in the February 1989 issue with the following caption: “Using home turf to its fullest, Natas Kaupas peaks a Melanchollie (or ollie to sad air) over the hip at Venice High.”

Natas Kaupas’s melonchollie as captioned by Garry Davis in the February 1989 issue of TransWorld SKATEboarding. Photo: Grant Brittain

The term stuck, and to this day skateboarders and then snowboarders have forever been searching to find the timeless style of Natas' magic melanchollies.

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