Nostalgia Rewind: Rocket Power
Welcome back to the days of catching gnarly tubage and sick air while trying to avoid shoobies on the beach. Rocket Power is another classic Nickelodeon series, but is it still a killer show after all this time or is it a lame-o?
Otto: The kid who is the best at every extreme sport (except for luge) and feels the need to constantly remind everyone by showing off and putting down his friends. #BeHumble
Reggie: Otto's older sister is much nicer and more mature than him and is just about as good of an athlete. Support real journalism and subscribe to her 'Zine.
Twister: Maurice Rodriguez, AKA the OG squid. What Twister lacks in brains he makes up for in heart and professional-level camera work.
Sam: The squid is a wizard on his laptop and between the pipes. For showing up in SoCal as the new kid from Kansas, Sam did well to make friends with the coolest group in town and become the starting goalie on the top street hockey squad.
Tito: The ancient Hawaiians have a saying that you should always listen to a Hawaiian who tells stories about the ancient Hawaiians.
Ray: Raymundo is the ideal dad. Chill personality, is always fully supportive, and hooks you up with all the free burgers and fries you want. The tension between him and Officer Shirley was one of the most underrated and underexplored storylines in the show.
Lars: Twister's older brother who enjoys picking on younger kids and playing them in sports instead of challenging kids his own age. Lars' crew usually loses to the younger kids too, so it might be time for them to find a new hobby.
Merv and Violet Stimpleton: Merv is always salty, but what did he expect when he retired in a young city in Southern California? Were all of the retirement communities in Florida full? Violet on the other hand fully embraces the SoCal lifestyle, living her best life.
What Do You Remember?
This show gave us one of the best handshakes of all time and plenty of phrases we still use to this day. No one wants to be called a squid or a shoobie. We all went through a phase of watching skateboarding, BMX, and surfing on the X Games that coincided with Rocket Power being on TV. Everyone wanted to be a member of this gang of memorable characters and pull off some epic stunts.
Fun fact: the kids performed all of their own stunts. A few minor injuries were sustained throughout filming, like when Otto attempted the Super McVarial 900, but nothing serious. Rocket power really captured the SoCal vibe with the skate park, the pier, and the ocean. It was also a nice touch whenever they put the vernacular on screen to help us learn such as beef, super beef, and lame-o.
The best part of this opening is that they highlight the kids putting on their helmets and pads. Nothing is cooler than safety. I bet Nickelodeon executives were nervous about angry parents complaining about a show where children participate in dangerous sports. The song captures the gnarly times the show is set in for these riders on a mission.
The X Games debuted a few years before Rocket Power, so extreme sports were reaching peak popularity when the show hit our airwaves. On top of that, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater came out the same month as Rocket Power. These were rad times, man. Have I ever been on a skateboard? No. Did I get a pair of Vans and take my bodyboard to the beach pretending I was a surfer? Totally.
That dad humor is strong in this one. Raymundo was such an awesome dad, but still snuck in some classic dad jokes to embarrass his kids and make us laugh. Say it with me, cool...a...roonie. Sprinkle in some quirky side characters like Eddie, Prince of the Netherworld and the diminutive, yet terrifying MacKenzie and you have a healthy dose of comedy to go with the mondo high-flying action.
Rocket Power was definitely one of the coolest shows to watch as a kid, but it holds up just as well today. I can't remember the last time I even thought about the X Games, but rewatching this made me want to dust off my Razor scooter and hit up the abandoned mall parking lot to practice some tricks.
Image Credits: Nickelodeon, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks