Top 5 Mike Carroll Back Smiths

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Man, what is there to say about Mike Carroll. Well - a lot of people (or anybody past age 20) when asked “who is your favorite skater?” will fumble around and say something like “my friends” or something. No. Fuck my friends. Mike Carroll is my favorite skater. He’s WAY better than anybody I know or have ever met. When I was thinking about what to write, I was going to do favorite parts. But I really couldn’t choose, because I kind of love 'em all. I celebrate the guy’s entire catalogue. I started watching a few of his parts, and it dawned on me. Back smiths*. Mike has the best ones. It’s arguably the most stylish trick you can do, and MC is arguably the most stylish guy on a board. Anyway, enough rambling - here’s a few of my favorite Mike Caroll back smiths.

5.) Fully Flared 

I actually remember a sequence coming out with this trick before the video dropped. It was the moment when I realized that Mike would actually have a part in this video. In other words this ad gave me great joy. It was funny though, because when the video came out, I realized that he does the trick on another ledge, this time in a baseball cap. Nice. Back smith back 360, two amazing, classic tricks in one.

Fully Flared

4.) Chocolate Tour

Not much to say about this one, it happens really quick and is gangster as fuck. The best thing about it is now when you go to watch this part on youtube you get the still frame of this trick. :)

Chocolate Tour

Warning: above gif can cause seizure

3.) Lakai in Canada

This is my favorite of any of the Crailtap edits from this time. Quick story - I used to have one class in high school where for whatever reason we were in the computer lab, which meant that no work was getting done and everybody was on the internet. I’m dating myself, but the only 2 sites with any real, consistent, accessible media were Crailtap, and DLXSF. Or those were the only 2 that I frequented. ANYWAY - Crailtap would drop edits on an insane basis for the time (like once a month), and this one came out, which meant that I got to watch it every day for a long time. Dan Bohart is one of the greatest skate hosts of all time, the cover of Comfortably Numb is too good to be true, and Carroll’s opener back smith where he just flops out with both feet on the front is unforgettable.

Lakai Canada

2.) Modus Operandi

Mike could've stopped filming for this part after the legendary first line, but instead he chose to give us this beauty of a smith.

Modus

1.) Yeah Right!

Ok, I will admit (shame on me) that I don’t know the name of this set, but it’s the up 3, down 12-or-whatever with the rail. Every pro in 2003 skated it. (EDIT: It's the La Canada set, thank you based commenter).  Let’s talk about this line real quick. Switch flip up, a push to change to regular stance, one of the best varial flips ever to get the board back to where it should be, and then a massive back smith. For me it’s just the way he rides away from this one. Good grief. The lean back. I need to get some fresh air.

Yeah Right

*Don’t “Monty Grind” me right now. Not in the mood for that argument.

- Dave

The Importance of the Credits Section

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(and a sort of top 10 list) The credits section. What is it? Well, naturally it’s where you would give credit to the anybody/anything responsible for creating the video. Producers, directors, filmers, skaters, moms, dads, chicks, pets, booze, etc. etc. Anything that had any role in the making of the video, really. What perhaps started as a formal documentation of those who have rights to the video, slowly evolved into a sort of written-out hollywood acceptance speech.

The fact that I have to reflect on credits section is a testament to the lack thereof today. They have of course faded away along with the concept of a full length video and attention spans that last more than 15 seconds at best. It makes sense, though. I mean, in a world where we can google any video, part, or trick that we want to see, and access it immediately, what is the point of sitting to watch a full video? Well - I’ll tell you.

The credits sections in skate videos were really incomparable. If the video was the show, these were the bloopers/ making of /and behind-the-scenes all wrapped up into one short (or not so short) section, with, usually, an incredible song that really made you feel something.

You may argue that videos today still have credits sections. The new Static videos, the Plan B video, etc. And you’re right. But what I see here is really just a ghost of credits sections past. The teams don’t feel like teams, they feel like a bunch of guys who happen to get tossed into filming missions with one another. Luckily they all have iPhones so that they never really have to get to know each other or God forbid enjoy one another’s company. Plus they can get all of the best B-roll of them checking Instagram. Great. Even in the rare event that there is a group of skaters that feel like they actually skate together, it’s usually just extended internet clips, or the good stuff is just sent straight to the gram.

This whole thought really started last week when Leland and I were talking, as we always do, about our favorite songs from credits sections. We put together a sort-of ‘top ten’ list, but I think that these better serve as benchmarks for what a credits section should be. Either way, here’s a few of our favorites, and ones that will hopefully touch you deep down inside.

10.) Harsh Euro Barge

Song: “Point of View” by DB Boulevard

 

I know, I know, we’ve been over this one, but seriously it’s one of the best credits sections of all time.

9.) Yeah Right!

Song: “Don’t Let The Man Get You Down” by Fatboy Slim

 

It is vital to note that the song listed is THE ORIGINAL and not the version that was changed for the DVD, which I’m not even going to link or mention. Biebel and the crew make it too easy, just lobbing Ty softballs and letting him knock them out of the park. This one is just another classic that we all know and love.

8.) PJ Ladd’s WHL

Song: “My Way” by Sid Vicious, and "The Universal", by Blur

 

What are we not going to include WHL? Not going to sound like an old guy running through name drops and cameo’s but let’s just say we were all undeniably touched when The Universal came on. We even bonded with Jereme.

7.) Really Sorry

Song: “One” by Johnny Cash

 

I hear you, “uh...hey, there’s no footage in this credits section.” I know. This one makes the list because of the song. I remember hearing this, and “Hurt” by Johnny Cash around this time, and something about the aging Johnny was just powerful. Think about it, he made a U2 song palatable. We’ll call this one the one that throws objectivity aside and really just makes the list as a personal preference.

6.) Four Star SF

Song: “Too Young” by Phoenix

Ty up to his old antics, turning a 13 minute photo shoot into a 20+ minute video with an extended credits section. This was a few years before Phoenix really rose to popularity, which is no surprise because Ty is always ahead of the curve. This is a short video so if you haven’t seen it before I HIGHLY recommend. Gonz, PJ, Max, Smyth, Koston, BA and the rest of the boys. Seriously killer line-up and the Gonz invisible spray can bit is incredible.

5.) Bon Appetit

Song: “Love Cliche” by Bran Van 3000

 

Okay - so I was on the fence about including this one for 2 reasons.

A.) Can’t find the actual video on the internet (please help if you can).

B.) Really might not be the best credits/b-roll, etc.

BUT. This is absolutely undoubtedly the most fitting song. It’s like when you’re playing Cards Against Humanity and somebody throws down a card that is literal, and perhaps unfunny, but you have to pick it because it’s just too perfect. Also - it’s a feel-good song that you’ll probably want to listen to again.

4.) This Is Skateboarding

Song: “Tracy” by Mogwai

 

Chris Senn’s line, shifty flip B-roll, and the assisted flip (where Reynolds rides behind Herman, Herman pops, and Reynolds flips the board) all make this a classic section. If you were anywhere between 8 and 18 at this time you wanted to be these guys. You competed with Spanky and Herman, and revered the Boss. Using Mogwai doesn’t hurt either.

3.) Virtual Reality

Song: “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, and “Here Comes the Sun” by a homeless guy

 

Ternasky at his best. Pretty much pioneering credits sections. Chock full of Carroll quotes, Colin and Danny antics, and of course the real take away, Rick Howard singing Here Comes the Sun with a homeless guy. Beautiful.

2.) Photosynthesis

Song: “TNT” by Tortoise

 

We recently saw a Tribute to Jason Dill’s kickflip over the 2 cans. Nice. This is absolutely one of the most legendary credits sections. As we know Dill’s part wraps up the video, and then there is just a seamless transition into the credits. Polyethylene fades out just as the opening riff to TNT comes in and jeez it couldn’t have been done better. Hats off Castrucci, you nailed this one, as you did with many others.

1.) Man Down

Song: “Jacking the Ball” by The Sea and Cake


Well who would’ve guessed, Man Down makes the top of yet another skate video list. Yeah, perhaps predictable, but let’s be honest with ourselves, this is the top tier. I’m just going to wrap this whole article up with one final thought. The thing that makes these credits sections work is that they are inclusive, rather than exclusive. You felt like you could party with these guys, and that if you met them, they’d be down to have you as part of their crew. The Pyramid Country boys seem rad, but it feels like they’re doing their own thing, and the New York guys are just too cool. But Tiltmode. <3

-Dave

Honorable Mentions:

Osiris: Subject To Change

The credits and also the tour section that comes as a bonus on the DVD are both amazing. THEY USED TOTO.

eS: Menikmati

If only for Bob’s kickflip indy sit down, and Koston’s combos, and McCrank’s boardslide while drinking a soda.

7 Year Glitch

Classic Ricky O, Kenny Reed, and Fabrizio footage.

Mosaic

I picked between this and Photosynthesis, and really only picked the latter because it came out first, and because I’ve talked about Mosaic before. FYI the song for the Mosaic credits is Northwest Passage, by Papa M.

Boyish

Jackie Wants a Black Eye is really just a great song for a credits section, and Jackson Casey makes really good videos.

All Antihero Videos

I've never seen a bad Antihero video, I love them all. They didn't make the list for one particular reason. They lack an emphasis on the credits section. The Antihero style tailors itself in a way that the videos themselves ordinarily have a ton b-roll in the actual parts, so by the time the credits come, you already feel like you've bonded with the boys. Big shout out to the 18, though, for keeping it real and being perhaps the only crew that still feels genuine and not doing it for the internet.

SMLTalk's Top Hawk Moments

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Alright boys and girls, it's time. It's time for us to pay homage to the man who gave us trick tips, aired over his own car, and changed millions of lives by creating a skateboard video game that was actually fun/playable (thrasher I'm sorry but your game was too fucking hard). Yes, we are talking about the Hawk. This entire week will be dedicated to Tony in our own loving way. Due to a recent documentary, Tony Hawk's legacy has come somewhat under fire. If you've watched the video of Tony landing the 900 lately, you may have noticed how volatile the comments section has become, the skateboarding populous being completely polarized by the Hawk/Pappas controversy. For those who haven't seen it, the documentary in question is well worth the watch and has some great food for thought. But we're not here to weigh in on that debate. However true or untrue the accusations of All This Mayhem may be, we're here to pay homage to our boy Tony and his ample contributions to both the skateboarding world and the pop culture world. We did, after all, make him the star of our first, and possibly only, piece of apparel (I mean talk about significant). Here are some of our favorite moments in Hawk history.

Destroying Tas Pappas' Career (The 900)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4QGnppJ-ys]

Documentary or no documentary, do you remember this moment? It was like Jordan vs. The Utah Jazz in game six. It was like Team USA beating the Russians. It was like...fuck, I dunno, it was like something else crazy and significant in sports (not a forte of anyone here). That being said, it was actually like none of these things because the examples I just gave happened within regulation time...so whatever. Does it make it any less awesome? No, because whatever a documentary has to say about this moment doesn't change what it felt like to see it live on TV. If you got to witness this, then you know what I mean.

Inventing the Benihana (sort of)

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A trick often chastised by cool guy park skaters and adored by dorky fly out groms, the benihana’s existence can be credited to the Birdman himself...well, sort of. Lester Kasai, a vert legend, has also been credited with the trick's invention, but given that this is Tony Hawk week on the site we're just gonna give him the title of "inventor" (kinda how they played, Tas, sorry dude!) . Named after the Benihana's restaurant, Tony’s personality shines through the trick itself: sort of dorky, yet also very rad and timeless…(picks bong up) you could almost argue that Tony Hawk is the benihana, (puts bong down). Special shout out to SMLTalk SNOTY14 (skate nerd of the year) Mike Fork, for claiming that he landed a frontside big spin benihana...lol.

Creating Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

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What can I say, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this had some influence on why I still skateboard today. If you started skateboarding somewhere between 1998 and 2004, you would also be lying. From the soundtrack to the bails section to Andrew Reynolds ollieing up an insane grass gap, this game had everything a kid needed to be sold on skateboarding. You could skate EMB, grind the Gonz Rail, do the Leap of Faith, skate Carlsbad, Love Park, Kona, the Brooklyn Banks, grind telephone wires, railroad tracks, skate in malls, airports, spaceships, zoos, bullrings, and the list goes on. You could honestly do anything your little heart desired. The thing that really made this game great is that the functionality for 2 player mode was not bad. Some games just suck when you’re playing with two players. This game let you do things like tag, play skate, or just play the levels simultaneously. I could go on for hours about this game, but at the end of the day we all know how damn good it was, and how damn good it was for skateboarding.

Creating Riley Hawk

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Riley Hawk is pretty sick. Riley has his own rocker/stoner metal vibe thing, does heelflips, skates for Lakai, and doesn’t seem to be even closely related to his father skating-wise. That being said, he's still managed to make his own unique mark in modern skateboarding without too much help from his pops. Now, is it surprising that Tony Hawk has a talented skateboarding son? No, of course it isn’t. I'm sure you all remember that kickflip he did as a youngster over the hip at the Carlsbad YMCA in one of the THPS unlockable videos, full pads and helmet on. He was probably always destined for greatness. Regardless of his status as a professional skateboarder, think about how constantly laid could you get telling chicks that you’re the Birdman Jr...and actually meaning it. Like who even cares about skating at that point, honestly?

MTV Cribs Episode

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Here’s the thing, when I was growing up, I fucking loved MTV Cribs. I would have killed to show off the insides of my fridge to a camera crew, let alone the chance to show off my private stripper pole, or convince millions of people that magic constantly occurred in my bedroom. There were few things more baller in the 2000’s than scoring an episode of Cribs...so many timeless episodes (Birdman, Shaq, and Scarface to name a couple quick favorites). Seeing our boy Tony on Cribs was like seeing one of your friends really make it. A skateboarder, showing off his baller ass house with all of his little baller ass children running around, while he’s showing off his 100 disc changing stereo (Hawk family got busy). Tony had entered a realm of ballerness reserved for basketball players, recording artists, and actors.

*I used to legitimately want to go skate after watching this episode due to a severe lack of skate videos in my house. Anything skateboard related made me want to go outside. Now I watch it and just really wish I was rich :(

Andrew Reynolds

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Though Drew would have surely created his legend no matter what company he ended up on, its strange to think that The Birdman is responsible for facilitating the launch of Andrew Reynolds’ career. Though G&S was technically Reyn Reyn's first break in the industry, Birdhouse is what catapulted his career and made him the household name that he is today. Tony hadn't even seen Reynolds skate when he made him am on Birdhouse. If he can pick legends blind, think about what a talent scout he'd be if he actually knew the dude he was hooking up! Legend!!

Hawk Clothing

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Let me tell you a story. I was in the third, maybe fourth grade, and my Dad bought me a hat. It wasn’t just any hat, it was a Hawk Clothing hat. It was bright red, and it had a very chill Hawk Clothing text logo on the front of it, and the moment it was given to me, I wore it everyday of my life. One day, the Enjoi skateboard team was doing a demo at Revere Skatepark and Rodney Mullen, amongst other incredible professional skateboarders, would be in attendance. I begged my poor mother to bring me, and while reluctant, she gave into my cries to attend said skateboard demonstration. Upon the Enjoi team’s arrival, I was able to get up close and personal with Rodney Mullen, and asked him to sign my hat. I told him he was my favorite skateboarder and he told me thank you, and to “keep on skating, man”. What a wonderful day. A day I will never forget. But it was not a week later, that this treasured hat of mine would be lost, as I had left it on the ground while at soccer practice. I went back the next day to search for it but with no avail, the hat was gone. The moral of the story? Sports are fucking stupid. Hawk Clothing? Kind of like if you combined South Pole with shitty knockoff Birdhouse graphics. Also responsible for some very current and chill professional skateboarders (see Marius above).

Boom Boom Huck Jam

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                This isn't really a favorite moment of ours, this is more or less a platform to complain about something (kind of the main reason we started the blog). Having to categorize skateboarding as an "action sport" gives you that weird, nails on a chalkboard, just saw a family member naked, type feeling. There is nothing more action sports than the Boom Boom Huck Jam. Someone got promoted for titling this event and to you, sir or ma'am, I hate you. How many innocent skateboarders are berated by passing idiot jocks with questions regarding the "Boom Boom whatever the fuck it's called, ya know the one with the motorcycles and shit?" Attention jocks: no one's ever been to this event. For anyone who may have been unlucky enough to attend this thing, please reach out to me and tell me what happened because I still don't really know what went on at these things. There's like fire and motorcycles and skateboarding...right? Is it like Nitro Circus? Is there skating??? What does it mean to Boom Boom Huck? SOMEONE PLEASE ANSWER ME.

Skating in Hallways of the White House

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                Similar to the honor of having your own episode of MTV cribs, could there be anything more baller than getting the ok from President Barack Obama to skate through the White House? You ever try and skate in D.C.? While Tony’s shredding the inside of the Commander in Chief’s house, you got kids outside getting tasered for skating Pulaski...think about it:

Tony Hawk is above the law.

              Ya’ll saw one documentary and are trying to stay mad at the Birdman? Pshhh please, he just spent Father’s Day with the fucking President. Once a boss, always a boss.

Airing Into the Water at X Games 1996

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLfFsljA0YI&w=420&h=315]

              When you’re at the X Games the stakes are high. People risk their lives, and just plain out lay it all on the line in an effort to win the gold. But sometimes it’s not about the gold. Sometimes it’s about just being a boss and showing that you can do whatever you want. This is what happened at X Games 1996. Some people may say, “Tony jumps into the water, giant pussy”. Or they may say something like, “why on earth would he do that, he looks like an idiot”. Or maybe they’d just put their head in their hands and say, “please tell me that this isn’t what skateboarding has come to”. Well guess what - Tony doesn’t give a shit about that. It was hot outside, there was water, and he wanted to take a dip. Not really much more to say about this one.

Gigantic Skatepark Tour

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The fucking Gigantic Skatepark Tour. Oh, you don't know what this is? Well, that's probably because you were still in bed when it aired on ESPN at 6:00 in the morning. Was I awake for it? You bet your ass I was. There was no chance in hell that I was going to miss guys like Kerry Getz, Willy Santos, and Jason Ellis skate any park that had a vert ramp in the back (you think Tony is gonna compromise his integrity by going to a park everyone would enjoy/could skate?) LOL. No. Tony is a businessman. There is no time for parks w/o vert. Remember: Time = Money and Money = a new wife/child support, etc.

The Autobiography

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        Thank the fucking lord for this one. Words cannot express the relief I experienced when I picked me up a copy of the Tony Hawk autobiography at Barnes & Noble in 2002, maybe a week before a major book report was due. When you’re 10 years old, a week is not nearly enough time to read a book. It is also important to note (no pun intended), that sparknotes did not exist in the same way it does today, so that option was out. Luckily, Tony made that shit easy for me. It was a BOOK about skateboarding, and more importantly, the coolest dude who was skateboarding at the time. Long story short (killing it with the puns), your boy aced that book report.

Honorable Mentions:

McDonald's sponsorship

The End

Adio shoes

Birdhouse skateboards

The Simpsons cameo

Rocket Power cameo

-Staff