I'm not afraid to admit that I have a Spotify playlist containing five different versions of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends". I often listen to the playlist, yes, all five versions, start to finish. On one of these occasions, while my mind was flooded with the simple concept of friendship (listening to one song five times in a row can bring out the sentimental side in anyone), I realized something: I love my friends. More important than that whole crock of bullshit however, another realization emerged: I also love friends sections in skate videos. It pains me to say that friends sections, not unlike slams sections, are suffering the same fateful demise as the landscape of skate video production continues to transform at the rapid pace dictated by the world wide web. As it appears, friends sections too are fading into obscurity, which goes hand in hand, like I've said before, with full length skate videos in general. So in a time of reflection, looking back at what once was, I give you this: a top 5 list of skateboarding's best, most-feel-good, black-out-drunk-I-love-you-man friends sections ever. Grab your pals, pool your money together to split a 30-rack of shitty beer like the bad old days, and enjoy.
5.) Krooked Kronichles - Guests
It's actually laughable how legendary both of these friends sections are. On one end we've got a surprising amount of Zered footage looped in with a classic and tasteful varial flip by HUF, while the other is a non-stop powerhouse highlight reel featuring a group of skateboarders I could never even begin to imagine hanging out with each other in the same room. First of all, there's like a shit load of Muska footage. I don't even think he knew he had that much footage. Enough for a part by today's standards. I'm talking hucking, riding walls, a god damn sal-flip. He went all in for K-Kronichles and I gotta respect that. Then there's Dill, fucking Pat Duffy, and footage Darrel probably thought he was going to use in an actual video part. Yeah, it's that good. He nollie-cabbed the Atlanta 4 block. If it weren't for the occasional flashes of dad socks and dress shoes to make me forget what I was witnessing, I would have flipped my coffee table over the first time I watched Dustin Dollin ice the cake with a switch crook on the Hollywood 12 rail. I'm done here.
4.) Transworld - First Love
I feel like although a proper friends section is something specific to a crew video, Transworld did a damn good job with this one. I'm gonna be brief here because we've got bigger fish to fry, but TWS covered the full spectrum of legends and rookies who were just trying to make a name for themselves in 2005. Much like the dude's stolen rug, The Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll" really tied this room together. Also I'm pretty sure Shiloh Greathouse, ya know, the dude with the first part in the video, had footage in this friends section. Why do people do that?
3.) Baker - Baker 3
Apparently shotgunning isn't Beagle's thing. So what? You know what is Beagle's thing however? Filming skateboarding in a way that makes you have no idea how the people doing it are doing it. Every trick in this friends section is like a god damn miracle. It really hit me when I watched the unprecedented back to back 12-stair firecrackers. What you're watching is a group of psychopaths doing their signature moves over and over. And it's fucking amazing. Who ever thought they'd see a backside flip fakie manual in Reynolds 1's? I sure as hell didn't. I don't even think Brad Hayes really expected it to work out, but by the grace and good gravy of the chicken-bone gods he rode that shit out. Top the whole thing off with quite possibly the most legendary and unexpected Dustin Dollin shoutout by none other than Stevie Williams himself, and you've got yourself a timeless friends section. I've transcribed the quote in its entirety for your full enjoyment:
Oh we in Barcelona right now just wanna give a MAJOR SHOUTOUT TO MY NIGGA DUSTIN DOOOOLLIN nigga keep yo MOTHA FUCKIN HEAD UP and don't. let. these. niggas. discourage you. You feel me dawg?
Oh yeah and lets not forget that idiot's slam on the Hollywood 16 rail, casually thrown in the middle of the part as if it wasn't a potentially life ending fall. So many questions unanswered by that. Did that dude die? Or did he make it on Scarred? Lemme know Beagle, I'm losing sleep over this shit.
2.) Zander Taketomo - City People 2
There's definitely a bias attached to this one given the local ties, but anyone can watch this montage and immediately understand that they're getting the full perspective of a local scene. CP2 came out in 2006, which looking back at it was a very transitional era in Boston skateboarding. While a shop like Orchard was still experiencing it's humble, organic beginnings, more established places like True East and Coliseum were on their way out. Even spots were changing. With the arrival of Eggs, a too-good-to-be-true alternative to the non-existent Charles River Skatepark, a shitload of new faces started turning up. What you end up with is a healthy mix of young blood like Curt Daley and Devin Woelfel, fused with heavy hitters like Bro Gumpright and Jerry Fowler. There's even a Fiske clip in there. See, everyone really can just get along after all. (Song was sick too).
1.) Enjoi - Bag of Suck (Required Viewing)
This may undoubtedly be the greatest friends section of all time, a title that can possibly be attributed to one specific moment in time. I'll take a step back here for a second just to set the scene. Brandon Biebel is a man who seemed to have figured everything out with what he liked to do on his skateboard at this stage in his life. He understands ledges, exceeds at manuals, and ain't afraid to nollie 360 flip a 9-stair if shit gets out of hand. His Yeah Right! part speaks for itself to support these claims.
One day however, while on the sesh with the enjoi bois, he had an unexpected change of heart, a moment of clarity so to speak. He was fed up with the status quo, it was time to really switch it up. Gone were the days of halfcab heelflip nosemanuals up knee high manual pads. His kickflip back noseblunt took the back seat on this one.
"Today", he thought to himself, "I'm going to do a wallride". And by the power of the skate gods at hand and a young man's desire to expand his horizons, it was willed to be done.
Besides this epic, game changing moment in the history of skateboarding, Bag of Suck's friends section touches on all aspects of what it means to put together a crew video. These dudes take the term "friends" very seriously, as unserious as this montage actually is. And it shows. It is also important to note that 95% of the clips used are followed with an "OHHH!", "WHAT?!" or some form of audience participation, namely an unforgettable flex by MJ, followed by a "Holla atch boy!".
There's a lot we can learn from enjoi's bag of suck era crew and their tight yet extensive crew of friends. If these guys can still kill it, act like idiots, and film a skate video, we can too. It's a beautiful thing, really. So with that I say thank you enjoi, for reminding us that skateboarding is about hanging with the pals...and that Brandon Biebel is capable of doing anything. Animal Chin would be proud.