VHS Review Volume VI: Shorty's Guilty

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I just want to say that this was the first skate video I ever owned, and I hated it so much that I watched it once, and then went and bought Menikmati. I was so scarred that It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I went back and watched it, and realized the masterpiece that it is. With that said, I guess there’s only one place to start. The beginning.


Intro

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This has to be the most insane intro in skate video history. First off, it is 7 minutes before you actually get to a skate part. Think about that. A seven minute intro. That’s twice as long as any of the parts in the video (except Muska, of course), albeit the intro is broken out into two unbelievable sections. The first is a seizure inducing compilation of tour clips, bails, makes, and miscellaneous Shorty’s hijinx (e.g. eating McDonald’s and shooting cops). Honestly though, the amount of work put into this section must have taken a year in and of itself.

The second part of the intro gives us the plot. Ok, so get ready for it. The Shorty’s team is sentenced to the death penalty. DEATH BY FIRING SQUAD. For skateboarding. Incredible. So as our heroes are being taken to the desert, they are rescued by another group of skateboarders who cut the van off, and continue to murder both police officers with assault rifles. Let that marinate. The Shorty’s team then skateboards away from the scene of the crime. This is the plot line of the video, but we actually HEAR NOTHING ABOUT THIS AGAIN until the very end of the video.

Brandon Turner

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Yes, Brandon Turner, the original rap over your own part dude. Step up TK. Brandon raps about everything from darksliding to hardflipping on the hood of a cop car. So sick. I have to keep coming back to the editing of this video. It’s such a great mix of skate tricks, still shots of the guys modeling Shorty’s gear, and daps. Keep an eye out for the switch gap to boardslide. Kerry…Brandon did it first. This is also the part where Brandon Turner switch hardflips Carlsbad, which is actually out of fucking control.

Jesse Silvey

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After watching this video, SMLtalk is determined to seek out Jesse Silvey and bring him back. This dude’s part is super short, but it’s possibly the most watchable part in the video. Great song, solid style, and good trick selection. Ender is a switch big flip at 3rd and Army. Love you Jesse.

Sammy Baptista

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Sammy Baptista, the switch flip back tail godddd. Sammy’s part is way ahead of it’s time, and I’m pretty sure had a Thrasher Classics (rightfully so). Skates to Gangstarr, good fit. I think Sammy (aside from maybe Toan) was the only dude on the team who was running the nosegrind pop out, which was so hot at this time. Notable trick done in this part: switch backside flip to nosegrind pop out. So…not like a backside 180 nosegrind, but a backside 180 fakie 5-0, but with a flip, and pop out. It's the one above...Insane. Good job Sammy.

Steve Olson

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Damnit, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Steve Olson is the ultimate underdog. He actually has absolutely nothing going for him. He has the same name as a legendary pro, he looks like Sideshow Bob, his feet are about a size 14, and he has that weird goatee where its just a mustache and some chin fuzz. Steve has no board control whatsoever, but just happens to land tricks. His first trick is a switch crooks on an out ledge, and he clips the last stair. Foreshadowing, folks, remember, this video is a work of art. The tone is set for the rest of the part, in which approximately 76% of his flip tricks bounce off of the ground before he lands them. I could analyze this part clip for clip but the takeaways are as follows: half of the clips are filmed at skateparks or the Shorty’s facility, which appears to consist of one obstacle: a drop into a giant bank. He might be the only person aside from Koston himself skated more than one pair of the eS K3. Throughout the part there are just random cartoon boards flipping and yin yang signs. Lastly, he has possibly the most insane gear in recorded history. Everything from lanyards in the pocket to backwards caps, khaki cargos 30 sizes too big. Well, just watch the damn part, but don’t get spooked by the intro!

Toan Nguyen

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Was always hyped/confused by Toan’s intro. He’s cruising around in a go cart, get’s home to what we can only assume is his parents house, finds a skate mag, has to take a shit, and then displays his belt buckle which reads “TOAN”...alright... Toan and Sammy were really the dudes who kept this video moving forward. These dudes were young and progressive, and just skated a lot cleaner than the rest of the team. Toan had a good style and was pretty gnarly as far as tech guys go at this time. Kickflip back tail on an out rail, pretty dope. This part is real good, especially for the time.

Peter Smolik

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YES! This part is too good. It’s a rap video!!! No seriously, yes there is skating in it, but it is also a rap video for the Federalz that could be on MTV. Smolik does his standard tricks, which are always sick. Super high popped flip tricks and insanely tech ledge tricks. Damn, people loved to do really long noseslides back then. Notable tricks here: front shove backside nosegrind to shove 5-0, half cab nosegrind, backside 180 to switch 5-0, 180 out, and back tail shove back tail shove. 2001, ladies and gentlemen.

Chad Muska

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Who else is going to get last part? I mean, people love to hate on Jamie Thomas for giving himself last part, but how many last parts has the Muska given himself? But nobody questions it, and they shouldn’t. Here’s why. Muska does about 43 backside noseslides, and 26 fs tailslides to fakie in this part. Also – while watching this, noticed that Sinner is really just a wannabe Muska. Ya know, I think Jamie Thomas is just a wannabe Muska too. In fact, I think everybody is just a wannabe Muska. The guy is a fucking genius, and he banged Paris Hilton, who wouldn’t want to be him. Anyway, kind of got sidetracked there, but the things you should pay attention to in this part are the fact that he is rocking a gold chain throughout the majority of it, and also he grinds both ledges at clipper in a line. This part is really just too much to take in with one viewing. I recommend about 5 or 6.

Okay, so after Muska’s part is the best part of the video. Muska is skating with about 300 little kids following him. He starts pushing much faster than them, and then he clears a water gap off of a kicker, while the caption reads “Skateboarding is about having fun…so go do it.” WHICH IS IMMEDIATE PROCEEDED BY THE FOLLOWING SCENE: The Shorty’s crew is back in the van somehow (recaptured?) and they are taken out of the van, and appear to have been executed. BUT IN A TWIST OF EVENTS, the cops take off masks and are secretly the Shorty’s team! (which means they killed the cops, again).

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All in all, nothing quite captures the Shorty's demographic during this time, than Guilty. Take 30-40 minutes out of your day, and watch Guilty. You won't regret it.

Dave

VHS Review Volume V: Man Down

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man down featured image For our 5th installment, we would like to take a moment to worship the holy grail of skate videos, Tiltmode Army's Man Down. Phil McCormick came down to SMLtalk HQ in order to sit and review Man Down.


On my 12th birthday I received a blue VHS and quickly proceeded to throw it in the VCR (we're talking 2001 here people, fucking VCR's ruled the land). My younger brother (also his birthday 3 years apart, pretty weird, parents were kinda particular about the days they banged I guess) and I sat watching in complete awe. We were laughing at all the absurdities the Army had conjured up for us and we were in shock of the creative things we saw these guys doing. It was a good day for me, one that I believe came to define why I enjoy our little hobby. This video represents the way toy time should be spent. It embodies all the values that I, and the lovely gentlemen here at SMLcockdotcom, hold near and dear. Pure, uninhibited fun.

“Man down dude....Man dawwwwn”

To set the scene lets flash forward 12 years. It has probably been 5 years since I’ve sat and watched Man Down start to finish, and here we find ourselves in Dave’s room. We surround a 10” TV whose only function is to play VHS’s.

Opening scene of the video is an epic shot of like 30 dudes surrounding a 12ish stair handrail, one dude is wrapped around the middle of the handrail, and the good homie Caswell flies out of nowhere and hits it with a lip slide, and yes thats a mawfuckin gun in his right hand and some mawfuckin ca$h in his left. Then cue Tom Waits, “step right up” and we get the famous clip of some dude in whitey tighties front shuv to all out WWF close line. Montage plays on with hijinks and the Army doing what they do best, having a good time. Somebody bring back party footage. I miss dat shit.

Sharpe.

Paul Sharpe

Dude’s name says it all, Paul is fucking Sharp. On point with dat pop, those iPath Grasshoppers, and those 5-cent mustache rides. Lordie lord. First trick? Ollies like 50 tech decks stacked on top of each other. Rad. Ladytron was a strange choice for his skating but it fuckin works. And yes that’s skatepark footage, they use a ton of it in this video, sometimes they're wearing helmets too, cause fuck you that’s why. Big nollie frontside 180s fo yo ass. Last trick is him in a van drinking a beer holding up a sign that reads “show us your tits” saying “that guys got some tits.” Can’t say I have seen much other footage from this dude but if this is the only part I see by Mr. Sharpe, he went out on top. Bravo.

Jerry Hsu

Jerry

Asian fucking Elvis skating to the king of pop. Yes! Hsu is on a trampoline, on the phone, in a bunny costume, and he does a backflip. Best trick in his part. Double fist and palms out, my g. Jerry's style is the illest. Dude has been spray painting his shoes since the beginning of time. Wild. I always loved that part where he does the nollie crook on the handrail and shoots out on the landing and his slam is timed perfectly with MJ going “ow!” Bs nose blunt on a desk to line of kids hyped. Cool. Jerry’s always had “it” and will always have “it.”

Rojo/1 of 17854397534 friends sections.

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Not the one you know and love, the original Mr. Joe Red. Like watching him skate, but dude has scrapped by in skateboarding with a pretty tame bag of tricks. Love how much shit he gets from Enjoi and the San Jose boyz. He is smooth on those landings though, I’ll give him that. Then it transitions to the first of 500 friend montages. The San Jose boyz know how to skate, that much is sure. First of many skatepark helmet lines make an appearance in this section. NO FUCKS TO GIVE. Famous huge cardboard VX made/held by the one and only.

Louie Barletta is in this part keeping you entertained between the onslaught of forgotten dudes’ names. “www.RONNIECREAGER.com” comes in hot with a fakie flip nose slide (or tail or whatever the fuck you think its called) to 450 shuv out on a box. Loco.

Louie.

Louie

Most entertaining dude on a skateboard for the past couple decades. From his “nice hair” to his trick selection he is a fucking blast to watch. Launch ramp to brick wall session of destruction opens his part. Then straight to A-HA- Take on me. He always has the greatest 80’s songs to skate to. That jump on nose grind on that handrail is bonkers. He destroys that red old skool board too. Handplant (name of hand plant I know not) a brick bank? Yes and yes. OMG Boston trick. Gov’t center bank ride up to backlip is chill as fuck. That backyard line with 2 flatbahs and what looks like cardboard banks and run-up is cool too. How Louie can do every trick is beyond me. Cab flip down like 9...yeah thats pretty insane if you ask me. Ends with a happy-go-lucky handrail sand session wit da boyz, “Oh I think I landed that one!”

Matt Eversole. Thank you for all your work filming and editing this video.

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Always find it weird when filmer has a part (Chomp On This you get a G pass from me homie) but Matt I suppose you earned it. That cross legged kf down 3 still fucking baffles me. Yes those are D3s, and yes he just did a nollie backside flip on a micro skateboard. Zips up fly mid line, that is silly. He skates to the Clash-I’m bored with the USA, but to tell you the truth I am bored with some of the skating in your part. Burn.

Jesse Erickson

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Loosing steam at this point and we’re only 20 into the 60 minutes. Thanks internet this used to be a treat to watch. This dude helped film the video too! Jesse skates fucking fast, and maybe its the similarity in outfits (jeans and watch) but i get a little Gino whiff. He skates in lots of iPath Cats. Thought they looked whack when I was younger but i’d do some regrettable shit to get my hands on a pair now.

Crew/Espinoza

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I always liked this dude. Dunno what happened to him and don’t really care. I had a hard on for Mark Appleyard around the time I first saw Man Down and the combo of the Flexfit hats, jeans, and Circa’s rocks and keeps me excited to watch this part. Shift to Ricky Espinoza. He does tricks. Someone throws a frisbee awfully close to him during a line. Random 16mm footage of him after he does a switch tail down a handrail.

Friend sections for ever...

Guns and Roses - My Michelle keeps you intrigued while they let every fucking person that has ever lived in San Jose get a trick for their video. Some dude dressed like an early 90’s metal head just does a fucking flat ground fs flip. Cab does some shit. Transition to some weird sentimental Smashing fucking Pumpkins song called “sweet sweet” for a doubles friend section. Makes you wanna pour one out for the homies.

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*This is the part you skip* Full metal jacket quote plays, “Your days of fingerbanging old maryjane rotten crotch are over!” Good quote. Another friends section. Gen x-your generation is a cool song. Thanks Billy Idol you crazy son-of-a-bitch.

Jai (don't know who the fuck that is) and Jason “the Kid” Adams

“eat steak eat steak eat a big old steer” is a funny song. Didn’t care for the Kid when I was younger but I really like him now. Skateparks and parking lots. Kid’s got that greaser style and I back dat. Good ole fashion fun.

Aaron Vanden-who-cares-at-this-point

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He skates to Del Da Funky Homo. I hate that guy. Del collects fucking razor scooters. This is a fact. Flatground benihana as an ender while smoking a cig is nutty though. I've tried this trick many times and I still don’t get it and its fucked.

Warehouse montage/Another friend section

“Feels like one long Matix ad” proclaimed @robcollinsphoto. And he is right.

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Friends section.

Yup another. Colt Cannon is in this one though so its pretty cool. I miss that dude. Where’d you go cargo Colt?!

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Caswell

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Weezer aye? Not bad Mr. Dingle Berry. Love his skating but this dude can be credited with keeping Pac Sun alive throughout the 2000’s. Every outfit: flex fit hat, volcom tee, studded belt, and Osiris shoes. C’mon mane! Lines, rails, gaps, ya he can do it all. 10-ft air over Cab at the local skatepark gets the thumbs up. Backlip down 15 stair handrail to painfully long close up on the face of the most unammused Caswell ender.

“Big guns baby, big guns”. MJ. The main event.

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Second Rolling Stones song in one video, but im not opposed. MJ is always proper as fuck. He is wearing the craziest pom pom beanie known to man. Typed in “pom pom beanie” into google images and look who I saw! He may do the best back lip on a flatbar ever captured. I think I like adidas wearing MJ the most. He looks at home in some shell toes. So many posed rollaways. Where you at Dlyan? ...And all you wanna be Dylans? MJ did it before you and better than you. Switch hard flip back tail on a ledge ender be like woah.

Credits.

God this video is a marathon. Fuck you internet for giving me skA.D.D. More party hijinks and bromance shit for dem feel good vibes mon. Clip of Evers trying to bang a chick and she spots the hidden camera is gold. MJ “I was jumped, I was ambushed, I was bushwhacked! Whatchu gonna do about that man!”

Vans skatepark destruction montage

Darth Vader theme music plays, pretty sweet. Louie gets kicked in the nuts for not landing a trick at a skatepark. For some reason everyone but Jose Rojo has to wear a helmet at the Vans park. Really? He looks like he could benefit most from a little helmet protection. The Kid fucking murders the park with some huge airs in a wife beater. “Coltilingus Cannon Cock” has the craziest extension on a kf indy over a fun box i have ever seen. looks like he's doing a supahman seat grab or some shit.

Fin.

Guest post by Phillip "Mikey" McCormick.

VHS REVIEW VOLUME III: CAN'T STOP (2003)

Image Okaayyyyyyy, we’re about to check ourselves into a little VHS action for our third installment of the V-H-S review series, and I’ve personally never been more excited to abandon the tons of work that I have for a couple hours and write a shitty, meaningless review on a video that is antiquated, and to most kids out there irrelevant. BUT FUCK IT, why not, I love this video.

Let me just take a second here to run through the lineup of dudes (and chicks [shout out Alexis, I love you…no really, I love you]).

Jani Laitiala, Javier Sarmiento, John White, Wieger Van Wageningen, Wagner Ramos, Mike Chin, Alexis Sablone (love you), Jared Herman, Ray Barbee, Lance Mountain, Matt Beach, Bob Burnquist, and Rodrigo TX. Okay. Just take a moment and let that all soak in. Basically we have about 75% unknown, never heard of, or just on the come up. The remaining are fucking legends. And then there’s Rodrigo TX the phenomenon. ENOUGH ABOUT THE LINEUP THOUGH LETS WATCH THE VID.

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Okay, I ordinarily wouldn’t review a commercial, but I have to at least comment on this shit. So obviously since this is VHS you can’t really skip over anything, and you just popped in this video and you’re like, alright, let’s see what this commercial is all about. Ok I see some Adidas Torrents doing a pretty nice nollie heel. Okay, who is this guy. Wait. Is that Matt Beach who I haven’t seen in ages because he dropped off, who is about to make the most insane comeback part of all time? Yeah. It is. So he’s rollin around the sidewalks like a pimp and stumbles upon guess who. Mark Gonzales. How about that. Dressed up as a kooked out hobo wearing a wooden sign. So what do they do, SET IT UP AS A WALLIE. Wow, and Matt of course does it no problem. Gotta say, even though this technically isn’t part of the video, it really sets the tone.

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Moving on to the intro. Oh, cool, it’s Bob skating a fullpipe. Wait, he’s going pretty fas….WHAT ARE YOU DOING BOB WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO LOOP A 13 FOOT TALL FULLPIPE IN 2003?!?!? Oh, my. I am giving Bob the make on that one idegaf. So like many skate videos of this era, there is a little theme that they go along with, and skits acted out throughout the video. The theme of this video is that it appears to be set in the early 1900’s, and they are all part of a gang. Kinda weird, but ya know what kids, there’s a little thing out there called “suspension of disbelief”, so we’re gonna play along with it.

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First part: Jani Laitiala

If you try and tell me that you were a Jani fan, or even really knew about this dude before this video, you are a pretentious prick, and to be honest probably have no fucking life. I just remember the first time seeing this being super hyped on the song, Cool ‘n’ Out, by Joe Strummer. Jani has a really unique style, that if it were in black and white, could’ve possibly been in a Darkstar video.  But you know what, he’s not, and he’s skating to a great song, and he’s got massive pop and a dope-ass front crook. The switch frontside heel that this dude does over the rail is untouchable. Frontside crooked grinding everything. Nollie fs crook, fs crook down a rail pop over into bank, fs crook clipper. Wow. The ender is the most memorable clip, nollie backside heel the big four to ape scream self-cheer. Would I hate on it today? Yes. But it’s 2003. Jani, I back you.

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Javier Sarmiento

I’m actually going to take a moment and watch this video for my own viewing pleasure, and then I’ll watch it again and comment.

Ok. If you didn’t do the same thing I honestly recommend that you do, right now. I can’t even explain how far ahead of its time this part is. Dude comes in like Arto in Sorry doing switch and regular mirrored lines. Then all of a sudden the dude starts doing about a thousand of the hardest tricks imaginable. Hardflip back tail. Switch gap tre flip noseslide. Reread that. That’s in the middle of his part. Now he’s just opening up on ya. Switch frontside flip manny fs 180 out. He is just DESTROYing Barcelona. Mercilessly. Ok, now we’re at Venice Beach, what’s he got. Fs bigspin the first sand gap, switch fs bigspin the second!! Whyyyy. Back to Barcelona, ledge to drop, front shove nosegrind, nice. SWITCH FS 5-0 BACK 180. Wow. Every trick is a banger and I just don’t have time to talk about them all. I’m gonna cut this short and say, watch the part, and we can talk about the first try kickflip backside noseblunt ender together in person. Thank you, Javier, for your unwavering excellence and the use of some Spanish war battle song.

 

John White

Now John White was a pretty young dude at this time, and to be honest I was surprised that he had a full part. You have to imagine The Firm must have had some sort of plans for him, plans which clearly did materialize when he dropped off the fucking planet* immediately after this video. This part is pretty good. He does some rails and stairs. He does a cool no comply shuffle line.  I’m not going to lie to you I’m not even watching it and I’m not going to. NEXT.

*I know he had a part in the Powell video, whatever, shut up.

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^not interested in dvd, thanks.

Weiger Van Wageningen

Weiger, the inward heelflip god. This dude has one of the best back tails. It just looks like he could hang in there forever.  Starts off just killing it fakie. Longest fakie ollie switch crooks in a line. The good thing about the way that he does it is that it still looks fakie, which is important. Tons of dudes out there who skate switch all the time (wenning, etc) that make it look regular, and easy. Fakie is fakie, it has a certain aesthetic. I was talking with Evan about this part and he made a great point. HAS WEIGER AGED ONE DAY SINCE THIS VIDEO. Weiger, if you’re out there, let us know.   Anyhow, Weiger obviously slays pussy in this part and ends it with a bangin inward heel noseslide down LA High. Whabammm, good job.

Shared Section

The next part is a shared part with Wagner Ramos (xgames legend), Mike Chin, a name people know but can’t put a face to, and Alexis Sablone, just coming off of her success with PJ Ladd’s WHL. This part was always really strange for me, and to be honest I would just watch it for Alexis’ clips (I love you Alexis. Seriously). Unfortunately for all of us her clips are limited and it’s really a part pretty much worth skipping.

Jared Herman

Jared Herman is basically the kid at the skatepark who you are scared to watch because you know that he has never landed 97% of the tricks that he is trying…but by some strange miracle he ends up making tricks. Not just tricks though, serious hammers (s/o Jim Greco CT native). Anyways, back to this guy’s part. The dude is skating to Flogging Molly. I don’t even know how to feel about that. The soundtrack has no consistency. About half of the video is original music by Ray Barbee, and the rest, apparently, is somebody’s mp3 player on shuffle. Let me correct myself though, he’s not skating to Flogging Molly, he is eating shit to Flogging Molly. The part looks like an excerpt from 411 911. I remember watching this as a kid being hyped on the kickflip nose manual shove it to manual kickflip out, and not understanding why it was in a pro video. I still don’t quite understand. I gotta be honest, he does switch frontside heel a double set, and does some really gnarly rails. Imagine Nate Sherwood on some heavy narcotics and you pretty much have this dude. Oh yeah and by the way his ender is him sacking on a rail.

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Ray Barbee

There’s really not enough I can say about Ray’s part in this video. The song he uses (written by him) is perfect for the part. He’s all smiles and style, and it feels like every clip is filmed in warm, sunny, southern California. The kickflip nosemanual with the ice cream truck in the back, the backside 360 off the natural kicker, all of it just looks like fun. This is actually the part that really introduced me to Ray’s skating, and of course I was immediately drawn to it. Trick selection is on point in this part. The heelflip over the guardrail into the bank in Highland park is ridiculous, and he makes it look like a joke trick. This is just one of those parts you can watch a hundred times and never get bored of. And of course the step hop ender into the bank. Perfection. 10/10, A+, 100%.

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Lance Mountain

Ok so next part is Lance’s. OK. Please don’t hate me here. So when I originally bought this video and watched it I was 15 and the only spot I skated was a manual pad at the local elementary school. My days of skating transition were still light-years away, which made this part not only irrelevant to me, but to be honest, really boring. THE WHOLE FUCKING PART IS SLOW MOTION. Come on Lance, what were you thinking here. I get it, you were skating the combi bowl a bunch back then and that was your thing. I go back and watch this part now and even though I get it, it’s still a really damn boring part. Compare this one to his part in Extremely Sorry. WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. Sorry Lance, I love you but… SKIP.

Matt Beach

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Matt Beach. Matthew. Fucking. Beach. This is the part that you watch the video for. He’s skating to another song written by Ray, and it couldn’t be more perfect. Dude comes blazing out first clip in Barcelona switch noseblunt, then quick nollie back heel. Come on. Laying down snapped switch flips down double sets, the longest crooked grinds, fs flip tailslide around a corner. Dude is absolutely killing it.  Switch shifty flip, frontside lip the WHOLE J KWON LEDGE!!! This part is up to today’s standards.  The first time I saw the noseslide to crook down the angled rail I didn’t even know it was possible. And this guy is doing it down a rail. The song starts to build up and he just starts burning. Again, I’m not here to list every damn trick, but the switch flip 7, switch tre 7 bang bang back to back is something you go home and tell your parents about. Changed your damn life. The last line is just the perfect close, back blunt kickflip a bench, fs 180 a huge bump to bar, and the quickest switch flip down a 6 immediately after. I love you Matt Beach. I love you so much.

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Bob Burnquist

All I need to say is Bob Burnquist skating to a song written for Bob Burnquist about how you can’t stop Bob Burnquist. My favorite thing about this part is that you get a nice little taste of street Bob. He’s front boarding to fakie, 50-50ing and lipsliding big rails. Then the vert section comes in. The thing about this dude is that unlike most parts, there really isn’t a trick you could say “oh, well I could possibly do that if I really tried”. Because you can’t. You can’t even drop in. Shut up. He’s so good that just doing one insanely difficult trick isn’t enough, he’s stringing them together into four or 5 trick lines. Channel gapping to frontside boardslide, are you fucking kidding me. Whenever I watch Bob skate I think of the Sal Masekela commentary during his X games perfect run, “WHAT… WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME BOB?!?!...WE HAVE LOST OUR MINDS…” I don’t think there will ever be a disappointing part to come from Bob, and this one sure as hell is not.

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Rodrigo TX

I just spent about 5 minutes (real time) trying to think of what I should say about Rodrigo’s part. I will say this. If ever there was a forgotten hero in the progression of skateboarding, it would be Rodrigo TX. Rodrigo was the all-to-humble, come out of nowhere, knock your socks off and leave you wanting more kid of the early 2000s. His part in Can’t Stop embodies this perfectly. Let me deter for a second and explain something. Skateboarding in the early 2000s was a bit different than it is today. You would go to a (terrible, most likely pre-fabricated) park, or to a street spot, with a large group of your friends, and everybody would be trying to learn. This is not to say that there wasn’t a certain element of fun, but the focus at the time was absolutely less on creativity, and more on technicality and how gnarly you are willing to get. There weren’t a million really good skaters, so the ones that were talented stood out. Rodrigo stood out. Rodrigo came to the United States, put out his part in Menikmati, and blew minds. How could a 15 year old kid be so good? Has Bob Burnquist injected some of his own blood into this child? These were questions we asked ourselves. Regardless, immediately after Menikmati came out, Rodrigo went to work on this; possibly the most slept on part of all time.  In this part he is fakie heelfipping giant gaps, 50-50ing giant rails, switch heeling benches, and does maybe the best shifty flip all time. He shifty flips over right where the rail is so that it looks like a kickflip front board. Come on. Then the ender, switch flip back lip, AND HE DID IT TWICE. Are you freaking kidding me. Man.

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Rodrigo TX: II

Wait. What’s this? No. Theres no way. He has a second part. Evan and I were talking about this and imagine if you were at the premier. You just had your mind blown and all you can think is that this must be throwaway footage or something. But no, it most certainly is not. If anything it is better than the first part. The first part was only a warm up. It just got ya wet. Now he’s about to take a dip. Fakie heel manny switch heel out. In a line he does backside nosegrind popout back 180, switch tre, and fakie 5-0 off the ledge to drop in Barcelona. Switch flip backside noseblunt a picnic table. Switch front blunt shove LA High. Switchflip back tail a rail. It’s all really just too much. I will go out and say that this was the one to beat before MJ in Fully Flared. The thing about it is that it has a lighthearted feel, as though he wasn’t trying too hard. A personal thank you to Rodrigo TX for this part, and what he did for skateboarding.

AND THAT’S IT! (the credits were done kind of weird with the video playing in a small square and NOBODY has time for that) so we’ll call it a wrap! Another great VHS in the books.

PLEASE BE KIND – REWIND

 

-David Lewis

VHS Review Volume II: 7 Year Glitch (2002)

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Continuing our tradition of honoring the "VHS Era" of skateboarding I have decided to do our second VHS Review on the 2002 classic 7 Year Glitch. This was the seventh New Deal video released since it's conception and it's probably safe to say that they cranked a video out once a year. For readers of a certain age this is probably baffling. A full length video every single year. What a blessing it would be to see two minutes of maneuvers from one Michael Carroll, or a James Greco, every single fucking year. Instead we are deprived of their talents for half a decade, only to find they had little to no footage...or are so far behind on #trends that it is clear the footage is outdated and thus disappointing. It would seem I've gotten completely off topic here. Lets get this review going.

Intro - Ricki Bedenbaugh made this video. Does anyone know how to pronounce his name? In my head I'm saying it like "Bed-in-bah". There's something inherently silent about the "g" in his last name. Whatever. The video begins with glitching madness. It sounds like two robots docking. Lots of screeching and interrupting. Small film cuts of skaters doing what skateboarders always do in video intros: put their hands up like they're in a rap video or look away from the camera like they just had some super profound thought (which of course isn't true) always set in an urbanized environment to increase street credibility. Of course Fabrizio smiles straight into the camera but the surprising smile is Ricky Oyola, you would have thought he'd be more of a "fuck the camera" kind of dude but maybe the early 2000's were a gentler time for him. Chad Bartie is HARD though, oh my lord. This dude is ice cold. Kind of explains why his name is Chad. And then of course the beat drops, the computer glitches cease, and we have your basic "make and then slam" intro formula in action. And its working. The more variety on the team the better the intro to the video's gonna be. And who said you couldn't analyze the intro? Got damn. Lets go to parts.

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Chad Tim Tim - I always said "Never trust a man with two first names." This dude has three first names...my point? Not really sure just thought I'd say that. Tim Tim skating to De La Soul. I'm loving it. Gotta say the line at Third and Army where he buries that front blunt on the barrier and then hits the camera with his foot pushing? So 2002. Do today's standards allow for a camera tap anymore? This strikes me as something only the VHS Era can really understand. Lets keep going. OOOOO nollie frontside flip that trash can at Cherry Park? Switch back 180 TWO trash cans at the same spot?? My dude Tim Tim is on fire. Ample switch stance skateboarding. Tim Tim's hucking, he's jumping down handrails, and he closes it out with three slo-mow enders. Switch back heel that double set? You're goddamn right he did. I'm giving this part two thumbs up.

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Rob Gonzalez - Next up we have Rob G. He's got kind of a Cuban dance hall funky horn song going. I'm digging it. Rob G is BLASTING off righrOt now. Straight up I'm like 10 seconds in he's already nollied in every clip. Oh my god that backside smith grind was fucked. Dude big shout out to Rob G right now. Hubbas everywhere in this part. Rob G might be the most Hubba dude. Rob G is just ripping right now, really knows how to put together a good line. The back smith down the handrail we saw in the intro makes an appearance with a tight second angle. SKATEPARK TRICK SLO-MOWS. Yes. This is also something kids of a certain age would make a frowny face about. And if you're wondering how Rob G just got skinnier, it's because Danny Montoya is fucking ripping. Not gonna lie the best tricks done in this part are Montoya's. Switch flip back blunt down a picnic table? That been done since? Here we go. Rob's back and firing on all cylinders. The flute's kicking in...it's getting hectic now. Varial flip to legend. Wow. Could you find a more proper varial flip? Ya'll got me fucked up if you're gonna hate on a varial flip ender. Rob G you get a half thumbs up for that part. (Danny Montoya you get two, sorry Rob)

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Lincoln Ueda - Lincoln fuckin' Ueda. The only thing I really remember about this dude is that he was like the Hurley poster child for a super long time. But this is what I like about this era of skating...there was always a vert dude and they all skated Bob's ramp. The sessions at that dude's house must have been fucking insane. Literally changing the game while no one gave a shit, like at all. Lincoln is blasting. That's I think this dude's thing: strictly blasting. Did I mention this dude is fucking BLASTING? Holy shit Lincoln Ueda. This dude got a sick song. Damn this dude was good. Anyone wanna explain to me how this dude never got his proper shine? Oh vert was completely dead? Ok that makes sense. Dude poor Lincoln Ueda. He's literally making Bob's ramp look like a bitch. And it's BOB'S ramp. He just did a backside heelflip tucknee. That doesn't even make sense. His ender? I'm sorry you're just gonna have to watch it I'm really not sure what to say about it...its too fucked up for words. Lincoln Ueda you're getting two vert thumbs up for this part you fuckin deserve it.

Montage - Now we have what I believe is a flow/am montage. They don't put anyone's names in the montage so I can't tell you exactly who I'm watching here but they're certainly ripping. Couple East Coasters I like it. Some good Philly Phootage coming through. Now given how much research it would take to me to go through everyone in this montage I'll just go off on a non-sequitur here. You ever watch porn and its like that ill threesome you were looking for for like MONTHS and its getting all hot and heavy and sick and just as you're about to cum you see the ad for the dick enhancement? Like the monster photoshopped dick? That shit sucks! Ok back to 7 Year Glitch. Yeah people did tricks and they landed 'em. Blah, blah, blah.

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Ryan Johnson - Fuckin' Ryan Johnson man. This dude got lost in all the 411's. And who would have thought this dude was jah rasta as fuck. Straight up that back 180 switch 50-50 is bonkers. This dude kind of rules. Barefoot pool roll-ins? That's some fuckin' irie shit right there. You gotta be fuckin' high to try that. Daaamn frontside air over the love seat! I like this song too some sick reggae shit. Dude this dude's part is sick. Drop in grind was rad. This dude's like a not as sick Cardiel. Skates slower, doesn't have as good as style, but skates like Cardiel...sort of.I mean no one really skates like Cardiel. Like that bank to rail: we all know Cardiel would have skated the top bar, but Ryan Johnson skates the bottom bar...and that's ok. Damn ender was sick. SLC rail. And he switches his stance to beam the little kids cheering for him. OH WAIT?! Bonus ender. Kickflip the sketchiest gap. You trying to tell me that didn't count? Go fuckin' try that shit. Word up Ryan Johnson. If you were Cardiel you would have got two thumbs up for this part.

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Fabrizio Santos - Tha Breeze. My man. Ya'll thought he was gonna skate to Biggie? Nah player. My man's skating to some crazy flute shit. Thats right. Flute shit. Lets just take a minute to appreciate Fabrizio's unreal style. Dude was SMOOTH. But my man went big. My man went like Jamie Thomas big. Goddamn that backside lipslide?? Woooooooo shit was sick! Oh my god back 180 overcrooks back to regular! Way ahead of his time man. People like just started catching on to that shit. My man went big, but my man gets tech too, nah mean? How come this dude never gets brought into the conversation when it comes to frontside flips? My man is SOLID with the frontside flip. Andrew who? Reynolds huh? FABRIZIO SANTOS IS ALL I CAN FUCKS WITH RIGHT NOW. Kickflip front lip? Are you fuckin' kidding me Breeze? Its 2002, dude. Not sure we were ready for that just yet. And in classic skate video form, The Breeze shouts dude mid way down a gap to front lip. That's so fucking sick. Fuck it dude I'm gonna say it this is the best part in the video so far. Ender was nuts but nothing compares to that gap to lip. He literally said dude halfway through the trick. That's amazing. MY MAN GETS TWO ALL CAPS THUMBS UP FOR HIS PART.

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Ricky Oyola - The working man himself. Big Ricky. Not sure that Big Ricky was ever a nickname for the dude but something tells me he'd be ok with Big Ricky. Ricky's opening line IS street skateboarding. Wallies fuckin' all over the place here. Yellow shirts. It's 2002 people. Ricky knows what the fuck is up. Lot of Ricky in Europe. And me personally, I like seeing Big Ricky in his natural habitat. That's Philly for ya'll dipshits that didn't know. I can work with this though. Blunt transfer was as smooth as MY MAN above this write up. Boy, what a fuckin' push. Big Ricky CRUISING. Back three that rail into bank. Followed by a textbook 360 kickflip or trey balm, as you hellaclip geeks call it. Ollie over the fountain was sick!! Dude you know you've got it when you get hyped off ollies. Remember you little shitheads, you ain't gotta flip your board to be good at skateboarding. Big Ricky just doesn't age. Pole jam into bank session is nuts. NO YOU DID NOT JUST KICKFLIP SEX CHANGE RICKY. It's like everything I understood about the world just kind of came crashing down on top of me. Does this mean it's ok to do that trick? Have I chastised and tormented people for years when I should have been encouraging the sex change? What the fuck Ricky. I don't even wanna talk about the fact that he backtailed up a six stair to fakie. No, I won't fuckin' talk about it. I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THE SEX CHANGE DUDE. Can't even tell you about the insane pivot he does on that metal bank. Or how ridiculous that downhill double street gap ollie in Mission Hill is. Flash forward 12 years those fucking gaps are still mind bending. Hippy hop wallride. Big Ricky does it. I give this part two formerly woman thumbs that now have penises.

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Chad Bartie - Bartie's up. Always been a fan of this dude. Especially before he started doing the mullet. But he's Australian, we expect a mullet from you. Not saying it's a bad thing...just sayin'. NO RACISM, NO WAR. That's what I'm fuckin' talking about. Lets skate the issues of the world away. Chill skatepark line turns into a heavy ride down a MASSIVE handrail. Damn, dude. Bartie's so sick. Fuckin' classic style. True ATV. Jumpin' on those rails, battling the hubbas, RIPPING the pools. And I mean RIPPING. This dude takes your average spot and he goes all ass backwards on it. That ledge into bank ya'll been dancin' on top of? My man just put a sign and the bottom and is BLASTING off of it like a kicker. Fuck ya'll. Feeble back 180...heelflip back board. You hear that fuckos? It's 2002. Ya'll just been fast asleep on Bartie huh? Gap to frontside nosegrind solid as a fuckin' rock. Oh and what's this? Backside 50 ender is so reckless. Fuck yeah Bartie. You get two Australian thumbs down, which in the Northern Hemisphere is two thumbs way up! Rad bro!

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Kenny Reed - The world traveler himself. Ya'll can't fuck with my man's travels. The ultimate spot seeker. With that crazy yoga voodoo style. Kenny Reed. Haha! Opening line is fuuuuucked up. Is there a hubba that can stop this dude? I think not. Dude's ollies were INSANE. Levi Brown? What's that? I think I hear that dude crying somewhere. He's crying over the fact that he could never fill the hole that Kenny left. I want every pair of Ipath's he's wearing. Hahaha oh my god KENNY. That noseslide is fucking legendary. The MACBA lines in this part are literally fucked. Aw man that switch ollie where he got all fuckin' crazy feet on it. Damn. Classic Kenny. My man is flipping his board every which way. Nollie flip, fakie tre, swiss frontside bigspin. Ya'll can't keep up. Good lord, that frontside boardslide. Kenny just went and risked it all didn't he? And of course that 360 flip. Could you ask for a more classic Kenny Reed ender than a textbook 360 flip into a crazy bank in some random third world country? I think not. I'm giving Kenny's part two thumbs in undisclosed locations somewhere on Earth.

 

Well that looks to be a wrap on 7 Year Glitch. We laughed, we cried, and we realized that Danny Montoya is better than Rob G. And you know what? We learned that this is OK. Look for anyone that hasn't seen this video, you're fucking up. It's up there with the Yeah Rights! and the One Step Beyonds. I don't know why this video doesn't get brought up too much but it should. The early 2000s are like embarrassing baby photos your mom shows that chick you've been trying to bang when you bring her home from the movies. You're acting like you're bummed...but you knew you were killing it back then. BRING BACK NEW DEAL.

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-Rojo

VHS Review Volume I: Mosaic (2003)

Image Ah, Mosaic. The nostalgia I have attached to this video is pretty much unmatched by any other video. This video, aesthetically, reigns supreme. Like a Chopin composition, this video is intricately assembled, technically impressive, and stylistically in a league of its own. This is in my opinion Castrucci’s best work. This was, without a doubt, assisted by the fact that the lineup was one of the best in skate history. Some of these skaters may have kooked out in later years, but at this time the team consisted of a mix of legends and current heavyweights, sprinkled with a few young bucks. Let’s run through the video.

INTRO:

Boom, here we are, intro. Animated snake rolls up into shape of video camera. Love it, brings me back every time. Gonna be honest, I must have watched this a hundred times before I had seen the DVD version, but the bonus feature on the DVD of Tim O’Connor commentary always sticks with me, and is all I can think of through the video now. Back to the point now. Awesome intro song, Tim’s frontside ollie at FDR, classic. The animation and general presentation of the skaters doesn’t feel cheesy, even though they were clearly getting pretty artsy here. Gets me hyped for it to start without fail.

Danny Renaud:

Yeah, I honestly don’t think that there has ever been a better first part. Song is Cymande – Crawshay. Could NOT have been a better fit. At this point Danny was a young dude, going for it with smooth style. Trick selection is on point, for me most notably in his lines at city hall. Perfect back three down the set. Other take-aways for me include the nollie flip down the set, hand draggin’, switch back tail down the rail, back noseblunt ender where he narrowly escapes the ledge on landing, but most of all, I will always remember his line cruising down the street as the piano solo comes in. Just a real feel good part that gets you hyped to go skate a sidewalk.

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Tim O’Connor/Brian Wenning:

I feel like some people hate Tim O’Connor, which I guess I just don’t really understand, but this guy has been a personal favorite since his Eastern Exposure footage. He’s got a good style, sometimes a little sketchy, but I think in a way that defines him more than hinders him. His footage here is limited due to a broken ankle, so they paired him up with Wenning who had been filming for The DC Video at the time. Another good track for the part, this one is RJD2. I gotta say, I’m not a huge Wenning fan, especially during this era, but I tolerate him for the Tim footage. Best clips in this part for me are Tim’s 5-0 ollie over the gap, back 5-0 fs shove out (pure innovation), and then his ender with the nose manual nollie down the 9 stair. Oof. Good stuff.

Fred Gall:

Ok, so this part holds a bit of sentimental value for me in that my first board was a Habitat Fred Gall board. I actually laugh thinking about that, because I had absolutely no idea who he was. I remember watching this part for the first time and thinking “holy shit, this is that dude.” I was hyped. Another super memorable intro with the old dude warning them about cars coming through and Fred almost jumping directly into one. Unforgettable.  Fred’s part is, I think, Fred’s peak park. Ripping footage, about as clean a style as you’re going to see with Fred, but a ton of powerful switch tricks, a good mix of street and tranny, and just a dirt-dog style. Love him.

Rob Pluhowski:

Rob Pluhowski for me in this video was just the underdog guy. I rooted so hard for this guy after watching his part. It truly spoke to me. The recurring theme in this video is trick/spot selection, but in my opinion Pluhowski really took it to the next level. He really doesn’t do any tricks that are technically mind-blowing, but everything he does is done with such speed and finesse that it makes the part very enjoyable. Take-away tricks include gap front shove manny and gap kickflip nosemanny, along with his ending line with the varial heel, great looking pushes, and a speedy nollie flip off the inclined dock.

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Ed Selego:

Ed is a dude that I feel they just tucked right in the middle of the video. His part is short and sweet, and if I am going to be honest, it’s probably the least memorable of the video. I really like Ed Selego, and he has a few solid clips in this including his ender 50-50, but I do always wish his part were a little bit longer.

Kerry Getz:

Moving right along. Kerry Getz, a considerably criticized skateboarder, especially around the time of Skate More (2005). Ok, I feel like a lot of people hate on this dude, but I actually have always enjoyed his skating, especially this part. The copy that I originally owned used Psychotic Reaction as this song, which I thought was soooo sick. I think they changed it to some cha cha crap for the DVD, but I’m not concerned with that. Opening line: switch crook, switch heel, fakie frontside halfcab filp, then 180 THE FOUNTAIN GAP. Are you kidding me?? Come on. I know a ton of people have done hard stuff there, but at this time this dude took the crown for doing a trick over the gap in a line. Kerry comes through with a good mix of street clips from stairs, to decent sized rails, to some high-level technical manual/ledge footage. I personally loved the kickflip up the kicker to nose wheelie in Barcelona. Ollie up the ledge to lipslide the long flat rail at Love was great, and then also, at the time, the double flip over the rail. Hey, I was a kid, double flips were rad. I still back ‘em.

Alien Montage:

Ok, so here we have some really great footage from AVE, a couple clips from Danny Way, but the real stock pile comes from an (at the time) relatively unknown skater, Ted DeGros. I don’t know what happened to this guy, but I fell in love with is footage. Best looking tre flip, and also the frontside 5-0 varial flip out on the ledge blew my mind. The thing almost looks like a forward flip. So good. If you’re out there Ted, I love you. Also, Papa M – Krusty for the song. Yes.

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Steve Berra/Heath Kirchart:

Looking back at this part is always so interesting for me. To be honest when I first saw this part it wasn’t a standout part for me. I don’t think I had seen This Is Skateboarding yet, and that’s when I really started to get into Heath, and Berra just seemed like a decent skater. I knew that the skating was good, but it was a short part with a lot of single tricks so I didn’t really get into it. I go back and watch this part now, however, and wow, there is actually a lot of great stuff. Just to see Heath switch ollie over a picnic table in a line is worth watching the part. I don’t think I could find a single person who backs Berra after his kook-out and flat bar street footage, but this part actually has some gnarly stuff. Frontside flip over the rail into the bank, backside flip, half cab flip, and full cab flip down the set Mike Carroll back smithed in Yeah Right! (forgive me for not knowing the spot name). I just want to get it out there, Steve Berra has a damn good backside flip. All in all, another really good part.

Jason Dill:

I could literally talk about this part for an hour, but I will spare you. Best part in the video, hands down. Spoon – The Way We Get By for the first section and Someone Something for the second section, with the Directions in Music track in the middle. If you are going to watch one part to get an understanding of the artistic vision of this video, it is this part. First section filmed exclusively at a DIY spot in LA (aside from the last clips filmed on the banks, second section in Barcelona. Perfection. No single tricks in the part. My favorite tricks are the frontside crooks around the bench, the fakie varial heel in his last line of the first section, the switch front three on flat in Barcelona, and then finally the nollie backside heel on in Barcelona in the bench line. Yes, three of the four are flatground tricks. They are that good. Dill is a legend because it would be hard to say that this part, being so good, probably comes second to his Photosynthesis part as a personal best.

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Anthony Pappalardo:

Another two section part (deservedly). First part coming through with Forget the Swan by Dinosaur Jr. as the song. I hadn’t heard Dinosaur Jr. before this, so this was huge for me. Pappalardo really came through, rocking the baseball tee and beanie, doing some of the most stylish tricks I had seen at the time. Something about his shoulders reminds me of Gino, sleepy style. His manual line at Flushing Meadows is memorable for me, I had never seen anybody skate it that way before, and it looked really fun. I love the ollie up to backside flip off of the kicker to bike rack, fakie flip down the Brooklyn banks set, and then he really gets next level in the second section with the nose wheelie into Grant’s tomb, and the switch back 50 down Clipper. Oh yeah, don’t forget that he was the first to go at the Love gap switch. Classic part.

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Stefan Janoski:

I remember first seeing Stefan in a 411 skating to Vast and wondering who in the hell this guy was. I was super hyped that he was going to be in this video and couldn’t wait for the part. It did not let down. Stefan’s style is so clean, and he does some of the most technically difficult ledge and flip tricks, in lines. Let’s talk about thing switch flip backside 50 50 down a rail. Um, ok, yeah. I personally loved the backside wheelslides on ledge. I have still not seen people going to this one, hopefully as a sign of respect for one of the best dudes to ride a board. Great song, great part, gnarly ender with the switch frontside 50 down the long rail. Good job Stefan.

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Danny Garcia:

Ok. Here we have our last part. Now just take a moment, and think back to all of the previous parts. If you were Danny, how would you feel? There’s no way that you are going to top a whole host of legends and legends to be. Danny was also a young dude in this video, who I compared to a Rodrigo TX type. Super technically talented, with a very clean style. The problem for me with this part is that because of all of the other great parts in this video, his ends up feeling a bit boring, monotonous, and underwhelming. I think that in any other video it could have been a standout, but sorry Danny, if I’m going to keep it real, I usually skip to the credits.

CREDITS:

ALRIGHT! We’ve made it through the video, and here we are just soakin’ it all in listening to one of my favorite songs of all time, Northwest Passage, by Papa M. I love this credits section, it really has it all. Good throw away footage, like Dill doing a 180 to fakie manual in the rain, some feel-good friend stuff, and just a bunch of other fun stuff that didn’t make it into the video. For me a good credits section really makes the video worth watching and this video for me is one of the only ones to come close to a Girl/Chocolate credits section. Great stuff. Mosaic, a true classic.

-Dave

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