It's been quite some time since we've done a VHS Review and given the recent mention of Deca last week, I thought it might be a good idea to thoroughly examine the picnic table madness of Deca. I will not, however, be reviewing Deca's full length 2nd to None, rather their promo Sneak Preview. You may be asking why I chose the promo over the full length...the simple answer? I like it more. When I first moved to Maine I lived in a small cabin on a man made lake with only dirt roads in my neighborhood. I actually skated flat on the docks down on the lake (#legend). I had also somehow acquired Sneak Preview and given how bleak my skating situation was I stayed indoors and watched this video upwards of 1,000 times. This video is as bad as it is good. And it's really fucking good.
Intro - The year was 2001 and everybody was sitting around asking "What is Deca?" Well let me try to answer that for you, Daewon. I'm two seconds into this video and Alice fucking Doojey's "Better Off Alone" is playing. Shiloh Greathouse also has a frosted blonde afro and looks desperately in need of something other than a cheeseburger. Enrique Lorenzo and JB don't seem to have aged in the slightest and were as underrated then as they are now. Marcus came back like a boomerang or something, and the Am team is made up of people who ceased to exist shortly after Deca went under. I'm not sure but is this intro Daewon's overly unsubtle way of telling Rocco he really is fine without him? The song, the cute bro moments, the "whole new beginning"? Who cares, Daewon found a new spot and it's your stupid kids. Nollie backside 360 heelflip over a helpless child. Where's your fucking mom at Timmy? Stop hanging out in parking lots with the Deca team. Fakie 360 flip over four little kids. Where are the fucking parents? Daewon's a legend but I'm not sure if I'd let my kid get fakie tre'd after meeting the dude an hour ago. Nah fuck it, I totally would. Alright I can't take this song and all these bromantic antics, lets move onto the video.
Shiloh Greathouse - I'l be upfront with you about this part: its not very good. I think its safe to say Shiloh had been confused for a little while at this time in his life. Beyond questionable decisions with his hair, Mr. Greathouse seems to have filmed most of his part on the same three obstacles placed in different locations: two benches and a metal topped desk that seem to make their way around the city numerous times (desk across the stream was a total force btw). I mean who knows, maybe that little river was somebody's office but something tells me it just isn't true. I should mention that Shiloh got a really good song, probably the best song in the video. Any other Shiloh part and I would be talking my ass off about it, using words like "style", "proper", and "creative". I'll let you know he kickflip back noseblunts the river desk which somehow found it's way to a downward dirt gap. Shiloh gets a blonde tipped thumb sideways for this part. Sorry Shiloh.
Shin Okada - Can anyone confirm that baseball jersey in the GIF above is a Speed Demons shirt? 'Cause that thing is really sick. Never really understood what was going on in his intro. As I had mentioned earlier, the Am team at Deca dissolved into thin air shortly after Deca went under. I know nothing of their skating before and after Deca but each of them fit a certain niche. Shin is tech guy. Ignoring the ridiculous song choice (from here on out every song will be absolutely the worst choice they could have made...no budget? Bad taste?) Shin's got good style and seems to prefer his tech via nollie frontside heelflip tricks and there are roughly nine or ten variations of that trick in his part. Shin's ender is a nollie frontside heel switch back 5-0 across the entirety of a tiny box at what appears to be a Deca demo. The reason I know this is a Deca demo is because it looks like no one's there. They do bigger numbers stealing your children in parking lots. Shin, you get two pant legs rolled up for this part. (hmu for an interview if you're still alive?)
Luis Cruz - Luis Cruz's part is really short but it's extremely important that we discuss it. I will do this in the form of a list.
1.) Following the overwhelming theme in this video the song is fucking terrible ("www I'm the shit .com").
2.) Luis Cruz Muska flips everything. He could potentially "out-Muska" the Muska. More on that later.
3.) There is a line in his part where he does frontside flip on the sidewalk, and then proceeds to fakie frontside flip a hydrant. I think it's pretty clear to me and everyone else that watched this video that he went to the absolute side of that fire hydrant. Sad but true.
4.) Right before unnamed annoying rapper poetically says "Let 'em toss ya salad" Luis Cruz takes his fakie frontside flip over a ledge with a skateboard on top of it. Why didn't you just go find a bigger ledge? Or quit?
I give this part a hardly-flipped-very-folded-nollie hardflip.
Enrique Lorenzo/Marco Romero - Ok so I lied, this song's actually really good. Red and Meth, I'm not gonna say anything bad about that. Enrique's pretty much had the same insane style forever, but you wouldn't know that because Enrique is never in any type of conversation like that. No top ten lists, no Thrasher classics, nothing. Let me show you a classic example of Enrique style.
Now that you understand Enrique let me continue on to Marco Romero. You may remember him when he made an appearance in Enrique's part in Round 2. Actually, you probably just don't remember him. He skates like Enrique but a little bit worse. Enrique's footage is better. Enrique you get a thumb and a half for your footage, Marco if you're still alive you can come and pick up the rest of the thumb I gave Enrique.
Brian Hoard - Brian Hoard has probably the shortest part in the video but its one of the best besides Daewon. Two things to take away from this part:
1.) He does a nollie hardflip across a gap at a skatepark with a helmet on (safety first).
2.) Nollie inward heel straight over a picnic table long before Bryan Herman had pubic hair.
It's roughly 15 seconds of pop madness. The sad truth is that tall skateboarders rarely make a long lasting career in skateboarding...unless you're Ron Whaley. But even then...Two thumbs way up and over a picnic table or two for this collection of tricks (it's hardly a part).
Marcus McBride - Marcus Mcbride's part is a classic representation of his skating with some of the most questionable editing of 21st century skateboarding. First of, Sean Paul and DMX on the track (Here Comes The Boom in case you're looking to dl). Not sure what reggaetone DJ decided to edit Marcus' part but I feel like I'd rather put bleach in my eyes than listen to this song. Lets make one thing clear: Marcus is the undisputed king of skating straight over the Pier 7 pads. Nollie heel straight over, inward heel straight over, as well as a switch heel straight over in a line. DMX just said he'd rip my butthole straight out of place. Remember the heelflip over the Third and Army gap? Third clip in his part? Well in case you missed it you get to watch it in slo-mow again. Marcus' hammer section is actually just 4 or 5 clips you've already seen in the beginning of his part.
"Yo Marcus you got an ender for you part or what?"
"Yeah actually I do, it's the heelflip I did at the beginning of my part."
"Fuck, that's genius!"
The "desperate to fill out the part with slow-mo" would be later perfected by one James Greco and the rest of his cohorts at Baker. C'mon guys. One Thumb up in regular speed, followed some time later by another thumb in slow-mo for this part.
JB Gillet - If you could compile a list of underrated skateboarders JB should be somewhere in the top three of that list. Is it his "Euroness" that blocks him from all #listicles in the greater skatemediasphere? There's seems to be an almost xenophobic approach to building a skate listicle...but I digress. This part is good. It doesn't seem like I've said that very much in this review but regardless JB is in classic form here. He is arguably one of the most consistent skateboarders throughout the entirety of his career with both style and trick selection. It would seem the only major changes from JB then and now are his clothes and frankly I'm backing JB's Deca fashion (the only one I'll say that about mind you). Kickflip noseblunt to fakie...better than you could have imagined. Two French thumbs way up for this part JB.
Daewon Song - Finally, Daewon. I suppose this VHS Review was a long winded way of writing about this part. This part is absolute madness.First take note of his gear: Frosted blonde jerry curl, single chain, and Matix basketball jerseys. (Matix basketball jerseys, dude.) Secondly, the song: If the Lord of the Rings choir and Moby somehow fucked each other in the studio, they gave birth to this song (not sure who's the mommy in that metaphor). That being said if one skateboarder was responsible for holding the Ring of Power I'm guessing it would be Daewon, though technically that would make him a force of evil and his downfall would ultimately come at the hands of a woman...never mind.
Third thing: the amount of time it must have taken Daewon to scout the spots he skates in this part is mind-blowing. From scoping roof top gaps that would safely fit a bench that would drop to a manual pad, to measuring and understanding how many stairs is the equivalent of three full sized picnic tables, he probably did more scouting than he did skating. I haven't even told you that Daewon 360 flip noseblunted a gap to picnic table on a roof (how do you get a picnic table on a roof?) Or that he just did switch crook to fakie manual 360 flip out. Or that Daewon is the only pro who should be allowed to film on a curb manual pad (sorry Sinner). Frontside noseblunt to switch backside noseblunt across two benches with a gap in the middle...13 years ago. Roll credits.
So what have we learned here today? This might have been the worst video we've ever reviewed here, but does that mean it's bad? Will you read this and tell your best friend Chad who loved this video that he was an idiot and you hate his hemp necklace and you're not sure you can hang out with him anymore? Is Chad your boyfriend? The truth is before you brats got spoiled with the internet, videos just came out randomly. You had to go down to a building that had these videos and you had to use money to buy them. You didn't know when you were going to get another and so you watched whatever you had because any skateboarding was good skateboarding back then. So if you made it this far down the page then you realize that I love this video despite all of it's beautiful flaws. NEVER FORGET DECA.