Alright, here we go. Welcome to the Tony Hawk Trick Tips Volume 2 VHS review. You may be thinking to yourself, “How are they going to review a trick tips video? It’s not even a real skate video.” Whoa whoa whoa. Not a real skate video? Let me tell you something. This thing was just as much a skate video as Menikmati (not really) or even Sorry (definitely not). Look - It’s common knowledge that when there’s not much out there, you make due with what you have. What I had just happened to be a video of Tony Hawk, quite possibly the world’s worst flatground skater, teaching you how to skate flatground. Regardless, this was a video that had skateboarding in it and also included Eric Koston, which made up for some of Tony's lack of technique on flat. I watched this video 1,000 times and it always made me wanna go skate...I may have actually learned a trick or two from it (definitely didn't.)
(This video's really long and given that it's not a huge help we're just gonna highlight the funnier segments.)
Alright enough talking about the video, let’s jump right in.
First thing to note, sponsored by Tyco. Yes. Tyco, because equating skateboarding to children's toys makes moms who bought this video feel better about letting their idiot kid skateboard.
Second thing to note - the warning page on the VHS is illegible. You would need some sort of enigma machine to figure out anything it says. We speculate it says something along the lines of
"Warning - learning from Tony Hawk may result in the following: Poor flatground skills, terrible style, full pads at all times, atrocious outfits, inability to hardflip and other symptoms. If you detect any of these please seek out your skateboard and promptly focus it."
So the lineup here is the Hawk himself, Eric Koston, and Colin McKay. So we have two of the most technical skateboarders on the planet. And Tony Hawk. Ya know, they say that the way to build a great team is to know your weaknesses, and find talent that represents those weaknesses. Though perhaps true, in this case it's a great way for Tony Hawk to humiliate himself for our viewing pleasure.
The video opens up with a little skatepark segment. Looks like a bunch of clips from the Gigantic Skatepark Tour. Koston is skating with a headband. I think people forget how much Koston was hated on around this time for his gear. Skateboarders (especially older dudes) were not particularly down with basketball gear. I, on the other hand, was an impressionable idiot, and immediately got myself a Celtics headband (which I stopped wearing as soon as I got to the skatepark and was dissed by all my friends.)
One last thing to note as we get into the tricks themselves is that this video may be in the top 3 sources for documentation of the Koston 3. That is, besides Yeah Right! and Steve Olson's part in Guilty. The Lakers ones in the beginning are tight but just wait for the black and red. *lustful sigh*
Backside Feeble Grind
So like any video we will go right in order, which will prove to be important. Tony decided to start off with the feeble. Not a bad choice, but it's nearly impossible to pay attention to the trick at hand because Tony is in the exact same gear as though he were skating a 12 foot vert ramp. Dude's skating a tiny flatbar in full pads. As a kid, you're probably scared shitless of this trick because you've got a dude that did a 900 on a full sized vert ramp, padding up to do a feeble grind he kinda can't even do.
Frontside Smith Grind
Let's talk about grip tape. Koston - little chomp guy on the grip, so sick. Tony, extremely slim line cutout just so that you can see the Birdhouse logo. Not sick. smh.
It's sad watching Koston have to try to invent ways to miss a trick. It's so obviously clear that never in his life has he made a mistake on any of these tricks, so he just has to do an impersonation of what other people look like when they fuck up. Tony on the other hand...just wow.
So after a brief and relatively uninspiring front board lesson, Tony now wants to teach you backside lipslides. Sure, why not Tony? This trick's only 1,000 times as hard and 1,000,000 times as dangerous. Tony pusses out of this trick and let's Eric teach it (to the surprise of no one).
WAIT A SECOND - TONY DOES ONE.
Oh yeah, now might be a good time to mention that there have been these weird cutout figures of Tony and Eric that pop in every now and then and tell you some useless bullshit. We do, however, get this piece of info that it took Tony 16 tries to do one single back lip.
Alright we’re onto flatground. Koston does about 75 perfect backside flips. Tony does a really good backside 90 flip. Tony’s voice cracks, and Tony continues to defer questions regarding technique and know how to his friend who he paid to do this video with him.
The Frontside Flip
Koston has really fucking good frontside flips. Not even kidding, Koston is teaching Tony how to do these tricks. For any skater at any level, this segment is honestly rad. Koston is literally putting on a flatground demo...with a helmet on. The shoes, the style, it's all classic 2000's Koston. If Menikmati was your video, this is your trick tip. Really sick.
Oh yeah, Tony does one frontside flip.
The Varial Flip
Okay here we go, this trick you might actually get a chance to learn something. Not how to do a varial flip, just that Koston is so good at varial flips and you'll probably never even get close to that dude's technique. Looking at the image above makes you wonder how they even got uncool...well and then Tony does one. So then I guess that explains that. Tony's definitely wearing knee pads under those dumpy carpenter jeans, don't think we can't see that.
This is my personal favorite section, because Koston has one of the best 360 flips in the game.
Okay, how can I explain watching Tony do a 360 flip. It’s basically like when you catch yourself saying something that your Dad said to you growing up. Like, oh no. Fuck, that is MY 360 flip. Damnit.
“360 flips are called ‘tre flips’ by cool guys”
People talk about ‘scoop’. Can you extrapolate on scoop, please?
"Yeah, you really just gotta focus on the scoop, 360 flips are all about your back foot scooping the board, the kickflip is minimal, it's about scoop..."
WOW - Tony takes the letter on this one. Straight up admits that he can’t do it. This is more embarrassing than the ‘no mas’ moment.
Per the little weird cartoon guy Tony “wouldn’t try this trick during the shoot”. Guy does the 900, won’t try a backside heelflip.
Tony and Eric sitting in the grass talking about how they got sponsored. Not gonna lie, when I was a kid I actually enjoyed this shit. The thing about this video is that when you were a kid watching it you’d watch it like any other video, straight through. If you look hard enough you can actually see Eric Koston's regret from having to spend 8 hours straight on this shoot skating flat with a helmet on.
Even Koston will tell you this one's hard. The insane thing here is that Tony refused to try backside heel, but goes HARD at frontside heels, and actually nails one...not before landing primo and getting smoked but regardless...credit where credit's due. Unbelievable.
Tony claims that he has ‘vertitus’ which he explains as an ailment that keeps him from leaving the ground. Ok.
Funny how both "teachers" are extremely bummed that this segment has arrived.
It should be noted that in their brief explanation of what a hardflip is and the different techniques for doing them, they randomly call out Kris Markovich for doing illusion flips. lolz.
As we know Koston is infamous for his inability to do hardflips, so he obviously has to do them switch.
Tony should be thankful the ground exists or else he wouldn't have had anything to bounce his board off to land it. This segment is my excuse for never being able to do hardflips.
This is where we end the VHS Review. Yes, there's a vert section with Colin McKay and a young Riley Hawk, but in the spirit of encapsulating our youth in this review, this is undoubtedly where I would have turned the VHS off and went outside to skate. Vert? You think I give a shit about vert?? I'm 8 years old, I'M A STREET SKATER. My older self having deeply regretted skipping these lessons, is now happy to watch this segment for any potential tips, however the lessons are little less funny to write about (though still very awkward to watch). Colin McKay skating a Girl board...something so beautiful was never meant to last :(
And what did we learn today? Not much. What's important is that this was a relevant video to me and my friends at one point. Not because it "taught" us shit, but because it was people skateboarding and that's all we wanted to see. At that age, with no internet and no money, you're just a sponge: all you want to do is soak up any skateboard related content, who or what it was never mattered. So yes, we can all have a laugh at Tony's questionable flatground lessons, but this video was on repeat at my friends house after school, regardless of what it may or may not have taught us.