Science Skateboards – ‘The Important Nothing’ video

science_skateboards-the-important-nothing-review-dvd-skate-skateboard

To get to the point, ‘The Important Nothing’ is really darn good and you should watch it. If unavailable in your bricks n’ mortar skate shop (R.I.P. SS20, support your local), you can get a copy from the Palomino.

Within a relatively small scene such as the UK, reviewing home grown videos is a delicate task, because they’re invariably a labour of love, by someone with admirable intentions who is likely to at least know someone you know. This small degree of separation means that each such review in our now extinct domestic print media has tended to be super positive. Who would say they didn’t love a work that someone has slaved over, with little commercial return, especially if you could conceivably session a spot with individuals involved in the near future? But you also want to be credible. A review can be a recommendation.

With internet clips vying for attention, why should you, the reader, part with both money and time to watch a full length vid, if you’ve been told that each and every UK video is brilliant? I wrote that the Isle video was excellent, because it was, I’m now going to tell you the Science video is more than worthy of your 25 minutes and £10, because it assuredly is. Unfortunately there are a number of videos that came out between these two offerings that are less than great. Because we’re all friends here, those sub-par offerings are left unmentioned rather than subjected to some narcissistic display of mean-spirited wit.

science

Science are an interesting outfit, and are part of the movement of small firms that are increasingly important to our culture and lifestyle. To distill an argument advanced in some detail here, the act of ‘just doing’ something, like setting up a small skate firm, stamping your tastes onto a corner of the market, keeping yourself motivated in the face of the pressures of adult life, connecting to other scenes and firms, and hooking up a community of like-minded skateboarders not only keeps skateboarding diverse and unique in the face of increasing commercialisation, but it helps us pursue our essential reason for being – the urge to create (our “species essence” in Marx’s view) – that is so often lost in the alienating experience of the 9 to 5. And when motivations are this pure, the outcome is more often than not cool as fuck.

Starting in 2006, owner Chris Morgan has been responsible for the lion’s share of the brand’s look and feel, and is behind the editing, design and large part of the filming of ‘The Important Nothing’. His interview with Crossfire is a good read, and provides detailed insight into one man’s personal vision of skateboarding balanced with a keenness to frequently collaborate (including with big names like Sergej Vutuc and Jon Burgerman and team rider Sam Taylor). Aesthetically, Science could be placed within the tradition of post-Blueprint 1.0 UK companies that combine unashamed artiness with an appreciation of gritty UK street scenes, 90s callbacks and golden era hip hop, soul and lo-fi indie, alongside Landscape, the National Co and Isle to name the most obvious. Where the National have looked to the hot shit that comes out of Sweden in their team line up and video aesthetic, Science make connections with the equally hot Japanese and SF scenes – and ‘The Important Nothing’ has strong similarities with recent Japanese independents like the Lenz videos.

Ph: Dan Tomlinson ollie noseblunt transfer by Chris Morgan

dan_tomlinson_skate

The filming style is unobtrusive, and avoids the closer-than-close fisheye steez currently en vogue and beloved of the Magenta bros and some of the aforementioned Japanese films. There’s a nice nostalgia, with a lot of black and white and deliberate graininess (and the jazz intro keeps things far more classic Stereo Super 8 than Palace VHS), with callbacks to a 90s hip hop appreciation of kung fu movies and frequent flashes of primary colours complementing the lovely DVD packaging and Science’s graphic output and logo. The soundtrack fizzes with a nigh on optimum balance of hip hop, soul, stoner rock and indie that made me think of some of the classic UK and East Coast vids – with Dan Magee, Josh Stewart or Chris Mulhern likely to be pretty stoked on the choices. Rounding off the ‘just right’ mix of characteristics is the 25 minute running time – if my knee wasn’t jacked, I’d have picked my board up and raced into the grotty streets of Long Eaton as soon as the credits rolled (in stark contrast to the soporific effect of the 1 hour plus running time of certain very big budget hammer fests).

Highlights from the skating includes London-resident, Leicester ex-pat and prolific scribbler Sam Taylor and his quick feet, loose style and mastery of wallrides and no-complies. Pete Buckley, whose time in Sapporo, cements the Japanese connection, rocks a classic Girl/Choc (circa Mouse/Paco) steez and boss man Chris Morgan can do stylish new-old (no-complies) as well as old-new tricks (refuting the assumption that 30+ skaters can’t do good flips). I dig any Luka Pinto stuff since his Eleventh Hour section, and really like how he and Glenn Fox have established this unique style that Channel Islands (get it?) Quim Cardona looseness with Magenta quick-feet.Ben Cruickshank reps the lanky-tech (more golden era Girl/Choc – gangly natural street styles of Shamil Randle) and the dope Saafir track.

Dan Beall has been another favourite since his standout Baghead Flats section. Dan reps a different fine vintage of street skateboarding, strongly British in style – the nimble precision honed on rough terrain that other slight-of-frame bros like Welsh Tommy and Jin Shizmizu also rep.

The premiere went off.

science_skateboards_premiere

There’s a rad SF friends section that includes relatively well known locals like Tony Manfre and John Lindsay and the combination of spots doesn’t overkill the hill bombs (and includes Fort Miley, some DIY spots and street that isn’t sloping at 45 degrees). Dan Tomlinson is sick, with powerful pop and clean trick selection, that contrasts with Josh Cox’s unusual trick bag and manny mastery. Holdtight London alumnus Joe Sivell holds down the last section, with Roots Manuva setting the scene for tech and fashion that throws a contemporary British-take on early 2000s Puzzle glory days. Remember Stephane Giret? I’ve been betting a pirate’s hoard of gold doubloons on a come-back for both the tricks and the wardrobe of that brother, and Joe’s leading the charge to make sure I’m soon a wealthy man (and laughing at the rest of you as the pound sterling continues to fall through the floor).

I don’t want to do this video a disservice by listing too many historic references (that many of you won’t have been around for… but I’d bet more doubloons, and maybe a bronze cudgel and a horned helm, that Chris Morgan knows exactly what I’m talking about). Suffice to say, a bit like Pontus’ amazing Polar video, you can enjoy it equally as a fresh feeling contemporary offering, if you have the gift of youth, or as a life affirming, knee cartilage re-growing re-up of a certain era that burns very brightly in our sub-cultural memory.

Chris Lawton

science_skateboards_the_important_nothing_dvd

Isle Skateboards – Vase review

isle_skateboards_vase_video_skate_review_download

In common with skateboarders across the UK, I spent a mid-week evening huddled in front of Isle’s debut full-length video ‘Vase’. This was courtesy of Nottingham’s 42 skate shop, with a large crowd squeezed onto Rough Trade’s trendy utilitarian chipboard benches drinking expensive craft lager.

The audience mixed fans of OG Blueprint, those who’ve seen and enjoyed Jacob Harris’ previous work, especially the award winning ‘Eleventh Hour’, and daft youth who don’t know or care about any of those things. This context is relevant to y’all, as any familiarity with Isle co-owner Nick Jensen’s other life as a fine artist, the brand’s unrepentant positioning towards the ‘arty’ end of the spectrum, and the series of high-concept web edits for Dazed & Confused could lead you to fear an experience veering towards the Quartersnacks parody of late-stage Alien Workshop: “seagulls….. seeaaaagullls….. seeeaaaa gullllllls”. But it doesn’t veer that way. For full disclosure, I really rate Isle’s thoughtful graphic output and dug their Dazed & Confused stuff – but I’m a pretentious bastard.

For more down-to-earth types, Vase manages to be more than a little arty whilst fully committing to raw, relatable street skating on almost entirely crusty ass spots. It’s urgent, fun, short and snappy, and makes you want to skate in the tradition of the fine ol’ proper skate videos made by old folk in ancient times. I say “video” not “film”: no one likes a trust-fund Tarquin who calls every Instagram post a fucking ‘feature film’ and they wouldn’t like Vase, and all is well with that.

Three things to cover: the filming and editing; the music; and the skating. The prophesied artsiness in the editing is pretty paired down – grainy skits of the team and a nice linking theme of silver party balloons initialing each skaters’ name that drift forlornly in the wind, deflate on spiked railings, or float out across the Thames. And quite a few floating vases plus the VX-as-flowerpot motif used in the magazine ads. But the filming is a game changer – with Jacob Harris taking the fidgety VX mastery one associates with Minuit/Magenta’s Yoan Taillandier to new levels, sticking unbelievably close to the skater, from super low down, and jerking towards or away from the obstacle to create a sense of speedy dynamism that queasily draws you along with the action. In this, Vase has similarities with Static, Minuit or the Japanese Lenz films – but overall looks entirely different, not least in the bleached palette that makes everything look drenched by weak, winter sunlight. Definite contender for honorary doctorate in VX studies, making others’ switch to HD look all weird again just as we’d finally gotten used to it. Vase also feels like a change-up on the more sedate, dreamy Eleventh Hour.

Onto the music, which is again a change on Jacob Harris’ previous stuff – eschewing Motown for a heavy 1980s UK electronic bias: Yazzoo, New Order…. Ian Rees spent the entire video delightedly bobbing about in my peripheral vision. But not to everyone’s tastes. Hip hop heads and Mixtape/Static purists left grumpily claiming song-for-song replay of the BBC’s Synth Britannia.

isle_studio_vase

Finally the skating. Despite some of it being obscured by Will Golding’s massive head in front of the screen (how can someone blessed with such precise, dexterous feet have a head the size and shape of a Looney Toons anvil?), the skating mixes relatable lines with the occasional mind-blowing banger. Tom Knox, with pro status awarded with the video’s release, opens with super quick feet, enviable flatland game and the closest of camera follows (or maybe I was just coveting his sneakers) and nails one of Vase’s super-bangers – ollieing out to a tight wallride then dropping into a subway underpass (with subways reoccurring later). This was one of my favourite sections of the video. Casper Brooker, with long legs that never seem to bend too much, nails the other highly notable banger – a kickflip across the width of the Southbank 7 into the flatbank the other side.

Paul Shier and Jon Nguyen share a section. Co-owner and transatlantic Blueprint hero Shier is short and sweet, with fast ledge combos and whipped flips on tight banks (no signature tres flip though) and Nguyen filling in the post-Blueprint hole left by Coakley: the bearded Yank with the super precise flip tricks, unafraid of jumping switch stance down curved hubbas. Enjoying Shier’s section, and then writing about it, hopefully pays penance for the time, shortly after the release of ‘Lost & Found’ when I (drunk out of my mind) sang “heart breaker” at him whilst he was waiting at a bar in Barcelona, a performance I sustained for a good one and a half minutes longer than either of us were comfortable with. That said bar was themed on a fairies’ grotto leaves absolutely nothing that isn’t drenched in shame. As someone of similar vintage, it’s stoking to see Shier continue to put it down to such a level – something he’d better continue doing until he drops dead at 103, otherwise I’m summoning a posse to fly out to LA to sing “heartbreaker” at him until everyone’s face melts like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Sylvian Tognelli and Nick Jensen have solid sections mid-way through the video. For Jensen, with so many amazing sections under his belt at what is still a relatively young age – including sections that are contenders for ‘best section’ in videos stacked with great skaters (‘Lost & Found’, ‘City of Rats’ and ‘Eleventh Hour’) – it must be hard to plan a strategy, especially if you’re a notorious over thinker. In the case of Vase, Jensen opts for something a little more planned out than his more spontaneous ‘City of Rats’ section, with lines that seem deceptively simple (bump to bar ollies) before morphing into all switch or alternate ambidexterity. A couple of enormous switch flips, one down a stair set that would have been a section ender ten years’ ago, are thrown in the middle to remind us that Jensen can skate everything better than almost everyone.

The last section honours are held down by stylish Welshman Chris Jones – which ties with Tom Knox as my favourite of the video (on first watch, although you know how different sections churn around as favourites on repeat watches). A couple of the bank to block/bar tricks and the gap ollie into a tight bank stand out as the big tricks, but I really loved his couple of downhill lines through subway underpasses – long, fast flatland with alternate switch and regs tricks and then out-of-the-blue snaps down decent sized stair sets. He has a cool lanky, slightly hunched yet relaxed steez as well – kind of like Philly OG Brian Douglas – coupled with that enormous pop. Long downhill underpass lines for #trendwatch in 2016? Its got to be 20 years since Ricky, Tim O’Connor and Fred Gall did them on Eastern Exposure and 411.

Marks of a good skate video include an urge to skate immediately after (and at least 3 days of desperately wanting to push yourself to skate better before slipping into the usual tentative mediocrity) and a strong memory of both the detail and the overall feel of the thing. All those criteria are well met by Vase. I knew I’d dig it, as a fan of Blueprint, Eleventh Hour and a bunch of the skaters in their own rights, but I didn’t expect it to make such an original, skate-year defining impression.

Hope this installs Isle where they deserve to be in the eyes of the British (and global) consuming public, especially amongst those who are unafraid to take an hour out of a skate trip to visit a gallery.

Chris Lawton

Coast to Coast review

coast_to_coast_skate_DVD

Get yourself ready for a real northern (UK) scene video starring some of the North’s most highly regarded rippers as Adam Todhunter’s Coast to Coast is made up of footage spanning across the gritty northern land and his travels further afield.

Todhunter may be a name you know from the recently released Supertoxic video, ‘We’re Working On It‘ but this production sees full parts from a variety of skaters, including three friends montages which take this video to an explosive 50 minutes of mind bending, non-stop skateboarding.

It kicks off with a rousing intro sequence, showing many spine tingling slams and slow-mo steez, exposing the viewer to only a margin of what is to come. Sun-tangled chimes fill the air and first in frame is Graham Anderson flowing his way through the streets. This part is shared with Rory Muirhead, both skaters complimenting each others style as they carve with nimble feet through many tight spots that others may disregard completely. Rory finishes off this part with a pristine wallie over a gap and into the street below.

The first of three friends montages commence with Josh Cobbin cruising with a pleasing bag of tricks including: a bs flip, clearing cobbles and a hefty gap with a big flip – all executed beautifully. Rob Mckinney then enter the fray with a humongous nose rag at Berlin’s famous Alexanderplatz banks, alongside Robert Sanderson and Daniel Le Maty whose lines through some rough wasteland terrain are notable. Danny Abel then demonstrates some smooth late shuv action whilst Dale Starkie stomps down some tricky manoeuvres before Lewis Johnson ollies over everything in sight.

Ph: Mani Haddon with a fs tailslide.

mani fs tail

Next to step into the spotlight is Lancaster’s Joey Hurst, who is no stranger to a manual pad; filling it with personality as he performs bewildering variations displaying a impressively composed manner. A highlight from this section is a backside flip over a planter. Joey flips the board catching and spinning around at the last moment, making it look simple whilst traveling at speed. This flows through to a shared part showcasing three skaters.

Leading the way is Phil Steavenson bumping his way over railings and lipsliding over gaps and through hedges. Lloyd Hodgson bombs on to your screen, opening strong. He slaps out an extended no-comply over a grass gap, rolling away effortlessly and making it look like child’s play. The flowing nature of Lloyd’s style and his apparent east coast influence is captured well throughout this section; whilst he seems as though he is coasting comfortably, in reality he’s probably fighting the need for his wheels to bite into the ground. One trick that gave me the compelling urge to go and skate was when he slappied up a ledge into a nose slide on the one above it, popping clean back over to flat. Something that I’ll never be able to comprehend.

Stepping up to this standard is Thomas Miller with his similarly smooth style, cutting his way up the brickwork as he wallrides into a nose manual down the bank below, not something I saw coming at all. Dan Hallam shows skill with his long lines and, by the looks of things, his ability to 360 flip out of most grinds with ease. Blink and you’ll miss that flip! Dylan Sewell displays long grinds and longer lines. Dylan pushes the limits with a noseslide of momentous proportions too – over a shrubbery shaded gap and exiting with a 360 shuv to seal the deal and firecrackers an 8 stair. The crackle as the board quivers down each step will fill you with an ecstatic warmth.

Ph: Dan Hallam back lips in front of a cycling bird

dan-bslip

Someone’s got to film the filmer, right? Of course they do. Adam Todhunter is as strong a character on the board as he is behind a lens and he serves up the goodness before the second of 3 montage parts. Unwrapping itself with Danny Moore hauling himself over a hip height handrail and Lloyd McLeggon, one of Manchester’s most progressive skaters, with mental manny action and a stupidly high fs noseslide that would put us all to shame. Matthew Smith skims over jersey barriers and Krishna Muthurangl, Aiden Smith, Conor Charleson and Sean Barnes show a wide variety of skill and style, nonetheless showing how fun these four wheels can be.

Johnny Haynes bombs banks, power sliding his wheels into squares followed by Fraser Irvine, whose feet can’t keep still, constantly readjusting for the next trick as soon as the board is under his feet. Helder Lima slides into a laid back line ahead of Jake Veitch and Reese Singleton, who kill it with their clips and are only a small sample of the home grown talent showcased within this video.

Sprays of light divagate their way through the screen, the beat drops and Dan Main smiths into the shot. Bringing the hype from the very first clip as he does a three-piece line featuring a backside flip to switch manual. Dan’s part will definitely make you want to indulge yourself in his laid-back style as he makes delicate manual variations look simple. Intertwined within the precarious manoeuvres are the clips we all undoubtedly love, equally as much, such as carving through cobbled streets and ripping walls as his wheels rebound off them. So British.

Harry Veitch and Connor North are both on their way to becoming well known names within the British scene and share the next montage. Harry has pulled through, blowing up the most awkward of spots with raw enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Connor can be seen charging the streets with flamboyant lines and long slides. Both lads have a clearly distinguished style, definitely two to keep your eyes on. Oh, spoiler alert… Harry has a close call with death in the final clip.

Ph: Ross Zajac gap to noseblunt.

ross_zajac_gap_to_noseblunt

We enter the final montage section with more cram packed four-wheeled goodness than the previous two. Myles Rushforth slashes over a few lambent ledges, not messing around with the quick fire lines featuring the standard DIY pole jam. Making a drive-by appearance, James Headford feebles fluently. This leads into Paul Regan’s pristine pop that nearly knocks himself out with his own knees. Josh Bentley has a few clips unearthed within this montage too. Snapping a no comply down a set is no problem. Sean Tracy gets on that night time mission thing, rolling worry free through the streets leading to Adam Thurtle who power slides across streets and rams off of every angle possible.

Ben Armson and Lewis Elleden join the mix right before Charlie Munro gets hot, hot, hot; speed and power seem to be this man’s forte. Charlie’s team mate Mark Radden doubles up in Berlin with a hip-height crooked grind, knees tucked tightly to his chest. Brandon Justice hops from footpath to footpath, tweaking his nose right the way out. Little Saul Crumlish backside boneless’ a quarter about five times his height. So much so, that it gave me a chill. Sam Pendlebury offers a monster ollie from flat to flat. Ben Larth jams off a broken bollard into the street followed by a steep five-o fakie on a curbside wall. Similarly Calum Adams opens his clips with a wallride 180 out and a front blunt up and into a tight brick banked quarter. Will Sheerin then closes this powerful montage sequence, nollie flipping freely down a four block. You have to see it.

Ross Zajac went to the zoo to open his cameo with penguins and giraffes, reminding you street skating is never short of strange happenings. Karma skateboards rider Ross has definitely been working hard with this offering of big gaps and quick-fire clips, this is shown when he fires a fifty down somebody’s front steps. Highlight from the section include a fakie full cab over a bin launching him into the street. Ross flows incessantly throughout, showing he can skate an obstacle in any way. Whether it is backside flipping a set or a wallride down the side, he’s got it. His laid back attitude makes his style massively addictive too, flipping or doing a 270 out of anything although it was a complete afterthought.

Ph: Will Creswick – Bs Heelflip

Will Creswick - Bs Heelflip

Descent and Story Clothing ripper Will Creswick builds up for something big as he storms the penultimate part. This Newcastle local has a ferocious style that comes alive in his night time missions to perfect his no comply combinations. As well as the one-foot action there is plenty of quick-fire tricks too, juggling his feet in-between each movement. Will’s gaps to lipslides got me psyched in this part. Nothing out of the ordinary – until he bonks the trick into a nosegrind within a blink of an eye. His quick footed flair is well on point.

Right before the credits roll, Mani Haddon takes the light, blowing it out in style. Mani’s innate excitement to skate radiates from this part as he bangs out clips in quick succession. Seeking the crustiest northern grit to destroy seems to be his intention, as he Switch Bs 360’s over a cobbled street gap. Mani and his catalogue of tricks delve deeply into this one and come out with some true gems before waves roll over his final piece, which will surely send you into a head spin.

With Coast to Coast being a project spanning over two years, it’s amazing to watch these talented skaters and their tricks transform as the film progresses. Adam encapsulates the individual styles of each skater perfectly bringing their personalities into view, making this a must-watch British scene video and a vital addition to your DVD collection.

Support true skateboarding and check out Adam’s webstore where you can buy the DVD as well as a zine documenting the filming process.

Written by Henry Calvert

Enjoy some of Mani Haddon’s offcuts.

Vans Propeller review

vans_propeller-video_skate_download_full_filmI don’t know about you, but one of the most recognizable aspects of skateboarding for me are Vans skate shoes. The patent waffle-gripped rubber soles have been supporting skateboarders for almost fifty years. Say that again: supporting skateboarders for almost FIFTY years!

Vans is a skateboard culture heavyweight with riders spanning several generations, commandeering all sorts of terrain and actively sponsoring events across the Globe. You’d think that the day Vans decided to release their first ever feature length film, Propeller, video dedicated to the skateboard team, they would be shifting the gears on the hype machine for at least a few years prior to it’s screening. Apparently not. They don’t have to. Everyone knows their team is a legit band of brothers that go to war at every spot they skate and the filmer they hired for the job, Greg Hunt, is about as dedicated and craftful as it gets.

Propeller clocks in at about one hour of just skateboarding. Albeit the short introduction featuring the older gods (Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Omar Hassan, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Ray Barbee, and John Cardiel etc…), the rest of the video features a full part from each of the riders – except for Jason Dill who moonlights a couple of tricks in Anthony van Engelen’s amazing ender. To quote a fellow skateboard enthusiast, Ben Powell of Sidewalk, speaking about the last part: “Best over –Thirties part ever. Basically do some good skateboarding or fuck off!”

I think everyone knew Anthony would get the curtains seeing how much time and effort he put into his section, but Propeller still has 45 minutes of bangers from the likes of Chris Pfanner, Elijah Berle, Tony Trujillo, Pedro Barros and others to gawk at. I have to give Elijah and Chris double thumbs up for the raw power they exercise on their boards; Tony has matured a lot over the years but he’s still just as reckless as he was when he was young – more so even, especially in this incredible section; and Pedro bears the ugly stigmata of being the ramp dude, but when you see the lines he threads together on cold concrete mountains, you’ll respect him nonetheless.

As a British native, I can’t forget my fellow countryman Geoff Rowley who has been a figurehead for Vans since the early Nineties. Geoff has a reputation as a notoriously gnarly skateboarder with little regard for personal safety and most of his tricks support that point. I can’t help but get the feeling that after watching Geoff roll down the last of many hellish ditch spots, this section may be an honest farewell and passing of the guard to the next generation of gnarlers. If that is the case following the multiple injuries sustained filming for this then our hats are doffed to a British legend.

vans_propeller-gilbert

Gilbert Crockett and Andrew Allen take care of business in the streets and will probably increase their popularity among the skateboarders who feel they need someone to relate to when watching skate videos. That is by no means an understatement to both of these guys incredible talent, nor is it meant to undermine the likes of Curren Caples, Chima Ferguson, Rowan Zorilla, Kyle Walker or Daniel Lutheran who embody the modern skateboarder, born and bred to rip every kind of spot be it a quirky transition, a kinked rail or a curved ledge. All of these players put down seriously solid parts.

Propeller is a pretty good name for product with a sole purpose to push things forward. Vans kept everyone pushing hard when they introduced their skate shoes to the world, and several decennia later the skate team are leaving their mark on the future generations of skateboarders. Cliché as it sounds in the free internet era, this really is a skateboard video worth purchasing. Vans have supported you for so long, it’s only right that you should show some gratitude.

Download it from today on iTunes. It will be tough call to find a better full length skateboard video this year.

Ralph Lloyd-Davis

Enjoy this drunk phone cam footage of Caballero and Hosoi after the Propeller video premiere in London’s House of Vans.

Supertoxic Urethane – We’re Working On It

Supertoxic_urethane_skateboard_dvd

Those with a keen eye on the British skate game would know that Supertoxic Urethane‘s noxious status actually falls on opposites, as this crew are far from poisonous and are made up of mostly helpful scene cruisers who push forwards on many levels. Their first full length video, ‘We’re Working On It‘, filmed and edited by Adam Todhunter, may have taken time to procure as the title suggests, but this skater owned and run wheel company based in England with a heavy hitting team have managed to pack 30 minutes of exciting footage into an unforgettable film that is quintessentially British all day long.

Following an explosive intro sequence featuring plenty of teasing, Lloyd McLeggon enters the frame. Lloyd brings his comprehensive catalogue of ledge variations and effortless flip tricks, making Manchester’s harsh streets look like LA’s smooth sidewalks. A new page turns, the beat quickens and Mark ‘Radman’ Radden blasts a nice ol’ gap front board to kick off this part. The new Death Am has a lot to say for himself as he pushes fast and flips the board faster, fully committing to every trick, proven by some of the harsh terrain he’s hurling himself down throughout this section.

SONY DSC

Next up is a section featuring Supertoxic’s flow riders. First up to the mark is Danny Abel. At only 19 years old he is definitely an upcoming talent to keep your eyes peeled for if this part is anything to be an indicator of. A highlight trick was a heelflip sex change, a trick you don’t commonly see in a video part, never mind down a lengthy double set in Berlin. Absolutely bonkers. Nonetheless his section is filled to the brim with quirky tricks, always taking the alternative route at any spot. This leads smoothly into a couple of tricks from Jamie Duncanson, some cool and collective manual expertise from the likes of Liam ‘Danish’ Palmer and a fine handful of clips from Robian Fifieild with a clean cut front board down a rail as the music drops to a deaf tone before disappearing.

From the silence, “Out of Egypt” by Part Company emerges. The song really encompassing the mood as Blackpool’s own Robert Sanderson dances his way onto the screen. This quick footed ninja incognito really knows his way around any manual pad or ledge, packing many flared tricks back to back in quick succession. Midway through Robert’s part, none other than British legend Alex Moul makes a cameo appearance tearing his way down a footpath and popping off of every crack. Robert returns strong with a stretched Benihana clean over a dustbin, showing off his prodigious pop; carrying on uninterrupted, he seems to push himself harder for the remainder of the part, cruising fast and finger-flipping his way out of a Berlin fountain.

Cardiff’s Steve King then kicks of his part with a five piece line, including a front board 270 out and a nose manual nollie flip, hinting at what’s coming. Steve demonstrates his versatile nature as he shreds every obstacle that stands before him. His exceptional board control is present as he frontside lipslides into a fakie manny and continues to fakie flip out! In addition to this the Welsh beast shows no signs of ever slowing down whilst doing fakie full cabs over an entire bench. Not to give too much away but this is just a small insight into how solid Steve’s part truly is. Legendary skater.

Cambridge powerhouse Charlie Munro then explodes into the penultimate section nollie-ing his way down a stair set that would make most people’s knees tingle at the thought. He also looks totally weightless as he hoists himself down handrails. Although this is no surprise to us as we’ve seen similar godly acts in the copious amounts of footage Munro has featured in – 2015 will surely be his year.

As tension has been running high Cumbria’s not so little secret Ross Zajac comes into view over the crest of a concrete wave, prepared to shut down the show as his footage spans over a two song ultimatum. Ross was always a strong contender for this final position as his neodymium feet catch the board with precision, every time. He performs savagely smooth lines, showing to us he definitely worked on it. Slashing blunt slides across jersey barriers Ross slaps down some worthy manoeuvres on the North West’s most rugged spots whilst defying the laws of physics with how fast his board whirls around. He finishes his part by bruising ledges and flipping over streets before the curtains draw to a close with a sleek marble wallride, watch it for yourself.

‘We’re Working On It’ most definitely deserves a spot in your skate DVD collection. It certainly will never be collecting dust with how often you’ll be bashing it on your TV in the morning before you rush the streets and join the hype. Support independent companies like Supertoxic Urethane and keep your skate scene yours.

Pick this up for £6 here where you will also find a stash of their fine Supertoxic Urethane Wheels, or ask for it in your local skate shop.

Henry Calvert

G3T by Get Lesta

g3t_getlesta-dvd_skate_leicester_midlands_skateboardingLast Friday I found myself packed into a skatepark full of skateboarders drinking and cheering to the third installment from the Get Lesta crew. It was the premiere of Callun Loomes’ ‘G3T’,  his new DVD, released this week, that packs in over an hour of great skating featuring a number of heavy hitters from across the Midlands.

Following a lively intro montage fueled by Eddie Murphy’s ‘Party All The Time’ tune, James Bush kicks off the show in style with the first part and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, this should come as no surprise. The brilliant eighties soundtrack fits perfectly with his questionably good dance moves and incredible technical skating and great pace. Without giving away too much, Bush executes perfect nollie late flips, ghetto birds and switch front boards (on handrails) – but nothing can prepare you for his ender which can only be described as an absolute banger. The baton is then passes over to Eric Thomas, who doesn’t slow down. Eric graces us with tricks on huge hubbas and wall tight handrails but also ticks all the other boxes with his fast and raw style to heighten the hype.

Coventry’s Lucas Healey continues the rampage. The inclusion of bowl footage really emphasises his ability to skate anything and everything. A highlight trick was the nollie late flip 180 – a trick not typically seen. At eighteen he is definitely one to watch for the future. Next up is Mike Simmons, a key component of the Leicester skate scene who brings perfectly executed frontside 360’s and heelflip variations to another solid part. He is, perhaps, one of the few skaters that can actually make an airwalk look great, especially across big gaps.

Midlands’ finest, Kris Vile, once again delivers another top quality part. Well and truly cemented into the British skate scene, he shows no signs of taking his foot off the pedal – and why would he? Blessing us with switch crooks on handrails and stupidly big gaps, Vile’s sick ender leads nicely into Matt Clarke‘s footage and left everyone in the premiere with a smile on their face. Everyone knows that Clarke kills it behind the camera, however, when put on the other side of the lens, he lays down some amazing stuff to deliver a solid part. Victoria park locals, Shehzad Jaffer and Shumba King have a joint section that’s nothing short of stylish, followed by Will Golding, who reminds us that his technical skating knows no limits and can be executed in any stance.

The friends montage includes a a few of the Milk team but also draws attention to local home-brewed talent such as Finley Kirkby and Jim Spencer. There are plenty more faces featured here too, reminding us just how far the Get Lesta crew has expanded and remained as tight as ever.

Kelley Dawson and Luke McManus also share a part as their finessed style certainly compliments each other well. Powerhouse,  Joe Marks (fresh out of the gym) gets straight down to business, popping beautifully high nollies and switch ollies over and down anything in his path. The penultimate part goes to Mark Stern, but I don’t want to drop any spoilers apart from that he has filmed the most legit inward heel manny you’ll probably ever see – it doesn’t even scratch the surface of how good his part is.

Curtains were always going to be saved for something special and Charlie Munro stepped up to the challenge across two songs-worth of pure Munro destruction. Effortlessly nollie-ing onto handrails, Charlie’s casual but precise lines ends G3T with footage that can be simply described as mind-blowing.

Get Lesta’s latest production is a true independent skateboard video that won’t even take up a spot in your skate DVD collection –  as it’ll be playing on repeat for ages. It’s also most likely give you a strong urge to leave your front door for a skate too. It’s out now on DVD in your local skate shop or order it online for about £10. You will not regret it.

Tim Hines

Static IV

Static IV by Josh Stewart
Theories of Atlantis presents a Prospects Production sponsored by Zoo York.

STATIC_IV_dvd

Alas the fourth and final chapter of Josh Stewart’s Static video series is upon us. I say “and” final chapter because even if everyone refers to this release as Static 4, there is in fact a disc 5 in the box. Josh has put a lot of time into these closing chapters – 5 years apparently – which is highly recommendable when you realize just how much free and accessible internet footage he has to put up with nowadays. In fact, the current trend of releasing everything directly to the internet didn’t miss a chance to nibble at Josh’s hard work as a few of the parts from this project appeared on a certain magazine website before the release, which is a shame when you see the quality of the end product.

Corners were not cut with this DVD from the cover art to the booklet containing photos and words linked to the project, and the soundtrack containing a selection of classic rap tracks (KRS One, El Michels Affair/Wu tang, RA The Rugged Man, instrumentals and accapellas to name a few) that would most definitely make a publishing lawyer’s ears twitch. Static IV is the final testament to skateboarding that rides, grinds and slides through the city streets across the globe every day.

Looking over the three previous chapters of the Static Series, I might say that Static IV stays true to form in that it focuses a lot on skateboarders that are close to Josh and that inspire him. An example of this could be Jahmal Williams‘ introduction featuring a group of B-Boys expressing themselves proudly with popping and body-locking manoeuvers. Jahmal Williams was a keen break dancer himself before taking up skating. There is definitely evidence of evolution in Static IV – and that’s not to state the obvious with the sprouting of Quim Cardona‘s dreads. Josh’s rather erratic thrusting of the fisheye in and out of tricks has evolved into a much smoother panning effect that compliments the flow of the skateboarding a lot better. There is the main theme of taking a journey underground that’s played throughout both videos. The underground is represented in both a literal sense with footage of subway trains and tunnels, and then there is the metaphorical underground embodied by the cast of skateboarders that sit just beneath the mainstream media’s radar. Yonnie Cruz, Brian Clarke and Brendan Carroll are three names that are sure to become references of what tomorrow’s street skating session should resemble.

I would also attach the adjective “independent” to the prevailing themes of Static IV. Josh Stewart is probably skateboarding’s most famous independent cinematographer who finances all of his projects. He also runs Theories of Atlantis that distributes a handful of independent brands from the US and Europe. These brands are very present in the video with riders for Polar, Palace, Magenta, Iron Claw, Bronze, Hopps and Isle getting busy for the camera.

The Static series has always been an antidote to the Californian sunshine, with plenty of New York and East Coast spots, trips to Europe’s busiest cities and even a few visits to the Bay Area of San Francisco. With the exception of a few of Vincent Alvarez’ clips, it’s a pretty strong position to take for an anticipated American video release to not feature Los Angeles or Southern California at all. Yes, Vincent Alvarez has a part in Static IV and the reason behind that would probably be because there’s a raw flow to his skating that matches a lot of the attitude his East Coast peers are famous for. The skateboarders Josh chooses to feature in his video are much more likely to produce long lines that blur burliness with cruising, rather than the athletic stuntman skateboarding of career-minded professionals that the major brands and media sources seek to project. Parts are kept short and too the point which helps the video flow a lot better than something that’s broken down by slow motion shots, multiple camera angles and epic lifestyle clips.

It might seem rose-tinted to believe that an actual hard copy DVD deserves a spot on your shelf, but Static IV is something rare. Much like that original VHS of Zoo York’s Mixtape or those vinyl records you love to scratch. There are only so many copies of Static IV in the world, and once they have been sold that’s it. You missed the train.

Available in your local skate shop right now.

Ralph Lloyd-Davis

Rugged Raw

ruggedraw_skate_dvd

In the era of straight to internet parts, ten tricks down the local and HD instagram clips, a full length independent video is a really rare beast. Rugged Raw is the second offering from Harlow’s finest son, Jake Martinelli and is filmed with a mixture of Super 8, VX1000 and Hi8 footage with a strict fuck HD policy. The majority of the footage was filmed in Essex and London alongside a few trips to New York, Kiev and Barcelona thrown in for good measure giving end result a heavy East coast feel to it.

The roughest spots that most would turn their nose up to are handled well by the Essex locals. Dan Adler tears through Harlow town in his sweatpants with a big smile on his face as he takes the most awkward slams we’ve seen for some time. Tommy Tindale also skates fast and hits anything and everything in sight. His bs 360 kickflip over the MK hip is a thing of beauty. Harlow’s secret weapon, Harry Hughes comes through with another outstanding part, 360 flipping over handrails, heel flip crooked grinds in lines etc. I’m not sure how someone can be so good whilst not appearing bothered at all. So, so rad!

Nothing but Hayt for the kids. Sam Hayter flip fakie’s a playground for Rob Galpin’s lens.

Sam Hayter Kickflip Fakie

Send Help Skateboards’ English aficionado, Horsey, continues his work from the amazing new Albion DVD with more pole jams and wall rides with the help of Dan Webb. Crusty un-skateable gems are handled by both in style.

Milk Skateboards rider Sam Hayter comes through strong with another solid full part in this. He’s all about those technical smooth lines at rugged raw spots. I’m expecting we are going to see a lot more of him in the near future.

There are multiple montages throughout this production featuring London locals, New York heads and I think even the Muska pops up at one point.

Quite possibly my favourite part of the video goes to Jon Redwin. You may recognise him from such TV appearances as the Halloween BT advert last year. When a man skates to Tom Jones you have to stop and appreciate the magic and Jon really doesn’t disappoint!

Josh Cox takes a sneaky rooftop 5.0 in Kiev. Photo Rob Shaw.

josh cox 5.0 in Kiev Photo Rob Shaw

If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing Josh Cox skate you will know how amazing he is. This part shows him at his technical finest. Pure skill and finesse ooze out of this man. A real highlight. Paul Storey finishes the video with a ultra smooth 2 song extravaganza. Tech lines, stair crunching, back 180 switch manual half cab flip out. It’s too much to say let alone do. Somebody needs to hook this man up some boards ASAP!

Rugged Raw is a true independent skateboard video. It’s over a hour of pure shredding and at only £6 a copy delivered to your door, you would be mugging yourself off by not picking one up this week. Well done Jake. Keep up the good work.

Available now online whilst stocks last.

Supreme – “cherry”

supreme_cherry_dvd_download_free_review_skate_skateboard_nycSupreme “cherry” by William Strobeck

Ever since the Supreme skate shop opened its doors 20 years ago in 1994, they have maintained a position at the forefront of great skateboarding and street fashion. William Strobeck’s “cherry“, their first full length video since Thomas Campbell filmed A Love Supreme for the store back in 1995, is a testament to this fact and secures their position as leaders rather than followers for the next couple of decades to come.

Over the last 20 years, Supreme has established strong connections with skateboarders, artists, musicians, models and other cultural icons that stretch from New York to Los Angeles and London to Japan. The aesthetic influence of what looks good is as thick as the bold white lettering of the infamous red and white Supreme logo. Whether it’s neatly pressed chinos and crisp white vests, or bodies locked into statuesque post-trick poses and outspoken rants about other social groups, “cherry” captures and documents the notion of style rather completely.

The composition of “cherry” is very distinct from other contemporary skateboard videos and this is due to the filming and editing technique of master lens man William Strobeck who prefers to focus in on the action rather than stage a scene with multiple angles; and document the environment surrounding the tricks both spatially and temporarily. The end result makes the viewer feel like they were witness to or part of an actual session.

Stepping away from the tired format that skateboard videos always use, in other words the opener and ender with individual less climatic sections peppered in-between, “cherry” is a 40 minute montage that features the new, the current and the established generations of great skateboarders. Nobody’s names are mentioned explicitly, but this doesn’t really matter because everything just looks good – as it should. A couple of young kids rolling out trick after trick into and off the infamous New York Supreme Court spot; the perfection performed by the biggest names in skateboarding today in famed Los Angeles school yards; or the uniqueness of street skating’s pioneers – these are the elements that make “cherry” a pleasure to watch.

Gif right: Tyshawn Jones is one of many upcomers in this flick to look out for.

For a skate shop video, “cherry” sits more than a head above the rest of its counterparts. Obviously the line-up of featured skateboarders plays a factor in this dominance with Gonz, Rieder, Olson and Dill amongst the household names, but it’s also due to the fact that the younger generation of kids that represent Supreme today, and set the standard for things to come, roll deep within their city streets and push things a lot further than a few quick powerslides sessions at the local concrete park. Whilst the rest of skateboarding feed us the classic notion that professionals and amateurs are in a constant race to out bid one another at the latest hot spot, the Supreme crew are skating together and everywhere their inner city offers them.

Naysayers will be quick to criticize the high-fashion, short trouser legs and haircuts featured within this video, but they will be hard pressed to not agree that the skateboarding – which after all is the main purpose Supreme and Strobeck made this video and we’re even talking about it! – is damn impressive. You can be certain that “cherry” is going to be an incredibly strong influence within skateboarding over the next couple of years and a cultural reference 20 years from now.

Like New York legend Henry Jumanji says “The future’s right here. Don’t forget because the little kids they pass by and you pay no mind. But they’re gonna come back 10 years later and eat you alive. Respect the youth, they’re getting restless.”

Available on DVD or from iTunes now.

Ralph Lloyd Davis

Credits: Directed by New York videographer William Strobeck, featuring Tyshawn Jones, Sage Elsesser, Sean Pablo, Nakel Smith, Kevin Bradley, Aidan Mackey, Paulo Diaz, Mark Gonzales, Dylan Rieder, Alex Olson, Jason Dill, as well as friends and family that have been part of the shop for the past 20 years.

 

Albion

albion_uk_skate_dvd_reviewTwo weeks ago, I found myself packed into a room full of skateboarders like a sweaty sardine, clutching a can of lager and shouting props at a screen I could only just get a glimpse of due to the barrage heads of various rippers filling the room. The reason for ending up there was the premiere of a new video from the collective lenses of Ry Gray, Kevin Parrott and Morph. The full production took a while to reach fruition but was well worth the wait.

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes and with cameos from a massive cast of UK heads, Albion is a scene video on steroids and a must see if you have any interest in what is happening with regards to shredding in this damp corner of the world.

With no time for such pleasantries as an opening section, some brief super 8 footage highlighting the restless urge to explore which drives skateboarding gives way to some murkage from the ever-rampaging Daryl Dominguez. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you should know what to expect here. Steezed-out street savagery let loose on benches, over road gaps and down hefty stair sets. Only then are we given a brief list of those skaters with a fair amount of footage in the video before we are launched straight back into the shredding with a full section from Denis Lynn. The Belfast skate nomad comes through with a unique trick bag matched with an eye for spots that not many would touch ranging the length of the country, including some OG Bradford and Leeds spots and an always-welcome Needleside cameo. Alley ‘oop FS grind over the Tottenham meat taco is no joke, the heavy business here sets the tone for the rest of the video.

Albion features more than one banging montage. The first of which is kicked off by some flowing street lines from Harry Lintell and includes some Ben Grove hammers, a hefty road gap no comply from Martyn Hill and Chris Oliver at the best bank spot in East London. That spot is now blocked by a bike rack that I never knew I could hate so much. This section is closed by some gnarly business from Gav Coughlan; I suppose straight nollie’s over road gaps work at a purely scientific level but seeing them done still feels like glimpsing a unicorn – mythical shit!

Sometimes skating on the streets will lead to run ins with passers-by, but Albion is the first video I’ve seen to feature a fat man in a pink shirt with a sword – this is about as heavy as it gets when it comes to interaction with the lurkers who cohabit the spaces we put four wheels to. Rugged street shit indeed which leads us nicely into serious street business from Kris Vile, handling anything the great concrete outdoors can throw at him, whether that be a lengthy bench line or a double set. Charlie Birch brings the Lost Art hype next, killing the streets with style alongside some Liverpool/Wirral cameos thrown in for good measure. If you’re handling a variety of handrail tricks at that age, things are looking bright for the future.

Only a few weeks after Nick Remon’s ‘Excursions’ section was released and dropped more than a few jaws, his section in Albion will undoubtedly cause a few more fly-catching facial expressions. With a seemingly endless selection of tricks to choose from it’s no wonder he can bang out a full section during a particularly sogged-out UK winter, with no obstacle seemingly too crusty for throwing down something insane on. Highlights are the kickflip with a BS body varial chucked in, a FS flipped double set as an ender, and a hefty FS 360 over the Sheffield kicker to road gap.

Hey kid, ever seen a nollie hardflip popped over a stair to flatbar set up? After a cameo from a pink balaclava clad witch, Karim Bakhtaoui comes out swinging with some heftily popped techness. With clips from a host of heavy hitters, this section has a ‘crew’ feel to it that won’t fail to make you want to head out the door immediately and drag your homies out for a skate. The theme of the next section is ‘Legends’, with a Gonz miniramp sighting paving the way for the most Tom Penny footage anyone has managed to collect in some time. Mad heads are gonna be hyped on this!

Rune Glifberg’s BS shrubbery ollie in Romford’s halfpipe is probably the high point, as the Essex treasure pit is not known for its forgiving nature. Tom Knox starts the next montage, living up to his US namesake with a fast and raw style of street skating which can’t fail to bring the hype. Archway bank gets a seeing-too throughout this video which is started by Denis and continued here by Sylvain Tognelli and Paul Shier. We will leave you to find out what went down by watching the video, but if you’ve been there you’ll know it’s a nightmare to do anything on.

I’ll try and cover the rest of the montage as briefly as possible because otherwise it could too easily become a trick-by-trick account: Quick footed steez from Nick Jensen, a tech-assault from Mike Arnold and the meat taco at Tottenham getting further attacked by Fernando Bramsmark, Josh Young and Jake Collins are all high points. This section is rounded off nicely by Div and Colin Adam sailing the concrete seas. Actually, ‘nicely’ is a crap way to put it, as in classic Scottish ripper fashion they both look like they’re picking a fight with a bowl and winning. Div chooses Victoria Park as his victim and Colin destroys Saffron Walden. Then, just when you were reeling from the bouts previously witnessed, Manny Lopez takes out the tech ten with a knockout. BS noseblunt the handrail and yer seeing stars pal.

Horsey gets some switch DIY for Rob Shaw’s lens.

albion_ review_dvd_ horsey_photo_by_rob_shaw-skate

Ben Raemers and Horsey have gone from up and coming rippers to living the US dream in recent years, here they return to these shores to show you how and the answer is simple; pure fucking shredding. Horsey’s FS halfcab flip into the rancid cobbled bank in Kennington is savage enough, Raemers adds to the Archway bank games with a wall bash on the fence which I’m pretty sure is impossible, and his last trick is worth getting the video for alone. In between, ATV bombs are getting dropped left, right and centre, and all to a John Cooper Clarke soundtrack too – if that wasn’t enough to get you interested.

After this bout of insanity the last section was always going to take some doing, but Jak Pietryga stepped up to the challenge ably with high speed skating and quick feet taken to every kind of architectural anomaly that ends up becoming a ‘spot’, plus some that clearly haven’t before.

Two songs worth of raw street finishes things off a treat, while a standard credits section is replaced by a far superior idea – the video’s creators taking to the streets and getting some.

Albion is exactly what this kind of video should be, giving me the same hype as I got when I first started skating and saw footage of skaters hitting my local spots. That same urge to go out and explore my surroundings for new things to skate…and you can’t really say better than that.

Out now on DVD in your local skate shop or order it online for about £8. Or, enjoy the full film online right here.

Jono Coote