Element – Elementality

I just realized that looking at the title of Element’s new video, “Elementality”, it basically describes the thread to this production: the mentality of Element Skateboards which is respect and good vibes. Ah! Isn’t that sweet? Anyway, here’s the low-down so enjoy! The video starts off with an open letter to explain Element’s roots and ethics and then we get to some skating. Jake Rupp and Tosh Townend share a part and roll along to the rhythm of Jah. Lots of quirky spots and smooth bendy legs that work together to pop out of things, and create a good introduction part. What follows is a very short part from the unique Mike Vallely. Mike busts one big ollie over a rail but then proceeds to pillage his stock of fast-plants, foot-plants and other pre-1988 tricks. I think Mike has chosen the path of old school, but that doesn’t mean I’ll like him… Next we are jetted off to foreign lands (I think the Southern Americas mostly…) where the Element team release their inner-selves onto expensive film and ride the concrete wave. Whilst watching this segment (and there are others dotted throughout the video), I couldn’t help but think how the Element team approached these off-road transitions like the Osmonds, where as Anti-Hero are more like the Osbournes. Understand? Oh! I mustn’t forget that Chris Senn recently joined the team, so due to lack of time, bits and bobs of footage are scattered throughout.

Back to the program; I can’t honestly remember which order these riders came in, but here’s the run down for the rest of them. Brent Atchley. Brent Atchley. So good I said it twice! Well, for me, Brent gets best part hands down. He skates to Public Enemy, puts out the longest part single handedly and pours his style all over the concrete park of Oregon. A friend thought Brent was a bit style conscious i.e. making sure he adds that extra bit of flair to his skating, but I disagree. Brent is sick.

Vanessa Torres holds things together nicely and actually pulls of a good part. The only thing I thought was a bit horrible was the pair of spray on jeans she insisted on wearing through most of her section.

Nyah Houston kills it for his size and age, but I hate watching little kids skate, so I definitely won’t be watching his part again. There’s a little intro to his part with some reggae which is nice but a little bit of a characature, but then it cuts to your mass produced, rock soundtracked hammer fest. (C.f.’Why… don’t you come out and say it?’)

Colt Cannon also suffers from a strangely bland part. Sure he has a few proverbial bangers in there, but I came away from Colt’s segment feeling dull…

There’s a long montage of flow riders, Twigs (Element’s junior squad) and foreign riders (No European riders though because they’re working on their own video!) that runs like an elaborate 411 Chaos section. I did spot one kid in there, though, who does shine through, but you’ll have to spot him for yourself because I’ve forgotten his name. Sorry.

Jeremy Wray stays true to form with some roof skating, 270 lipslides, frontside flips and nose manuals. Some might not like Jeremy’s part but I’ll have you know that everything you ever see of the dude is clean and big. No hand-drags, no flair, no bullshit.

Finally, we get to Bam Margera. Bam really needs to quit filming for his silly buddy-cam shows and get back to doing some proper skating before the entire skate community negates him. For the two or three clever tricks he pulls out of his hat, there is a lorry load of MTV out-take rubbish. I guess the kids will be stoked…

That’s it. I leave you with news that Bucky Lasek has just joined the team and something tells me he will feel right at home.

Blueprint – Lost & Found

How good is ‘Lost & Found’? Very good.

Alright, so ‘L&F’ has been out for a while and just about everybody has seen it and given it a two thumb approval, so if you’re reading this review in hope of some spoilers, or a detailed run-through of what’s on it: Sorry! None of that here because you’re already wasting enough time if you haven’t seen Blueprint’s latest offering yet. Go! Run like the wind! Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer…

Now that that is dealt with, and some of you just can’t keep your eyes off this page, I’m going to tell you about something I lost and then found again.

I once lived in the wild foreign countryside for a brief stint with my two cats, Gilbert and George. They were brothers so a certain connection there that meant they acted like a feline version of the Krays, or Laurel and Hardy depending on the circumstances. Anyway, Gilbert and George loved the countryside and often went of 12 hour hunting escapades and adventures together. I never really knew where they went, but they always came back exhausted with fat bellies, purring in front of the stove. One day however, George did not come back. The first evening didn’t worry me and neither did the following day due to my cats’ independent attitude. However, when Gilbert stayed home for the second evening and following 3 days, I knew George was in trouble. The worst thing was that I could hear him calling, but I didn’t know where…

Gilbert miauled out to his kin and a wavering response could be heard from the environs. It was quite distressful to say the least. On the fifth day of absence, I decided to go and visit the neighbours, and see if they knew anything. The neighbours were never there even though they owned a huge house with lovely garden. As I let myself in and made many way up the different floors and through the various rooms, I began to hear George calling except this tim it was stronger and more desperate. I knew I was near. Had my neighbour kidnapped the cat? Gilbert followed me on my investigation, and it was when we finally reached the attic that George sprung out from behind the heavy door and leapt into my arms. He was looking weak, but he was alive. I had found my cat!

After that episode, Gilbert and George were even more inseperable and never strayed into the neighbours empty house again. I later moved to the city and our missing cat episodes ceased. So, there you go. You now know what I lost and found, and that reading this far was a waste of time because all you really needed to know was in those first 3 lines.

www.blueprintskateboards.com

Subtleties

Transworld

Damn! I only just reviewed Are you alright?, and already video No.16 has dropped: Subtleties. This month’s DVD highlights Pat Duffy ( I told you we’d be hearing more from him…), Brandon Biebel, Kyle Leeper and Stefan Janoski. There are also guest skaters involved, so you’ll spot the likes of Brian Wenning, Paul Rodriguez, Tim O’Connor and others in the mix. Let’s set this out in order, so first up to bat is Pat. Pat is a machine! He took MVP in the last TWS DVD, and he don’t slow down in this one either. High tailslides, slicing tre-flips and a gargantuan gap next to Hubba Hideout are all ingredients that spell out the unspoken truth of Pat’s board control. Even a bit of the footage is dated, it don’t matter because you know no news means good news. Pat is still on top of his game. Where there is game, there is Biebel. The Girl pro shares his part with Wenning, so street technicians will be stoked. There is plenty of manual madness going down at the Pier here including switch frontside heelflip manuals backside out, and the critically acclaimed half-cab heelflip nose manual- backside nollie heelflip out. That’s hard, trust me!

The next boarder to show off his skills is Expedition One’s Kyle Leeper. Judging by my cohorts reactions, this kid is about to blow if he hasn’t already. Let’s say that this kid sees every spot a little differently than the next man, so don’t be shocked if you see backside lipslides to firecracker down 5 stairs, or sessions breaking out on the wrong side of ledges. Is this the future of skating once everything has been knobbed? Kyle also gets way tech. Here’s a little list to tease: Ollie over traqsh can to backside noseblunt slide, cabellarial to frontside bluntslide, backside nosebluntslide- frontside shove it revert out??? ‘Nuff said.

After that amazing part, TWS put us to rest with the very special switchstance skills of Habitat’s Stefan Janoski. This guy is seriously at ease on his deck. Switch flips, salad grinds, long 5-0s, everything is here and more. Basically I won’t spoil this part for you listing tricks. Check it out for yourself!

It looks like the hammers are getting more technoical and Johnnny Thunders can go packing. Subtleties is a lot more street orientated with little emphasis on the rails, and I think that if you reallt are a skater then you will appreciate this new DVD.Along with the 16mm footage, lovely montages and mandatory Expedition trip to the desert, TWS are good at what they do when it comes to video/DVD releases. I can’t wait till next month!

www.skateboarding.com

Think – iThink

I think you can pretty much bank on the fact that the I-pod has become a major fashion accessory and skaters were not shy to the trend at all. Well, our friends over at Think put the final nail in the coffin and entitled their latest DVD release ‘I-Think’ in celebration of this oh-so-useful musical appliance. Basically, the DVD takes every aspect of the original I-pod from the on-screen menu display to the brightly coloured advert edits. In fact I’m pretty sure a few of the tunes in ‘I-Think’ can be found on several peoples tracklists… So, that’s all fine and dandy, but what’s the skating like? Afterall, that’s what we all want to know, right? Ok. The kid that starts things off ( I forgot his name, sorry!!!) comes with some interesting lines, but nothing too shocking. Well, that is until about halfway through his part where he turns the heat up and starts dishing out banger after banger. Ummm… Jake Palu has a slightly obscure approach to skating that some of us will find hard to appreciate but there is still some oddball spots worth looking out for. Jake didn’t keep my gaze as long as his other amateur mate, Adam Dyet. Bloody Hell! Adam goes all hellbent for leather when it comes to getting tricks: huge switch backside 180s, bone snapping backsmiths and a pretty smooth nollie frontside noseslide at Clipper. Sweet.

Now, one skate giant that has serious pop and snap is Jake Nunn. I hardly see anything of Jake but when I do it’s always proper, so confronted with a whole part and there’s very little chance of disappointment. Honestly, Jake’s part is the only thing that would make me part with money for this DVD. The other heavy hitter from Think is Danny Fuenzalida from Chile. Danny is a real ‘hit or miss’ type of fellow on his skateboard. I here people complaining about his bland style at the back of the room, but when things come this smooth for you, what do you care? Right..?

There’s also footage from other riders in there, but honestly it comes and goes quite fast so I can’t quite remember any of it. ‘I-Think’ only clocks in at 18 minutes, with no real bonus footage, so keep this in mind. Short and sweet or long and hard (to swallow)? Your call. If you like I-pods and footage from lesser-knowns, you know what to do- Get a copy!

Globe – Skateboarding Street Riot

Okay, this is Globe’s World Cup of Skateboarding 2004 comp in DVD format with a Dave Duncan commentary, snippets of interviews with most of the pros there, the Gallaz Street Jam, and a couple of edits with just the tricks, no blah blah. ‘Street Riot’ is a neat product that you could watch with your parents and ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Ah!’ in unison as skaters leap and tumble around a huge skate course that only real professionals can handle. Competions are usually quite boring affairs, but the Globe World Cup is one event that even the guys taking part in enjoy. One of the reasons for this appreciation is the Jam format that it entails. Skaters whiz around together in groups of 2 or 3, in designated areas of the course, so nobody feels lonely and grilled as they race across the flatbanks and down the rails. Speaking of rails, this course has one serious beast of a rail that gets served as well as serving out some punishment too. Here’s the reason why this DVD is worth watching: Ronnie Creager. That’s right, Ronnie Creager came out of hiding and ended his non competitive hiatus by killing the course with mad switch skills and big balls to take his first ever major comp win (can you believe that???). Well done, Ronnie! In fact, Ronnie looks so shocked by his win that he could cry…

The one other part that put a smile on my face, but also made me want to cry, was watching the bonus interview skits. Between McCrank’s inaudible head nods and Sheckler’s agent-prepared answers, sometimes you really see why people say, “actions speak louder than words”. Oh, and even Muska gets a word in!

FKD Bearings Video

Here’s a quick lesson in the hierarchy of sick footage:

Your best footage goes to your board sponsor or your shoe sponsor. Then, the second best tricks get dished out to the magazine videos and montage videos. Now, whatever is left over on the cutting room floor finds itself stuck together and edited into a hardware goods video.

With this information in mind, it isn’t a very good premise to get hyped about a video being released by a bearing company… Well FKD bearings aren’t your average bearings and they definitely don’t have your average team. Here’s the little line up of guys that are lucky enough to receive high quality, no nonsense rolling aides: Paul Rodriguez, Brandon Biebel, Kyle Leeper, Stefan Janoski, Joey Brezinski, Paul Zitzer, Kenny Anderson, James Aitkins and Daewon Song. That’s a whole load of heavy hitters if you ask me.

Alright, so 90% of the footage is the stuff that didn’t make it into the big productions, but it’s still right up there. In fact, Joey Brezinski has very little footage out there, so his part is a definite treat! The only real shocker in this video is a horrendous pair of cherry pink trousers James Aitkins tries to rock on the d-lo. Ummm?

Try and check this video out because of the sick team FKD boasts and the fact that it shouldn’t leave you out of wallet.