When I was informed of the line-up for 411‘s latest issue, I was stoked already. Dubbed the Chico Brenes Issue, I knew that the next 35 minutes would be oozing with style and finesse. You see, Chico might not be the guy pushing the envelope everyday or flogging himself to toy or car adverts on the regular, but it’s a fact that anyone who has a sense of style on a skateboard usually picks the Nicaraguan Chico as their inspiration. Hell! JB Gillet states that Chico is the best skater out there!
Anyway, Volume 14 Issue number 4 of 411VM (confusing- sometimes I prefer the old numerical labelling…) boasts profile on Chico (d’uh!), the DVS Chupa Cabra tour of South America, check outs with Andre Genovesi, Robert Lopez Mont and Danny Cerezini, a trip to Greece with the Planet earth crew and your usual opening chaos. Plus the whole thing designed and packaged by the Crowfarmer Bob Kronbauer– Watch out for the giant hamster! That’s a lot of good stuff for one video magazine, so a chronological run through is necessary.
To begin, the age-old Chaos section has been resumed to a montage of nothing but bangers. A special mention has to go to Chris Haslam who puts down one of the gnarliest rock fakies I have ever seen at that one metal fencing quarterpipe spot outside Barcelona. You might think a rock fakie is the bare minimum, but just check how he controls his board to get back down. Nuff said.
Then the show hits the road with the Planet Earth team flying off to Greece for some street schralpage. Nothing but stylers on this team with Ed Selego, Kenny reed, Soy Panday, Paul Shier, Jack Sabback and a guy who reminds me of Ocean Howell but I might be mistaken. In any case the smoothness is there on show as Greece proposes some it’s finest marble. I only have one beef with this part and that’s the contrived poise with which a couple of the riders skate. I won’t name names, but watching this section should make it obvious. Throwing odd shapes into a trick doesn’t make you better- it just makes you stick out like a ponce.
The next section comes from a Puerto Rican powerhouse making a name for himself as ‘El Destroyer’. I always had Robert Lopez Mont snubbed as a bit of a crash test dummie when it came to skating, but this part has stopped all that pretence full stop. Robert is gnarly as f*** but actually pulls tricks off smoothly. I suggest rewinding this section a few times just to try and grasp the true danger of the kickflips and slides Robert displays, and the speed at which he’s travelling for each trick.
Danny Cerezini drops in next, and it’s completely different from our Puerto Rican bad man. Danny slips very nicely into the category of street technician that has bred an army of amateurs ready to kill a ledge, rail or ditch at the drop of a (new Era) hat. Danny has grown up since the first footage we saw of him, and his skating has grown with him making this section a good one.
The third and final check out goes to one of the supposed hardest working amateurs in the game: Andre Genovesi. I think I have preached about Andre’s abilities before when I reviewed the Arcade video many moons ago. Well with style being of the essence nowadays, Andre can finally have his time to shine. One thing that you will notice, unless his ultra smooth skills had you fooled (which wouldn’t surprise me!), is how much switch skating goes down in this part. And I’m not talking about whimsy lines or the odd leap down a set of stairs. No- proper attacks on gnarly spots. For example, Andre looks asleep at the wheel when he switch crooks off an 8foot drop. Andre also gets the medal for gnarliest slam ever. He literally bounces like a ball. Harsh…
The second tour section to this 411VM is a proper one when the DVS team invite along on their Chupa Cabra tour of South America. Daewon Song, Torey Pudwill, Zered Bassett, Chico Brenes and Daniel Castillo rip it up something severe. Obviously daewon skates everything and innovates, whilst Zered cooks the cake and eats it with one of the tastiest manuals I have ever seen. Finally, a tour section that got me stoked!
Thus, the curtain call is for the smooth operator himself, Chico Brenes. A sweet little montage of Chico’s sponsor me days and witness accounts from some of skateboarding’s biggest players sets the stage for a section dipped twice in style. The best thing about this section is you realise how hyped Chico’s skating can get you, as well as the fact that Chico is a super cool guy who actually enjoys getting old with his board, rather than bitter and contrived. Hats off to Chico.
Helas, that concludes the review of the latest 411VM Vol.14 Issue 4. Obviously there are some bonus sections on the DVD (Italy slam trick, Vans Showdown and Protec Pool party), but the overall package is strong already. Re-read this review if you don’t understand. I must mention two things though before signing off: Firstly, Torey Pudwill. Here is an amateur truly working to make a name for himself, with footage in three different sections. Someone hook this kid up proper because he’s growing into big things I tell you. Secondly, the European skaters actually get a reasonable amount of coverage in this issue with tricks from the likes of Anthony Lopez, Raul Navarro and more. Finally a sign of trans-globalization..? I say it every time but that’s because 411VM does it every time: This DVD is very good!
Watch the trailer here.