DVD Reviews

Malaria – Safari Clothing

If skateboarding is an illness, I don’t want to see a doctor. Luc Kampfen and his homies at Safari Clothing know just how infectious it can get, and Malaria is proof. You probably recognize Luc as Guy’s brother, and with that in mind you’re probably thinking about old issues of Puzzle video magazine and a few too many noseslide nollie heelflip variations, right?

Well, you’re right that they are brothers, and you’re right in remembering Puzzle because Malaria watches like a high school reunion of some of Puzzle’s finest alumni, but you’re wrong to pigeon hole these Swiss street technicians as being obsessed with noseslide nollie heelflips. There isn’t one in the whole video!

There are a whole lot of shit-hot ledge combos though. There’s some street tranny and a long list of manuals to get excited about too. If you’re a rag-doll who loves nothing more than a double-sets and rails in the double figures, then you’re vaccinated against malaria. The same goes for anyone with a boner for backyard pools and brews with the barnies. So, malaria caters solely for those who like to skate street and see it pushed forward by some fine-tuned technicians.

Just watch as Sebastien Hepp slides bigspin frontside bluntslides in lines, or Sven Kilchemann imitate Tupac Shafurr (Shakur with an accent!) for life as he balances long frontside nollie heelflip nosemanuals and blasts switch 360 flips down lots of stairs. It isn’t all street stee-lo though, there’s Daryl Hefti blasting sweet switch ollies off bumps, Stefan Bircher skating so smoothly both ways, and Luc Kampfen sticking something ridiculous into an empty pool. No spoilers, sorry.

I think the video MVP is a toss up though between OG street wizard, Guy Kampfen, and the ender, Christian Zemp. Guy has kept up the technical front and employs many a trick with smooth sophistication. Apart from abusing one variation of the noseslide, I never really understood why he gets hated on? Can you bust out a backside 180 fakie nosegrind switch bigspin heelflip on a ledge?

Or maybe, an 11 trick line with nothing but above average ledge and flatground tricks? Nah, didn’t think so. As for Christian, he skates everything, and fast. Intricate lines, the longest and smoothest switch crooked grinds this side of the Alps, and a Daewon-esque assault on various manual pads will definitely get you stoked on the Zemp.

Add to all this street precision an audio soundtrack ranging from the White Stripes to Ertha Kitt, a good selection of bonus material including a trip to the States back at the turn of the century, and Malaga getting served something sweet. This skate strain of Malaria is pretty infectious and can cause immediate adrenalin rushes resulting in getting out your door and trying to see how tech and smooth you can skate it in the streets.

Ralph L-D

Watch the trailer for Malaria here and you can buy this DVD here.