DVD Reviews

This Is My Element DVD

Element are back with a highly anticipated full length release – they chose to jump aboard the Go Skate Day bandwagon and roll at 350 locations around the world, 350!!! So we trooped down to the Richmix Cinema in Shoreditch to check it out.

This release isn’t going to everyone’s cup of tea, it has a very similar feel to TransWorld or Cliché videos, and I think they tried to capture the vibe of videos like Sight Unseen and Bon Appetite – with relaxed skating (in their natural element?). Element’s 2007 roster is pretty sick, actually, very sick, but the heavyweights barely featured for more than a handful of tricks – this gave the Ams a chance to shine.

So after an intro of portraits of the team the pint size rasta Nyjah Huston opens up the skating- hammertime! Highlights were a hurricane down a huge rail (at least 8) and a lush front 5-0 backside shuv, with some nice random lines chucked in like flip manual roll to 6 step firecracker at speed – lots of heel flips and front shuvs over gaps – dudes going to be an all time great by time he is 20 years old, kind of a rasta Koston, assuming he grows into his dreads that is!

Next up is the only man in skateboarding who could wear skin tight white jeans, waist coat and a black glove – no, not Bam, but The Muska. Pretty short section, but he is the newest, and possibly least visible pro on the team – his section was filmed all over, lots of Miami footage and his skating seems to have gone in the direction of Cardiel’s rather than the Shortys super-doopah dope vibe, he still has it, and killing bowls is now in his repertoire, good to see him back in front of a camera, and still with a mean frontside flip and plenty of trademark tailslide to fakie on handrails!

Brent Atchley
was the secret weapon on the last DVD, Elementality – and his latest section is much less hard hitting, still a very talented skater, but this was just a day to day section, kicks off in a fullpipe with nice ollies to 10 o’clock to ollie down (nasty metal pipe) and also hits up some long relaxed lines at a freshly resurfaced Burnside.

Another new guy who wasn’t on the last vid was Chad TimTim, I was writing notes as the names appears and look back at them and I scrawled “Chad TimTim…. skates damn fast” just zoomed around SF with big nollie flips caught on their way up, and bought the “World Industries” style of street skating to the vid, nothing quirky or setup, just straight street and schoolyard sessions.

Element and Bam Margera seem to be the least likely partnership, and it shows even more in this DVD, his section of old old footage at Philly is very predictable, but not as predictable as him zooming around in a tastelessly coloured Lamborghini getting pulled by cops for driving badly and speeding, and “his elementality” is to break the law on camera and when questioned just replied with “How much do I have to pay?”, which was cool… when Sting did it in Quadrophenia!

The Am’s definitely packed the video out, Jimmy Lannon had a nice Julien Stranger vibe about him, ready to ride any location, and new guys Soichiro Nakajima and Josh Rio established themselves as fast clean and technical skaters. For me the highlight of the Ams was definitely Collin Provost and Levi Brown. Povost is a kid from Huntington and has pop! Lots of pop and isn’t scared to hit rails with 15-plus steps either – very relaxed, and has some growing to do, but he is in good company here at element. Levi Brown pulled off what Atchley did in the last vid, came out of nowhere and killed it, skating some desolate old town with nicely drifted front 360s, a sweet tre nose slide on a bigass hubba, but his first trick killed it for me and the audience, simply up a flat bank and frontside flipping on it – catching it almost 3 foot high, just proper pop – expect much buzz about this Arizonan ripper.

Tosh Townend is all grown up now, still dreadlock soldier, and still skating long lines at beach front locations – exactly what you expect, but the Pro to shine on this vid is Tony Tave– a very efficient looking skater, with some hammer ollies, especially over an escalator which would be a perfect photo to shoot! Lots of night footage and one trick hammers on rails and some drainage ditch flip to long long roll in – very scary, very competent skating.

The major let down on this video is the pro talent they have amassed. Bucky Lasek has a handful of tricks on vert, but nothing much new since his section in “The End”, some nice nollie flip backlips and a frontside 360 heelflip slob airs at Burnquists ranch, but no 900 or megaramp action! Other wasted talent includes Jeremey “J-Dub” Wray, Chris Senn, Vanessa Torres and Mike.V. These guys had half a dozen tricks each, if that. Darrell Stanton had a great chance to establish himself as a major Element pro too, but decided to wear big sunglasses and bad shirts instead, but his murder flips are sick, and I’m sure he will go all out for the Volcom vid “Lets Live” video project (due out anytime now). Jake Rupp and Colt Cannon were sorely missed too, shame they left the setup after Elementality.

All in all, the vid was “ok” and from the biggest company in skating with a huge roster I expected more, maybe the point was to do a chilled vid, but didn’t they already do that? The filming was “ok” and they stuck with the same team as last time, the editing “ok” but the montages weren’t as enjoyable as the ones French Fred would have on a Cliché vid, and the music score was all by Odd Nosdam from Anticon, with their slow instrumental breaks, it didn’t work for everyone and got a bit mind numbing! All in all everyone I asked about it after the show said “it was ok”- I can’t see this DVD being as memorable as “Fully Flared” DVD by Lakai or the next release from Enjoi (“Turd Life”) and the highly anticipated “Nothing But The Truth” by NikeSB which are all ready to drop in the upcoming months.

Bottom line on TIME: It was “ok”.

Philip Procter