DVD Reviews

Transworld – Hallelujah

Whatever stance you have towards the somewhat conservative nature of Transworld videos (the unchanging opening montage – some sections – friend montage – some more sections) you cannot knock them for their as yet unparalleled consistency. Every nine months you can expect your local SOS to stock a DVD featuring five or six skaters with what’s likely to be the best footage they put out all year. The selection is spot on too: the last section will almost always go to someone who is killing it harder than anyone at the time of print (Torey Pudwill in Hallelujah, Sean Malto in And Now, Dylan Rieder in A Time To Shine, Heath Kirchart in Sight Unseen), the first section will often go to someone young, fresh faced and hot off the back of an already banging year cementing their style (Tyler Bledsoe here, Baby Lamb in And Now, Kellen James in Right Foot Forward) and the rest will do much more than just fill in the gaps. New names will be broken and slept-on heads will wake people up.

Chris Ray and Jon Holland are simply incapable of filming anything below a high standard. Sure, the editing may not be god tier anymore,  but it’s the highest shelf below it. Hallelujah is the latest release and offers what is likely to be considered the best line-up in almost ten years. I’m sure that was said about the last one, but consider how sought after Tyler Bledsoe footage is after Mindfield, try to imagine how many Slap lurkers will be exceptionally hyperbolic at a new Pete Eldrige section (for good reason) and just think what another closing section from T-Puds could be filled with. A TWS production is guaranteed skateboarding excellence and that’s exactly what Hallelujah is.

This year’s unique-selling-point for the intro is a camera somehow attached onto the underside of the deck providing a dizzying perspective of what an insect would see if it were hanging out on your baseplate. It works, and doesn’t subtract anything from the finished product like intros often have the tendency to do. However, it will be swiftly forgotten upon watching Tyler Bledsoe’s section. Right, how to describe this section… OK! So some of you may be aware of genre of electronic music called IDM – for those who don’t know it’s the acronym for what idiots sometimes use to describe ‘Intelligent Dance Music’, a term that Aphex Twin, his own music regularly described as IDM, has dismissed as total pony. The way Bledsoe skates reminds me of the precision and technical production of an IDM record (having Modeselektor for his Mind Field music was perfect context) but with an inexplicably human feel. His tricks and ledge combos are unthinkable but at the same time they are neither robotic nor cringey. Tyler is one of my favourite skaters to watch, and this section only cemented that; prepare to be introduced to an entirely different but very natural perspective of skating.

Taylor Bingaman is the name that many of you might not have heard of. But if this is a section to wake people up then it does so more effectively than both the terrible brostep business that’s polluting student nights everywhere and that fucking awful alarm tone on my blackberry that goes off every morning because I cannot be bothered to change it. Bingaman has a surname so awesome that it deserves to be mentioned again  and kills it on any terrain you can imagine. The section starts a little handrail heavy (which is arguably a change in the 8” ledge, bankle-ridden climate) and then escalates into an ATV assault on concrete parks complete with a backside noseblunt screecher and a mammoth oververt 5-0 grab in. He deserves your attention for that last trick alone but this is a pretty spectacular section even in the ridiculous standard of 2010.

Pete Eldrige is the kind of guy who will be described as a ‘skater’s-skater’, a phrase as redundant as it is impossibly stupid. Pete Eldrige is rad to watch and is just a skater doing his own thing, he’s not out to please those that so often arrogantly describe themselves as a ‘proper’ skater, but is out there getting footage and making me stoked. He choice of trick and spot is easy to relate to, but the way in which it’s executed makes him a very special watch. Comparatively  ‘easy’ tricks are done on the gnarliest spots and ‘mess-around’ spots fall victim to absurd trickery. This section is just one big massive treat for fans of the east-coast machine who isn’t at all afraid to rock it to Rick Ross.

Next is the famous Friends montage that TWS not only made popular but continue to make the best in a trend that can only get bigger. Why shouldn’t it? Skating with friends is the whole point of skating, and if they rip then get them in. But above all that, keep this in mind, Ben Hatchell will make your head explode. That’s all.

We’re approaching the EPICLASTPART now so I’m sure you’re expecting something a little progressive. Leave it to Ryan Decenzo of the unstoppable Decenzo clan to flip open your head with stuff you wouldn’t have imagined doing in THSP8 and stuff that wasn’t even possible in THSP1. Give this one a few rewatches to fully comprehend what on earth is going on beneath this kid’s feet. There’s plenty of gnar to keep the heshers gonna hesh crew satisfied too, including and lipslide on a rollercoaster track shaped hubba ledge and a switch 180 down the gap Reynolds kickflips in Stay Gold. Oh, spoilers!

Torey Pudwill tends to polarize opinion because apparently wavey arms are enough to make people hate on a backlip kickflip backlip. Sure, sometimes it does look like he’s giving himself a Mexican wave after landing certain tricks, but I think it makes each mindfuck manoeuvre look even more rad. The way he stamps his deck down when flipping out of any goddamn slide he wants to do makes you wonder if his skateboard called his mother a fat bitch. This is about as epic as a TWSEPICLASTPART can get, that just typing about it is causing the memory of what can only be described as the greatest backside smith grind ever performed to take over this word document and make any further commentary impossible. Seek this one out.

Bellend Sebastian