In the past year Element have gone from strength to strength; the online release of Trio gave skateboarders an unexpected tour de rad from three of their most ‘proper’ skateboarders. That is to say that none of them have ever had to politic-tac their way out of a bad reputation for their activities outside of skateboarding. Why this was unexpected didn’t surprise me too much, even if Element have consistently provided skateboarders with excellent hard goods and above average videos it’s always cool to turn your nose up on the big guys. But for people to still be surprised when the Europe-based Get Busy Living exploded on the web (for free, again) that Element were capable of something so worthy of reaching for that rewind button (or for our generation, awkwardly finding the exact spot on the timeline of the stream and failing but not complaining because the whole section was bonkers), is beyond me.
Let’s just look at the roster for the Euro team: Michael Mackrodt, Janne Saario, Ross McGouran, Marcus Apes, Pirkka Pollari – all are names associated with very good things, maybe one or two funny looking hats but nothing more. The hype machine for this video should have, theoretically, exploded into a cataclysmic fireball throwing shards of excitement into everyone. Hopefully, with this and Trio combined, everyone can expect more gems like this in the future – these were both free, don’t forget.
Talking about what’s in the video itself is essentially redundant given the obviously amazing content, whatever I say is guaranteed to be filled with hive mind commentary. The skating is otherworldly. Marcus doesn’t hesitate to make heads explode with one particular 5-0 grind that’s probably better than any other. His ender is a bed-shitter too so watch out. Phil Zwijsen does some late shoves and fullpipe airwalks to a heft cover of Prodigy’s Fuel My Fire. Ross McGouran has more board control than more or less everyone in the continent. Pirkka has a disgustingly good section, Janne Saario’s first trick (or line on two wheels) is impossible even in video games and Mackrodt dances on ledges and skates mammoth spots. And to close, Guillaume Mocquin get’s hesh and if that isn’t proper then I don’t know what is. The gap to backlip aint nothing to fuck with.
Basically, it’s one of the sickest videos (not online video, not DVD but all encompassing video) to drop in a very long time and that’s exactly what everyone else who’s seen it is saying. The filming is perfectly framed, and HD looks so encouragingly awesome when it’s not subject to an editor who’s a little too liberal with the slow-motion. The colours, man, everything looks sublime.
You can watch the video online, in HD for free below. Let’s shut the door on politics and welcome radness with open arms.
Skateboarders are skateboarders and pedestrians are pedestrians and never the twain shall meet. Now, for the benefit of the pedestrian’s ankles I would testify that this grossly re-contextualised Rudyard Kipling argument is probably for the best. But exclusivity outside of whose ankles your board is smashing into isn’t necessarily as cool as you’d like it to be. Element have unashamedly and routinely scoffed at social barriers in a way that would make Andy Warhol stoked. I could be sitting on the tube, this Muska Finger deck in hand and a businessman opposite me could be counting the tens and twenties he can barely fit into his wallet with the same logo on it. He knows that his wallet isn’t going to fall apart today, and I know my deck isn’t either.
Element consistently provide skateboarders with good, solid wood. The lightness and insta-pop was a big relief from the unreliable soggy fishes I’d been riding previously. The wild welsh rain and terrain was obviously too much for them. Durability is a big deal for me, and Element don’t disappoint. The guy in the suit probably doesn’t even realise that the same company that made his wallet made the plank of wood that the smelly dude sitting opposite him is clutching. He could afford a new wallet if he wanted to, but if this deck says anything about their other products, he won’t need to.
What’s cute is that this business dude is getting shown the finger by my deck, courtesy of Chad Muska: that guy that you either hate to love, or love to hate, or more likely than not, both. So as he packs his big bucks into his wallet, the same company that’s keeping all that moolah snug is flipping him off. That’s skateboarder mentality for you. I love it. Don’t let those extreme suits with hair that’s a little too dude for the office fool you, Element material is constructed from a skater mindset. If the excellent Trio didn’t sway you in their direction, then the regular high-grade shit they’re pushing will.
Getting excited about reissues really shows one’s age, but the truth of matter is, anything that gets another shelf life opportunity usually means it was the dog’s testicles the first time round and therefore deserves this well overdue encore!
Element recently added Ray to their team of super humans and when they announced the re-release of the famous “stitchhead” graphic, Ray’s first ever pro board released in 1989 (artwork by Sean Cliver), not only did I shit myself with excitement about the graphic, I also came unannounced and endlessly when I learnt it would be pressed on a featherlight construction deck in my favourite shape (*14) and size, 8 x 31.75! The only downside to this was that ultimately, it meant I had to take it out the wrapper and skate it, but this was after all the initial intent of the original, so I guess mounting it on my wall was never an option.
This board cannot be faulted in any way, it’s flawless! The size, the press, the shape, the weight and obviously this ltd graphic is the best combination of plies I’ve ever had the privilege of kicking around and I cannot share my excitement enough, I love it. Element have introduced a number system for choosing the shape that suits your riding style best, this is by far the coolest thing introduced into skateboarding as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing quite like finding familiarity under your feet when hitting a fresh pool, rail or ledge. Ray’s board is pressed in *14, check out Element’s site to find the shape that works for you.
Have I mentioned this is the best board I’ve ever ridden? Sorry, have I not? Well, it’s true, this board caters for my needs on every level possible, bowls, parks and street, this deck is the perfect all rounder. It’s super light too, which makes it snappy and responsive. Skateboarding…it’s a beautiful thing.
These Element denim shorts available now from their Spring 2010 collection come as a slim fit and although made from 100% Cotton they wear well with perfect amount of stretch so you can skate in them. The quality of the denim is superior and save cutting down those old jeans for use as the summer kicks in.
Check out the Cliff’s for yourself, they are out there retailing in the right stores for about £50.