Anyone who witnessed first-hand last year’s Creature UK tour will know how down the team are for skating at any time. From what I’ve heard from locals at the various spots and parks the crew hit, they were constantly amped and ready for the shred, even on a rainy, jetlagged day in Hastings. It’s been a couple of years since Hesh Law was released, so their new video CSFU was pretty much guaranteed to be a belter. Last month saw a premiere at my local pub, and through the haze I managed to focus enough to see that it was something special.
Coming in at just under an hour, everyone in the team has a section and the terrain ranges from pools to skateparks, vert ramps, handrails and ditches, although saying that, as you might expect, the video is light on Lakai-esque ledge combos. The opening section goes to Taylor Bingaman, whose ability to attack every obstacle in his path be it street or transition does us skaters of shorter stature proud. Power midget Cardiel arms, love seat destruction, and some of the video’s more tech lines all set to a soundtrack of Brotha Lynch Hung, EBK all day every day! Given the thankless task of following up this onslaught is Adrian Mallory, whose mixture of awkward tricks and spots is definitely up to the challenge. I seem to have a particular hype for creative street skating recently, possibly due to the weather forcing me into car parks for the last few months and away from my natural transitioned habitat, so I can see this section becoming a regular watch. Skateparks are also approached with a fresh eye, when was the last time you saw a boneless frontside invert?
A Super 8 montage in black and white gives a sense of how much travelling has gone into the making of this video. Not that this is anything unusual in a high budget skate video, but there’s still something undeniably rad about seeing Needleside featured in a production of this kind. After this interlude, we get to see Willis Kimbel (photo below) tear up Burnside and other concrete monstrosities with a frankly bonkers bag of tricks. Transition assisted no-comply heelflips, BS airs with added domino effects, and a final trick that the Thrasher website assures me is called the ‘Gary Coleman’ makes this section a standout in terms of sheer brain-melting innovation.
Sean Conover holds down one of the few full on street sections in the video, slaying handrails and throwing down full speed flip tricks down some beastly looking stairs. This juxtaposes nicely with new team acquisition Adam ‘Scissors’ Effertz. His section bought to mind the early 90s vert side of the H-Street team; and let’s face it, things don’t get much better than that. Next up is a flow team montage which is dominated by Milton Martinez’s gap crushing and hefty kickflips, and young ripper Cory Juneau’s seemingly effortless ability to skate bowls more than twice his size. Truman Hooker then takes things to the crustier end of the spectrum, skating spots and bowls that can best be described as haggard as fuck and still absolutely having it, the last trick is unreal!
The young guns are clearly holding it down, but by this point I’m sure many people were wondering where the older dudes were at- the ones from before the green and black resurrection. Laying any fears to rest, Sam Hitz comes out swinging with a section of backyard pool ripping, blazing grinds and lengthy slides, the stoke of which even the god awful techno beat its set to can’t dampen. The sounds are back on track for Silent Mike and Devin Appelo’s split section, at least if you’re into cheesy hair metal anyway. Actually it’s hard to fault the video’s soundtrack minus a couple of glitches, it manages to be as varied and interesting as the skating – which continues to impress, as Silent Mike takes on a variety of pools and stair sets, and Appelo hits a number of spots that most people wouldn’t, if only because they value being able to walk into their later years.
Next up is the section that got by far the biggest cheer at the Leeds premiere, Stu Graham’s part. I’m sure you know what to expect; high speed skating that looks like he’s pursuing a personal vendetta against the coping of the world’s skateparks, and the best slam on the video. Ryan Reyes party’s techno style with some cartoon fiends before some quick and improbable skating will have you reaching for the modern equivalent of the rewind button, and considering the logistics of the ‘rallie’ as your brain leaks out of your ears.
One thing that immediately comes across in this video is the manner in which each skater, even the younger ones, clearly has a respect for skateboarding history. This is manifested in each skater’s large bag of tricks, and the point is hammered home by a section dedicated to a session at the legendary Pink Motel Pool, in which the venerable spot first seen on Animal Chin is given a good seeing to. With a mellow vibe aided by the classic 999 song ‘Feeling Alright’ with the Crew, this part is gives the viewer a chance to breathe before the final three sections.
When I spoke to people about the upcoming video, Al Partanen was one of the most frequently mentioned names with regards to what everyone was amped for. He doesn’t disappoint, with a large bag of tricks matched by one of the best styles out there. Truly a beast, front blunt fanciers get hyped! Also showing the younger generation how it’s done is the vertical vampire, Darren Navarette, whose foot/handplant onslaught is the perfect antidote to Shaun White-style X-Games yawn fest. No Belgian windmills here, just two songs-worth of concrete being tamed by a master.
The well-deserved final section goes to David Gravette. In an environment where the internet gives us more skateboarding than our eyes can handle it takes a lot to stand out, but Gravette manages it easily with a combination of gnar, left field tricks, and bloody minded dedication (just look to the first trick/battle of the section). Truly next level ATV skateboarding, it brings an already banging video to a finish that will have you picking your jaws up off the floor.
Re-watching the video to write this, it’s hard to pick out any bad points. The skating is top notch, the spots on show make you want to go out and hunt for buried treasures, the animations are funny and not overused, and the music is varied and predominantly good. If I had to pick a flaw, I would point out the lack of Colin Adam footage, but that one gripe aside, this is a video that can’t fail to get you hyped to skate. In an increasingly digital age where it has become temptingly easy for companies to put out much hype single sections, it’s brilliant to see that people are still willing to put out an hour long slice of stoke that you can actually hold in your hand.
Watch the full video courtesy of Thrasher. The DVD is on the current issue. Do it.: