Riding through time with the Palomino

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The run up to Christmas, New Year and the first couple of weeks after are the busiest time of the year for the shop, hence the slightly late arrival of this piece on 2015. The year turned out to be another classic for fans of skateboard videos, if for no other reason than the release of Isle and Jake Harris’ Vase film. I make no claim that the choices below are the ‘best of 2015’, and to only pick ten was a struggle, but what you will find is a selection that got me stoked over the last twelve months. With the release of full length videos from Palace and Polar this year, and a whole load more projects from independent filmers on the horizon, 2016 isn’t looking too shabby either.

I really hope you enjoy re-visiting some of these, and hopefully there may be one or two you haven’t seen yet. – Nick.

Supreme/Bill Strobeck: Sickness

Bill Strobeck put together this one for the Supreme X Thrasher collaboration. Some serious skateboarding from, for me, one of the best crews of young skateboarders out there at the moment, and some killer AVE footage. Bill Strobeck’s style of video might not be to everyone’s taste, but even non-fans should be able to overlook that when the skateboarding of Kevin Bradley, Ben Kadow and the rest of these boys is just so savage.

Antosh Cimoszko: Side One

Vancouver native Antosh Cimoszko put out four really great edits in 2015, along with a ‘zine that accompanied one of these, ‘Heat’. Heat was a clip featuring Dylan Fulford and Will Blackley in NYC, but his was the first of the year and the one that brought Will and his crew to many people’s attention.

Ocean Howell Howard House Video Part

Stretching the 2015 rules a little here, but it went online right at the very beginning of the year so I’m calling it! Ocean Howell’s part from Rich Jacobs’ lost ‘Howard House’ video. Howard House was one of San Francisco’s many skate houses, home to Rich, Ocean, and many more between the years of 1996 and 2004. The footage is from 2003, and was one of the main reasons that in 2014 Rich decided to edit all his footage together to form the full length.

Kyle Wilson’s Welcome Rat Signal

Any bit of footage that young Londoner Kyle Wilson puts out is a pleasure, and his place on Slam’s already stacked team is well deserved. London skateboarding has a bright future.

Johnny Wilson: Horny

The amount of footage these guys put out is pretty inspiring. The clips they just put out in Johnny’s regular HD series are so good, and embody the spirit of the crew edits that have become so much more prevalent in recent times. Horny was the first longer video that Johnny put out in 2015. It’s great to see the rise of these dudes, many of whom are now finding themselves getting hooked up by some great companies.

Venue: Prayer

As above, a crew that is so so productive. Richmond, and Virginia as a whole has so many incredible unheard of skateboarders, and no shortage of filmers putting out regular videos, most notably Will Rosenstock. Will released Brick this year, the quick follow up to last years A-Street, as well as contributing much to Gilbert Crockett’s part in the Vans Video. This edit was put together for Thrasher and hopefully opened a few more eyes to their scene.

Bronze: Trust

Of course, the editing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the skating in Trust keeps up the undeniably high standards set by the previous Bronze videos. Bronze as a crew/brand has been such a huge influence on skateboarding over the last few years, both in the feel of the videos and the way the crew and series has morphed into what is now generally considered a brand. Every attempt to rip off Peter Sidlauskas’ editing style and aesthetic promptly falls flat on its face.

Colton Elrod/The Ends: 8.00AM

I’m not sure who put me on to this one, but it has become one of my favourites of 2015. A whole crew of guys, many of whom I hadn’t heard of, who all work in the Deluxe warehouse in San Francisco. No frills, bells or whistles, just intro, skateboarding, credits. It has a killer opening part from Adrian Vega, and Adam Becerra is certainly one to keep an eye out for in the future. The DVD came with a great photo ‘zine by Bram DeMartelaere, further proof if it was needed, that DVDs and print are in good health in the world of skateboarding.

Familia: Maverick

Such a criminally underrated company. Subscribing to the ‘less is more’ philosophy, everything always seems so considered with Familia, from the graphics on their boards (including a collaboration with acclaimed artist Roger Ballen), to the videos they put out. Maverick is three minutes of brilliant skateboarding, filmed and edited to perfection. So rad that Steph Morgan is filmed by his brother Andy, and the edit is by their brother Gavin. Cannot wait for Familia’s full length which is penciled for release this year.

lurknyc: cee-lo

Slipped in right at the end of December. Nick Vonwerssowetz returned with a new video filming with some new guys which is rad to see. More Adam Becerra footage is always great, especially when he is followed by one of the best filmers out there at the moment. Nick’s editing is always great and the soundtrack on this one is a treat. Really stoked to see him making a few bits of clothing, and to see how many people are down to spend their pennies to represent what he’s doing. Cee-lo could be the 411VM NYC Metrospective Vol. 2, this one is just too good. Big up lurknyc!

And the rest of the best….

Honourable mentions also have to go to all the Toriotoko, Rios Crew and KPTokyo edits from the year, Yardsale’s Softcore, Josh Stewart’s London Raw Files series, the Scumco & Sons edit Bite It, the first Car13 promo, the Hockey/FA videos, Alltimers’ Pickle Time, Lovenskate’s amazing Connoisseur of Quality and god knows how many more… Here’s to 2016.

Find daily radness at the Palomino shop online right here. There’s also a January sale on as you read this so grab some bargains before they are all gone.

We Can’t Stop Here, This is Bat Country

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It’s become customary to refer to skateboarding in the 1990s as a time of outlaws and risk-takers – a barely-supervised playground far from the judgmental glare of the mainstream. The golden age for connoisseurs of that raw shit. Strobeck says as much in a recent interview with Vice, and he seems to know what he’s on about.

From the vantage point of the mid-2000s, those times looked crazier than a Bundy-and-Hitler themed children’s party. By 2006ish, you could buy more or less the same skate brands from chain stores as you could from skater-owned shops, and the Swoosh kept those bro-stores open through exclusive local SB contracts. For a price. Identikit boutique-style points-of-sale, look-a-like teams, sound-a-like interview discipline, and increasingly samey videos with 90 minute plus running times.

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But look at our world now. Faster than I can clumsily type, UK tech-gnar trailblazer, Death pro skater and celebrity Welshman Matt Pritchard has literally pissed all over the Universal Soldier (Dolph Lundgren to his mam) whilst drunk out of his mind on the way to the Las Vegas start of the Gumball 3000 car race; Pontus and Jacob Ovgren lead the charge of indie brands forcing cartoon violence onto the eyeballs of skate-consuming youngsters; Scumco & Sons deliberately manufacture decks that smell of shit; and the VHS video Svengalis behind ‘Bum Fights’ go on the run having been caught with a suitcase full of human body parts in a Bangkok airport.

Do the 90s seem so rad because the 2000s were so dull? It was certainly both a lot smaller and younger back then, and virtually unsupervised by bonafide adults. When Welcome to Hell came out in 1996, Ed Templeton was the weird old boss man, whilst still in his early twenties and just 2-4 years older than the then-young bucks JT, Maldonado, BA, Barley, Satva and Elissa. The sportswear giants didn’t give a sustained shit, dipping their toes in and out of the pool, hardly disturbing the anarchy that went on beneath the surface.

In that isolated Wild West town of Lonesome Skatesville, bad craziness went down that would seem unbelievable to a mid-2000s publishing exec looking to buy beloved UK and European skate magazines only to dead them a decade later. Nor would you have had many catwalk fashion models agreeing to cavort half naked in the background of Moody Dreamboat Dylan Rieder’s shoe ad, especially if said ad had been for Duffs, shot on a $50 shoe-string, and involving adult-film performers, a dwarf, some guy puking, and a couple of homeless dudes fighting. Through the 90s, all these things actually happened.

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Early in the decade, Steve Rocco and his posse rode into town in a cloud of prairie dust. The terrified townsfolk bolted their shutters and hunkered down with a bottle and a shotgun, muttering to their faithful hound that the madness would soon pass. And it did. Manic energy all spent up by the turn of the century, with Rocco retiring to a beach house and leaving his legacy to whither into ever diminishing versions of Flame Boy and Reaper Man.

But our little world got changed something crazy in such a short time. Noble gun slingers like Rick Howard and Carroll fled the poor taste and borderline criminality, and founded their own settlement, just beyond the ridge. A settlement that, twenty-years later, still flourishes – long after Rocco Town became nothing but tumbleweed. But when World and its affiliates burned, they burned so brightly. The original Gonz-steered incarnation of Blind, Natas’ 101, Kareem’s Menace (the spiritual progenitor of DGK and Palace both), not to mention World Industries itself. They brought us Dill, Gino and the McBride brothers, Rodney versus Daewon, the untouchable Europeans Enrique and JB, and the certifiable madness that was Big Brother magazine. Rocco stole riders and picked fights, face-to-face and through print adverts, with established companies and upstart indie brands alike, with a mixture of cruelty and humour that still seem unbelievable in today – where everybody’s ‘nice’ and all/most pro skateboarders carefully watch their mouths lest Red Bull or Nike cut their salaries.

Rocco’s vision laid the foundations for how skating would commercialise over the next decade – retaining for a time something of the anarachy and dumb-fuckery he encouraged. What’s exciting now is that we’re seeing a bunch of guys who at the time were teenagers (or younger) reviving something of that frontier spirit. Dill and AVE’s Fucking Awesome and Hockey. Gilbert Crockett, Tyler Bledsoe and Jake Johnson’s Mother. Both putting their faith in small, adaptive independence as they race away from the spent carcass of Alien Workshop. Lev Tanju and Pontus Alv don’t hesitate to talk shit about what they don’t like and enthuse about what they do, whilst nice guys like Jahmal Williams or Brian Anderson choose to captain their own ships, and continue to fucking kill it on their skateboards, rather than fade into some late career obscurity.

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But are we really seeing a comparable level of madness right now? For those of you too young, or not born at the time, a quick summary. Big Brother magazine started in 1992 within Rocco’s World Industries then jumped to pornographer Larry Flynt’s publishing house. It thrived on drink, drugs, sex and controversy – gleefully skirting well beyond acceptability with tongue-in-butt-cheek jokes on race, gender, religion and disability, regarded by Rocco as “power statements”. If he could piss people off, within and outside the skate industry, AND get away with it, it demonstrated that he reigned unchallenged. Big Brother’s videos ‘Shit’, ‘Number Two’, ‘Boob’ and ‘Crap’ introduced the world to the antics of Johnny Knoxville and an expanding cast who would go on to produce Jackass. In the UK, this inspired today’s hero Matt Pritchard, and buddies to create Dirty Sanchez, another prank and gross-out themed venture that revolved around the stuff skateboarders seemed to find uniquely funny. If grown men becoming very wealthy from jumping off bridges in shopping trolleys whilst dressed as gorillas seemed ridiculous, the idea that they could one day piss on a Hollywood action star and more or less get away with it seemed absolutely absurd.

Before we get all bleary eyed and mutter about how “shit got safe” whilst slurping our craft beers, it’s worth remembering that we weren’t just surrounded by media of the risqué quality of Big Brother. ‘Bum Fights’ left Big Brother’s poor taste as a speck on the horizon as it ventured far into the territory of moral unpleasantness. Ryen McPherson and friends took the occasional altercation with drunks and rough sleepers that most street skaters encounter to a whole n’other level. The result was the ‘Bum Fights’ video series, where vulnerable people with mental health and addiction issues were given money by white, middle class fellas to fight each other, perform Jackass-style stunts, and self-harm. And for some time, many skateboarders’ moral compasses were so out of whack from ten years of deliberately provocative “power statements” that Bum Fights managed to be a kind of sub-cultural phenomenon. Mr McPherson and co-conspirator Daniel Tanner are currently on the run (rumoured to be in Cambodia) having been arrested in Thailand for trying to smuggle several parcels full of body parts, including a baby’s head and a “sheet of skin”, into the US.

bumfightsBut a big change that occurred through the otherwise dull 2000s, that laid the foundations for the way people have reacted to Pritchard’s mile-high antics, is that this sort of stuff started to be funny to a lot more people than just skateboarders. Now with social media (particularly YouTube), any guffawing private school idiot can film their derivative, skater-lite antics and sit back as it goes viral via UniLad for the LOLs of millions of even bigger douchebags.

Was our culture so Gonzo, in a good and sometimes bad way, that Rocco’s vision effectively corrupted all the squares out there beyond the prairie – so now ‘they’ laugh at the same things we used to? Would the media have worked itself into moral uproar if Bum Fights had happened now, rather than in the early 2000s? There are 10s of 1,000s of videos on YouTube of street and bar brawls, of kids inciting the homeless to freak out at them. Young dudes have become internet famous and real-world rich for harassing (and sometimes assaulting) women in public. Normal folk are laughing at and sharing clips that even the most weed-fried skateboarder would have balked at in the 90s. Maybe the shit-heads and punks of Kids-era skateboarding have become the nice guys in comparison to everyone else.

dan_joyce_dirty_sanchezSkateboarding was always the context. It gets us out in the street where the craziness happens, inspires us to talk shit about the stuff we don’t like, within a world we otherwise care so passionately about. Without skateboarding, the genius of Big Brother quickly morphs into crass re-runs of privileged kids making fun of the vulnerable. It’s a thin line, but it’s a line that’s clearly scratched on black Jessops grip-tape. When looking back at the crazy level of celebrity attained by Bam Margera, there is something rather sad about a guy so very, very skilled at something as beautiful as skateboarding being better known for slapping his dad whilst he tries to take a dump.

That’s why skateboarding as it is today, albeit without institutions like Big Brother, is so darn rad – because the context and the act of skating itself is so healthy. Without that, we’re pissing on the shoes of any old chump, and not Dolph motherfucking Lundgren.

Written by Chris Lawton.
Illustration by George Yarnton.

Contact us here if you have opinions and want to write articles. Our daily malarkey is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

The Guardian highlights ‘skater style’

Ph: WireImage/Getty Images

Skater style on the catwalkAnother bemusing ‘skate’ fashion feature was published online yesterday spotlighting this new ‘skater style’ that we apparently are all wearing thesedays.

The catwalks continue to churn out scene-hoppers highlighted by the Guardian, whose efforts of supporting the ongoing battle at Southbank continue in this new article. Topshop were the last to make us aware of how the ‘Southbank skate‘ look was the height of fashion but we still do not understand the link with statements like “Skater style – fashion’s hottest trend.”

“Filling the style space left vacant by glitz comes skater style. Fashion rode a wave with surf a couple of seasons ago – now it’s skaters who are having a moment.”

The article also mentions various brands such as Vans with their recent various collabs with designers inking their shoes. Have a read and take in Stella McCartney’s wonderful work here. I have obviously just ordered one for the missus.

Save Southbank Weekend

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The bank holiday weekend of May 2013 will always be remembered as Save Southbank’s due to the phenomenal effort involved to keep the flame alive. This came from locals who worked tirelessly to organise the event, the many skaters that have spent hours sessioning the banks there over the last 40 years and passers-by showing their support for our scene at the Undercroft throughout this three day session.

If for some unique reason you have missed what is going on, catch up with the relocation plans that skateboarders have been proposed here and then catch up on a Q&A session with the answers here. In a nut shell, skateboarders feel short changed by the the fact that the skatepark will be knocked down to make way for more retail units due to a huge investment into rebuilding the area in 2014. It is clear that the Southbank Centre look to cash in on what is definitely a prime location which means relocating skateboarders to a new spot under the Hungerford Bridge.

This event to highlight this news was graced by the sun’s rays beaming across the Thames whilst the stereo pumped out tunes to a game of S.K.A.T.E. All heads were held high and most importantly, everyone was there for each other from all sides of the scene. Chewy Cannon was one of many who dedicated a lot of time into the organisation of the weekend. His arms are probably no longer functioning after 72 hours of holding that huge megaphone, but he also found time to douse the new blocks that Chris Oliver and friends had spent time building with his switch skills whilst hitting every wall in sight. These blocks were sessioned hard all weekend by many as you will see in the gallery shots below, and are now added to the many other creatively built objects that have changed the landscape down there allowing new tricks to enter the history books.

This feature is short and for those who live too far away to be present in such an important movement for British skateboarding. If you managed to make time in your busy schedule to put a face in the door this weekend, then our hats are off to you. If you didn’t, take in what you missed and thank the people involved for getting to the heart of the matter and doing something positive, rather than watching it all from Facebook or writing negative blog posts on why people should give up the fight and just take it on the chin.

This is phase one. Do your bit and let everyone know that skateboarders would like their home to stay exactly where it is. We do not need another burger or coffee joint at the Southbank, we don’t need another concrete skatepark built in a new location either, we would just like to take SB back to its roots, clean it up and protect its incredible history. Hopefully, someone, somewhere will one day realise that this shared space means so much to so many people and that the magic created here will never be replicated anywhere else.

Have your say by completing this short survey that conveniently doesn’t mention skateboarders. Over 27,000 signatures had been logged by Saturday afternoon, share/like this feature and ask friends to get involved.

Big thanks to all involved in running this event all weekend, Dan Joyce who filmed these clips below, Session Noisses on the beats, and Gorm (B&W) and Maksim Kalanep for the use of their photos here alongside some of our own.

Visit www.longlivesouthbank.com for all info.

Zac

Enjoy some skating and an overview from Saturday’s event:

Henry Edwards-Wood discusses how this all came together in this short interview shot on Saturday:

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Watch Lucien Clarke’s European KR3W footage

Krew-apparel-logoPalace rider Lucien Clarke has some cracking new footage to celebrate his addition to the European KR3W team. Enjoy a couple of minutes from one of London’s best.

The US team were in Las Vegas recently and came back with a new edit that you can see if you scroll down.

Watch KR3W in Las Vegas:

Vans Downtown Showdown 2012 results and videos

This weekend’s Downtown Showdown held in Amsterdam went offin fine style. If you didn’t manage to tune into the live stream of the event from Vans then catch up with the highlights from all 4 teams.

Flip team rider Overall “Best Pro” Luan Oliveira skated with remarkable consistency and smooth style, landing tricks and winning 1st place on the Palace Obstacle and the Blueprint Obstacle. Best Overall Am was Element team rider Ross McGouran, who also took 3rd place on the Flip obstacle, skating hard all day. He made every transfer the windmill-inspired Antiz obstacle had to offer.

Flip:

Inside the massive Gasholder building at the Flip Obstacle the atmosphere intensified with heavy hitting last tricks and a solid performance by first place finisher Dominik Dietrich, who set the bar with a wallie up and Nollie heelflip down the ledge.

Vans Downtown Showdown 2012 – Amsterdam – Flip Obstacle Highlights. from Vans Europe on Vimeo.

Blueprint:

At Blueprint, Luan Oliveira landed a variety of flip tricks over the pyramid and on the ledge. Billy Marks double flipped the gap to flat and walked away with 1,000 Euros for 2nd place. Technical and creative skater Dallas Rockvam took third place by using the entire design, which was inspired by the barges and canals of Amsterdam.

Vans Downtown Showdown 2012 – Amsterdam Blueprint Obstacle Highlights. from Vans Europe on Vimeo.

Antiz:

The Antiz Obstacle rose above the venue floor like a classical Dutch Windmill on Acid. Rob Smith took first place by skating every angle, while Ben Nordberg’s backside nose blunt on the extension ricocheted into applause that reverberated off the walls.

Vans Downtown Showdown 2012 – Amsterdam ANTIZ Obstacle Highlights. from Vans Europe on Vimeo.

Palace:

Vans Downtown Showdown 2012 – Amsterdam – Palace Obstacle Highlights. from Vans Europe on Vimeo.

Line Check April 2011

Spring 2011 has arrived and there are many new products out there for you to check out this month. Here’s a selection of our recommended purchases if the recession is allowing you to wallow in some luxuries right now from Superdead, Flip, Palace, Baker, Independent, Kill City, Death, Etnies, Emerica, Altamont, Spitfire, Lovenskate, Dephect, Supreme, Supra, Kr3w, Quiksilver, Element, Alien Workshop, Brixton Addict and DVS.

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