Vans Propeller review

vans_propeller-video_skate_download_full_filmI don’t know about you, but one of the most recognizable aspects of skateboarding for me are Vans skate shoes. The patent waffle-gripped rubber soles have been supporting skateboarders for almost fifty years. Say that again: supporting skateboarders for almost FIFTY years!

Vans is a skateboard culture heavyweight with riders spanning several generations, commandeering all sorts of terrain and actively sponsoring events across the Globe. You’d think that the day Vans decided to release their first ever feature length film, Propeller, video dedicated to the skateboard team, they would be shifting the gears on the hype machine for at least a few years prior to it’s screening. Apparently not. They don’t have to. Everyone knows their team is a legit band of brothers that go to war at every spot they skate and the filmer they hired for the job, Greg Hunt, is about as dedicated and craftful as it gets.

Propeller clocks in at about one hour of just skateboarding. Albeit the short introduction featuring the older gods (Tony Alva, Steve Caballero, Omar Hassan, Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Ray Barbee, and John Cardiel etc…), the rest of the video features a full part from each of the riders – except for Jason Dill who moonlights a couple of tricks in Anthony van Engelen’s amazing ender. To quote a fellow skateboard enthusiast, Ben Powell of Sidewalk, speaking about the last part: “Best over –Thirties part ever. Basically do some good skateboarding or fuck off!”

I think everyone knew Anthony would get the curtains seeing how much time and effort he put into his section, but Propeller still has 45 minutes of bangers from the likes of Chris Pfanner, Elijah Berle, Tony Trujillo, Pedro Barros and others to gawk at. I have to give Elijah and Chris double thumbs up for the raw power they exercise on their boards; Tony has matured a lot over the years but he’s still just as reckless as he was when he was young – more so even, especially in this incredible section; and Pedro bears the ugly stigmata of being the ramp dude, but when you see the lines he threads together on cold concrete mountains, you’ll respect him nonetheless.

As a British native, I can’t forget my fellow countryman Geoff Rowley who has been a figurehead for Vans since the early Nineties. Geoff has a reputation as a notoriously gnarly skateboarder with little regard for personal safety and most of his tricks support that point. I can’t help but get the feeling that after watching Geoff roll down the last of many hellish ditch spots, this section may be an honest farewell and passing of the guard to the next generation of gnarlers. If that is the case following the multiple injuries sustained filming for this then our hats are doffed to a British legend.

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Gilbert Crockett and Andrew Allen take care of business in the streets and will probably increase their popularity among the skateboarders who feel they need someone to relate to when watching skate videos. That is by no means an understatement to both of these guys incredible talent, nor is it meant to undermine the likes of Curren Caples, Chima Ferguson, Rowan Zorilla, Kyle Walker or Daniel Lutheran who embody the modern skateboarder, born and bred to rip every kind of spot be it a quirky transition, a kinked rail or a curved ledge. All of these players put down seriously solid parts.

Propeller is a pretty good name for product with a sole purpose to push things forward. Vans kept everyone pushing hard when they introduced their skate shoes to the world, and several decennia later the skate team are leaving their mark on the future generations of skateboarders. Cliché as it sounds in the free internet era, this really is a skateboard video worth purchasing. Vans have supported you for so long, it’s only right that you should show some gratitude.

Download it from today on iTunes. It will be tough call to find a better full length skateboard video this year.

Ralph Lloyd-Davis

Enjoy this drunk phone cam footage of Caballero and Hosoi after the Propeller video premiere in London’s House of Vans.

Metallica vs Vans collab shoes

Skateboards and metal are certainly the flavour of the 80’s but the fad still rolls and the classics still appeal to many. This week Metallica’s members have all designed and released a collab shoe on Vans following their classic ‘Kill ‘Em All’ half cab last year, again in celebration of their milestone sussecc of their epic debut album.

Bass player Robert Trujillo chose to add his own take on the Escuela shoe with an Aztec design, James Hetfield picked a Sk8-Hi and added his own skull and crossbones, drummer Lars Ulrich has an Era Laceless with added twill/diamond pattern from his snare drum, and guitarist Kirk Hammett has rolled out a hemp based Slip-On that features a Ouija guitar pick in the heel.

These should be available this month.

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Metallica Vans ‘Kill ‘Em All’ Half Cabs

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In the lead up to Metallica’s 30th birthday party celebrating the legendary ‘Kill Em All’ album, Vans have put together a special, limited edition Half Cab as a tribute.

Featuring ‘black to the floor’ black suede and toughened canvas upper, this exclusive pair of Vans goodness should be a must have for all Metallica fans. The sole even hosts the ‘Kill Em All’ album artwork encased in a clear rubber vulcanised sole! It also has the lyrics to classic track ‘Motorbreath’ etched onto the sole too.

When can you get a pair of these on your feet? Well, Slam City will have them in from Monday 22nd October, so if Nothing Else Matters, get some over at www.slamcity.com

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Official: Jason Dill returns to Vans shoes

Vans welcome back Jason Dill and celebrate his skate career with a spread of his coverage over the years.

“Over two decades ago, long before ever getting on Alien Workshop or even turning pro, a very young 12-year-old from Huntington Beach named Jason Dill was sponsored by Vans (as seen in his first interview ever in Big Brother #15 from 1994). Since then Jason has lived a thousand lives, ridden for a few different shoe companies, put out numerous classic video parts, been to many creative barbers and produced countless interviews. After so much time apart it is our esteemed honor to welcome Jason back to the Vans team with five days of coverage in a full-blown Vans Rider’s Week..”

Landscape welcome Joe O’Donnell

Landscape Skateboards celebrate a new addition to their am team this weekend. Jim Craven’s edit here featuring four minutes of Joe O’Donnell tells you all you need to know about The Milton Keynes skater who moves up this month.

Welcome Joe O’Donnell from Landscape Skateboards on Vimeo.

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.

Vans Downtown Showdown to be held in London on August 20th!

The last 2 Downtown Showdown events that Vans have rolled out in Europe in the last 2 years have been amazing to watch from afar so it’s welcoming news today that this fantastic gathering will be hosted on our doorstep this year!

The VANS European Downtown Showdown event has been announced today to be held on the Saturday 20th August in Old Spitalfields Market, London and will be a free event for all. 50’000 Euro’s will be up for grabs for those pro riders invited to partake so get this in your diary and let your parents be aware in case they have plans to get out of the country in the school holidays!

Watch this footage of the Showdown in Torino/Italy in 2009 and get hyped on the news.

Inside the House of Vans skatepark in NYC

Planning to travel New York this year or thinking of going somewhere you can skate and take in the delights of a new City? The new House of Vans park in Brooklyn looks well worthy of a visit this year as it has something for everyone.

It opened last year with various special guests including Public Enemy, click here for the recap and watch this latest clip to get a feel for the place, looks much fun.