Notes of a skateboard video fan

When I started back skateboarding in 2007, I wanted to bring my old skate VHS tapes to New York from my parents house. After carting them back here I soon realized that there was one logistical problem with these VHS tapes. I no longer had a VCR. These VHS tapes I cherished growing up. I think I watched some of them hundreds of times. Purchasing a VCR ending up being daunting. They wanted people to buy VCR/DVD combos which were way over priced. I still have my VHS tapes and they fit in 2 skate shoe boxes that I packaged on a whim to try to sell on Ebay. As of yet I have not tried to sell them, and they sit in my closet. But I was reminiscing quite a bit on skate videos, so I did what anyone would do in that situation. I decided to get myself a skateboard DVD collection. That was the logical thing to do, and now in 2011 I have enough skateboard DVDs to survive blizzards.

I’m really procrastinating writing a chapter in my novel attempt, but on this entry I’m going to blog about my skateboard DVD collection. I will highlight 11 DVDs and in overdone detail tell you where I purchased each one, why I purchased that title, and my viewing experience of each one. For the benefit of my blog readers I will also include youtube clips from each DVD, if possible.

Suffer the Joy by Toy Machine

In 2007 for work I temporary covered in the Rockaways for a month, I had no idea a few years later I’d work near there. I won’t mention this shop’s name because they are a surf shop that overprices skateboard gear. Last summer, 2010, I went in there and they charged 60 dollars for a pair of Venture trucks that most places would charge 35 dollars. Anyway, I was fresh back to skating, and went in there. I saw this DVD, recognized the company, and decided to purchase it even though the shop charged 30 bucks for it. I am sure now that this was overpriced but I did not know the shops in NYC yet. I assumed they were all overpriced. The same skate deck can vary in NYC from 55 to 75 dollars at different shops.

Anyway, when I got home that day and watched it I was not impressed. I felt that the music was too hipster, and the skating did not that great. However over the years I got accustomed to it and now rank it among my favorites. This skate DVD you can watch in its entirety, it seems like a whole package instead of few strong parts and filler. I think my first impression was that my memory of skate videos included hip hop tracks. With the obstacles being built in parks today, I think this video was a trend setter with skating steep banks.

Here is Ed Templeton’s and Billy Marks’s part:

Round 3 by Almost

I purchased this the day I injured the ACL in my knee. This was mid May 2008, and I from the L.E.S. park I ventured up a few stops on the F train to the Blades shop in lower Manhattan. I hobbled in the store, bought the DVD, and did not realize I would not skate for more than a year. Outside of the shop on the way to the train, I saw some skaters filming around NYU.  The skater kickflipped on a narrow walkway and then with spped carved up a street barrier to a wall ride. It was rad to see, and I talked to them for a few minutes. When I got home I popped in Round 3, and liked it right away. Rodney Mullen and Daewon Song are definitely two innovators in skateboarding, and their parts in this do not disappoint.  So as I nursed my knee for way too long, I enjoyed watching this DVD. I viewed it enough to break the thing. I still have this DVD even though if it works is a question because there is a large crack through the center of it.

Here is Daewon Song’s legendary part from Round 3

Box Set by Girl

Did I ever mention in this blog that I’m an Assistant Organizer for the NYC Skateboard Meetup group? Here is the link to our group:

I mention this because during the summer of 2008 when I was still hobbling around on a bum knee I went to a function.  I think the organizer called it the Spring Mixer, but it was at the uptown Blades shop with pizza. From 8 to 10 or so we ate pizza and talked about the future of the group. Afterwards several of us went to the nearby Dallas BBQ to drink. It was the first time for me in awhile to socialize with other skaters. There are not too many situations were you can talk about old videos, tricks you used to try, or what you like to skate. Maybe when the weather gets better I’ll try to organize another social. I think if I could find a place that would let us view DVD’s and drink beer it might work.

The reason I talk about that event was they offered a discount to the group on stuff in the store. I purchased the Girl DVD box set. It includes 4 videos released from 1994 to 1999 and bonus features. I remember Girl’s first video Goldfish, which came out right before I quit in 1994. Of these DVD’s the most famous is the 1996 release called Mouse. Spike Jonze, the movie director, is the co-owner of this company. So they have his creative skits that are okay with the first viewing. But on multiple views I simply forward through the skits to the skate parks. In Mouse the two parts Guy Mariano and Eric Koston are very good. Also the soundtrack includes funk and jazz. This company is one of the best, and I’m hoping they put out a new video soon. I also hope that Almost puts one out to. I think I am a true fan of skate videos.

Here is Eric Koston’s part from Mouse:

Box Set by World Industries

My most viewed blog ever was about these videos from World Industries. Here is a link to that blog entry.

I’ll keep my comments on this one brief, but it was my first Ebay purchase. I got a lot of joy from this purchase. This includes videos from World Industries from 1989 to 1996. Two of them Love Child and New World Order I viewed a lot when they came out in 1992 and 1993. The later videos 20 Shot Sequence and Trilogy I enjoyed viewing years after they came out. I think if I skated at that time, I would have liked them as well.

Here is 101’s group part from 20 Shot Sequence

Fully Flared by Lakai

Chronologically by purchase I should have put this entry higher up in the order of this blog. I purchased this when it came out in 2007. I was recently back after a hiatus, and this fit the bill. A lot of the skaters in here were pros when I was a kid. Eric Koston, Mike Carroll, Guy Mariano, and Rick Howard were household names in the skate world in 1993 or earlier. Marc Johnson, Scott Johnston, and others I recognized from when I skated around the year 2000. This video was ground breaking when people thought nothing new could be done on a skateboard. The soundtrack ranges from heavy metal to old school rap to punk rock to hipster rock.  Even though this video is long it has very few week spots. Anyone interested in modern day skateboarding should purchase this one.

Here is Eric Koston’s part from this DVD:

Ebay score! Sorry and Really Sorry by Flip, Yeah Right by Girl, and Skate More by DVS

According to my posts on the NYC Skateboarding Meetup message board this acquirement happened in the summer of 2009. Relatively new to Ebay I saw someone selling 20 skate DVD’s for like 30 bucks. I put a bid on it, some else put a bid on it, I raised my bid, and I won it. This was a thrilling purchase for me, and I’m surprised it did not make me an addicted Ebay bidder. On the meetup message board I tried to see if people were interested in a skate DVD night. That did not happen, but I will try again this spring. I remember waiting for the delivery of this Ebay purchase for like three weeks. It took forever.

When I opened it I noticed a lot of promo DVDs, so it must have been from someone that worked in the industry or a shop. But over time there were three gems of classic skate DVD’s. I remember when I skated as far back as 1993 the European company Flip was popular. I think they named their video Sorry as a joke to the people that waited so long for a release by them when it came out around 2000 or even later. In Sorry the end part has both Tom Penny and Arto Saari. This part is a long one, but a very creative with ground breaking skating. I watch this part quite a bit. In the video Really Sorry the skating is good. I really like Bastein Salabanzi’s part.  Also in this ebay package, I got Yeah Right by Girl which I think came out in 2004 or so.  Paul Rodriguez has a part in this, and was a kid. He is one of the best skaters today, and he had it back then too. The music in Yeah Right fits the skating, and the skits do not irritate as much as Spike Jonze’s earlier skate videos. This is a classic and I’m glad I have it. The last mention on this ebay purchase is Skate More by DVS. I like DVS as a company because they look like they have fun, and their shoes are good. This video has several good parts. I really like Daniel Castillo and Torey Pudwell’s part because it has a great song to it. Also Daewon Song is on a different level in this video, his skills are insane.

Here is Arto Saari’s and Tom Penny’s part is Sorry

2009, a year of splurging on skate DVD’s:  Mindfield by Alien Workshop, Extremely Sorry by Flip, and Strange World by Zero.

In June 2009 I decided I had enough time off from skating. My knee would be fine I told myself. For me I was hesitant to start again in fear I’d hurt myself again, but now about a year and a half later I’m glad I started back.  I started skating with a few of my friends from the meetup group, and quickly I was back at it. When I started to actually skate again my interest in videos picked up, so I followed the magazines, and anticipated the releases of some titles.  Mindfield by Alien Workshop was a big deal that year. I purchased it, and did not like the music. Over time I appreciated it. Maybe I just like any skate videos, any skate video could grow on me even if at first I don’t like it. But this is an amazing video. Omar Salazar opens it well and Heath Kirchart skates well to Morrissey. Unfortunately I think I cracked this DVD too, but I’m hoping it will work again in the future. After reading the hype for Extremely Sorry by Flip I purchased it at Blades. I remember when I bought it they had it on their television.  I saw the end of Geoff Rowley’s part where he rolls down a stairwell structure ramp on top of a 50 foot building. Basically if he fell a certain way, he would have died. I decided this was going to be something. For the intro to each riders’s part they have a claymation that is annoying. But the parts are so good. A band did the soundtrack of original and covers, but since it’s the same music production there is a consistency unheard of in skateboard video soundtracks.  Geoff Rowly, TX Rodrigo, Mark Appleyard, and David Gonzalez all have amazing parts. Even the credits are fun to watch. Lastly, a few months after purchasing that video I was in Blades for something else and a staff member recommended Strange World by Zero. I purchased it and I watch it regularly. It’s a shorter video, but the parts are tight and it amps you to skate.

Here is Geoff Rowley’s part from Extremely Sorry:

Here is a short part from Strange World with four skaters:

2010 to present day: Stay Gold by Emerica, Origins by Habitat, This Time Tomorrow

The magazines really pumped up Stay Gold. And I purchased it on a field trip to the KCDC skate shop in Williamsburg. This video is unique in that the soundtrack has songs I never heard of. I don’t know if it’s an original soundtrack or simply songs way beneath the mainstream of music. Whatever they found this music, it is consistent and memorable after a few views. I’ll be on the bus going to work and out of nowhere the song form Braydon Szafranski’s part will pop into my head. Leo Romero and Andrew Reynolds parts are amazing too. The consensus is that Stay Gold is already a classic. I got Origins by Habitat at Blades, and was curious about this one. This company bases itself in Cincinnati, and is the pride of Ohio’s skating scene. This also has a unique soundtrack and filmwork. I enjoy this one, and Habitat seems like the nature child skate company and that’s cool.  A friend from Ohio recommended to me on facebook that I watch This Time Tomorrow. A few months later at KCDC I saw they had a copy so I bought it. The reason I went there that day was to skate the mini, but I couldn’t help myself when I saw the DVD.  This is an experimental skate video. The parts go from daylight to night, then back to daylight, and the scenes of night and day do not mix. There is even one part after a night section where a skater is in a parking garage and as he does tricks he exits the parking garage. When he exits the garage you can tell by the lighting that it is dawn. This must have taken a long time to film. There are more lines (multiple tricks in a row) than the big companies that concentrate on the bigger tricks.

Here’s a clip from This Time Tomorrow:

In closing I would like to say I’m glad that I’m interested in skating. Yes I could watch skate videos online exclusively, but I think it’s good to purchase DVDs. By purchasing skate DVD’s as they come out, you remain current with what’s going on in the skate world. Purchasing older ones on Ebay or other sites is a good way to have a collection. I prefer to watch these on the television, to sit back and use a simple remote control, instead of a keyboard. I also think it’s good for me to support the skate industry. If I enjoy skating, and watching these why not purchase stuff that enables the companies to continue.

That’s enough for now, probably more than enough.

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