A Look Back at EST Video Magazine

October 22nd, 2010 | 1:18 pm | Time Capsule | 22 Comments

Zoo York's E.S.T. Video Magazine - Issues 1 thru 4"

As hard as it is to believe, nine or ten years ago, an endless stream of New York skate footage available for public consumption did not exist. There was Metrospective, which for all its merits, was updated irregularly. But you’d still sit there on your 56k modem and wait for a minute-long clip to slowly load, because you weren’t likely to catch much footage of any local spots in the latest 411 or Digital video. There were also the four Zoo videos (we’re talking up to around 2001, 2002 here), the INFMS video, Static, 5Boro’s 511, that Blackout video with the New York montage, but definitely nothing like the overload that comes with the autofill results when you type “nyc skateb…” on YouTube’s search bar.

But seeing “pros” (translation: dudes in skate videos) skate your local spots (outside of the Banks and Newport) matters a lot when you’re a kid. And was probably a lot more of an event back then than it is now. Everyone in my little circa-2000 skate crew was psyched when Pappalardo did a nollie heelflip into a sheet of plywood set down the six at Hoboken Ledges in his Photosynthesis part. Not because it was an amazing trick, after all, it was a 16mm artsy cut-in, but a small piece of history of the spot to hold onto, and especially relevant if your local spots weren’t any of the trademarks of the era (again, the Banks and Newport.)

That’s probably the reason why issues of EST were something to look forward to every year when a lot of us were growing up. For the time, it was a great idea. A video magazine in the vein of 411, Logic, or Digital, but with montages segregated by regions on the east coast, and supplementary feature materials. Basically, an eastern vehicle to give career boosts to up-and-comers in the same way a “Wheels of Fortune” segment would for some under-the-radar schoolyard kid out in the Valley. (Not that east coasters never received 411 segments, but they were more of an exception to the rule than the overall norm.)

As the 2000s progressed, high-speed internet became the standard, and the accessibility of three-chip cameras for younger kids widened, EST, like all other video magazines, slowly became an old model. The internet not only carved out an alternate channel for content that would otherwise be used to fill issues of EST and other video mags (probably where something like this would end up if it was 2001 right now), but essentially broke down huge barriers in widespread spot knowledge. There’s no learning curve anymore, where you make friends and find everything over a few years, even for the b-list cities. All you have to do now is search a city’s name and the word “skateboarding” before coming up with hours of videos that will inform you of what exactly to look for once you make the turn off the interstate. Post a three-minute clip online and within a few days, at least twenty-percent of the comments will be asking you for spots. Actual hard copy videos kept things on a word of mouth basis, not in anonymous dialogue with strangers in which you drop Google Maps links. Sure, it might sound old fashioned, but it altered the whole experience of finding things on your own. That feeling of stumbling on Pyramid Ledges when you leave the Banks for the first time after having watched Fulfill the Dream on repeat for the past two years isn’t the same. And EST was clearly as much about the locations as it was the skaters. It just didn’t come with a comment box below every VHS tape, but a hit list and an idea of “oh, this might be here” after you finish memorizing the video.

(Obviously, this isn’t to badmouth the internet because this site has no problem with using it to spread spot knowledge, or to be on some snobby “yo, back in the day” high horse, but a lot of us who just barely missed the era of finding things on our own or through word of mouth, and not through answers to screenshots posted on message boards, experienced something genuinely awesome. As did, of course, the older people who spent the majority of their adolescence in a similar environment. But the kids coming up nowadays are a hundred times better at skateboarding, so it is probably a better trade on their end anyway.)

EST lasted for four issues. The first three were released on VHS. Volume four wasn’t as widely distributed if I remember correctly, but actually made it to DVD. The first one is a local classic, the rest are kind of spotty for one reason or another, but being spotty is the inherent nature of all video magazines, especially when revisiting them years later. A lot of that has to do with the always troublesome prospect of getting music rights. (The second song in the New York section of Volume 1 is great though.) However, each issue had its share of highlights, whether it was introducing a lot of people to Zered and PJ Ladd, Billy Rohan gap-to-nosesliding the Madison Square Garden rail into middle-of-the-day pedestrian traffic on Seventh Avenue, or seeing Brian Tucci and Mark Gonzales skate doubles at the Welfare Banks in D.C. It would’ve been interesting to see where it could have went, but the internet had other plans.

Below is a haphazardly stitched together Vimeo clip of all the New York montages. Most of the sections from EST are available in varying corners of the internet, but may take a minute to track down. They are in chronological order from 2000 to 2004.


Comment by Messy Jessy
  • my nigga Jeremy Jordan at 17:04. smooth as hell

    October 22, 2010 @ 1:37 pm
  • Comment by Grown Ass Man
  • I normally do not make a habit of reading the words on skate sites but I like reading the words on this skate site.

    October 22, 2010 @ 2:15 pm
  • Comment by BITTER OLD MAN
  • same

    October 22, 2010 @ 3:19 pm
  • Comment by esp
  • that supa part was the ILList shit i eva sheen

    October 22, 2010 @ 4:07 pm
  • Comment by Treacherous L. Sweetness
  • Mike Wright killiing shit

    October 22, 2010 @ 11:45 pm
  • Comment by st. patrick o'dell
  • mooney epicly later’d up next

    October 23, 2010 @ 1:42 pm
  • Comment by shave your unibrow
  • shave your unibrow and stop sounding so awkward you bastard

    October 23, 2010 @ 4:08 pm
  • Comment by Adrian
  • always got really pysched to see cairo skating east spots. I remember reading a blurb in the slap gossip column that cairo and kenny got fucked up in philly on some bully shit. also Andy Bautista’s logic part is sick.

    October 23, 2010 @ 5:52 pm
  • Comment by st. patrick o'dell
  • i have had sex with more hot girls in my life than you have masturbated to online. shave your pubes pussy

    October 24, 2010 @ 3:37 am
  • Comment by Greg Lutzka
  • fuck the both of you

    October 24, 2010 @ 4:21 am
  • Comment by chad fernandez
  • lutzka, bring lil jon around. we can party. thans.

    October 24, 2010 @ 4:49 am
  • Comment by glacoma
  • stoopz

    October 24, 2010 @ 11:31 am
  • Comment by Greg Lutzka
  • Yeah my nigga oct 29th k-swiss scarefest nyc . me and my nigga lil jon got a fedora collab coming out. be there.

    October 24, 2010 @ 4:31 pm
  • Comment by Justin
  • thank you that brought me back. good post.

    October 25, 2010 @ 8:46 am
  • Comment by fashionisto
  • Is Dill wearing a North Face in his new AWS ad? I HAVE TO KNOW!!!

    October 25, 2010 @ 11:25 am
  • Comment by ocularissick
  • first song in est 2 ny part is one of the better songs ever made

    October 27, 2010 @ 2:05 am
  • Comment by Charles Lamb
  • “That shit was hot!”

    October 27, 2010 @ 2:20 am
  • Comment by charlie
  • “what kareem said mt in inbloom”

    October 27, 2010 @ 3:52 am
  • Comment by cardiel
  • fucking built to skate dude! like charlie with his flip trix

    October 27, 2010 @ 10:51 am
  • Comment by DBEEZY
  • That Shit Was Hot is the best quote in any video everrrr!!!!

    Chuck Lamb has heelflip tricks on lock!

    October 27, 2010 @ 11:08 am
  • Comment by two egges on roll
  • quartersnacks using an hd camera ?!?!?!?!?!?!!? oh my god i thought i would never ever ever ever ever see the day.

    October 27, 2010 @ 1:19 pm
  • Comment by two egges on roll
  • also i agree that skateboarding needs more pork rinds sponsoring events and people

    October 27, 2010 @ 1:20 pm
  • Leave a comment