Photo via Alex’s New York skateboarding and Icelandic exfoliation trip for Poler and Nike SB.
Right now, this might look more like a regular feature than it has the potential to be, considering volume two is only a month removed from volume one. (If you need an explanation of this rather simple concept, consult the first post.) Not that there is any opposition to it becoming one — just that it’s going to get tougher once we expend the not-very-long list of persons of [wide] interest within the QS company Rolodex.
Anyway, we tracked down Alex Olson to give what may be his most message board fodder-deficient interview ever. Here’s a list of his five favorite video parts, and some thoughts on each one. Sorry if this might be tough to turn into a ten-page forum debate, guys. We’re all #positivevibez for the moment.
All words from here on in are Alex’s. Enjoy this final weekend of 6 P.M. sunsets.
Mark Gonzales — Blind: Video Days (1991)
Chris Roberts made me a VHS tape of all the classic videos for my 15th birthday. It was 20 Shot Sequence, Video Days and a few others. I used to watch Video Days a lot. These dudes would talk so highly of it, but it’s not like you could just buy a copy of it. It was such a myth to me.
Mark was doing these weird tricks that people are only now beginning to catch up to. That part is pieced together so well, that you could see the timeline of him filming it every day. I think they filmed for six months in that video. I’ve heard stories from older guys about how some pros around at the time weren’t that psyched on Mark’s part. Some people thought he was way better in person and he didn’t try hard enough for it. Like, you had to see him in the moment.
I understand that though. A lot of the guys who have influenced me the most — Reese Forbes, Donny Barley, Scott Johnston, Huf — are way better in person. I remember the first time I saw Reese skate at Third and Army. His kit was super sick. He had just got on Nike, so he had these crazy Dunks on with some weird selvedge jeans and golf gloves. He looked so different, and he was skating so fast with such power, that I was amazed. You don’t really understand how big all of the shit he ollies is until you’ve been to it. I was so Baker’d out at the time, but after that day I thought, “I’m way more into this.” His type of skating definitely spoke to me way more after seeing it in person.
Donny Barley — Toy Machine: Welcome to Hell (1996)
That was the first skate video I ever saw, and like any kid, I loved the section where everyone was falling at the end. After that, my favorite part was Donny Barley’s. It was how I thought skating should look: he skates to Black Sabbath, he pushes fast, he does good tricks, he does them super well. It’s the whole package. He skates ledges, pools, all around. I think a lot of it was in Boston, but I never equated something as “east coast” at the time. I just thought his skating looked really interesting.
Guy Mariano — Girl: Mouse (1996)
I feel like I don’t even need to mention it, it’s so obvious. [Ed. Note: Do we just put an asterisk next to every future “Five Favorite Parts” post, and have it be “Five Favorite Parts Aside From Guy’s Mouse Part?”] One of the smaller things in the part that makes it so sick, is that his shoes keep changing. He’s skating in One-Stars, Vans — he has his own different style for each day he went filming. He looks so different in that video because there was this confidence to him unlike anyone else. I also love that you see him push a lot. He’s doing hard tricks, but he’s actually skating around. It’s not like stunt work.
Anthony Van Engelen — Alien Workshop: Photosynthesis (2000)
I watched Photosynthesis over and over when it came out. Dill and A.V.E’s parts were super influential to me. “Search and Destroy” was a big thing because my dad was a punk rock guy, so he would play all that type of music. There was this connection in my head because I had heard that song a bunch when I was younger. A.V.E. had this barbaric kind of style. When I was filming for Fully Flared, I was thinking, “That’s what I want my part to be close to.”
I liked it more than Dill’s part when it came out. Dill’s is sick, but it’s definitely a bit more artsy and dramatic. I think the reason people love Dill’s part in that video is because it’s the part where he “finds himself.” He realized he could experiment with clothes; he’s confident to show people what he was into at the time. I love those sort of parts where the skater grows up. Danny Garcia in Mosaic and Reynolds in Baker 2G also have that sort of vibe.
Arto Saari — Flip: Sorry (2002)
It’s super heavy and insane. The first time I saw it, I was just like “Whoa” as it shoots through the roof. The other day, I was talking with someone and tried to compare it to Guy’s Mouse part. They were telling me I was tripping, but I think that’s because they were older and maybe it didn’t translate as much. I was just saying, “that part has two iconic songs, and it took people years to catch up to it.” There’s emotion in that part. You watched him beat the shit out of his body for it.
Previously: Five Favorite Parts with Jahmal Williams