Photo by Ben Colen
Dropped the ball with this series a bit throughout the summer (skating and traveling bro), but getting back on it now. The request line is always open btw :)
The latest installment comes from a guy who is synonymous with style and proper form on a skateboard. A close associate of the website once described one of his maneuvers as “the greatest trick ever done.” (Not to be confused with “the greatest trick never done.”) This also means that we have unintentionally covered 60% of the guys with parts in Mad Circle’s Five Flavors video, and that Sheffey has shot up to second place in the “Most Frequently Discussed Part” ranking for this series.
Julien Stranger — Santa Cruz: A Reason For Living (1990)
A Reason For Living was one of my first videos, and I didn’t actually even know the name of it for some time. Santa Cruz videos were some of the first videos aside from the Powell ones. They’d have so many parts in them, but for some reason, Julien’s skating always stood out to me. He was one of the first guys I remember who showed an entirely different way of skating with how fast he’d skate on street. You get the impression that he was a really tough kid when you see his footage.
San Francisco seemed like the place to be after watching that part over and over. It was the start of my S.F. fascination. Carroll and Henry Sanchez were big inspirations there, but this was when I first knew that I wanted to move there instead of San Diego or L.A.
Sean Sheffey – Life Skateboards: Soldier’s Story (1991)
I grew up in the suburbs outside of D.C. You’d go to spots in the city and follow his legend: “Sheffey was here and he did this.”
Growing up, I would never see him out skating — he was already spending more time in New York and California then — but all the older dudes had a story about Sheffey. Everyone in D.C. wanted to skate like him. My biggest takeaway from both Sheffey and Julien was that faster is always better in skateboarding.
I initially took to his skating because he was from my home town. I always thought he was from New York until I got to know kids in D.C. who told me he was from there. He’d come back to Pulaski when I got a bit older and do pretty much what you see in the video. You’d see this monstrous human doing blazing fast fakie ollies in taped up shoes.
Jason Lee — Blind: Video Days (1991)
I know everyone says Gonz, and his part is insane. Except when the video came out, his song didn’t jump to me as much. Jason Lee’s part had a rad feeling. At that time, I was trying to skate vert a bit, and I liked that he’d skate vert with a bit of a street flair to it. He always had the best trick selection no matter what type of skating he was doing.
I fanned out on the inside when I met him. A lot of the people you look up to will let you down after you meet them, but he stayed larger than life.
Mike Carroll — Plan B: Questionable (1992)
By the time this came out, I was already dead-set on San Francisco. Henry and Mike were obviously the best, but everyone has the one that they pick, and for me it was Carroll. The three songs, the cut Half Cabs and the cut Airwalks, the random vert footage with no pads, the cameos — this part was the shit when it came out.
He was fifteen in this part and I was probably sixteen. It was that age when I really aspired to start skating at a certain level. I never looked at any other skater in terms of “I want to skate like that” until I saw Carroll skate. I knew I’d never be as good as him, but I wanted to reach somewhere in that realm.
I’m getting hyped watching it right now. I’m gonna go skate with Carroll at lunch today, so I’ll be extra psyched.
Anthony Van Engelen — Alien Workshop: Mind Field (2009)
Picking five is hard, but I can’t pick five without including an A.V.E. part. He puts together some of the best video parts in skateboarding. Right now, if you were to give me the chance to skate like anybody, it would be A.V.E. Mike was my biggest inspiration when I was a kid and figuring out how to skate, but A.V.E. is the dude who gets me inspired to go skate today.
He’s never had a phoned-in part, and he’s been putting it down for so long. There is always some new element to his skating with each video, and he’s consistently had this insane level of power for as long as he’s been around. That switch front crook on the bank to loading dock wall has always been one of my favorite tricks he’s done. He doesn’t just do the trick to land it — he does it to the very best that he could, and that counts for everything in any of his video parts.
Thanks to Scott and Ben Colen.