Throughout the VHS and DVD skate video era, the brunt of the work put into the few New York full-lengths that existed was at the helm of New Jerseyians, Long Islanders and ex-pats.
Then, Flipmode came along — a crew of virtually sponsorless (unless you’re counting Shut or Official flow) Queens kids who grew up skating the Forrest Park Bandshell and Flushing Meadows Park. They became the first group of dominantly-actually-from-a-New-York-City-borough kids to make a rewatchable, hour-long skate video.
On this day, exactly ten years ago, Suck My Flipmode A.K.A. Flipmode 3: The First Flipmode Video (the first two had low circulation on VHS tapes among friends) premiered on the screen in front of Supreme. In 2006, a skatepark meant either Mullaly’s, Riverside, Owl’s Head or recycled plastic ramps under the Manhattan Bridge. The Banks were still semi skateable. iPhones didn’t exist, and everyone found out about the premiere on Myspace. YouTube was in its first year of existence, and Official New York was on the way out. New York was also far from occupying its current day status as the second home of the skate industry, April thru September.
Skateboarding in New York, up until that point, was a grown-ups only club. You could tag along on their sessions if they liked you, but you never truly belonged. Their footage would either get hoarded, sent out to video mags, or if lucky, end up in the few full-length artifacts from the era (those ABC videos, Lurkers 1 & 2…that’s about it.) The average age in Flipmode was ~17-18, and it exceeded the natives-only litmus test unlike any of those other videos. It also helped that it got co-signs from those same older guys, as New York still had a lingering us-v.s.-them line drawn between our generation, and the generation of dudes who were around for all the shit from the 90s that people today still *ahhhh* over.
It might be forgotten in a sea of solo jazz cups now, but it was a truly a watershed moment for below-drinking-age skateboarding in New York — an initial building block in the brick maze Windows 95 screensaver empire known as Bronze 56k.
Thank you Peter. Thank you Jimmy Marketti, Billy, X, Leo, Joseph, Ryan O’Donnell, Drippy, Pedro, and Derrick — by the way, my post got over 800 likes. What’s up with the comeback part?