Photo by Joey Digital
Went from doing one of these once every month to once every quarter. Might try and pick it up a bit this year, but we’ll see what happens. Request line is open ;)
Figured we could annotate B.A’s heavy media presence from last year with a conversation about a light topic: inspirational old skate video parts. It is pretty unexpected how so many older street guys (especially east coast bred ones) end up picking tons of vert and transition-based skating.
Related: An Interview With Brian Anderson (April 2013)
Danny Way — H-Street: Shackle Me Not (1988)
More than any skate video, Police Academy 4 is what really got me into skating. Lance Mountain, Tony Hawk and Mike McGill did all of the skateboard stunt work for it.
I had a cheap Variflex sitting around for years that I never used. After I saw the movie, I immediately went home and pulled it out from under my bed. There were three stairs in front of my house, and it inspired me to try and float down those before I could even ollie. It’s funny that the biggest inspiration wasn’t even from a skate video.
We didn’t have a VCR in my house growing up. I had to go to my friends’ houses to watch skate videos. One of the first actual videos I saw was Shackle Me Not. I really loved a lot of vert skaters at first. I loved David Nielsen, Bryan Pennington, and I loved how Danny Way would annihilate that little ramp.
Growing up in Connecticut and only having parking lots to skate, we’d sometimes visit people who had backyard ramps. I’d have no idea how to skate them. It was this new thing to me and I was like, “I gotta learn how to do this.” Donny Barley and a lot of my friends were already doing airs, and to this day, I can’t do a backside ollie on a ramp. Street was so normal to me because it was all I had. Once I was sponsored and going to contests, I would always stay and hang to watch vert even when my friends would leave after the street part was over. It’s really something else to see live.
Ray Barbee — Powell Peralta: Ban This (1989)
Some of my friends with a bit more money had The Search For Animal Chin and the Bones Brigade videos. Once it was a bit cheaper to buy a VCR, Public Domain and Ban This were coming out. I loved Ray Barbee. He skated in jeans, and a lot of people didn’t street skate in jeans back then. His style altogether was something else.
Rick Howard — Blockhead: Adventures in Cheese (1990)
I loved the Blockhead videos. Rick Howard and Omar Hassan were so great. Rick invented the Rick flip, and he did great low front shoves barely off the ground, which is how I learned them. He did so many great combo tricks on double-sided curbs: boardslide to a front truck grind, back to boardslide, to feeble. Adventures in Cheese and Splendid Eye Torture were really big for me.
Jovantae Turner — Planet Earth: Now-N-Later (1991)
Now-N-Later was the first video I watched religiously; I even saw it before Video Days. I learned 360 flips from watching Brian Lotti do them. I was also a huge Jovantae Turner fan. I thought it was so cool how there were chicks stretching in his part and all this other non-skate footage. He had something that nobody else had. I watched him more carefully than any other skater.
Mike Vallely — New Deal: 1281 (1991)
New Deal videos were heavy for me. I loved 1281 and Useless Wooden toys. I saw the Powell videos with Mike V. a bit later on, and always thought that quote about running through a graveyard was great.
Mike V. was so powerful man. I don’t think people understood how good he could skate vert. He did huge backside japans to fakie in contests. I think in Rubbish Heap, he did this trick called the Sean Penn that nobody does anymore — he almost kicked a guy in the face doing it. It’s like a backwards Madonna. He’s regular, so he does a backside indy grab and kicks his front foot out, and tail taps on the way in. It’s the opposite of a Madonna and I always thought that was a cool, funny name for a trick.
Previously: Gino Iannucci, Josh Kalis, Sean Pablo, Wade Desarmo, Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, Bill Strobeck, Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams