In the late 1990s, a New York-based company called Infamous Skateboards started up. The first wave of the team consisted of 4 pros and 6 AMs. There was a tour that soon followed, which was cut really short after two dates. Within that little time, half of the team was kicked off. Oh yeah, there was a beer sponsor too.
Fresh off Puleo talking about the demise of Infamous Skateboards in his most normal sounding recent-ish interview (15:25 mark), Howie Glover uploaded the Infamous 1999(?) tour segment from his Pre2k video. Infamous was a brief pitstop for much of the team — Puleo, Nikhil Thayer, Andy Bautista, Jahmal all went on to other board sponsors — but the other half of the roster is a list what-ever-happen-to’s that you may remember from Slap New York features or a montage in Heads.
After watching a video of their tour that apparently ended in 48 hours, it’s not tough to understand why whoever was responsible for the nuts and bolts of keeping the company afloat may have deemed it not worthy of floatation. Mobb Deep hasn’t made a good album since 1999 anyway ;)
I’ve been to two Street Leagues in my life. Between the mush of free alcohol and conversations with #industry #friendz who you otherwise only see at such events, memories of tricks at those contests are foggy. Except one.
Chris Cole needed some high score to avoid elimination (pretty sure that’s what was going on…), and there weren’t a lot of tricks available that would yield a score high enough, especially with one try at his disposal. The dude rolled up to a handrail frontside, did an alley-oop frontside 270 over it (he’s not rolling backside so nobody say it’s a 270 lip), and front boards down it. No test run, no warm-up. Just threw his board down and did it. Needless to say, he got whatever score he needed.
Other than that, I can’t remember a single Chris Cole part since he got on Zero. Not “hating” at all — the dude is probably one of the top five skateboarders working today if you’re using raw talent as your metric. Either Cole or Mariano are the first names that pop up to answer the question “Has anyone ever done..?” His skating just never crossed that 1% threshold of relate-ability required for repeat viewings of a part for an adult sk8r boy. It’s on another planet.
Both the Howell interview and this bit discuss how cities will give developers a zoning pass / tax breaks on additional floors if they furnish the ground level of their property with a public plaza. The irony is that the plazas are often restricted to people who want to sit and eat lunch, i.e. a rather limited idea of what the “public” is. Nearly every piece of ourEuropeancoverage has whined about how this is inconsistent with any Euro city we’ve visited, so I’ll spare you the recurring “America sucks for skateboarding” speech. There’s a lot of good early nineties Financial District and midtown footage in this segment, and by the looks of it, they were still busts then ;)
People gave Deathbowl a bit of a hard time when it came out — “the narration was heavy handed,” “the 90s were too focused on Zoo York,” etc. — but skateboarders will dig anywhere to complain. When I got the DVD in 2010, I was a month into nursing probably the closest you could sprain an ankle without needing medical attention. I finished watching it at maybe 2 A.M (on a school night!), yet still got the urge to grab a cruiser, and skate over the 59th Street Bridge to go up and down little hills on the westside til the sun started to come up. Can’t say a proper skate video has relayed that unshakeable “I really need to go skate”-feeling the same way since.
It was fun rewatching it to find this clip, you should give it a whirl.
We don’t make a point of running standalone posts about Thrasher videos, because chances are, you check Thrasher way before you end up on Quartersnacks navigating between the rap mixtape links for skateboard content. However, after posting J.B’s Freedom Fries part yesterday for no more reason than its status as once-a-week lunch hour viewing at the QS office, Thrasher uploaded all of French Fred’s raw footage from the creation of said part later in the day.
In the Jerry Hsu “Five Favorite Parts” piece that ran last week, he actually picked ten, and the post ended up consisting of the five he talked about the most. One of the more abbreviated stops was Gino’s Trilogy part, and how he didn’t necessarily need anything more than a handful of really solid tricks to make a substantial impact a la “less is more.” J.B’s parts have alsoseldomclocked in above two-minutes, yet always been memorable (remember how the feeble alley-oop 180 was the most talked about trick from Bon Voyage two years ago?) His 2:30 ender in Freedom Fries came at a time when “last part” meant a two-song emotional rollercoaster*. Watch Fred’s raw footage below; it’s obvious they could’ve tacked another 30-45 seconds onto it and didn’t. Everything in the part belongs and works. It’s perfect.
Great six-minute skate parts are as rare as great six-minute rap songs. Theydoexist, but there’s a reason most of the classics know not to risk overstaying their welcome.
*No disrespect to Arto, Zered or Jerry Hsu’s two-song tour de forces from the 2000s ;)
The city is an ice rink right now, making it as good of a time as any to revisit the remaining stack of magazines in company storage. Strength ran this article in 1999, back when a concept as vague as “black skateboarders!” was substantial enough to build an issue around. Thanks to Alex Dymond for submitting this one to the archive.
The article doesn’t have the cult status that Big Brother‘s “Black Issue” does, but every fringe skate publication from back then was more-or-less playing catch up with Big Brother throughout their lifespan anyway. It has a cool narrative by Neftalie Williams about growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts, loving something then thought-to-be for “blonde-haired kids from California,” seeing Ray Barbee’s Public Domain part for the first time, etc. (Does anyone know where that Neil Blender quote re: “rap music is the worst thing to happen to skateboarding” is from, or if it was taken out of context?) There are some shots of New York names in there, though much of the photos aren’t particularly incredible. No Chrome Ball-level scanmanship here, sorry.
“Show us your girl and get outfitted by Quiksilver” :|