In Absentia: The Newport Remix

October 10th, 2014 | 1:58 am | Time Capsule, Video Re-Edits | 8 Comments

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After yesterday’s #controversial post, it felt necessary to quell the tension and focus on the waterfront utopia that existed on the opposite side of Manhattan island, some fifteen years ago.

Jim Hodgson was generous enough to lend us all the Newport footage from his In Absentia series for this QS remix. Out of all the romanticism that surrounds east coast skateboarding, the Love Park / City Hall / Photosynthesis era carries the most weight. These wooden blocks on the East River waterfront were New York’s concurrent answer to what was going on 100 miles south on I-95 at that time. The baggy carpenter jeans, bulky shoes (be on the lookout for D3s), steadyshot turned off, and above all, the first-ever sight of advanced technical skateboarding within New York City limits remain points of nostalgia for all late-nineties / early-2000s skate nerds. Consider it the video companion to July’s “History of Skateable Seaport” post.

Also, let this stand as a prime example of how easy-to-solve the issue of skateable space in New York is: A few wooden blocks with metal affixed to them, and we’re still talking about it a decade-and-a-half later. It’s not that hard. You don’t need California Skateparks to figure that one out.

Features Bobby Puleo, Albie, Mike Wright, German Nieves, Andy Bautista, Rodney Torres, Brian Wenning, Anthony Pappalardo. Filming by Jim Hodgson.

P.S. While on the topic of 90s-themed QS remixes: This past summer, a prominent Danish skateboarder told me that his “favorite video part” was the Quim Cardona QS remix. He was probably just trying to be nice, because, like, why wouldn’t the Non Fiction part be your favorite if you’re going that route? — but in any event, I always felt bad about the aspect ratio being f’ed up in that clip, so we fixed for 4:3 viewing over on Vimeo. For that guy, and all others. Have a good weekend.

Happy Birthday Dre

October 2nd, 2014 | 12:34 pm | Time Capsule | 5 Comments

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If you follow NY Skateboarding, you have no doubt caught onto In Absentia, a late-nineties, early-2000s B-roll video from filmer Jim Hodgson. A bunch of the footage is semi-recognizable from sessions that yielded tricks in Photosynthesis (+ the QS-favorite Pops/Wenning commercial), Logic, and the first two issues of Zoo York’s EST video magazine. The most widely circulated editions are Tim O’Connor and Anthony Pappalardo’s sections. Today’s post of Bobby Puleo skating in a chain and doing switch frontside heelflips is sure to get passed around a bit as well. There are still five videos in the playlist locked on private, and based on the BGPs in other editions, you’d think at least Wenning and Andy Bautista sections are on the way.

BUT, we’re not here to talk about those guys. Today is Andre Page’s birthday. In Absentia has a lesser-seen Andre Page section.

The past few interviews on QS have coincidentally taken a “no excuses” theme. Not to put him completely on blast, but Dre is really pushing 40 today. A lot of the names popping up in this video are way from the past; you haven’t heard about many of these dudes skating in years. Dre, on the other hand, hit me up to meet at T.F. after work today. He then told me he took tomorrow off…so that he could skate. Next question: “What are you doing this weekend? I’m trying to have a pizza party at Tompkins.” If you have two functional legs, there really are no excuses. Unless you spent yesterday skating D7 (you idiot), there really is no “I’m too sore” in your twenties. Break out the foam roller. Someone ~double your age is out here trying to front shove a bump-to-bar.

Happy birthday Dre. Loving father to dozens of lost skateboarders, humanitarian, eccentric entrepreneur, and practitioner of one of the highest ollies in New York City…at damn near 40.

“I have probably spent a million dollars on skateboarders in my life.” — Andre Page

There are a lot of good sections in In Absentia, but we are going to keep it Jersey-centric for the bonus inclusions:

Weekend Viewing: Tom Penny’s Menik Mati Part

August 8th, 2014 | 11:00 am | Time Capsule | 14 Comments

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There are occasions when you see certain pros skate in real life, and immediately reevaluate any under-appreciation you may have built towards their skating through videos. There are other times when you see a spot that the said pro has skated, and do the same. Seeing Penny push around doing kickflips in real life is probably amazing, but having never seen that, visiting the Copenhagen Wonderland Bowl that he skates in nearly all of his footage might have been enough.

Despite everyone insisting that “Yes, that is the same extension he 360 flipped in the éS ad,” you’d still be reluctant to believe it after seeing it. That thing is a wall.

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It’s funny how the phrase “You’ll understand when you’re older” also applies to skate videos. Menik Mati was the biggest blockbuster video of its time, and maybe the first $30+ skate video. (Blades was the only place well-stocked with copies that winter, and pretty sure they were ~$35 after tax. It was absurd.) Kids were hyped on literally everything except Penny’s part, which for many of us, was the first time we were seeing him skate: “Who is this dude that everyone kept talking about? He can only do five tricks and didn’t even film a new part.”

Now, with over a decade of hindsight, Menik Mati aged worse than many of its contemporaries. Sight Unseen, Yeah Right and Chomp are all classics, but the éS video looks like a playbook of overwrought 2000s blockbuster video indulgences. (Except jump cutting, got to give it credit for avoiding that.) Arto would one up himself a year later with the best part of his career, Rodrigo is still getting better at skating in 2014, Burnquist is grinding helicopters, and Koston’s Menik Mati part — as groundbreaking as it was — is his only, like, not “fun” part, ever. (Creager’s part is still pretty cool TBH. Frontside noseslides on regular ledges!)

Weekend Viewing: The Chocolate Tour 2000

June 27th, 2014 | 5:21 am | Time Capsule | 9 Comments

chocolate tour 2000

These Tennyson Corporation remixes are turning into the skateboard version of posthumous 2Pac albums — it’s perfectly reasonable for us to pretend Girl/Chocolate 1.0 never disappeared each time they come out. We’re thus unable to fully fall in love with Cory Kennedy, no matter how much he may deserve our admiration, or even begin coming to terms with Raven, Stevie and those other immensely talented individuals who just don’t tug at our heartstrings the same way a color-blocked and tan khakied Carroll switch flip does. And good God, the Carroll switch flips in this video…

The latest ode to the best pair of companies to exist at the peak of their powers comes in the form of a B-sides video from the team as it constituted in The Chocolate Tour days. As good as that video is, you sorta wish the proliferation of DVDs in the 2000s coincided with skitless versions of skit-heavy videos — from The Chocolate Tour right down to Parental Advisory. The Tennyson version of the former is completely devoid of them, and is the best 12-minutes you could spend watching skateboarding this weekend. As with all of these Girl/Choc remixes, you’re stuck there wondering how so much of this could have been considered “outtakes” at the time.

Is there any skateboarder born before 1990 whose favorite skater isn’t Mike Carroll? And has this Tennyson guy been paid millions of dollars for his work yet? The Chocolate Tour 2000 has legitimately gotten more burn these past 24 hours than the official Four Star “Anthology” edit, which wasn’t too bad itself.

Previously: Kenny Anderson Pretty Sweet “Snack Pack” remix, Rick Howard “Super International Tour Zone” remix, Mike Carroll “Dog” Remix

P.S. All July 4th tees have been shipped. Have a good weekend.

Weekend Viewing: Ronnie Bertino in Second Hand Smoke

June 6th, 2014 | 5:50 am | Time Capsule | 9 Comments

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What did you think this @ 3:28 was a homage to?

In Alex Olson’s “Five Favorite Parts,” he mentions how Video Days was a “myth” growing up. It was the video all the older dudes would rave about, but it’s not like you could go to the skate shop and buy a copy eight years after it came out.

Questionable was the other “myth” video from that time. Like any kid who loved Rodney Mullen because of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the Rodney V.S. Daewon videos — judging skateboarding based on how many times the board flips — you’d hear about all the crazy shit he did in Questionable. Rodney’s 540 flip was one of the first three-second skateboard clips you could find on the internet in the nineties. But again, it’s not like you could easily find the full video. You had to get creative.

My first eBay purchase ever was a $19.99 Buy-It-Now listing for “ALL 4 PLAN B VIDEOS VHS L@@K.” The item arrived three weeks late, and “All 4 Plan B videos” meant that they were dubbed onto one tape in chronological order. Rodney’s triple kickflips and the real version of the San Francisco level from THPS2 were cool when you’re a tween, but in the YouTube-ized society of today, the only part from any of those four videos that gets routinely revisited is Ronnie Bertino’s. (Yeah yeah, Jeremy Wray obvs has the best part in the video.)