An Interview With Ben Chadourne

November 9th, 2016 | 5:20 am | Features & Interviews | 5 Comments

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Photo by Manuel Schenck

Words & Interview by Zach Baker

It seems like yesterday that we were blowing on cassette tapes and using t-shirts to dust DVDs off. Even shitty 240p YouTube videos feel like they weren’t all that long ago. Technology has evolved at a downright sketchy rate over the past couple decades, and it’s fun to watch society transform in its effort to keep up. The ways in which we waste money, photograph our own genitals and ingest media have changed drastically, and both we, along those in charge of doing the creating, have found ourselves adapting alongside them.

Skateboarding’s past couple years have been defined by the Vimeo auteur’s surge in popularity. Guys like Johnny, Peter, Nick Von, GX — without sponsorship from a larger company or any real promotion — have been able to go out, film their buds and throw original, quality edits up on the web for anyone to see. Skaters meritocratically recognize what’s tight and show these things enough love that it has gotten to the point that these guys are actually turning their creative side projects into full-blown careers. They have not only shined a light on lesser-known scenes, skaters, spots and tricks, but in using the tools at their avail, upheaved the traditional means by which a skate video is made and watched. The industry has been forced to keep up with them, and shit, even hire them.

Ben Chadourne has been on a serious tip lately — belting out HD edits of the Blobys, the Converse team and most recently, the Bobby Worrest/Hjalte Halberg edit for Nike SB, a love letter to skateboarding’s greatest plazas by two of the best ever to skate them. And Chadourne, with his admittedly useless art school degree, taste for Rod Stewart, and familiarity with the state of New Jersey, couldn’t be more on-brand for this site. We FaceTime audioed all about it while he paced up and down his street in Bordeaux, watching the people pass by and being self-conscious about his English, which is nearly perfect.

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What’s the last trick you learned?

Damn, I haven’t been skating that much anymore, that’s not good. I don’t know. Fuck. I’m doing the same. I’m working on my v flips because they’re trendy now.

What’s your favorite trick?

Fakie flips and ollies!

You’re from Bordeaux?

Yeah, it’s like a little Paris. It’s southwest, forty five minutes from the coast, three and a half hours train to Paris. You can refresh really easily compared to Paris; you can escape. That’s why I stay here.

What are a couple of your favorite French films?

You know this movie called L’Argent? It’s five short films in a movie, from different French directors. I like that, and La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz. I like Raymond Depardon as well.

When did you start skateboarding?

I started at a skate spot called Malraux, it’s like a skate plaza. I started with guys who were way older than me: I was 13 and they were around 20. They helped me out all the time, gave me boards and stuff.

Weren’t you sponsored?

Yeah, I used to ride for Nike SB and 5Boro. The first time I came to New York, I was 16 and I went to Tombo Colabraro’s house in New Jersey — the big skater house with the Ax Throwers, Andrew [McLaughlin], Willy Akers, Danny Falla.

What A Time To Skate At Night — A #TRENDWATCH2015 Special Report

November 5th, 2015 | 4:54 am | Daily News | 17 Comments

what a time to skate at night

November 3, 2015: Future Hendrix drops “Helluva Night,” a somber unreleased tune chronicling late evening escapades of standing in the middle of orgies, putting smiles on the faces of women with loose morals, and being #influenced by Tootsie’s Cabaret in Dade County, Florida. MERE HOURS LATER, the skateboard media news cycle drops TWO night-themed video clips. Hell of a night, indeed.

If you had the slightest bit of a thought that Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn isn’t the gatekeeper of all forms of art and culture in 2015, you can lay that doubt to rest.

Skating at night was once a necessity, not an aesthetic. We waited til night to evade security, avoid the crowds, and bask in the shadows away from surveillance cameras. As the dominant mode of skateboarding in New York and other metropolises has shifted away from well-lit business districts into dimmer outer-borough crust, skating after the sun set has become a lost art. You can count the amount of night clips in your average Johnny Wilson video on your hands with a couple of fingers missing.

That doesn’t dull the fact that night footage, particularly in cities, looks cool as shit. Except that after asking your team to wallride off cobblestones in the Bronx for an entire afternoon, making them shy their sights away from the nearest bar with at least three girls in it ends up being a tall order. A “NIGHT CLIP” becomes an event, not a byproduct of zoning that placed the best marble in an area best visited after the people with real jobs had left.

Club Life Vol. 4 In Stores Now

May 26th, 2015 | 5:05 am | Daily News | 2 Comments

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#freethenipple

These Magenta parodies are a burgeoning sub-genre of Vine humor.

Colin Sussingham, who photographed many of the hottest moves in Beef Patty, Paych and Horny, tells the story behind a bunch of his favorite photos for Monster Children.

Helas is the Lordz of the 2010s #TDGAFAU

Solid New York montage from the Mood NYC crew and The Man Who Films.

ICYMI: Lurk NYC is back with Volume 10 of the “New York Times” outtakes series, and Jenkem dropped a ten-minute video featurette on the making of Polar and Converse’s “Manhattan Days” video from last year.

Ron Deily and Gavin Nolan with a cold sesh at the 181st Street park this past winter.

They’re trying to build a five-story cement skatepark in Folkestone, England.

Action Bronson’s part from Life is Goodie.

“[Alien Workshop] was dying when we were making Mindfield.” — A.V.E.

Mark Gonzales uploaded a six-minute video of Jake Johnson trying switch flip backside lipslides down Black Hubba in slow motion. Is it art? It must be art.

Standard issue New York iPhone montage with a lot of L.E.S. and Columbus Park footage, which advances the sad reality that Columbus Park may now be the most popular street spot in lower Manhattan, if not Manhattan altogether. Aubrey Graham on #musicsupervision to help you cry through it :'(

Always weird to remember that people actually sometimes maybe kinda sorta read the words that are written on this website.

Late on all of this, but…got sucked into a Google wormhole of reading about ghost cities in China — urban developments intended for millions of people that ended up containing maybe ~2% of that projection. That naturally provoked the question of “why has no one done a skate trip here?” which then lead to a discovery of this two-year-old video. It’s the most eerily post-apocalyptic skate video ever.

No phrase was said more this past weekend than “It’s the Zoo York.” Film yourself listening to the video below on loop for ten hours to win a gift box from Bronze and an Uber gift certificate from Quartersnacks. Tika tika tika tika tika

A video posted by Peter Sidlauskas (@solojazz) on

Is this rail skateable if you hold the Starbucks doors open? It’s new.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: 6′ 3 / 190 pound Steph Curry boxes out 7′ / 270 pound Dwight Howard.

Quote of the Week: “The West Village is the new East Village.” — E.J

Small drop of new summer merch available in the webstore Monday, June 1. 12 A.M.

Video Review: All City Showdown NYC 2013 DVD

January 31st, 2014 | 2:46 pm | Features & Interviews | 4 Comments

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There’s that old line about “eight million stories in the naked city.” Skateboarding’s variant is something like 27 minutes of footage in a day, at least according to this DVD. For the few who may not know, the All City Showdown is a contest in which three skaters and one filmer are allotted eight hours to get as much footage as possible within city limits. (Staten Island was conveniently ignored.) The best team wins two grand that one could assume will be spent on art supplies or alcohol.

The final result is a footage dump by design, but it’s tough to not watch it with “Wow, this all happened in one day?”-sentiments throughout. Compare this to say, ten years ago, when an east coast footage dump like E.S.T. took over twelve months to come out. All City Showdown features almost every young not-pro you have seen in a New York web clip or homie video before. The real pleasure of a video featuring non-curated, sometimes B-level footage from people you could easily YouTube a cohesive video part from is that it encompasses everybody at once. Practically every recognizable crew is represented. (Except Quartersnacks, obvs. We declined participation because we can only skate flat, and also don’t start skating until 5 P.M.)

Signed to the T.F.

October 21st, 2013 | 12:20 pm | Daily News | 13 Comments

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Yaje Popson surfing at Battery Park — Photo by Andrew James Peters

Ishod Wair continues to makes amends with skateboard fans everywhere for not filming more lines in his Real part. His new Four Star part is practically all Philly lines for four straight minutes. And to think he still has another part due out this year.

Washington Heights is about to be home to the largest skatepark in New York. If you have an Instagram account, you’ve likely seen photos of it via friends who have snuck in. Oh, and the Daily News article about it is without question worse than the most cringe-inducing thing the Times has written about skateboarding over the years. “The park, which will be ready by the fall…to give local sk8terboys something to do beyond annoying their neighbors.” Fuck off. (Yes, a hundred-year-old newspaper printed the word “sk8terboys.”)

Derm (who is responsible for one of the better NY/NJ parts of the year) spent the summer in Portland and came back with this mini part for Politic.

The Fancy Lad crew just shattered the record for most insane spot selection in a “Summer Trip to New York” montage with their latest clip. Even Daewon might turn down the opportunity to skate a bunch of cardboard boxes wrapped in twine…

Want more summertime montage entertainment? The French Converse team takes a trip to New York.

Forrest Edwards furthers his role as a skateboarding’s greatest troll by spewing comedic gold in the latest Weekend Buzz episode. Part 1, part 2.

Billy Rohan’s fifth installment of bro cam insanity is now live. Video nerds everywhere will be pleased to know that the next volume will be available both in HD *and* SD.

More fast skateboarding at cool-looking spots by way of Pittsburgh.

Though it’s tough to imagine it ever making beyond the internet speculation mill, Ripped Laces imagines just exactly what a Jordan Brand line of skates shoes would look like. Watermelons been on that wave.

Only had a chance to skim through the Banquet mini video, but it has fourteen minutes of New York skating, Ron Artest does the intro, and someone skates to the outro from what is secretly the best Jay-Z album.

A New York/Washington D.C. montage borrowed the namesake from one of Gucci’s first mixtapes and even incorporated one of its songs.

Florida: Still crap.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: One of inevitably many Derrick Rose plays.

Quote of the Week: “If you’re from San Diego and not on Sk8Mafia, you’re an asshole.” — Riza

Guys, any remnants of summer are totally fleeting.