There aren’t many videos coming out today that don’t remind you of twenty other videos that came out today. Skaters love to think they’re special ‘n shit, but fall back on formulas just like Hollywood. (Currently kicking an idea around the editor’s desk where we rank the Bronze knock-offs the way NY Mag ranked the Taken rip-offs.)
Last year’s Toló video was something different. Not that it didn’t have it’s influences — the QS post for it made a tongue-in-cheek comparison to New Jersey vids — but it didn’t look like anything else being thrown out on the internet at that time or time since. It helped that it came from a secluded (by skate industry standards) former Soviet-bloc country known as Hungary, via the “Rios Crew.” Their subsequent projects have been frequent and just as fun to watch. They’re on the shortlist of videos left in Hella Clips/IG-era skateboarding that are fairly certain to earn repeat viewings.
These guys speak varying levels of English. Instead of doing a massive group interview, we had the dudes with the best command of the English language mold the crew’s answers into one unifying response. Most of the names wouldn’t make individual sense to you anyway, so here is an interview with Hungary’s Rios “Crew.”
What is the skate scene in Hungary like? Is Budapest the capital for it?
The skate scene is just as colorful as in the States, but with less skaters. The total population of Hungary is around 8.5 million, which is the same number of people you have in New York. There are maybe a thousand skaters in Budapest and let’s say another thousand spread throughout the country.
Skateboarding has been around in Budapest since the early eighties, but Hungary was still a communist country until 1989, so the first shop and park didn’t open until about 1991. Before that, you had to get gear from western countries. There are stories about guys who were selling H-street boards and other stuff before the first shop opened. There were skaters around back then, but it was never a common thing. The scene got quite heavy in the nineties and 2000s. We even had names like Rodney Mullen, Ed Templeton and Ethan Fowler in Budapest giving demos around in those years.
Every generation had a different central spot and shop. Our generation’s central spot was a square that was surprisingly built for skating around 2003, but after an accident, skating got banned there and it turned into a typical shitty pre-fab skatepark. It’s in the total center of the city and always crowded. We don’t go there.
We always meet at our D.I.Y. spot, Rió.