Even in 2015, there’s a commemorative éS block at Le Dome. It honors the millions of dollars in skate tourism the company brought to France these past fifteen years.
It seems like after every trip to Europe, the first order of business back at the QS office is to reconcile with Menik Mati. While every critical adult skate nerd writes it off, that video really planted the childhood seed for our European travel bug. Some kids wanted to go to California and skate a schoolyard; we wanted to go to Bercy.
Is there a spot on earth where one of the best tricks done on it was legitimately a 5050 kickflip? Maybe a curb in front of some 12-year-old’s house in Alaska? Noseslide shuv-its, willy grinds, varial flips up until just recently, 5050 kickflips — all of these tricks begin getting phased out halfway through high school. They’re kid tricks. “I’ve never done a flip-out trick — well, besides a 5050 kickflip — but that doesn’t count.”
So could you believe that a 5050 kickflip ranks as a peak achievement at one of the most iconic spots in all European #sk8 #fantasy? (Lord knows why, not like any of us can skate anything besides the three stairs there…)
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There are times 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.
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!)
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Nothing happens in August. There are even guides on how to look busy at work in August. The same applies for skate media. You’ll have to pardon some of the inclusions if they are not of the “breaking news” variety…
…and if you need something to do, please consult this MegaUpload link. It’s a 650MB .mpg file containing the first three FTC videos. Completely forgot that “Best Rap Song Ever” shortlist contender, “I Am I Be” has been used in a skate part before. (Quick links to relevant FTC New York sections: “Live From New York,” “Family Affair,” some guy named Keith Hufnagel.)
Vote for NJ Skateshop in Vans and Spitfire’s D.I.Y. spot/shop video contest. They’re the only east coast shop up there. And it’s the first skate video to channel narrative motifs from The Sopranos.
NYU: 0, Skateboarding: 1. Now a few more of those need to come off… (Related: Stop applying to NYU, and stop supporting hate crimes.)
Sick video of some Green Diamond affiliates doing noteworthy slappy crooked grinds and performing under-used maneuvers like frontside noseslides to fakie. “This is mad white…but also sick.” — Roctakon.
Eli Reed looking for a manual pad in New York in hopes of retaining his Manny Mania title. Best thing to be on The Berrics since the Mike Vallely Battle Commander.
Web comment of the Year, via the Hella Clips page for the official DQM/Girl/Lakai demo video.
Nolan Lee skating a sketchy-looking handicap ramp rail.
R.I.P. éS Footwear. Though not as heavily romanticized as the Koston 1s and 2s, the 3s were big in New York back in 2001-2002. In further influence, Menik Mati was pretty much the Jaws of skate videos, in that it provided the blueprint for blockbuster skate video productions for over ten years, a format that is only now beginning to wane. Here is Boil the Ocean on that same subject (#25.)
Quote of the Week:
45-Year-Old Man Wearing a Du-Rag: “Aren’t you too old to be skateboarding?”
22-Year-Old Josh Velez: “Aren’t you too old to be wearing shants? There are pants and there are shorts. Pick one.”
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