They were six B-roll tricks dumped into a friends montage, but they’ve kept a more permanent imprint in my memory than the majority of things I’ve seen in skate videos since. I’ve never made the walk between the L and the 8th Avenue trains at 14th Street without thinking about this clip.
Every interview with someone involved in the current *moment* of small companies touches on the “relate-ability” a niche-oriented brand is able to communicate over the might-as-well-be-CGI skateboarding you see in major company videos. In the years after Mixtape came out, there wasn’t a lot of relate-ability going around. Until the early 2000s wore on and innovations like IRC democratized the reach of skate videos, a company video guaranteed one thing: California.
Mixtape wasn’t just relatable because it was local, or because the skating wasn’t down big handrails. It meant so much more because of subtle moments like the subway tricks — they were as opposite of California as you could possibly get.
The best web clip in who knows how long. While “summer in New York” clips typically embody a play-by-play ending off at the Courthouse Drop, the creative team over at Palace Skateboards aspired for something significantly different. The clip falls in line with the VHS nostalgia seen in projects like Gnar Gnar and Caviar, but blends it with token nuances like non-annoying instrumentals, Waka Flocka, Bun B vocal cut-ins, and other things more synonymous with the modern era. The skating is all sick, including many instances portraying the difficult pursuit of doing meandering street lines that don’t seem forced, or like, “weird, bro.”
While some asshole is probably on the internet screaming blasphemy at the re-usage of Jeff Pang’s Mixtape song, we’re supporting it wholeheartedly. Especially in light of the fact that that red bench ollie (at the spot that isn’t actually *the* Red Benches, but on the northern side of the building) is the sort of thing that would have been in a nineties skate video. On an anecdotal note, that particular song features Matthew Mooney’s favorite rap line of all time from none other than Keith Nut. Ask him what it is sometime, it’ll be a good conversation icebreaker.
(The real question is: Does Palace receive endorsement checks from Long Island University? And if so, how does it tie into the company?)
Palace also put together a Lucien Clarke compilation, featuring some of his This Time Tomorrow footage, and set to another nineties classic. Who would have thought that a British company would have cornered the more nostalgically inclined side of the skateboard media world and not come off as contrived.
If you pay attention to conventional skateboard media, you may be aware that Danny Supa recently signed on with BLVD Skateboards. He’s got a new commercial over there, a new interview on 48 Blocks, and hopefully an ensemble of other new things surfacing in the future. The skate media world has been sparse in Supa coverage since his Nothing but the Truth part, which featured him grinding a ledge maybe two times. When you have flip tricks like those, that’s not exactly a bad thing.
Historically speaking, like many who spent the last golden days of VHS (somewhere around 1999-2001) constantly replaying the Mixtape cassette, and treating it as an outdated tour guide to what skate spots New York City had to offer (and calling Paine Webber “the Mixtape benches” for many formidable years of skateboarding), his part from that particular video has always been a favorite. If not for the top-tier backside flips, and successful only-5050 incorporating ledge lines (switch front 5050 180 out, nollie backside 5050 bench lines, and the like), than for the part’s status as probably the only skate part to be filmed mostly in basketball shorts, some of the most comfortable skateboard attire short of Polo sweats. Until your shins get hit.
The interview below is from the August 2000 issue of Big Brother, taken after a brief hiatus from skating for Zoo York. It discusses Guess watches, Ryan Hickey, and Mike Hernandez, so it’s worth five minutes of your time. All of the photos are enlargeable, and a text-only version of the images is at the second half of the page so it is easier to read.