They Destroyed Love a Year Ago

March 1st, 2017 | 11:24 am | Time Capsule | 1 Comment

rip love park

It has been just over a year since Philadelphia destroyed history’s most serendipitous intersection of skateboarding and public space — a place people risked losing appendages to skate one last time. We carried plenty of fresh wounds into 2017, so picking at Love Park’s irreversible end serves no purpose beyond masochism. With there still being a surplus of footage from the Sabotage dudes et al. (who were actually the main masochistic outlet for Love closure anniversary coverage), it’s easy to forget that it has already been a year.

Memory Screen coincidentally uploaded this collection of Kalis clips from Love today (though they left out my favorite five seconds of a skate video maybe ever.) Much like people in our age group only know Embarcadero from THPS and scholarly types pointing us in the direction of old Carroll footage, every generation from hereon-out will know Love through images and stories. There isn’t an abridged version of the spot to go back to and mentally fill in the blanks — like the Banks after the planters and benches were installed, or Southbank after it was cut in half. As the park dawns closer to its new reality as a grassy crack colony, its original form drifts further into clips like these. You’d think all associated images had been committed to firm memory by now, but I actually have no idea where the clip of the switch front blunt / switch backside flip line is from, nor do I think I have ever seen it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Shout out Edmund Bacon. You deserve a bronze statue at a sick spot in a city that’s not as stubborn as Philadelphia.

Related: The Love Park Story, Teaser for Sabotage 5

One Step Above Garbage

September 19th, 2016 | 9:58 am | Daily News | 10 Comments

curbz

They painted the curbs here yellow, and now it’s the second or third best spot in the city that you don’t get kicked out of. Paint more stuff yellow.

Can’t remember the last time a montage got me as psyched as “Faces,” the new one from Ben Chadourne, featuring the Blobys, Bobby Worrest, Hjalte, etc. These videos have a remarkable way of making Paris look like the funnest place in the world (which it probably is), even in the winter. The Rod Stewart is also perfect.

“As tennis’ stars age, will aping skateboarding provide an elixir of youthful advertising audiences or will tennis’ wealthy overlords catch onto the notion that a sizable bulk of pro shoes and contract dollars are tied up in veteran pros whose salad grinding days of filming feature length video parts may lie years in the past?” — Boil the Ocean re: skateboarding’s current infatuation with tennis. Frozen in Carbonite also tackled this subject four years ago following Gino’s Mcenroe commercial et al.

Kingpin interviewed Nick Von Werssowetz about his new company, Hotel Blue and the evolution of LurkNYC. Part 3 of Lurk’s “Mean Streets” series is also now live.

The Bunt has a tell-all interview with Darren Harper. Daniel Kim is my fave skater too.

Whoa is this the first wear test video to feature the Le Bain hot tub? Is that even the Le Bain hot tub? Ripped Laces x Canal Wheels give the Brad Cromer Huf pro model a try.

Given that 2016 marks the twenty-year anniversary of everything from Welcome to Hell, to E.E. 3 to Mouse, SMLTalk has a retrospective of all the seminal 1996 videos in two parts. Also kinda hard to disagree that Tincan Folklore was a precursor to a lot of the shit going on in videos today, even moreso than its exalted predecessor.

After the demise of Love, the Sabotage boys took a southern trip hitting a string of the few remaining plazas left in the U.S: Pulaski, Raleigh Courthouse, Legislative (safe to say this is probably the best spot in the country at this point?), Blackbox, etc.

The 917 team dropped a midwest tour video in anticipation of their Nike collab.

“Pure Moods” is a new half New York / half S.F. montage from Waylon Bone.

NY Skateboarding posted part three of their Huf interview, which discusses the rebirth of Metropolitan Wheels, the Marc Johnson v.s. Choc beef, etc.

Um, Ghetto Child Wheels is making a comeback, with almost the same team. And the god Peter Smolik already left the rebooted Menace before the reboot even got to booting in order pursue his own skateboard business venture. Godspeed to the god.

Quote of the Week
Pryce Holmes: “I probably spend $30,000 a year on booze.”
Ben Blundell: “I’ve never made over ten.”

An Interview With Jamal Smith

August 17th, 2016 | 10:33 am | Features & Interviews | 9 Comments

WorldChampion_Jamal

Photo by Nathan Éthier-Myette

Words by Zach Baker

Becoming a professional skateboarder seems pretty tough. You have to get really good at it, but it’s not about who’s the best. Everyone is too good for us to tell the difference at this point. The people who sustain themselves in skateboarding the longest are those with charisma and moxie — “something else.”

Jamal Smith has been exemplary in this regard, pretty much since the invention of YouTube. He finessed himself into the public eye with the Tornado Spin trick tip ten years ago. But, as evidenced by his Sabotage 4 opener, the new Palace clip, his pre-Glory Challenge pseudo-prize fighter Instagram campaign, and most importantly, getting on Stingwater, the dude has been especially feeling it as of the past year or so. I checked in with him outside of the Glory Challenge trying to roll a joint in the wind. He had just suffered a heart-wrenching loss to Wade Desarmo — but he was fine with it. His phone was blowing the fuck up. They both won.

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You just skated against defending titleholder Wade Desarmo in the the Dime World Championship Game of S.K.A.T.E. What was it like going into that for you?

It’s all about theatrics. At the end of the day, if you can put on a good show, it doesn’t matter who comes in first or last. But I mean, of course I wanted that $150,000 or whatever the fuck these Dime niggas are joking about. I was nervous as fuck though. I know I can’t kickflip and this nigga has all the kickflips.

When you saw the kickflip, what was going through your mind?

It was like everything went in slow motion. I felt every drop of sweat running down my face, I saw all the reactions, all the eyes on me. I had to turn inward, and I knew I was fucked.

You rattled off a couple tricks, right?

Yeah, because I’m that nigga. You spin to win. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.

Do you hope to battle him again next year?

Hell no. I’m just trying to smoke everybody else’s weed and watch motherfuckers huck their bodies down the biggest gaps onto swords and numchucks.

You live in Philadelphia?

Yeah, I’m originally from Ohio. I lived there until I was like 11. Then I lived in Massachusetts, and I lived in Ithaca [New York] after that.

Why’d you move around?

My mom passed when I was 11. I was a ward of the state, which meant I had no legal guardian and I had to stay in Ohio until I found someone who would take care of me. At the time, my sister was living in Massachusetts and took me in. I lived in Northampton, some weird little area in Western Massachusetts.

Did you start skating there?

Yeah, I want to say that I was maybe 14 when I started to really get into it. 11 to 13, I was on my Rocket Power shit, riding rollerblades, bikes, whatever the fuck, I didn’t care.

The Neighborhood’s Changed, But the Beers Are Still Cold

June 27th, 2016 | 12:55 pm | Daily News | 5 Comments

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Godspeed Wavy’s. Although you got a bit too live these past few years, I wouldn’t take back the hours I wasted standing around doing nothing if I could. Wouldn’t be caught dead standing in front of Spring Mart. R.I.P. to one of the final remnants of that neighborhood. Photo via Zach Baker.

“Knowing a lot about something little, and caring about it deeply – even something as ridiculous as grown men making four wheeled planks balance on two wheels – provides a microcosm within which we understand the consequences of those big, nebulous issues.” Didn’t expect this to pop up anywhere: Caught in the Crossfire with an insightful breakdown of the Brexit results, and how they will effect skateboarding.

The Complete History of the 12th & A Rainbow Curb: April 2016 — Later in April 2016.

“It’s 50/50; it’s hard to see, but if you want to live your passion then you have to learn to live with it, or you find a regular job and you go skate on the weekend.” Lucas Puig on making adult decisions that impact skateboarding for a living.

Is Rodrigo TX the new Rodrigo TX?

Literal, on-the-nose #musicsupervision usually get the side-eye at this point, but always thought “Baltimore” would make a great video part song, and also all this Jason Spivey footage is awesome. Is the audio jacked for everyone else though?

Village Psychic travels back to the moonboot era when there’d be seven logos on one shoe, and does a wear test of the DC Relay with John Shanahan ♥ Daytime midtown footage 4 ever ♥ (Is Columbus Circle mellow to skate again?)

NY Skateboarding has pics of the McCarren Park renovation if you haven’t seen it yet.

The internet has a tendency to desensitize us from having to confront other people’s unfiltered brains and emotions, and unfortunately, that played out a bit on the skate internet last year as Billy Rohan, an incredible person who has done a ton for skateboarding in the city, went through it. Like the quote says, “depression is a flaw in chemistry, not character” and sometimes, there’s a lot more going on than somebody “acting crazy.” ANYWAY, Vice caught up with Billy, who’s been doing much better, for a video short on what he’s been through.

An interview with the filmer behind the Rios Crew. Not skating the same spot twice sounds exhausting ;)

Do you believe in life after Love? Go Skate Day 2016 in Philly, via the Sabotage boys.

Rockaway excursions and sweaty summer vibez in Genny’s new iPhone clip.

Taji did the whole awkward Vice host thing with Gino Iannucci for “TAJCAM.”

Dude remember Nadia footwear? Of course you don’t, but guess who does? :)

Chill lil’ Barcelona montage with five Penny tricks at the 1:21 mark.

This is weird. ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT..

Quote of the Week: “Until we elect Trump, the British are the dumbest people on the planet.” — Dylgr

Shout out to my man Torey Goodall for skating to “June 27th” twelve years ago for a Baby Steps B-roll part. Who else you know can go from Van Morrison to Big Moe in the same video? Also shout out to all my Cancers bro.

Love Park in 2015: An Interview With Brian Panebianco

August 7th, 2015 | 4:46 am | Features & Interviews | 12 Comments

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Looking in from the outside (or from 100 miles north on the interstate), Love Park seems to have always existed in eras. There was the Ricky / Eastern Exposure era, the Kalis / Wenning / Pappalardo et al. / Photosynthesis era, and now, after some downtime last decade, there is the current “pink planter” era. And there’s no crew or series that has been pushing footage of Love Park and Philly in 2015 like the Sabotage videos. Below is a conversation with Brian Panebianco, one of the principal filmers and creative forces behind Sabotage (video #4 is due out 9/11/15), about skateboarding’s most iconic skate spot as it stands in 2015, and all that surrounds it.

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Are you originally from Philly?

I’m from the suburbs, like 35 minutes out.

When was the first time you went to Love Park?

Probably when they had the first X-Games street contest at City Hall [in 2001.] I remember everyone was skating the Municipal Building, but you couldn’t skate Love because the cops were waiting there. By the next year, all the pink planters were in.

Where would you skate in those years after downtown Philly got shut down?

I grew up skating this D.I.Y. spot in Lansdale, Pennsylvania that’s actually still there. Or we’d just skate around the neighborhood.

Did you ever go into the city?

Once I got my license, I did, but by that time, Love was completely shut down. I grew up without it being skateable. We’d try to skate City Hall and sometimes get lucky, but usually not. We’d go to the three block, Temple and those shitty spots.

There was also that D.I.Y. spot with the parking blocks under I-95 that Wenning and Kerry Getz used to always skate.

How’d you get into making videos?

I’d film with this shitty camera until 2005, when I got a VX1000, and that’s when I got hyped on it. I was never a Skate Perception dude or anything, but I had a few friends who were. Some of the first people I started going out skating with were Ant and Dom Travis. Ant had a VX and he was into cameras. We started making little montages from that D.I.Y. spot, but nothing much beyond that. We still didn’t skate downtown much.