Photo by Nils Svensson
This feature was never intended to only feature guys who run skateboard companies, but it’s kinda looking that way, huh? At least this one is themed around a single year (that’s not 1996), so you get a break from re-watching Guy’s Mouse part ;) Personally speaking, I had only seen one of these before, and pointing people in the direction of great, under-appreciated parts is sort of what this feature is supposed to do. So here are five favorite video parts from Polar Skateboards C.E.O. and D.I.Y. advocate, Pontus Alv.
(And before some commenter points it out, yes, he does mention a trick that Nigel Hudsons did in his new part, we get it. The interview was conducted before then. Curbs > rails anyway, who cares.)
Unrelated but worth noting: 1) The new Politic Skateboards video, People’s Temple, premieres at 2nd Nature in Bushwick on Sunday. New, full Dave Caddo part! Flyer here. 2) Zoo’s new video, King of New York, premieres at Hotel Chantelle on Monday at 8 P.M. (Not sure if that means a new Westgate part, but hopefully.) Flyer here.
Salman Agah — The Real Video (1991)
In 1991, I was ten or eleven years old, and he came onto the scene with this whole switch stance thing. I had seen some ads of him doing nollie flips, nollie 180s and switch ollies. As a kid, it was really confusing: “What is switch stance? He’s going fakie but going forward?” I couldn’t figure it out at first. The part still feels very up-to-date with today’s standards. Good switch backside flips, good switch flips, and just really powerful skating. I think Salman was one of the first guys to start riding big wheels on street, and popping things fast and high. Skateboarding at the time was in the whole pressure flip era and he brought back pop. Just how Mark Gonzales pushed skateboarding with Video Days, Salman pushed it into a new direction with switch skating. He was probably one of the first guys to do some of those tricks switch.
Marcus Wyndham – Blockhead: Recycled Rubbish (1991)
I don’t know what happened to him. He was sort of a sidekick to Ocean Howell. The last trick in this part is a switch backside ollie to 5-0 down a rail, which Lennie Kirk obviously did it down Hubba years later. But still, he was a super stylish skater and very underrated, especially for what he was doing back then. A lot of these guys have been skating longer than some of those in the new generation have been alive, and they were doing tricks that are still with today’s time.
Jef Hartsel — World Industries: Rubbish Heap (1991)
Rubbish Heap is one of my favorite videos; I watched it over and over when it came out. I loved World Industries because it was a bit less polished that Powell-Peralta or H-Street. They were just a video camera in a backpack sort of vibe. This part is absolutely wild. If you’re talking about Leo Valls, Magenta and that sort of skating — he’s very much like that. I like how he’s charging on Venice Beach doing slappy 5050s, just dancing around and looking rad.
With these guys it’s just like, “What the hell is Jeff Hartsel doing these days?”
Trent Gaines, Rueben Dominguez & Paul de Jesus — Powell-Peralta: Propaganda (1991)
This part is maybe a bit more from an editing perspective. I like the way it’s filmed and edited with the music. I always use it as a reference when I edit. They use a lot of manual zooming, with quick in and out shots that you can do with Super-8 and 16mm cameras. It jumps between the full picture and close-ups.
Also, I really love that they skate together, which is something I personally believe is missing in today’s skate world. Skateboarding has always been a social thing, but when making videos, it has become too much about presenting the individual star. I think that’s a big loss in videos today. In old videos, it was always about capturing the boys skating together and creating an atmosphere around it. This part captures that spirit well. Today it’s more, “Here’s this guy, he’s the superstar.”
Ocean Howell — H-Street: Next (1991)
He was on some wacko shit. A lot of the stuff he’s doing in that part hasn’t been properly developed to this day. He does a line with a backside 360 flip lipslide. That trick would still be awesome in a video today, even on a curb.
I say we bring back the low ledge into the game. There’s always been this silly unwritten rule that you can’t film on a curb anymore. Then you see something like this part, and realize it’s all just how you do it. At least these days we’re breaking down all these weird standards. “You can’t skate a rail over four stairs, or you can’t skate a curb.” Now people are thinking, “Fuck it, if it’s sick, it’s sick.” You take for granted how sick a lot of tricks are because you get caught up with these rules.