Weekend Viewing: Ronnie Bertino in Second Hand Smoke

ronnie bertino

What did you think this @ 3:28 was a homage to?

In Alex Olson’s “Five Favorite Parts,” he mentions how Video Days was a “myth” growing up. It was the video all the older dudes would rave about, but it’s not like you could go to the skate shop and buy a copy eight years after it came out.

Questionable was the other “myth” video from that time. Like any kid who loved Rodney Mullen because of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the Rodney V.S. Daewon videos — judging skateboarding based on how many times the board flips — you’d hear about all the crazy shit he did in Questionable. Rodney’s 540 flip was one of the first three-second skateboard clips you could find on the internet in the nineties. But again, it’s not like you could easily find the full video. You had to get creative.

My first eBay purchase ever was a $19.99 Buy-It-Now listing for “ALL 4 PLAN B VIDEOS VHS L@@K.” The item arrived three weeks late, and “All 4 Plan B videos” meant that they were dubbed onto one tape in chronological order. Rodney’s triple kickflips and the real version of the San Francisco level from THPS2 were cool when you’re a tween, but in the YouTube-ized society of today, the only part from any of those four videos that gets routinely revisited is Ronnie Bertino’s. (Yeah yeah, Jeremy Wray obvs has the best part in the video.)

There are parts that are worthy of the “come out today and still be good” hyperbole, and there are parts that have the subtler distinction of just not looking dated. The small wheels, trick selection and raver pants make much of the era depicted on that two-hour VHS tape an unmistakable product of its time. If you gave Ronnie Bertino some youth serum and a filmer with a HD camera, everything in this part, save maybe the switch willy grind, would seem current with how skateboarding looks today.

On the first viewing of that tape, Ronnie Bertino was “the guy who did the crazy ahead-of-its-time switch backside lipslide.” Today, being a bit wiser, the part is a clinic on exemplary, off a bump or over a low hydrant flip trick form.

And apologies to Carroll, but this is the best Hiero song from a skate video.

To young kids, don’t smoke. It’s a horrible habit.” — Mr. Butts


  1. Can we hear more about Alex Olson? He is so ahead of his time and he has the best fashion styles, and he is too cool for flip tricks or other x-games bullshit.

    More AO pls

  2. Kevin, for a dude like AO, he gets enough coverage. I enjoy Alex’s pop and smooth power, but I am at a loss for why he is considered a fashion icon. His support of the gay community is commendable and important, but as a fashion icon, I dont see it. He wears jeans and
    t-shirts and nikes. So do I, and while I dress well, I am not at the forefront of fashion. As for his imagery, vogueing and Grace Jones are nothing new. Maybe if your 16 and from Missouri, you may find the graphics cutting edge. But if you grew up near NY and you have the faintest idea about 80s music, there is nothing to see here.

    And $80 for a hat? That is just excessive. I understand his company doesn’t have the reach of the larger companies, but that price is ridiculous. Same as a FA hoodie for $90. And that fanatic who runs fuckingawsomeradio.tumblr already tried to tell me the price is expensive because the goods come from the US of Fucking A. I get quality hoodies, made by fruit of the womb, from Walgreens for $15. So that fanatic can suck it.

    Thank you, come again.

  3. my first ebay purchase was “cky 1, cky2k, menekamati, and rodney vs daewon 1&2” shit came on 1 tape but it was worth it

  4. Second Hand Smoke – so good! For a two minute part, he managed to have two inward heelflips? Wild.

  5. >i support RuggedPicturePoser<
    and Ronnie Bertino is mad underrated. seen him do frontnoseslide nollieflip back to regs somewhare so nice looking

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