There’s no need for a “review” of Static IV. The video is great. The premiere was one of the funnest skate video experiences ever (New York had the first viewing, so everyone was unaware of the dual video format, Jake part, and plenty of other surprises), and the physical copy feels more like a fancy Criterion DVD than a skate video. All the snarks about the video’s endless delays from these past 7-50 years were eradicated with the final product.
Everyone has had time to properly digest the video, so here are ten loose observations in a format lifted from Chris Nieratko’s “17 Things You Didn’t Know” Vice piece. The timeframe for spoilers has expired by this point, and some of this might have already been discussed on the T.F. bench. Fair warning if you’re under a rock.
1. A New York Subway Classic
Josh went into detail about the sound design of Static IV over on the Live website. Obligatory subway shots pop up in almost every New York-based video, but the attention to every bit of train noise here makes the age-old idea fresher than you thought it had the capacity to be in 2014. This one is subtle enough to pull off the claustrophobic, late-night-alone-on-the-train vibe without seeming like a “Summer Trip to New York” clip.
Editors have references for when they’re putting stuff together, and Static IV‘s synth-laden intro conjured up memories of the opening credits from The Warriors A.K.A. arguably the greatest subway movie ever made (honorable mentions go to the original Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Money Train ♥♥ #ninetiesJLo ♥♥, and that one Seinfeld episode, obvs.) Whether it was an intentional homage or not — the compliment still stands.
2. The Great Group Home Resurgence of 2014
With the majority of skateboarders still being Republicans when it comes to rap music, it was inevitable that people would run out of Big L and Wu-Tang songs to edit with.
To no liberal-minded rap fan’s surprise, the road lead to a rediscovery of a group with the largest bad-rapping-but-great-production disparity ever. The creators might not necessarily be the conservatives responsible for promoting this “I’d rather listen to Lil’ Dap than a song released after Liquid Swordz came out”-way of thinking, but Static IV, “cherry,” and $14 the Hard Way all opted for Group Home as a safe bet in 2014…rather than editing to a #deepcut off Lifestyles of the Poor and Dangerous for the twentieth time.
3. Skate Video or a Hotel
There have been recurring benchmarks in Josh’s interviews about how long the video took to create. Quim grew dreads in that time, him, Jahmal, Vivien Feil had babies, etc.
How’s this for one: In this Soy Panday line at the spot formerly known as the Vespa bump, he skates past a Crosby Street building to do a fakie 360 flip on flat. That building isn’t there anymore; it’s the SoHo Mondrian hotel. They were able to tear an entire building down, and build a 25-story hotel in the time it took to complete Static IV.
4. Go to Sleep
British skateboarding comes with an expected level of bleakness, largely due to weather/terrain/culture/alcohol-related factors. They know it too, i.e. what is Make Friends With the Color Blue than a fancied up title for a “Coming to Grips With Your Depression” pamphlet?
But to be COMPLETELY honest…a skate part to a slow song about going to sleep might’ve been bleakness overload, even for a British skateboarder. Surely a guy named “Snowy” is due for some more upbeat music supervision?
5. What Street Skateboarding Will Look Like in 2026 When Every Spot is Knobbed
Quim skated off a curb, over a five-foot puddle, and onto the brim of a green trash can. Get ready.
6. Kevin is Banned From Using a Particular Adjective
We were skating around Astor Place the other night, and stopped by the jersey barrier that Sage lipslid in his Cons commercial. (We got egged by the people upstairs, by the way. Be careful.) Kevin said it was “too sketchy.”
…uh? Shove him into a wall if he says that word from here on in.
Kevin Tierney is no longer allowed to refer to spots as “sketchy,” and this especially applies to spots that other people have skated. He figured out at least five new ways of skating old spots in his part, all of which are sketchy: the Burritoville lines that incorporated both rails, the 5050-180-switch-5050 at Reggaeton Ledges, somehow creating an up-ledge with a wooden police barrier at TF West, lipsliding the inside of the C Bench, and ollieing up to perpendicular axle stall into that narrow bank, which was one of the most terrifying tricks in the entire video. (Honorable mention goes to Jereme Knibbs’ blindsided ollie onto a ledge on the side of a building.)
7. Brandi’s Paine Webber Line
Ricky Oyola talked about how his onetime goal in skateboarding was to do a line from City Hall to Love Park; a onetime daydream of anyone who grew up skating midtown was a line from CBS to Paine Webber. Steve Brandi didn’t do that exactly, yet he brought us one step closer by stringing together those high marble ledges across 52nd Street with their more recognizable neighbor. Sick line.
8. Frontside Noseslide Shove-It Outs
People will toss the backside variant of this trick around as a callback to their formative days of skating. However, its frontside counterpart might be the rarest “easy” trick found in skate videos. Only difference is that Brian Clarke’s looks awesome, and yours’ won’t look as cool.
Speaking of looking cool…
9. Jahmal Williams.
Jahmal Williams’ skateboarding invalidates the need to ever worry about “So-and-so already did that trick here.” You and so-and-so are never going to look as cool on a skateboard as Jahmal Williams, so it doesn’t matter if you do the same trick. All that’s left to do with your skateboard is enjoy riding it. Any achivement on it is going to pale in comparison to the simplest maneuver done by a guy who is maybe twice your age.
There’s “I’d rather watch Penny/Reynolds do a kickflip,” “I’d rather watch Gino push,” etc. We’ve been pushing “I’d rather watch Dani Lebron skate flat” for a few years now, but “I’d rather watch Jahmal do a 5050” is the new dismissive phrase to be thrown in the face of impressive-yet-underwhelming skateboarding.
10. Josh Stewart’s Videos Are Videos
If the guy who spent damn near a decade on a skate video is calling his project a video, that’s a nail in the coffin for all you art school jerks trying to bill your intro, five parts and a friends montage as a “film.” Just because you have $30k in debt for your SVA degree and a Vimeo Plus page doesn’t mean that your skate video is a “film.” Mean Girls, now that’s a film.