As you continue skating into adulthood, your friends become your favorite skaters. Sure, there’ll always be a few select favorite pros, but once you reach past that thirteen-year-old-self’s dream of getting sponsored, and realize life as the next Eric Koston probably won’t happen, inspiration begins to come from those around you. Your friend’s kickflip will probably get you more hyped than even Wes Kremer’s*, because it’s right there with you, every time you skate.
Jake Johnson is sponsored and rather good at skateboarding. Yet he abides by a similar process in selecting his favorites. There’s just something special in watching parts of someone after actually knowing how they skate in real life.
*Singling out Wes because he initiated a three-way-tie with Lucas Puig and Bobby Worrest for “Literally Everyone’s Favorite [Pro] Skater” after that ten-minute raw footage clip.
Alex Davis – Anonymous Skateshop: Streets is Talking (2008)
I picked all of these parts because these guys are my friends, and these are videos that were made before most of them were sponsored by board companies.
Al always says that he’s my first black friend.
Streets is Talking shows how layered Al’s skating is, and how fast he can go down a hill. Cincinatti has a lot of spots, and Al literally skates every single one of them. It came out when I first moved to New York, and watching it just gives me a really good feeling from that time, even though I didn’t meet him until a year or two later. I started going to Cincinatti after that.
Brian Delatorre – Seasons #4 (2008)
This was Dela’s first part from when he started going out to S.F., at the height of his hippie stage and when he got on Satori. I think he looks best when skating in San Francisco — he’s actually on his way back there now. He can skate hills unlike anyone else, maybe because he gets a kick out slamming really hard. He’ll go down so hard and it’ll make him try it even more. I guess in S.F., if you slam at the end of the hill, it’s even cooler than if you rode away.
Nathan Porter – Fools Gold (2009)
You can have the pleasure of finding that one. I don’t think it’s online.
He skates to two songs. One is “San Francisco Nights,” and the other is a hip-hop song that sampled it. It goes back and forth between the two, and I thought that was cool. Jim Lalonde, the guy who made Fools Gold and Focus Group, is a five-star chef now.
Nathan does a lot of improvisational lines in his part. There is something so natural about the way he skates. He’ll throw a nose manual into a trick that any normal person couldn’t get away with. He does a back tail into a bank-to-ledge in this part, and instead of rolling away, he nose manuals into the street. With anyone else, that would look like the dumbest trick in the world. It’s almost as if he thought of it right before he was about to land the trick. He never falls either. Ryan [Garshell] filmed a thirteen trick line with him one time, going uphill, first try.
That’s why I love with this part, and why I love skating with Nate. Everything is unplanned.
Max Van Arnem – Rough Draft (2010)
Max is my favorite skateboarder.
He broke his back in a crazy fullpipe when he was maybe 15. He flew out of the side; he wasn’t trying to loop it or anything. He went paralyzed and could’t feel his body for twenty minutes or something. It took him over a year to recover. He has a lot of pent up energy and he releases it through skating.
I believe this was before his Rasa Libre part, when he was living in Florida. He skates a lot like a young Reese Forbes — fast and angry. His body is relaxed and his style is fluid, but his attitude is very resentful and powerful. He can also wallride better than me. He’s better than me altogether. Max, I really hope we can skate together again sometime.
Auby Taylor – Index Skateshop: Allergic to Awesome (2012)
He’s from the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. He rides for this shop called Index, and I think it might be his only full part.
It starts with him switch bigspin heelflipping a gap ten times in a row because he can’t land it as perfectly as he wants to. That alone represents Auby. He’s really good and consistent, but he visualizes exactly how he wants to do something. If he’s not doing a trick the way he visualized it, then it’ll drive him crazy. He’s always thinking about a hundred different things and it motivates him. The part is amazing because he found a lot of really unique spots that nobody else in that area had ever skated. They’re not the standard Dallas spots. The spots in all these parts are another reason why I really like them.