Five Favorite Parts With Jerry Hsu

jerry hsu by ben colen

Photo by Ben Colen

The latest “Five Favorite Parts” installment comes from a guy once described as having one of the most infallibly “come out today and still hold up”-parts by this website, and as having “the best slams in the business” by another website.

Unrelated, but the new Bronze video, Trust, is premiering at Sunshine Theater (Houston & Forsyth) at 9 P.M. tomorrow. Flyer here. The low for tomorrow is two degrees, but Bronze videos are typically worth freezing in the cold for.


Henry Sanchez – Blind: Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies (1992)

An older skater gave me this part on a VHS mixtape way back. I didn’t know what Blind was, or who Henry or Tim Gavin were.

He made curbs and manuals and look really tough, which isn’t an easy thing to do. Every time I re-watch it over the years, I get a better sense of how innovative he was. I never met him, but I know a lot of his friends from back then now, and all the stories about him seem true. He wasn’t the nicest, he was just a gnarly kid. It kinda makes his skating even better to me. Most people skated really slow at the time, and there was a lot of ugly skating going on. It was also a good contrast to Tim Gavin’s part, which was really smooth and delicate. Henry’s part was raw, fast and inventive.

Steve Olson – Foundation: Rolling Thunder (1995)

I tend to think of Tentacles of Destruction as my favorite Steve Olson part. That one was huge for me, but I’ve talked about it before, so I want to mention this one.

I’ve always liked Steve Olson. His style is super crazy; I like the tricks he does, and the clothes he wears. He wears like tiny geek Izod shirts, with giant camo cargo pants and white Sal Barbier’s. He’s a nerd who probably read Steven Hawking books and stuff about black holes. Also, he talks a little bit in this video part, which I always liked as a kid. I was so interested in him — I don’t really know why. I think he smoked too much weed and then turned into Shorty’s Steve Olson, which was a lot more hip-hop and maybe more spiritual? I like the Freaks and Geeks Steve Olson more though.

Marc Johnson – Tilt Mode: Man Down (2001)

It’s not necessarily my favorite M.J. part, but it represents one of the best times in my life: being in my early twenties in San Jose with all my friends, when the scene was very strong. We’d just go out and skate garbage in a parking lot, and have the best time. You’d get so much footage just being with your friends. Now, it’s a bit different because I live in L.A. I still enjoy it, but back then it was so easy and so fun. You really see that in this video part. He’s cruising around and having a good time, but still doing insane tricks. It really shows both how good he is, and how weird he is. A lot of that part is stuff that he didn’t want to put in a “real” video part.

Heath Kirchart – Transworld: Sight Unseen (2001)

I think for everybody, this is *the* Heath part. It’s the opposite of that Marc part, which was a lot of messing around. Heath likes his parts serious and dramatic. After getting to know him, his style and approach really make sense. He always had this air of mystery. He doesn’t really do interviews, he doesn’t speak on camera, and you never really know what he’s like. At one time, I didn’t even know what his voice sounded like. Not only is he super gnarly and curates his tricks really well, but you never know that much about him. That’s pretty rare in skating today. Everyone is putting out lame details about their life all the time, constantly sharing everything. It makes some people look kinda stupid once you know every single thing about them. Heath doesn’t have that.

Ali Boulala – Flip: Sorry (2002)

That video had such bone-crushing skating — having Ali’s part break the video up midway was really refreshing. He didn’t do a lot of necessarily groundbreaking stuff, but the way it was edited, the song and everything else shows exactly how he is. I knew him, I went on tour with him, and they did such a good job of capturing the person behind the skating. The part itself is really funny. He’s one of my favorite personalities in skating.

Previously: Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams


Comments are closed.