Figure it’s been a while since we did one of these with a non-American. Here you go.
Tim O’Connor – Element: Third Eye View (1998)
I never really owned any videos, but I grew up skating with my cousin who lived over in the next town. He was a bit of a hoarder and had all of them. Third Eye View and Fulfill the Dream were the two we’d watch a lot at his house.
I loved Tim O’Connor because he always did weird tricks and tweaked them a certain way, like switch tweaked ollies and stuff. I used to love mini ramps and we would always talk about how fun this ramp looked to skate. A mini ramp section is a really weird thing to start a part with, so I always liked it. It’s funny how this is as old as a memory of a video gets for me.
Gershon Mosley – Transworld: The Reason (1999)
My next stage of watching skate videos was when I had my own crew of people I skated with in Blackpool. If you were half-good at skating, all the older guys would kind of take you under their wing. We’d all get stoned at this one guy’s house, play Tony Hawk, and watch Transworld and 411 videos.
Most people would pick Stevie’s part — it’s almost too obvious. Gershon’s part started the whole thing off really good. It was to a bit of a cheesy hip-hop song but it got everyone so hyped. All the “elders” in my hometown used to dress in this style as well, like roll-up pants, windbreakers, cargoes and Droors. I also really liked how he’d do quick set-up tricks, like a trick up the curb and then another one right away down a rail.
I doubt this was a thing in America, but in England whenever you’d sweat a lot skating, we’d always say “you’re getting your Gershon.” He’d leave marks on the floor when he fell.
Mark Baines – Blueprint: Waiting For the World (2000)
I had this weird connection with Blueprint even before I rode for them. There was a market outside of the tiny town where I grew up. This guy had a rollerblade store called Bernie’s Blades in it. He used to sell some boards too, even though he was basically bankrupt. He had loads of Hook-Ups boards for really cheap, and was like, “If you buy a board, I’ll give you a free video.” He gave me a free copy of Mixed Media.
We went to the premiere for Waiting for the World in Sheffield, before I really even knew what a skate premiere was or that sort of thing existed. My friends and I snuck in because the cinema stopped letting people in. I even got in trouble with my parents because I didn’t make it home that night. At the time, there were no English videos that were up to the standard of Waiting For the World.
When I got on Blueprint, Baines was the dude I would always go and stay with. He was from Sheffield, so I know the nicknames to all the spots that he skates in his part. He taught me a lot about skating rugged northern spots. The Crucible was a famous spot back then that we would always skate, and there’s a lot of footage from there in this part. Out of that video, this is the one that means the most to me.
Toby Shaull — Landscape: Portraits (2005)
He came with us on like a Blueprint tour that had a few Landscape riders. It was the first skate trip I ever went on. We went to Magaluff in Malorca, which is kind of a “spring break” type of place for holiday. It was in the winter, when it was empty and the locals had nothing going on. There was one night when some guys picked a fight with everybody on the trip. Everyone came back through the door with black eyes and broken noses — Colin Kennedy got the cover of Sidewalk with two black eyes because of that trip. Toby and I hung back because we were stoners, so we were happy we missed it. Pretty funny.
He was the best skater in London for a long time. He’s like the original Vikki benches skater. He had problems with his collarbone and ankle, plus wasn’t making much money, so it was a tough thing to stay with. He makes bespoke store fixtures now. He actually built the inside of the new Palace shop.
Bronze – Solo Jazz (2013)
My favorite videos I’ve seen recently are Tres Trill and all the Bronze videos.
Even though these videos all have parts, it doesn’t feel that way, which I really like about it. It all fits together. You can’t imitate it. You can’t be some guy at another company, say “We need to make something like a Bronze video,” and pull it off.
I’m a massive video game addict, so all the Playstation logos and everything were so banging to me. As an outsider, these videos really sum up what American culture is for a lot of us: basketball, infomercials, video games, Windows 95 — I told Peter “I don’t know so much about the guy shooting himself in the head” and he goes “Well, if I’m going to put it in, I might as well put it in twice.” When you meet him, a lot of that stuff makes sense.
Previously: Bill Strobeck, Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, 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