November 3, 2015: Future Hendrix drops “Helluva Night,” a somber unreleased tune chronicling late evening escapades of standing in the middle of orgies, putting smiles on the faces of women with loose morals, and being #influenced by Tootsie’s Cabaret in Dade County, Florida. MERE HOURS LATER, the skateboard media news cycle drops TWO night-themed video clips. Hell of a night, indeed.
If you had the slightest bit of a thought that Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn isn’t the gatekeeper of all forms of art and culture in 2015, you can lay that doubt to rest.
Skating at night was once a necessity, not an aesthetic. We waited til night to evade security, avoid the crowds, and bask in the shadows away from surveillance cameras. As the dominant mode of skateboarding in New York and other metropolises has shifted away from well-lit business districts into dimmer outer-borough crust, skating after the sun set has become a lost art. You can count the amount of night clips in your average Johnny Wilson video on your hands with a couple of fingers missing.
That doesn’t dull the fact that night footage, particularly in cities, looks cool as shit. Except that after asking your team to wallride off cobblestones in the Bronx for an entire afternoon, making them shy their sights away from the nearest bar with at least three girls in it ends up being a tall order. A “NIGHT CLIP” becomes an event, not a byproduct of zoning that placed the best marble in an area best visited after the people with real jobs had left.
There’s a theory circulating around the QS Nightlife Desk that your average 2015 skateboarder parties more than his counterpart in say, 2005. And that’s not the type of partying that involves drinking a few tall cans and maybe meeting a girl from the internet at 2 A.M. We’re talking guest lists, A-lists, bottles and models.
A variety of factors come into play here. Skateboarders have spent the past several years ascending in the dating landscape. We’re no longer a bunch of frumpy rejects hanging out at a parking garage, at least to the untrained eye. Rieder is alongside Cara and Olson is inside Dover Street Market. Making it into the club with your board is no longer a hack in the system or the work of a sympathetic insider at the door. We’re #fashion, dude. Of course they let you in with your board.
The other crucial development is the ascent of #skatevideohouse, an umbrella classification of music that typically exists in late night, occasionally MDMA-fueled environments rather than Enid’s on a Friday.
What does more partying mean? Less night skating. And the further we descend into being acceptable moving parts of the city’s nightlife elite, the less likely we are to hear a crisp switch crooked grind on diamondplate in the night without a bunch of midday taxis honking over it. A “NIGHT CLIP” will become more of an event than ever.
On that note, here’s my favorite night-for-the-sake-night clip ever, featuring the 2011 Q.S.S.O.T.Y. Back when night skating was about the skatinggg mmmaaannn.