Ryan Garshell is committed to the craft of filming in as literal of a sense as imaginable — the only way he bails on a hill bomb is if a car literally forces him off his board. While some put their energy into production value, weird archival footage and editing, GX’s preoccupation is portraying skating’s rawness and lasting criminality. Garshell is skating’s largest proponent of the camera that Bill Strobeck threw in the trash a few years ago, and his filming is often as fucked as whatever is going on in front of the lens. As the skater, there must be some added incentive to land tricks when you know that your filmer will see the clip through no matter how steep the hill, how bummed the homeowner or how many cops are present.
GX1000 managed to create a style of video that is completely unique — an aesthetic that is so hard to imitate because it would require being as crazy as Garshell himself, whose five favorite video parts are listed immediately below this sentence.
Mike Daher — Stereo: A Visual Sound (1994)
I might be partial to Florida heads. After I started skating, I had to do my research. He was so ahead of his time — I started looking at old mags and you see that he was basically the OG with Japans. He’s the street grab king. Tommy G, him, and Quim — street grab legends. He was so buttery and his style was the sickest. I met him at Skatepark of Tampa. We were smoking weed, and then I was like “This dude’s super tight, what’s up with this dude?” All the OGs were like, “you don’t know who that is?!” When you’re a younger kid and you hear that from the dudes you look up to, of course you’re gonna go research it.
I was already really into S.F. skateboarding, but after I watched A Visual Sound, it got me really inspired. Ethan Fowler and everyone in the video is so smooth, the soundtrack, the little interludes, the coffee shop…it was just so well put together.
Now that I know him, I know that he was probably flying on acid for like 80% of that part. That’s all these dudes did out here: fly on acid, bomb hills, and skate street all day and all night. They would tell me about how they would do all this shit and not even film it. You can really see that in the video. That’s the kind of vibe I try to incorporate in my shit — just homies going out skating. That’s what gets you skating with your friends in the streets, rather than making it some sort of production.
Mark Gonzales — Real: Kicked Out of Everywhere (1999)
[Ed. Note: Apologies for the jacked audio on this embed, but the only other version of this part on YouTube has the audio muted because of a copyright claim.]
All of his parts are classic, and everything he does is classic. I had to throw him in there no matter what, and I enjoyed everything he’s ever put out. I know it’s cliche and everybody does it, but I don’t care — he’s still my favorite. I love the song, how it goes with the skating, and how he breaks a lot of boundaries in that part. He’s the true artistic form of skating. There are so many sides of skating, but he is the ultimate.
I grew up skating after that part came out. I was doing my due diligence type of thing, doing my research, you know? Back in the day, older skaters would be like “You gotta look at all the OGs before you can understand everything.” Nowadays, I feel like it’s way different. Everybody did their research back then because there were way less videos to see. You ran out of stuff to watch a million times, so you’d look back to the past because you want to see more sick skating.
Mike Carroll — Transworld: Modus Operandi (2000)
I can’t make a list of my favorite parts without including Carroll. That opening run at the library is ingrained in my mind forever. When I figured out how to get a place in S.F., the library wasn’t capped. I moved literally three blocks from there because I was so psyched on that line. It’s almost been ten years and I still live in the same spot. If you don’t know that line, you need to educate yourself. That’s part of why Carroll’s legacy holds up so strong — this part, all his EMB footage, Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies — everything.
The soundtrack is really dope too, even though it’s just an instrumental. I like that there’s a bunch of night footage. I learned from Josh [Stewart] to always bring your camera light because you just never know. I got stuck in a situation while helping him work on Static and left the camera light at the house. “I’ve been skating around so much with this bag, it’s super heavy.” Josh was like “Dude, you can never do that again.” If Josh Stewart is telling you to not do something ever again — he’s the nicest dude — you should probably just listen.
Danny Renaud — Habitat: Mosaic (2003)
I’m gonna go with another heavy Florida influence. I think it’s one of the best parts ever made. Spot selection, how Joe Castrucci edited it with the smooth music — I feel like it’s really rare that you can watch a person’s full part and you’re never bored. There doesn’t need to be anything breaking up the part, it’s just his skating.
I’m not super hyped on schoolyard footage, but on the nollie flip he does down the stairs out here in San Francisco — he lands but doesn’t land perfect. It forever sticks out like, “That was so sick, better than if he landed it perfect.” That was a turning point for me; “You can still be smooth and sketchy at the same time.” Looking up to him as a kid, then eventually skating with him, I definitely have a strong attachment to Danny. I know so many people who grew up in Florida and tried to emulate him with the spot selection and everything, especially in that video. It would be weird for me to make a list and not put him in.
Tony Manfre — Static 3 (2007)
Tony has one of the best kickflips ever in it, and Josh edited it sick. He’s always rocking the ill gear, and he’s got the best steez.
[Filming that line of Tony when I got hit by a car] was basically just my fault, man. I guess it looks cooler on film than what actually happened. We were just battling, getting this line the way he wanted it. We were stoked and riding it out, I saw Tony going down the hill, and I followed him through a red light. I tried to turn away from the car, turn it out, but we were going too fast. I jumped off my board, then it hit me and I flew super far. It was crazy because I was pretty much alright. The taxi driver’s like, “You can’t leave! I’m calling the cops!” I’m like “Dude, I’m so sorry, it was all my fault. I gotta go though, I can’t wait here for the cops.” Me and Tony dipped. I felt so bad, but I also didn’t want to sit around and deal with the cops. It definitely changed how I look at running red lights after hill bombs. I’m a little more shook now.
Previously: Brian Anderson, Gino Iannucci, Josh Kalis, Sean Pablo, Wade Desarmo, Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, 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