Photo by Ben Colen
Skateboarding has unavoidable surface-level parts that trace back to their modern counterparts, and there are always some “that makes sense” thoughts when doing the Five Faves interviews. (Gino going heavy with the mini ramp skating is perhaps one of the few genuine off-guard ones.) For example, everyone thinks to mention Huf and Reese when talking about dudes who honed four or five things to absolute perfection, but there’s always room to go a bit deeper, e.g. Donger deserves to be brought up in that conversation just as fast.
We’ve pretty much posted every video Cyrus has been in since his Mama’s Boys part went online in 2013, so these all “made sense” — but will say that none of them were obvious ;)
Request line is always open!
Colin McKay — Plan B: Questionable (1992)
He’s a little kid in it, skating so sick. You can see how energetic and consistent he is, doing cool, hard tricks. He has no pop, but he skates so crazy — like he’s so hyper and never even falls. There are very few single tricks — I like that about old videos, it’s a lot of just…skating.
The ramp stuff is obviously insane. I like the way he skates vert, but it’s actually mostly street, and only a minute-and-a-half of vert that looks like it’s two or three sessions. He does crazy airs and all these alley oop tail smack grabs. He just skates like a little shrimp.
My mom’s friend had this video. I saw it before I ever even skated. He had all these old videos, and I don’t remember a lot of the other ones, but I always remembered Questionable. I didn’t know shit when I first saw it, but it’s still one of my favorite videos today. All the parts I’m listing are kind of the ones I’ve always had on repeat.
Kien Lieu — Maple: Seven Steps To Heaven (1996)
This part is therapeutic to watch. He’s just skating down like a long mellow San Diego hill and it all looks like it’s first try — doing kickflips, ollies, 180s and 5050s all with monster pop. That’s all you really need: a couple tricks and I’m sold if you do them well. His kickflips are kind of rocket, but he does one over this huge bump to bar at the end.
I remember seeing him as a kid when I didn’t know much about skating, and thinking he looked like a video game character with those two giant braids, from Mortal Combat or something. He’s all ripped and shit, skating with his shirt off — and I remember thinking “this dude is pretty badass.”
Jerry Hsu — Maple: Black Cat (1999)
I’ve always been a fan of Jerry Hsu. I like all of his parts, but Black Cat is my favorite. A lot of people say when this video came out was the golden age of skating. The part is mostly lines, he skates literally everything, and makes it look good. He skates rails, switch, ledges. Kind of like Colin McKay, he does really wack tricks like late flips and makes them look cool. The way he looks in a tight yellow shirt, baggy cargos, and D3s doing nollie backside flips and shit is pretty crazy.
Van Wastell — Krooked: Gnar Gnar (2003)
I started watching Gnar Gnar more when I was about to move to New York. I was like 17. I was just into Krooked, and when I bought a board, I’d always buy Krooked boards. I always looked up to Van and Bobby — Brad Cromer was still a little kid back then, but the whole team is good.
He’s just a calm skater and has this style where he doesn’t seem like he’s trying to make something look good. I had never filmed anything when this came out — it always felt kind of wack, like having to go try a trick with just a filmer — but videos like this capture cool moments. It’s more about being out there with your friends and having a good time, rather than how hard something is.
A lot of the stuff he skates aren’t spots. This was the period where people were thinking, “Oh, that trick is not hard enough.” Skateboarding is cool because it has all these subgenres. Some people like Street League and others like watching their homie do a kickflip. As a kid, I didn’t really “get” this video. It happened later. To me, it looked like going on a trip with your homies and filming, not being sponsored and skating.
Mike Arnold — “Lloyds” (2017)
I was tripping when I first saw this. I also wanted to say Bobby’s Pulaski part, because I think it’s cool to film a full part at the spot you grew up skating, but Mike’s part is insane. He does these weird new wave tricks that aren’t contrived — he’s just ripping and looks super powerful. It’s lighthearted too: he hippie hops a car, bunny hops down the set on a bike, and back noseblunts into that dirty river.
That spot looks amazing, but I’m sure it’s one of those British spots that’s actually impossible to skate. Every spot is kinda like that though — aside from like, Barcelona or Copenhagen — every famous spot is harder to skate than you think it will be. He fucks it up though.
He’s probably one of my favorite current skateboarders too.
Previously: Jacob Harris, Jamal Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Gilbertt Crockett, Ben Chadourne, Tom Knox, Louie Lopez, The Chrome Ball Incident, The Bunt, Lacey Baker, Andrew Allen, GX1000, 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