Five Favorite Parts With Nik Stain

Photo by Ben Colen

Nik’s Bruns section is a perennial Top 5 inclusion on the QS office’s ballot for favorite video parts of the 2010s. Beyond that, there is no shortage of your favorite skaters citing his brand of charging at spots as distinctly inspirational. We turned it around to find out whose skating gets him hyped, and learned that Nik is a man on the look-out for particular things. Aren’t we all ♥


Ricky Oyola — Eastern Exposure 3 (1996)

I actually didn’t discover this as early as I’d want to admit. Right around when I moved to Philly, I started watching it all the time. When we were filming for Bruns — this was the one. When the song is a little slow to kick in at the beginning, he does that tre flip, 180, then switch wallie. I could watch that and be good to go skating.

The lines in the subway obviously had a big impact. I saw that and was like “Oh shit, I could go skate that?” It’s so fun to skate that spot, but it’s pretty fast in there, you get going quick. He does a shifty and it’s filmed from the front, and I always liked that clip. I always try to get people to film from the front; sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t. It looks cool because it’s unpredictable and you can’t tell what’s coming next.

This part is on everybody’s list, but it had a huge effect on me. There’s a color version that I’ve been watching, I don’t know when it got uploaded. It’s cool to see what he’s wearing. You think it’s all grey, but it’ll be a green hoody or some shit. I like knowing stuff like that.

P.J. Ladd — P.J. Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life (2002)

This was my first video, and I still probably watch it once a week. I have this thing with parts where I like when there is a build-up. He does these mellow lines — well, not mellow — but he’s doing flip tricks down the street in the beginning when the song hasn’t really kicked in yet. I could just watch that section of it and be hyped. There’s this line where he kickflips into a little ramp on the side of the road, then does a front 3 out of a curb cut, then a tre flip and frontside flip on flat, and that makes me want to go skating. After that, he does the crazy line going down the block at the windowsill ledges in Boston, ending with possibly one of the best crooked grinds of all time. When I first started skating and I saw that, all I wanted to do was crooked grinds in éS Accels; the shot of the super rugged Accels made you want your shoes to look like that, too.

I have a common theme with grey footage throughout everything — grey footage and people skating their home town, that’s very important. He does skate Miami a couple times, but it doesn’t affect that most of it is grey Boston footage. On a trip, it’s hard to get clips that you’re super proud of. Skating at home is definitely more interesting because people have time to think about the tricks they want to do. I love going on trips, but for a part, having a full one in your town is the best. It feels more together. When you have video parts filmed throughout the world, it doesn’t really hit the same.

Nick Jensen — Blueprint: Lost & Found (2005)

I think I downloaded this video on Kazaa or Limewire or something, just searching for skate videos. That opening line at Southbank — that grey London tile — and possibly one of the best nollie half cab flips ever done, just goes so well with the intro to the song, which I remember having on my MP3 player. There’s a couple Barcelona clips in the sun, but obviously that’s unavoidable with London weather. You got to escape somehow.

He does a couple kickflip manuals in there, and that made me want to start doing them — there’s one down a skinny ledge and down a hubba. I always really liked that clip for some reason.

Most of it is lines, but he hucks down some stairs in there. I really like it when a mostly line skater still hucks sometimes. He does this huge frontside flip filmed fisheye from the top, and at the end he does this switch flip — like jumps on his board and does a switch flip down ten or however many stairs. He makes it look easy. Like, “Oh, I can do that too…”

Brady is just as dope in this video. It’s really hard to pick one part from it.

Dennis Busenitz — Real: Since Day One (2011)

I’ve searched to the 20th page of YouTube for any Busenitz footage there is and I love every clip. I think this is my favorite part of his. You know the rumors section in the back of a Thrasher? Before this came out, there was a thing that was like a cut-out of him drenched in sweat that said like, “Busenitz rumored to have 20 minutes of footage for the Real video.” That got me so hyped; “I can’t wait to watch this.”

I really like the opening minute or two minutes to the Brian Eno song. It feels like he’s warming up for the rest of the part. They put a couple basic tricks in there: he does a kickflip in a ditch that’s the dopest kickflip, and he does this back tail on a bank, and instead of just going back in, he pops out. I forget what the S.F. spot is called, but he does a nose manny down a hubba, then a back lip on a ledge and a back 3 down some steps and it flows unbelievably. This isn’t to take away from the actual part though — he really goes in. Like those lines he does at Third and Army made me want to start trying no-push lines. And again, it’s mostly S.F. stuff — a couple Arizona clips or whatever — but Busenitz in S.F, there is nothing better.

Tom Knox — Eleventh Hour (2013)

Same thing: the song is kicking in and he’s doing a line through the crustiest London courtyard. The VX sounds so nice on it. I like that he skates recognizable spots but does lines to or from the spot — so you get to see what’s around you or how the spot is set up, not just the main part of it. He does a front blunt on like a super crusty brick bank, starts pushing and then grinds a wall rail. You’re watching it thinking, “Where is he pushing to?” The spot is so rugged that you wouldn’t think there is anything over there.

When the second song kicks in, he does a line at those ledges that go into a wall — people skate those benches, you see them all the time — but then he does a line for like two more blocks around the corner, and does a tre flip into a wet sidewalk. It’s like how could you end that line with a switch flip nose manual after that? That’s some superhuman shit.

We have to give Jake [Harris] a shout out here, too: the filming and editing is unbelievable. I’ve been lucky enough to go on a couple trips with these guys over the past year and see this in person. It is unbelievable to watch. Tom does not miss flatground tricks at all; it would be so fun to film like that. That’s the hardest part of any line, and he just doesn’t mess up. Jake floats up curbs. We filmed a line where he ollies down a pretty big set, and the footage just looks like he floats down it. The camera doesn’t move. It’s nice to see the connection between the skater and filmer. Like the Nick Jensen part, as a whole, it’s so nice to watch. Not only does it make you want to go skating, but it makes you want to go filming, which is kind of a different thing. It’s a perfect part.

Honorable Mention: Grant Taylor — “Grant Taylor Rides For Anti-Hero” (2014)

Previously: Anthony Van Engelen, Dom Henry, Bing Liu, Andrew Reynolds, Cyrus Bennett, 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


  1. So psyched he brought up that particular Dennis line with the nosemanny, backlip, and back 3.

  2. great write up and great picks <3
    also crazy how 3 mins of grant footage has become such a fave… peak flow skating

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