It is the oldest joke ever told — older than the one about martinis and boobs, or the one about American healthcare.
“How many skateboarders does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”
Ha ha ha! “One to do it, one to film it, and another ten to say ‘Yeahhh!'” Ha ha ha!
But what about during a global pandemic? Suddenly, in the era of social distancing, those ten friends plus filmer cease to be C.D.C-compliant.
Yes, an oft-repeated QS ethos is that “your friends are your favorite skateboarders” and that “skateboarding is just organized hanging out” — a #longform excuse to get away from life’s troubles that may or may not actually involve the act of riding a skateboard. (Queue up that time one of Pad’s old girlfriends ran into us drinking beer with our shirts off at T.F. West at 4 P.M. on a weekday after he had told her he was “going skating.”)
Corona virus, however, has taught us that a lot of things actually are possible without friends — they’re just a lot fucking better with them. Skateboarding is one of those things. But like the proverb says, “I was good on my own, that’s the way it was.” Social distancing insists that this become a mantra.
Thom Musso, A.K.A. The Man Who Films enlisted 66 friends to film themselves on solitary skate missions for COVIDEO-19, the first proper multi-person video we’ve come across that isn’t just a selfie Instagram clip in a living room. Features Philly Santosuosso, Phil Rodriguez, Dave Caddo, Jerry Mraz, Zeb Weisman, James Sayres, and a ton of others.
Watching it, something about the angle, something about the static camera position, something about the solitary man honing his craft unhindered by other humans felt …familiar. It was hard to put a finger on.
Then, it hit.
Every dystopian tale comes with a kooky guy whose warnings about the not-so-distant future were laughed at, until they became real. Suddenly, the far-out doomsayer is a prophet.
Todd Falcon has been preparing for this his whole life: a space where skateboarding is stripped of its social shackles, and innovation is the only path forward. If Todd has spent his 34 years on earth in self-imposed quarantine inventing 5,000 tricks to reach “The Final Level,” can you imagine the progress we are in store for if our most talented colleagues stick to this regimen that they only in the past month have been forced into? e.g. Shane O’Neill on Todd Falcon time.
COVIDEO-19 confirms that it has always been Todd Falcon’s world, and we have only been spreading germs while ignoring the fact that we were living in it. One pandemic later, and he has now become the most prescient figure of modern skateboarding, almost overnight.