Five Favorite Parts With Brandon Turner

Intro + Interview by Adam Abada
Portrait by by Mike Blabac

There’s a tendency for skaters from a certain era to have favorite parts from a certain era. Brandon Turner isn’t really an exception to this rule, but instead of piling praise onto the heap of what can be considered modern street skateboarding’s founding documents, he can specifically recall how they related to him in the timeframe he’s remembering. They’re inspirational pieces fueling skaters’ second — and sometimes — third career acts. Brandon Turner still skates today like these are his favorite parts.

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Guy Mariano – Blind: Video Days (1991)

I saw this little kid and thought how he was as little as me and killing it. And at the same time, he was skating to Michael Jackson, dude. When I was a little kid, I used to stand on my bed, watch Michael Jackson videos and try to emulate his moves. So when I saw this part, I was just like, “Wow, this is possible! How’s he doing it?”

He was doing switch boards down a rail. Our boards were different then – we barely had a nose – big square tails and a little nose, and he’s flipping this board around and skating with high energy. It’s also cool looking back, and seeing a lot of these songs used for the first time in a creative way.

I also have to mention when he came back with Mouse: that was insane. He was smoother than ever and still the best. From Video Days on, he had a lot of change. He went through what we all know he did, and to see him come out of that was really inspiring. I went through some similar shit. That was a huge inspiration to me.

Daewon Song: World Industries: New World Order (1993)

I was living in Japan and I remember thinking that I knew what I wanted to do in skateboarding, but [then] New World Order came out. After seeing Daewon’s part, I was tripping. I was just learning tricks, and I remember Daewon was being so technical. I wanted one of his pro boards so bad, but I was never able to get it.

He’s doing hardflip 5-0 180 out on curbs. Hardflip back tail. Fakie tre front blunt on a curb. I learned fakie tre’s and saw him do it to front blunt on the curb. I didn’t think I could ever get to that level: it seemed as far as a spaceship on Saturn to me. The beautiful thing of it is — being blessed where I’m at in skateboarding now and what I’ve done — I still remember being in the mindset at the time of it being so impossible. This is what changed skateboarding forever and set the bar. This is in 1993, man.

Jeremy Wray — Plan B: Second Hand Smoke (1994)

This was when I was just coming up. I was on Voice Skateboards with Peter Smolik, Kanten Russell and Mike Rafter. I backside 180ed Carlsbad after seeing this part; we were going there a lot and trying to come up. Giving credit to Dave Schlossbach, the most influential and best filmer in the world. He was a mentor to a lot of skaters. He invented putting the handle on the camera: I want to put that out there. I was fortunate enough to be on Voice, which he started, and I got to learn everything from him. Watching his work with Jeremy Wray’s skating was amazing.

The starting line with the tre flip at Carlsbad was so crazy when we saw it at the premiere – he does the opening tre flip, then we see Rodney Mullen pogoing in the background. I’m like, “Where’s he going?” Then he does a kickflip in the middle and ends with a frontside flip on the gap in this insane long line, with his whole front foot on the board — in a heeflip position! From there, it’s all super pop and Dave’s filming. There’s this line in Canada that goes down the stairs, Dave runs down the stairs, and you’d just never know. He set the standard for how a modern part would look with the build-up and the climax. The next level of professionalism in filming and skate videos was set then to where it is today.

Everything was done with conviction and purpose. If you look at the editing – usually they put the gnarliest trick last. They build you up to that one. In Secondhand Smoke, they put the gnarliest Hubba Hideout trick in the middle, not at the end of the session. That fakie ollie back tail down the middle with the layback, then a backside 5-0, but that back tail was the gnarliest one. It was so cool how it was in the middle of the sequence. It was genius.

Kareem Campbell – World Industries: Trilogy (1996)

I need to point out: I had a pager. That was before cell phones. My uncle was a real player in the streets with beepers and shit. When Kareem pulled out the beeper mid-line man, I lost my shit. I need to put that out there for skaters who don’t understand that. That shit is one of the most legendary things ever done in a line. That’s not an opinion.

Everything that relates to me and influenced me in the culture – the style, the tricks, the skits – I’d have to say was Kareem in Trilogy. He put his heartfelt shit in there, raw skating and raw music. He’s a player, man. Not to mention he did the best nollie hardflip in the world to Nas’ “If I Ruled the World.” And he was back and forth in that part from San Diego to L.A. That hyped me up, too: Kareem being in San Diego. He was kickflipping over the biggest shit. He was fixing his pants while he’s skating. He was cruising and you could tell it.

It’s Instagram time now, so people scroll and don’t appreciate shit as much, I think. We had anticipation. We had to wait years for videos to come out, and got to see things in those videos being done over tables for the first time. When we finally saw that, we were losing it. People see NBDs now and shrug, “Oh, NBD. Has it been done? Let me research it.” But back then, we knew: it had never be done. The switch hard flip over the table, of course, got me. I think I was just learning that trick at the time and it was insane to see. I was like “How am I going to keep up with this? HOW?”

Tom Penny – Transworld: Uno (1996)

Penny’s section begins @ 1:27

It’s really hard, man — because there’s more than a top five! But, for sure Tom Penny in Uno. Who do you know nowadays that films a video part in one day so flawlessly? Over a chain into bank is hard, and with a cigarette in his hand — and shoes that weren’t even his current sponsor. Everything about that is amazing.

I heard about that bank session; he was there with Rob Dyrdek. Apparently it happened so fast. That chain to bank is so gnarly, especially at that time, and he did those things like nothing. That’s just what it is. To have a Transworld part like that – easy money. That always stood out to me.

Previously: Shari White, Nick Jensen, Tony Hawk, Naquan Rollings, Jack O’Grady, Josh Wilson, Maité Steenhoudt, Jahmir Brown, Una Farrar, Chris Jones, Mason Silva, Beatrice Domond, Mark Suciu, Justin Henry, Breana Geering, Sage Elsesser, Bobby Worrest, Nik Stain, Anthony Van Engelen, Dom Henry, Bing Liu, Andrew Reynolds, Cyrus Bennett, Jacob Harris, Jamal Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Gilbert 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

2 Comments

  1. B is the best. Been through so much and had career for roughly 30 years. I know Shorty’s guys get their shine here and there, but I think it’s still not enough.

    Sammy Baptista was doing switch flip one foot backside tailslides for Gods sake!

    Watching Wray’s part years after the fact still hit me like a ton of bricks, and is he not the only one to skate Carlsbad in a line? Incredible.

    An untouchable list of skaters and parts.


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