Even before jumping on the “Five Favorite Parts” call, it’s tempting to draw connections between an interviewee’s list of inspirations and their most recent body of work.
Such was the case here, in (possibly) our most contemporary part-forward installment. However, from the straightforward aggression, mining of a certain locale for new routes, to the preference for monochromatic fits, there’s a little bit of all of these favorites found in Casper Brooker’s latest video part.
Heath Kirchart — Alien Workshop: Mind Field (2009)
He was already my favorite skater – him and [Andrew] Reynolds – when Mind Field came out. At that time I would wear… well, still, I only really wear black shoes or black trousers.
That part blew me away. I was like 15, 16. Listening to Morrissey and The Smiths was a big thing as it was for anyone in England at that age. Him skating to [“Speedway”], at night, wearing all black – Nick [Jensen] said it in his one of these: he’s just on his own path.
I find it really hard to articulate, but it changed my view on skating. Clothing, trick, spot choice – all incredible. He does the gap to back lip with the shoelace belt undone; there’s little details like that throughout the whole part which just add to the whole thing. Obviously, Greg Hunt is an incredible filmmaker, but that intro where the chainsaw goes off with the sparks, I get goosebumps from it. It’s an emotional part.
He’s such his own entity, he’s Heath Kirchart, you know? He’s one of those “favorite skater’s favorite skaters.”
Anthony Van Engelen — Vans: PROPELLER (2015)
It’s pretty safe to say A.V.E. is my all-time favorite skater. When this video came out, I was really excited. It was his first full part since Mind Field .
I bought [PROPELLER] solely for this part. It was around the time we were filming for Vase. It’s a weird Ozzy Osbourne song [“Over The Mountain”] and it’s good with the part, but on its own, I’d never listen to that. I’d end up annoying everyone, singing the part and they’d be like, “Oh fucking shut up, man.”
Something I find really inspiring is it’s one the last full-length videos where a whole team worked on it for three or four years, maybe even longer. Skating has changed so much since. I think even then, it was a bit of a big deal because people had been working on it for so long. There’s so much work that went into it and I think he wears his heart on his sleeve. Everything he films, a lot of effort goes in and I really like that.
White t-shirt, black Dickies, all tattooed up and a black trucker hat: that’s a timeless look. Switch crook half cab flip out, switch backside smiths — his trick selection is really inspiring to me. He also looks pissed off when he’s skating, which I find really sick.
He’s continuously progressing, one-upping himself in the best possible way. There’s such strong consistency to his parts. He does similar tricks, but they’re always on “better” obstacles or done faster. It’s almost like a reference to the old part.
There are much more technical skaters, but no one else is doing tech tricks with as much power and style as him. The line where he backside 180s up the curb, takes a couple of switch pushes down a sidewalk in L.A., then [does] a switch crook half cab flip is so fucking cool.
I’ve watched Dancing On Thin Ice a hell of a lot. I tried to do this as half all-time favorites and half current. I’ve watched his PROPELLER part — honestly — hundreds of times.
Tyshawn Jones — Supreme: “BLESSED” (2018)
I really like Ben Kadow and Tyshawn’s parts. A lot of these parts are because of the music as well, that’s a huge part to play in them. He skates to Rick Ross [“Blowin’ Money Fast”], then to Bob Dylan [“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”] and when he does the switch tre [at the very end] there’s this niche, Jay-Z track [“Hova Song (Intro)”]. All three together are such a mismatch of music, which works so perfectly.
He’s naturally talented and one of the best skaters out there, but you can tell how much effort went into it. Again, it’s one of those parts that’s kind of emotional. When the Dylan song comes and it’s him and Dylan Rieder standing next to each other, I feel like there’s a lot of layers to it. Not just, “Here’s a S.O.T.Y. part.” That’s a pretty golden clip. That clip hit my heart a bit, like, “Ooft, that’s gnarly,” but in such a great way that it exists and it’s in that part.
I guess Bill [Strobeck] put a lot of time and effort in, and you can tell that he cares editing that part. Not that he doesn’t care throughout the whole video, but there’s a very personal level that comes across, which I think is really sweet.
Something I really like about his skating, which I find confusing, is that he does crazy, tech shit and highly popped stuff, but if you look at his technique, it’s like it shouldn’t work. It sounds like I’m being lame, but it’s what I feel makes him the best skater. He’s doing all this gnarly shit – and there’s no right or wrong technique – but I’m like, “How the fuck did that work? His foot is nowhere near where it supposedly should be.”
He’s so gifted at skating. He obviously puts a lot of effort into doing stuff: he speaks about having a work ethic outside of skating, but it shows in his skating.
Kevin Rodrigues — Fucking Awesome & Hockey: Dancing On Thin Ice (2020)
I love K-Rod’s skating. He doesn’t put out a crazy amount of footage, and when he does it’s pretty spot on. I used to watch his [I like it here inside my mind, don’t wake me this time.] part on repeat.
The song is called “Drunk in Paris” by Type O Negative. One of my best friends, Rauri [Jones] loves Type O Negative. About a month before this part came out, I was in Paris. I was having a real wobble at the time. He sent me that song. I didn’t realize it was a minute-and-a-half long. I had it on repeat, not paying attention and I ended up listening to it for about three hours. With the risk of sounding pretentious, I had this real romantic thing of that song playing, cycling around Paris feeling sorry for myself all day. This [part] came out and I was like, “Whoa, he skates to this. Perfect.” It’s such a distinct song and you can tell Kevin’s skating from mile off, so they compliment each other so well.
It leaves you wanting more. There are few people who can put out a minute-and-a-half of footage and you’re like, “Absolute gold dust.”
That road gap [to curb] where he does nollie 180 into switch backside 5050, that thing sucks. I’ve never skated it, I’ve just seen it and thought, “That is a real pile of crap.” He has a good trick selection and does it all perfectly. The noseslide 270 out on the Luxembourg C-ledge — it’s not technically the “hardest” — but he comes out faster than he went into it. Little things like that make his skating special.
Andrew Allen — “AA for Vans” (2021)
I love Andrew Allen. Growing up, one of my oldest and best friends, Sam Hughes — he’s been his all-time favorite skater for years. When Prevent This Tragedy  came out, I was like, “Oh yeah, he’s sick.” I’ve never disliked him, I’ve always understood it, but maybe about five or six years ago, out of nowhere, he became one of my favorites.
About three years ago, I got drunk and DM’d him. Then we became “Instagram buddies.” After a few too many beers, I sometimes end up sending him a message, but he’s super sweet and replies for some reason.
The “In Heaven” cover: I guess it was Benny [Maglinao] who chose the song, but it works incredibly well. The first half with “Gouge Away” is amazing because not many people have skated to the Pixies either. Dustin Dollin skated to them years ago. I used to listen to the Pixies a lot when I was a kid, as I’m sure a lot of people did, so it’s playing on some nostalgia.
Honestly, skating L.A. — everyone thinks it’s super perfect, but street skating sucks. Everything is really difficult to skate and maybe some of the stuff doesn’t translate. There are so many spots in L.A. that people have never skated. He’s finding cool little things that he doesn’t necessarily have to do the “hardest” trick on to look good.
This stuff just looks great, he looks wicked doing it and he’s been around for so long; he’s established. It’s nice and inspiring to do what you want and people are going to understand. Some people won’t but that’s fine.
Previously: John Gardner, Bobshirt, Brandon Turner, 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