Robbie Gangemi — Zoo York: Mixtape (1997)
A lot of these wouldn’t have been my favorite videos when I was younger. As I’ve been in the industry and skating for a while, these are ones that have really grown on me and stuck with me.
I definitely saw Mixtape before I was on Zoo, but my head was in a different place when I saw it. I met Robbie in Boston when I was in my teens. He definitely has a strong personality, but I feel like the older I get, the more I appreciate his skating. The Mixtape part — especially the 5050 up and across the handicap ramp at the end — gets better and better. When I first watched this, I didn’t comprehend how gnarly it was.
He’s skating a lot of Boston, and has great style. I feel like style for tall lanky people could go either way, but sometimes with more arm and leg it gives you more style. He uses it well. He skates Turtles a bunch; I was always jealous of people that got to skate Turtles, which is a playground in Boston with a bunch of big, asphalt banks with tubes on the top that there were a bunch of different ways to skate.
John Cardiel — Transworld: Sight Unseen (2001)
I grew up skating more skateparks; I was in a small town that had ramps and transition. I wasn’t watching him when I first started skating, but now I look back on it and love how he skates random street shit along with the transition.
And the song obviously got me super hyped. I’ve never been good at picking music for video parts, but this song really adds to the part.
He’s always been a huge inspiration to me and everybody who skates. He can do a 5050 grind and it’s super exciting. You meet him and see that his energy matches his skating exactly. I don’t really know what else to say: it’s Cardiel.
Rob Welsh — Aesthetics: Ryde of Die Volume 1 (2001)
Like I brought up before [with Gangemi]: If you’re tall and have good style, that’s just more …style. Welsh was on the top for a while, but you can tell when a skater is in their zone. You can read it in the body language of his skating: he’s super comfortable.
The song, the editing, the big sweatpants and that whole era in skating when the Pier was popping was so sick — everybody was riding a 7.5 when this came out.
People had hit that Government Center spot in Boston before — I think Joey [Pepper] front noseblunt slid it — but back noseblunt is the trick you want to do there. Timeless.
Danny Renaud — Habitat: Mosaic (2003)
We’re a similar age. When you’re younger, you’re looking around and seeing who’s your age and what they’re doing. There weren’t as many younger kids out back then. I remember watching Fulfill the Dream, and that video was insane with Sammy Baptista and Brandon Turner doing their thing. Seeing how kids were putting together video parts was so inspiring to me. You’re always seeing where you’re at compared to them. There weren’t too many gauges of that back then when you’re younger coming up. Now, it’s kids coming up doing 1080s. Danny was definitely one of the people we were watching.
I remember always tripping off this part — he was doing tech-gnarly switch shit back in the day. He completely brought it to the next level. He’s gotta be like 19 or something.
I feel like a lot of people’s first parts are the most genuine parts that they put out. You can see that he’s just skating, which is super refreshing and easy to watch. And now, looking back on what he’s been through, I love it even more.
Brian Brown: Transworld: Let’s Do This (2007)
I wanted to do the Brian’s Vicious Cycle part, but I thought that’d be wack to talk about. I think I like that part better than this one, but I’m picking this one.
This one is more special to me because it’s after he left Zoo and rode for Listen — we didn’t go our separate ways or anything — but I didn’t watch him film a bunch of this one. For the other one, I was along for the journey.
He was always finding his own shit. I don’t wanna say he was the first — but the nose wheelie to pivot grind to fakie, a lot of manny to grinds and grinds to mannys — I want to say [he was doing them] before that was really a thing. During this time, I was so into skating myself that I wasn’t really watching stuff. When I saw this, I was like, “Holy shit, you did that?!”
Then he’s got Montoya in there, Rob G, all the Listen buddies and [Montoya’s] switch back tail crail grab…
Your favorite videos change all the time. It’s hard to have a specific five, but these are all definitely up there.
Previously: Neil Herrick, Trung Nguyen, Nick Boserio, Elissa Steamer, Casper Brooker, 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