Still Gold — Brandon Westgate’s 2023 B-Sides

In acknowledging Pretty Sweet‘s tenth birthday last fall, it was tough not to consider how it was one of the final videos before social media took over …everything. (Yeah, MySpace, Facebook, IG, et al. had all been around, but it had yet to feel like skateboarding revolved around them.)

Perhaps one of the final innovations of the old-world skate video ecosystem — before every innovation was steered towards increasing followers — was Emerica opting to release the raw files of their marquee project, part by part, for free six months after the video dropped. Emerica’s Stay Gold “B-Sides” are practically as well-remembered as the video itself (voted by QS readers as last decade’s second best), giving way to a 2010s phenomenon of fan-made remix videos and a recipe for getting twice as much mileage out of a video that a company could spend years working on — a formula still with us today.

Anyway, Element dropped Westgate’s raw clips from their E.S.P. Volume 2 video.

The first thought is that Westgate hasn’t lost a single step in his otherworldly command of a skateboard thirteen years later. The first guy to go up Fish Gap, up Blubba, up Pyramid Ledges, hit the rail after the double-set at Brower Park, or skate the rollerblader hubbas in north Battery Park City still has the pioneering spirit to be the first to hit two of the Dylan planters consecutively, or find a new quick-footed way to hit the other portion of the same 58th Street skate spot.

The second thought is mentally cataloging all the ways in which skate media has changed since the once-radical concept of showing all the work you put into a video part became commonplace. And as some of those same social platforms long-blamed for stealing the full-length skate video’s thunder become riddled with ads and just less “cool,” you have to wonder where we are headed next ;)

It’s a raw files with a million and a half views, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a rewatch 🙃

Also, can you believe there was a point in time at the QS office when Future was “the ‘Racks on Racks’ guy?”


  1. Have been wondering the same “what next” dilemma too.

    As a lifelong skater who also works in social media, it is obvious that both a) Instagram is not cool but everyone begrudgingly uses it and b) TikTok is not really sticking with skateboarders or skate brands the same way IG did even if the early days. But are we all just in the shadow of Thrasher for the next x amount of years?

  2. the stay gold b-sides were also edited really cleverly
    it wasn’t fully raw, never That Many tries but enough shown for viewer to grasp the “story” of the skater’s progression towards the clip, tastefully selected hijinx/b-roll, there was enough thought put into them to make it clear to the viewer that the point was enriching the experience of the actual video, not pure view-grubbing.

  3. Also a skater who works in social media for a lame athleisure brand that shall not be named here

    Also wonder the same things often.

    So many years of Thrasher dominance, so many years with that and Instagram as the engine behind everything

    Also don’t see it going to TikTok. Feel like TikTok skaters have their niche a la the #SkateTwitter crowd but it is never going to be the major engine.

  4. Tik Tok was specifically created as a CCP response to IG’s influence – our Chinese overlords and their western algorithm-handlers want you dancing and POVing your life away — NOT doing a healthy activity that’s fun and connects the world

  5. Thanks Tom, good win last night.

    All things considered, we gotta keep up with skate socials to promote this thing, so we’re just as curious as everyone else here.

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