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?”