📝 Interview by Farran Golding
📷 Photo by Jamie Owens
April is one of those rare months where we’re throwing out two editions of Five Faves (Elijah Odom‘s ran earlier this month) on account of us missing March ;)
The past few Foundation videos have ignited a conversation (consensus?) about how to successfully refresh a legacy skate brand. Rather than lean into formulas that worked in years past, Splendor and Whippersnappers were both exciting projects with firm footing in the moment. In that crop of new faces, Ariana Spencer has stood out each time with contagiously fun footage — so we reached out for a list of inspirations. (Ariana has a full interview in the latest issue of Closer as well. Shout out to Jamie for the photo.)
Tony Trujillo — Transworld: In Bloom (2002)
I was working at a skatepark and they had a whole bunch of DVDs. I’d never seen In Bloom before and Tony Trujillo’s part was the one that stood out because he had a Motley Crü song [“Kickstart My Heart”]. They’re my mom’s favorite band, so I’d hear them a bunch growing up.
He skates so fast, like he’s in a rush, and it’s something I wish I could do. I can’t skate transition, so watching him do it is very pleasing. I skate nothing like him but he gets me hyped to skate. There’s a lot of energy to it.
Brent Atchley — Element: Elementality Volume One (2005)
I wasn’t really skating back in the day, but I was obsessed with Bam Margera. My mom surprised me with a Bam board and I got the [Elementality] DVD, which has a picture of Bam on it. I didn’t know what it was, but I would watch it from start to finish, all the time, and Brent Atchley’s part stood out.
He makes it seem really easy. He doesn’t look like a “normal” transition skater. He was so smooth with it and that made me want to work on my style. If the song was good, a part would always catch my attention, but the transition skating caught my eye.
Mike Mo Capaldi — Lakai: Fully Flared (2007)
Fully Flared came out when I started getting heavily into skating. I was obsessed with Girl, Chocolate, and the whole of Crailtap; I remember the countdown being online for the video. I got it through something like Limewire and downloaded it onto my iPod. I’d watch it every night before bed and Mike Mo’s part was my favorite. He’s so good and the song is so good [“No Cars Go” by Arcade Fire]. The song always makes the part, for sure.
It seemed like everyone in my grade was waiting for that countdown. When it finally came out we’d talk about it non-stop; it seemed like the first video like that in my friend group. I think he was 17 in that part. Younger kids always influenced me more, and knowing his age, I’d study his clips all the time, like, “If he can do it, I can do it.” Him living in California made me want to get out here really bad.
He does this switch flip nose manny over a wall. It’s a really quick clip, like a mirrored trick — that always stood out. I remember learning switch inward heels and switch backside heels after watching this. It influenced me to try skate switch.
His brother, Vince, is really good too. He has a part skating to Fergie. He’s messing around the whole time, but also killing it.
Ryan Chlumecky — Reed Wheels: The Reed Video (2015)
I would go back and forth from Chicago and Ohio as a kid. My dad would never let me skate the city, so I’d watch Chicago clips and wish I was skating downtown. I spent seven years there in total, and when I first moved there, this video had just come out. I was obsessed with it.
In the first minute, he’s skating a popular spot downtown, Chase Bank, and it’s damn near impossible to skate. All his clips are at night because you get kicked out so quick. The fact he’s throwing down these hammers where you’re probably going to get kicked out in a few tries is so impressive. There’s one specific line: switch frontside shove down the eight [stair], fakie shove, half cab, then he does a back tail to three shove. That blew my mind.
He does this heelflip indy towards the end and my homie who I’m filming with right now, Phil Williamson — he filmed this whole video. He moved to California at the same time I did, but I didn’t know him in Illinois. In the heelflip indy clip, you can hear him shout, “If you land it, I got you on a thirty rack [of beer], right here!”
Ryan is the funnest person to be around; he’s definitely one of a kind. He’s like a trendsetter too and certain stuff he says, people will start copying.
There are so many homie videos coming out of Chicago, so many different cliques depending on which suburb you live in.
Alexis Sablone — Converse: Seize The Seconds (2020)
I didn’t skate back in the day [of her Wonderful Horrible Life era], but I’ve always known her skating and how gnarly she was. Even before her “comeback,” I was a fan. I used to see her at contests and stuff like that. I remember at one contest she showed up with her school books, set them down, skates the contest, then sits back down with them.
Her style, her switch and nollie flips, she can take a fall really good — I read an interview where she talks about skating flat all day long and it shows. I played S.K.A.T.E. with her, and she smoked me so quick.
In person, you really see how she handles her business. She straight up goes to the spot, does what she has to do, then it’s onto the next. The way she goes about skating a spot encourages me to have a different mindset when I’m out skating. She skates with confidence, for sure, and I love that about her. It inspires me to go about skating a little differently than I have been recently.
Honorable Mention: Marisa Dal Santo – Zero: Strange World (2009)
Previously: Elijah Odom, Greg Hunt, Zered Bassett, 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