Five Favorite Parts With Nick Michel

📷 Photo by Anthony Acosta

When we ran the Wes Kremer edition last month, the headline photo was of Wes chilling with Nick, which naturally lead to the question: how the hell have we not asked Nick to do one of these before?


Chris Livingston β€” H-Street: Next Generation (1992)

There’s a handful of parts I could’ve chosen [from this video] β€” the whole video is really good β€” but I always come back to Chris Livingston’s part because it’s so badass. All those giant airs to tail-smacks, disasters, and smith-bashes he does are the coolest things ever. I try to do those bashes and quick lip tricks because of that part.

He’s pretty much skating vert the entire time, but he’s doing it in this way that β€” I don’t know anything about vert skating, really β€” it seems like nobody is skating it like that. Vert skating trips me out, especially from that time period. How did they think to do these type of tricks? The entire part seems like he’s skating [vert] like a mini ramp.

Also, he’s skating to this song by Sub Society. I’ve noticed Polar uses a lot of their music, probably as a homage. That song was used in Jamie Platt’s part [in Sounds Like You Guys Are Crushing It]. I really like Jamie’s part in that video, too β€” because they used that song and because Jamie’s awesome.

That whole video is full of crazy shit like that. There’s a dude named Chad Vogt who has an equally insane part, and Alphonzo Rawls has a really badass part, too. I love the last clip where he eats shit, and Chad Vogt is just laughing in his face. It reminds me of me and my friends when we’re just messing around at the skatepark, laughing at each other.

Wade Speyer β€” Think: Dedication (1998)

Wade Speyer is another skater who has influenced a lot of how I skate. In this part, he skates a lot of sick wooden indoor parks. In particular, he fucks up this mini ramp with a long spine in the middle of it, doing like front smiths where he’ll come in fakie, and then do like a switch front disaster on the other side.

The huge air he does β€” he smacks his tail on the way in and that’s the coolest thing ever. All those indoor parks he skates β€” like those 90s-style big wooden ramps β€” the way those old parks were set up back in the day was so cool. I wish more of them were around.

I used to watch this part a lot before going skating, and I feel like that song was in a Tony Hawk game, or at least a song by that same band, which is called Fu Manchu. It gets me hyped still.

Brian Anderson β€” Girl: Yeah Right! (2003)

I actually briefly met Brian yesterday. It’s funny because I already had him on this list. It was cool to meet him because I’ve been a fan of his forever, but it didn’t even hit me until we were about to do this.

Flip’s Sorry and Yeah Right! were probably the two biggest videos I grew up on because I had both on VHS, so they were the easiest to watch. This is when I was five or six. I love the song in this part because my dad used to burn these CDs and put a bunch of skate video music on them. Me and my dad would go to the skatepark all the time β€” I skated and he skated β€” and he would throw on all this skate music to get us hyped. I remember being in the car and listening to the song that Brian skated to a bunch. It brings back a lot of memories from when I was little.

And obviously, his skating is so gnarly in this part. I know people talk about Welcome to Hell a lot; I love that part too, but I grew up watching this a lot more. My favorite clip is where he does the front tail in the deep end of that bowl spot, and then goes to the other wall and does that back noseblunt. I can’t even imagine how satisfying it was to do that. That frontside to backside is so satisfying to watch, everything about it.

I love his style: he’s skating fast, but he’s so big that he’s almost lagging a bit. His body moves slower because he’s so tall; his board even flips slow. It’s really sick big guy steez.

And that slam he takes in the very beginning of his part where he tries to front blunt the rail and smacks his face on the ground β€” being really young, I didn’t realize that was his hat flying off his head. I always thought it was his teeth or his eyes flying out. Little kid brain.

Brent Atchley β€” Element: Elemntality – Volume 1 (2005)

I had the Elementality video on this big harddrive that my dad had. I’ve talked about this harddrive in other things, but it had all these skate videos from the mid-2000s and nineties on it. I watched so many videos off that, like That’s Life, the Flip videos, and Elementality.

I always loved Brent’s part because the way he skated transition was so smooth and floaty. The part is even better now. It’s so sick watching him skate Burnside: he has this crazy gear on, sagging his pants all crazy, doing the sickest shit. He’s another person who does lein to tails and lein disasters; I remember wanting to learn lein disasters because of this part. Me and a bunch of people used to skate these shop blanks back in Las Vegas, and I remember breaking so many of those things trying to do big lein disasters β€” just breaking my board in the middle of the coping. They were like twenty bucks; they weren’t that good.

It’s his own style. I feel the same way about Emile [Laurent]. Watching Emile skate Burnside is one of the coolest things ever; nobody does it like him, and nobody can. He’s one of my favorites right now for that same reason. I’m hyped Brent Atchley is coming back a bit right now. Similar to Emile, all his street footage looks so spontaneous. Nothing feels planned.

Omar Salazar β€” Alien Workshop: Mind Field (2009)

I think I liked Jake’s part more when I was younger, but lately, I’ve been watching Omar’s part more and more and I’m just like, “This is so awesome.” When I watch it, I wish I could’ve gone to the premiere and seen the reaction of everybody seeing it for the first time. It’s a really explosive part, and the way that he skates is really fast, reckless and scary. He looks like a maniac, doing really gnarly shit.

When I was rewatching it, the clip that got me really hyped is when he does a hippie jump through a bush, where his board disappears from him. It’s so good because when he lands, he looks down at his board, almost like he wasn’t expecting it: “Oh shit, I made it.” Then he goes on with his line down the street.

I think this might’ve been his β€” not his breakout part β€” but he might’ve just turned pro for Alien Workshop. It’s a really good example of a strong first part. I feel like it’s really easy to appreciate somebody who skates like him. He’s a wild card β€” that’s what I would describe Omar as. He’s going really fast, not that technical, just skating everything he can. He skates transition, he skates rails, he’s rigs spots up. That’s something I look to try and do: skate everything I can.

Honorable Mention: Aaron Loreth β€” Call Me 917 (2017)

I still remember the day that the first 917 video came out and what I did that day. It changed so much for me and my friends. I had no idea who Aaron was at that point, but he comes out the gate doing these fucked up tricks on that West Park wall. He’s so low key and stylish.

Previously: Wes Kremer, Jordan Trahan, Ariana Spencer, 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, MaitΓ© 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


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