Five Favorite Parts With Ben Kadow

📝 Interview by Farran Golding
📷 Photo by Ben Colen for Thrasher

Five Favorite Parts is back.

If you ever wondered what possesses someone to, say, 5050 the bench on the Houston median depicted above, or boardslide the knobbed rail on Forsyth Street while everyone else is hurling themselves down the stairs — you can rest assured that the answer is a crossroad between Anthony Pappalardo and Jason Byoun ;)


Ray Barbee — Powell Peralta: Ban This (1989)

I’ve never been a vintage skate video head at all, but when I was a teenager, I found Ban This. Ray’s part stuck with me and it doesn’t get old. It’s the perfect portrayal of being a teenager on a hazy summer day and going skating with no plan. It has this cool nostalgic feel to it. The thing I appreciate is that it’s kind of aimless and improvised. It looks like he’s dancing most of the time.

In the beginning, he does a no-comply shove-it, into manual, kickflip out. That’s not an easy trick, especially on those weird old boards. I don’t feel I take too much of this into my own skating, but the quirks in this part – like my favorite trick is when he backside flips up a three stair, catches his front truck on the top stair, then reverts out – that’s so cool to me. I might have to steal that one. Doing stalls on ledges is very underrated. Tricks like that, which don’t make sense, kind of put skating into perspective, you know? You do it however you want to, that’s the whole point.

Corey Duffel — 88 Footwear: Destroy Everything Now (2004)

It’s funny, man. I grew up skating with kids who were very influenced by Corey, but I was more into ledge skating. It wasn’t until I was older that I rewatched this and realized how great it was. This part really makes me wish I could wear skinny jeans, but I think the ship has sailed on that. The outfits, the music – you get a classic with a Dead Boys song [“Sonic Reducer”] and then he throws in a deep cut with Ice and The Iced. I appreciate when people who are music heads can throw songs into video parts that aren’t so well known, and those two together make it so enjoyable. There’s maybe some filler stuff, but I’m fine with that because then you get to have the two full songs, which are both bangers.

Everyone knows Corey’s name; he’s such an icon and he’s put out quality parts. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and has the best record collection in skating, by far. I’ve been to his house a few times, which is really cool. It’s like a museum.

I always appreciate a snapped board roll away and the switch nosegrab over the grass gap [Ed. Note: Nosegrab is by Amy Caron] — I was definitely influenced by it when I came back around to it years ago. It’s such a weird trick, especially in [the context of] the whole part. His ability to get multiple tricks on one spot shows how much of a savage he is, like the giant skinny hubba where he does a 5-0 and lipslide.

That ollie towards the end down the gigantic double-set… I remember one of the first YouTube videos I ever watched when YouTube was brand new was a three second clip – one of those early “viral” videos – of that giant ollie. I think that’s what the title was: “Giant Ollie.” The colors in the clip, the grass, his outfit looks so cool and the song coming to an end makes it more dramatic. Theres a specific upload of Corey’s part that I like more Ed. note: the one embedded above]. It’s shittier quality and reminds me of when YouTube first appeared and every skate video on there looked like that.

Dylan Rieder — Gravis: “dylan.” (2010)

Before I ever met Dylan, he was a super human, an unbelievable person. I don’t think anyone saw this part coming, I was 15 or 16 and it completely changed my world. There’s something cinematic about it on top of the tricks, which are insane. It’s similar to some of Heath’s parts – whenever there’s a night clip with a generator and it’s a banger, it feels like you’re watching a movie. The style is one thing but those tricks are still incomprehensible. Back tail on that blue rail, the tailslide kickflip executed perfectly, the impossible over the Seaport bench… I mean, that was the one. This part was destined to be hugely influential.

This and that [‘Homeboy’] era of Pappalardo were the most shocking because neither of them were on my radar as a kid and both parts came out and blew everything out of the water for me. It doesn’t look like he’s trying hard at all. You know he’s a hard-ass worker throughout the whole thing, but to do technical tricks, going super fast, going the distance on every ledge or rail – no pop outs [early] or anything – that’s so hard to do. You have to really be locked in to be able to do that kind of skating.

He was such a generous person. I remember during [filming for] “cherry,” I was trying the boardslide outside of Blick [Bond Street Gap]. It’s taking so long and I felt so bad because it was the first spot of the day, like, “Oh my god, I’m skating with Dylan Rieder and I’m blowing it,” not landing this trick. It took, like, two hours and he was helping with foot traffic the whole time. I could not believe that this guy is the greatest of all-time and he’s taking the time and effort out of his day to help me get my trick. That’s unheard of.

I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t been said. His ability to do gnarly shit, execute every trick perfectly, and look so beautiful doing it is something that no-one else can accomplish. Coupled with his work ethic, it’s just very romantic.

Anthony Pappalardo — “HOMEBOY ‘we $till here'” by William Strobeck (2011)

Obviously, the Pappalardo part from this period was Fully Flared [2007], which I love. The thing with “Homeboy” was it came out with the trick that wasn’t in his Fully Flared part, that’s my favorite trick probably out of everything Pappalardo has done: the ollie into Black Hubba. That blew my mind, I was like, “This is how I’m going to skate now.” It’s a classic spot, everyone skated the main hubba, and he went off to the side and did that. It’s two handrails going down each side and he threads the needle at the end. I thought that was so cool.

If a part has mostly New York clips in it, then its an easy one to like, but the funny thing is that growing up, I’d seen Pappalardo video parts, but I never really appreciated them. Fully Flared [and “Homeboy”] was him taking a different route in his approach to skating and it really struck a chord with me. It was the first time I understood how impactful simple tricks on cool spots could be. That really resonated with me; it changed my outlook.

Bill has a way of putting clips together, it’s hard to explain. Fully Flared is more traditional, you get all the heaviest tricks, but it’s the personality aspect of “Homeboy” I like. Bill did a great job of capturing Pappalardo at this time of his life.

Jason Byoun — Lurk NYC: Looney Bin (2013)

[Part begins @ 20:29]

Jason is a rebel and he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. This kind of skating – shitty spots, cellar doors and close fisheye – I never really enjoyed watching, but he skated the worst spots and did it in his own way.

The line where he starts with a switch heel and then reverts afterwards is so ignorant. I love it. He does that, then ollies over a handrail and wheel taps on both trucks going over the rail. That, to me, is a perfect line. It’s unorthodox. I don’t know if it was Nick [von Werssowetz] or Stu [Kirst] who told me this, but the line where he throws down, ollies the set right after, then just kind of stands there rolling — apparently he forgot where he was going. You can see he jumps into action: frontside shove-it and then ollies over this pretty big rail into a driveway. That’s another perfect line.

I think I just appreciate anyone who puts their own stamp on something.

Previously: Chandler Burton, Pedro Delfino, Johnny Wilson, Nick Michel, 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, 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


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