Like many of us – myself included – Cole Nowicki wouldn’t be here without Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. He has a personal connection to the game, coupled with the acumen of a professional writer/researcher (and weekly newsletter-er.) Right, Down + Circle: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, his new book about the game, amounts to a really tight, compelling read.
Let’s get it going — a review of the year when it rained every single weekend in the summer.
Without further ado, here is the minutiae, the laughter, the tears, the triumphs and defeats that defined the year 2023 in New York skateboarding.
“I think I was in the best mindset of my skateboarding career – filming that part with Brandon.” This is what Chandler responded when asked how he distilled his skating into his sick new Q is for Cow part.
“Sponsor stuff was going on, and even after proving to myself with ‘Castle Freak‘ that I was pro on my own standards, it felt good to take all of my footage and not have it in any industry thing, and have it go to a homie video that made that much more from the heart.”
To see where Chandler’s heart is at, I had him rundown his favorite parts. And you know what, it seems like his heart is in the right place.
If you count everything in the Thrasher Junk Drawer, ten full-length videos, plus another handful of solo parts and edits came out in August 2023. We’ve come to expect that sort of programming when marketing teams try to get a thumb on the scale during the S.O.T.Y. race, but the end of summer has traditionally been a much less productive time of year for skateboarding.
At least until this year.
Lakai’s Bubble, Pass~Port’s “Trinket,” and Johnny’s Vid all came out in the same week. Palace’s Beta Blockers and WKND’s Rumble Pack came out on the same day, creating a nineties skater version of the meme about how eating a bag of Takis would overwhelm and kill a child from the 19th century.
What are the chances? How did it happen? And did anybody realize what was coming down the pipeline? I called a handful of skaters and filmers who worked on the projects that were released that month to find out why it was so stacked, and how it felt to navigate the spotlight.
It has never been easy to make a full-length skate video. Today, it might be harder than ever.
If you’re Josh Stewart, owner of Theories of Atlantis Distribution and the filmmaker behind the Static series, videos just take time. So much time, in fact, that he says Brett Weinstein, who stars in the forthcoming Static VI [58 minutes], put out a half-dozen other video parts with his Chicago crew, Deep Dish, in the time it took to finish the latest Static.
Or, if you’re a company man like Deluxe team manager and videographer Tim Fulton, you’re fighting everyone else’s schedule. If someone on Real has enough footage for a part, Fulton says, it’s unlikely everyone else is also close to completing a part — and even then, skaters are eager to get their footage out. So they put it out.