Despite two years of no Christmas clips, there was a concerted effort (of some success) to bring the #realcamera out in 2018. This year’s best turned out to be a grab bag of mixed media: the shitty HD office cam, iPhones, a VX1000 for a more nostalgia-tinted moment earlier this year, and YES, some shit went to the IG story only to leave me immediately regretting “fuck, I wish I had Logan’s $97 nollie tre in glorious 1080p video.”
And there’s no Top 10 this week because the skateboard internet collectively took off from posting ANY new video. Tyshawn’s “BLESSED” part was only up for Christmas Day, and other than that, there was like, a Silas part, and Kyota’s long ass 5050 from the GRoE tour.
Back on Monday with the end of the Year in Review ♥ I can’t believe 4.P.F. blocked “Never Recover” on YouTube, forcing a plan B on the second song. Heartbroken.
Daniel Kim, our 2016 Q.S.S.O.T.Y., is honoring exemplary bouts of evolution since January 1, 2018 with his own, Stingwater-endorsed award, G.R.O.E.T.Y. (GRoE, of course, stands for Getting Ready tO Evolve.) Your 2018 GRoEr of the Year is Antonio Durao: medicine man, beach bully deterrent, gardener, and humanitarian. Daniel gave an eye-watering honorary speech for the occasion.
One of the most remarkable things about Antonio is that he treats skateboarding like the giant fun joke that it is, whether he’s switch back heeling some massive high-bust set on a whim, or skating off the foot-wide lip of a truck bed. The key difference between you or I treating it like a joke, and him, is that his talent on collides with this “joke” head on at every corner wherever he skates, never missing a chance to do something equal parts insane, fried and brilliant. (We’ve kept a small Twitter thread going of his third-eye vision since the middle of the summer.)
Put all your dreams in skateboarding’s basket, and sometimes, they end up crushed. Years of blood spilled over video parts, knees hurting after being squished into tour vans, rent paid to share a three bedroom with five people — and all you have to show for it is a stack of warped boards that you never got a chance to skate.
Long story short: it is always wise to diversify your dream portfolio in case [for some strange reason] the whole “pro skater” thing doesn’t work out.
To be honest, I don’t know if Barnes ever wanted to be a pro skater. Maybe when he was 14 or something, I never really asked. But I do remember him being a staple in 5Boro videos for as long as I have known what 5Boro was. He was also a longstanding resident of the aughts’ most notorious brand-name skate house, Dobbin Block. Today, he is the closest thing we know to a deranged rich guy (see #16.) I’m not sure if he’s on the path to becoming a philanthropic sort of deranged rich guy who leaves the world a vastly better place than it was, or James Bond villain sort of deranged rich guy. And frankly, there’s a 50/50 shot for either outcome, and I’m cool with waiting in suspense until he arrives at one.
When he does, we — the skateboard family who watched Spike Jonze accept his Oscar with proud affirmation that he was one of “us” — can watch Barnes either save the world or destroy it, while telling our loved ones, “Oh yeah, that’s the guy who used to do all the crazy drop-ins in old 5Boro videos.”
And so, the prolonged afterlife of a full-length video released in 2018 comes to its close: the final “B-sides” clip.
No Idea was the video that earned Etienne a Gucci polo. These are the bits that didn’t — in fact, they didn’t even earn anyone a Ralph Lauren polo. B-sides are the U.S. Polo Assassins polo of the golf shirt hierarchy, and these are the ones that took place on various filming trips to Boston, that time E.T. got stuck in Spain for ten months, and Canada. Alltimers for Adidas available in skate shops now.
You might recognize Marcello as being the only person doing literal 540s over the trash can at Tompkins, or for being an early purveyor of the cab flip craze that took over flatground skating earlier in the #TRENDWATCH cycle. Mode is the new / first full-length video from Canal New York, and features his first part since the quick ender in Diego Garcia’s Goodily video from last year. Save a quick interlude at Eggs, it is entirely filmed in New York, and one of those rare parts that makes such good use out of every oft-traversed corner of the city that you feel stupid for complaining about there being nowhere to skate yesterday. (Though not stupid enough to forget that those Citi Field benches are nowhere near as fun IRL as videos make them look to be hehehe.)
Video by Esteban Jefferson, who says Mode will probably make its way online in full over the weekend.