“Colombia, huh.” Then come the sly smiles. There’s obvs no shortage of shithead Americans going to Colombia to be shitheads, but in all honesty, we weren’t going for shithead-related endeavors. We were trying to get out of the cold. It was three degrees outside the day we left.
Remember that 2012 S.O.T.Y. award? The one after Pretty Sweet? People thought Guy Mariano should’ve had it as the final victory to a tremendous redemption narrative, and for like, laser heelflipping out of a smith grind — for whatever reason he deemed that necessary to perform. A young Colombian man who was Possessed to Skate™ ended up getting it. He was the first Latin American to get it (right?), and the first non-American winner since Arto in 2001.
Why are we talking about S.O.T.Y? Well, when we went to Colombia for the first time in 2016, we went to Gonzalez’ neighborhood park. That guy is a god out there. He passed his possessed-ness off to thousands of Colombian kids, because this time around, it was obvious that skateboarding and its culture had become even bigger in Medellín. That one somewhat random S.O.T.Y. win had a massive impact in spreading skateboarding globally, even if we didn’t feel it in the States.
The plaza gods also blessed Medellín with an incredible plaza a little over a year ago. Parque Chimineas could best be described as if J-Kwon and Sants (had it not been bashed to shit over the years) had a baby, and already fueled its share of progression. That place alone is worth airfare + a five hour flight, and a bit more ~exotic~ than your run-of-the-mill New York winter escape destinations.
Watermelon Alex has been living down there for months, and Dre is seemingly an honorary Colombian. A second visit was much overdue. Can’t think of any other place I’ve traveled to where $200 lasts over a week. Also, that near-equator sun will have you in bed by 11 P.M., asleep deeper than you could’ve ever imagined. Thanks Alejo, Mateo and Alvarez for showing us around ♥
Sometime after the release of We Blew It At Some Point, and in that tiny window before “Mo Bamba” became a year-late inescapable hit, the office floated the idea of doing a remix of Andrew Wilson’s Polar footage to the song. Throughout the spring and early summer, Drew was always the first to throw it on during a car ride to the spot. The hit-anointing gods had other plans, as by the time fall came and our hackers extracted the footage from Pontus’ computer, it was impossible to walk ten feet in New York City — or any other city — and not hear “fuck! shit! bitch!” from someone’s car.
It was too obvious. And as the fall wore on, it got even more obvious. So obvious, that we didn’t even use it for our “Best of 2018” video. Nobody needed to hear “Mo Bamba” unsolicited for a very, very long time.
But we didn’t want to squander our hackers’ sleepless efforts. The footage sat around until Drew sent over a couple songs he thought would go good for a part, and we came up with this — just in time for some snow day hype.
Thanks to Tao, Johnny and Jesse for filming. Thanks to Pontus for the plug, and thanks to divine intervention for keeping us from editing Drew’s We Blew It At Some Point part + a batch of extras to last year’s most obvious song.
Previously:Don’t Call Me Hjalte (I Like It Here Inside My Mind remix.) Full disclosure… when that edit went live in 2017, I was a bit iffy on it, like, on some “oh this could, and should probably be better”-shit, but on revisitation just now that thing fucking goes. Bothsongs are *fire* and Hjalte still manages to surprise you even when you know all the clips. I edited that thing and was still saying “omg” rewatching it just now.
It’s 2019 and Lucas Puig is dropping parts still 40% filmed at the Venice curbs. There are lines in “BLESSED” that consist of a trick up a curb and a wallride from the sidewalk. So why doesn’t Natas — the guy who invented wallies and wallrides on straight up vertical walls (Gonz’s words, not mine…) — continue to evade top billing alongside Mark Gonzales in the “really old videos that younger people still like”-convo? (Natas has never been mentioned in a 5FP. And anybody who has been skating since the eighties is obvs exempt here.)
Even when we posted that video of Tufty doing his best variation of a Natas spin, a handful ofthe responses were still “I didn’t know this trick was possible outside of a video game.” At a time when we can watch the techest possible ledge combo on our feed, process it for 1.2 seconds, and keep scrolling, that’s truly saying a lot about a trick that was first done thirty years ago.
Some of this comes down to canonization, or the stuff you’re told to like. A friend once observed that saying Gonz in Video Days is your favorite video part is like saying Citizen Kane is your favorite movie. Like sure, I guess, ok yeah, everyone can dig a bit deeper, and a Natas part isn’t even deep.
All that to say this: I think Zach was feeling elevated, listening to Future, and watching some old favorites this past summer when he realized that for whatever reason, the woozy 120 BPM title track to 56 Nights goes really well with the extra slow-mo and film look of Natas’ Streets on Fire part. While procrastinating on another edit job, I tried to throw it together.
Productivity on a skateboard is known to be partial to a more, ummm, let’s say, “open-ended” schedule. Life obligations and responsibilities do have a well-worn way of interfering with clips. But given too much time on our hands, we start to take it for granted: how many of those slacker days end up spent kicking around Tompkins, L.E.S. or Blue Park? (Obvs the answer is…a lot.)
On the other hand, the guys with actual jobs have a way of making those two free days and two weeks of paid vacation count. Case in point: Josh Velez has been on a half-decadestreakof filminga parta year on his days off for the purposes of, in his words, keeping him sane. Where are the fire parts from the years prior to his foray into gainful employment? Blowing in the wind somewhere…
(Nah jk, we were driving around with Dre looking at bump-to-bars that nobody was going to skate for months on end in those years.) But really, this past year, him and Connor Champion, another full-timer since leaving the Young Money payroll, put together the best one from either of them yet. Maybe there’s more to this “having a job” thing than just a consistent bank account balance ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Filmed and edited by T.J. Marshall. Filmed throughout 2018 in San Francisco, Copenhagen/Malmö, and New York. Guest tricks from Troy Stilwell, Tyler Tufty, Bob Reynolds, and Nolan Benfield. Collective electronic “booooo” from the stands to all those who failed to get requested guest tricks, including but not limited to: Andre Page, myself, Genesis, Meatball, and most egregiously, Kevin Tierney (wtf bro.)
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.