#TRENDWATCH2013: The Nineties

90s trendwatch

Really, are the nineties ever not trending? Whether someone is putting VHS effects on footage, technical wizardry that Peter Smolik is never properly credited for, or the legions of YouTube users asserting “this was when skating wuz real” on any pre-2000 part, the decade is never completely irrelevant. In recent times, lesser-known companies from the nineties have been finding their way back in skateboarding, though they remain unrelated to that decade’s proprietors.

EXHIBIT A: As a Connecticut native, Brian Anderson, head of the Skate Mental-affiliated start-up 3D Skateboards, must have been aware of the CT-based 3D Innovations in one way or another. But if you’re familiar with the past two months of Slap gossip, and happened to wake up in Copley Square circa 1994 tomorrow morning, things might be a bit confusing. The differences are obviously there. One has “Skateboards” after its name, the other has “Innovations.” One specializes in hard goods, the other in apparel. One is rumored to have one of skateboarding’s most exciting new rosters, the other is notable in that its video features rare documentation of Mike Graham. Provided the would-be roster is true, and add in the cult following behind Skate Mental’s art direction, 3D Skateboards is destined for a bright future. It’s just not the first time a Connecticut-born mind envisioned skateboarding products in the third dimension. The nineties are inescapable!

EXHIBIT B: Like Exhibit A, given New York’s status as the only place in America that French people aren’t bred to hate, someone involved with France’s Metropolitan Skateboards must have been aware of Metropolitan Wheel Co. If not, the three leading scanners on the skateboard internet made it a point to scan every ad from the Deluxe-distributed, New York-based company’s brief run. Metropolitan Skateboards had been around in some form prior to their 2013 relaunch (they were the company to turn Leo Valls pro before Magenta), but they likely got early word of the decade being especially prominent in this year’s #trendwatch, rightfully assuming it was the right market for a reboot.

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Video Review: 3D Innovations DVD Compilation

While you probably couldn’t write a book or make a documentary about a principal Boston skate spot in the same way you could for Love Park, the Brooklyn Banks, or Pulaski Park, the city is no less important than the other three within the context of the northeast. The talent that has come out of Boston and its immediate surroundings (in addition to it having the best spots out of the four as of 2011) is enough to attest to the city’s long winding influence, regardless of whether or not Copley Square or the Hospital Banks have grandiose, mythological narratives surrounding them.

3D Innovations was a D.I.Y-tee-shirt-turned-legit-clothing-company that started up in Connecticut back in 1990. It would eventually come to sponsor the likes of Robbie Gangemi, Jahmal Williams, Jeff Pang, Ryan Hickey, Mike Graham, and others, all at varying points in time. Earlier this year, 3D released a collective DVD that features The Fat Juicy Video from 1991, Messin’ Around from 1998, and a bonus section filled with various promos and loose parts from the 1990s. With compilation videos like Revisited, Greatest Misses, and Pre-2k all being coveted by more nostalgically-inclined skateboarders, 3D’s video is special because it’s presented with its original slew of cheesy graphics (in a good way), all-over-the-place soundtrack, and is in no way re-edited for the current age like the aforementioned projects. (Again, in a good way.)

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