In Memoriam — The Oral History of the Twin Towers in Skate Photos, Part 2

Intro + Interviews by Adam Abada
Collage by Requiem For A Screen

It is fitting that there are maybe the most skate photos of the Twin Towers featuring Keith Hufnagel and Harold Hunter: two of the greatest representatives of New York skateboarding.

Revisiting our series from two years ago, here are five more stories behind images of the Twin Towers in skateboarding, including many of Harold and Keith.

Looking into the stories behind them, I learned how essential they were to the fabric of so much of the skateboarding that has come out of the five boroughs. In memoriam photos of the Towers turn into stories about people and eras who shared some form of dual history with them, and in turn, ourselves. They remind us that if anything can be learned from difficult loss, it’s to always make the most of the time given to us. And that can be turned into hope and happiness, at least for a short time.

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‘Big Shout Out To The Empanada Lady’ — An Interview With Marcello Campanello

Intro + Interview by Adam Abada
Headline Image by Christopher Zipf
All Other Photography by Jason Sherman

Flushing Meadows Park’s globe looms large in New York skateboarding. It is probably the second most recognizable New York spot next to the Banks.

Just like the eye-catching blue ground at the globe, it was hard to remember where I first noticed Marcello Campanello’s skating. His movements tempt me to use descriptors often left to non-skateboarding journalists: whirling, spinning, twisting, leaping. I noticed him in local projects, namely: Canal videos, and then saw him popping up in Diego Donival’s project Goodily. With the help of Instagram, I knew he was an Astoria Park staple, but I didn’t know much else. It wasn’t surprising, though, when he surfaced on Karl Watson’s Maxallure board brand. Now, designing graphics for Maxallure and with a stockpile of clips, is as good a time as any to find out more.

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Summer Reading Round-Up: Skateboarding and __________

Words & Images by Adam Abada

“Shut up and skate!” That is a refrain I have seen written and analyzed more than actually spoken or practiced, but its dumb ethos echoes through so much of that which is considered “real” skating.

With the mindset of getting into the “summer vibe” (or something like that), I recently watched Dogtown & Z-Boys. Sean Penn’s bitter post-Spicoli narration about the [then] worst drought in California history doesn’t specifically say “shut up and skate,” but it lays claim to the temperament that it comes from. The film made me think about skateboarding’s connection to the world: the weather, school, roads, family, class, economics, substance use, housing. The film claims modern skating was born out of a drought.

Like everything else, when we skate, we bring the outside world to it. I do want to skate, but I don’t want to shut up about it! These three authors’ — all of whom skate — books, ideas, and studies help show that we can bring whatever we please to skateboarding to make it something that pleases us.

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Dreamer — An Interview With Jahmal Williams

Intro & Interview by Adam Abada
Collages by Requiem For A Screen
Original Photos by Cole Giordano & Pep Kim

Jahmal Williams is as humble as he is effortlessly flowing on his skateboard. He is someone with thoughtful personal aesthetics that you could never mistake for pretension. That translates into his effects on skate culture — one that he has been a part of for many decades now. A painter, sculptor and connoisseur of 180 nosegrinds, Jahmal is also a father and runs his own cult favorite brand, Hopps.

“Keep It Moving” isn’t only Hopps’ slogan, but a philosophy that keeps Jahmal relevant and creating great work. With a mind and personal history that exemplifies striking while the iron is hot, Jahmal’s new mural and accompanying short is the type of pandemic-era work that reveals how constantly evolving he is.

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The Age of the COVIDeo — An Interview With Jon Colyer About ‘Sanitizer’

Interview by Adam Abada
Original Photos by Jason Miller & Adam Concannon

The COVID age has coincided with a boom in local skate videography. The past year has given us incredible, fully-realized projects from places like Dallas, Pittsburgh, the eastern half of Connecticut — there were two full-length Seattle videos in the same week last year.

It’s not that these places wouldn’t have been producing great videos if not for the pandemic, just that through some combination of unemployment, no travel diluting the local color of the footage, and the time to take second and third looks at spots that have been passed on before gave the last year’s crop of hometown videos a sharper vision than ever before.

Jon Colyer‘s Sanitizer was one of those projects. Portland is a place with no shortage of skateboard mythology — and while there are influences from Dane Brady, Matt Beach, and the D.I.Y. culture that the city is know for, the video felt out of left field, stacked with skaters you likely never heard of, and spots you have never seen.

We had Adam track down its creator to talk about how Sanitizer came to be.

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