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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Guardian Angels — An Interview With John Petras

Intro & Interview by Adam Abada
Photos by Bradley Culebro & John Petras

At their best, skate videos use their subjects – namely, the skaters and the spots they skate – to blend the narratives of place and character into a cohesive whole. When this happens, you get a special product that recalls the intangible things we love about skating. John Petras‘ new Pittsburgh video, Celine, does just that.

In the height differential of a high-to-low ledge on a crusty Pittsburgh hill, I can sense the city-wide spot survey that led to this one’s constant reuse. In the high-contrast, black-and-orange-lit night footage at the Museum of Natural History, I can nearly see the frayed edges of a Toyota Yaris’ cloth seats and smell the stale spliff smoke from the half-day commute on I-80. The interim vignettes – gentle hugging of friends in quiet moments and the repeated handing off of a flower – drew me into the skaters’ world in unexpected ways. John Petras seems to have pulled off the difficult trick of imbuing Celine with a personal voice and a representative view of a city.

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In The Crib Watching Larry King Live

A late night pandemic savior. Photo by Zach Baker.

Though it’s far from the most #trending skate spot these days, a plan for the renovation and expansion of Union Square was unveiled last week. Just give us a couple République-style planters in the back, don’t kick us out of them, and the city can keep the next two skateparks they were gonna build. Thanks!

Good vibes in this one: “Vlog #1” via Josh Paynter, featuring all winter footy around the city. Footage can never do justice to that backside noseblunt at the L.I.C. D.I.Y. — that one was wild. Bed frame and subway clips are a hoot too :)

We’re living in a high-flying golden age of Instagram compilations on YouTube: Brandon Scott A.K.A. NevaSkimp, Sage Elsesser + Kevin Bilyeu, all just this past week.

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What A Time

Last Monday Links of the year ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Top 10 will return on Friday, January 8th. FWIW, this week, all of it would be from Davonte Jolly’s Godspeed video for Illegal Civ (a drive-in theater skate video premiere was a fire idea btw) + the new Yardsale video.

To pine for warmer days, check out the Public Skateboarding video by Tom Albin. 31 minutes, all filmed in New York, and as wholesome of a friends video as you could possibly get. Friend edits to “Never Too Much” always hit.

Boil the Ocean has embarked on its annual journey of picks for the year’s ten best video parts.

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