The Events That Defined New York City Skateboarding in 2011: 5-1

2011 is over in five hours. Here are the final five. Have fun tonight everyone.

Previous installments: #25-21, #20-16, #15-11, #10-6, The Best Video Part(s) of 2011, The Year in Rap.

5. The Rise of 12th & A Rap

As 12th & A’s stronghold on New York City skateboarding waned, it began to rise as an epicenter for New York City skateboard *rap*. With artists like ASAP Rocky, Odd Future, and Krayshawn getting deals off YouTube videos, the young skaters of 12th & A drew inspiration from their D.I.Y. attitude, and set out to make a name for themselves in perhaps the only professional world more overpopulated than pro skateboarding. Slicky Boy remixed Ice Cube and has been promising a mixtape all year. The Stoned Rollers took Lex Luger out of the trap and the strip clubs, and brought his trademark thump to the skate spot. And Black Dave, perhaps 12th & A rap’s greatest success story, is one-for-two with making it onto WorldStar with his videos.

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This Is The Best Video Part of 2011

Caviar came out on December 28, 2010. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a dark abyss of un-productivity and not responding to e-mails, so it doesn’t really belong to either year. We’ll count it for 2011.

Phil Rodriguez didn’t ruin every skate career based on name brand handrails, or do two of the few remaining regular stance never-been-dones over a picnic table (or skate to a song from a car commercial.) No, he didn’t bring back the noseslide either. But if you’re old fashioned, and judge video parts based on how much they inspire you to go shred new spots and learn new tricks, rather than as benchmarks for the absurdly high level of progression skateboarding reached in a given month, then Phil’s part is better than pretty much everything else released in 2011.

The part manages to be distinctly New York, even without recognizable spots, and completely organic, never “trying” to be weird/different/abstract/pick a word. It somehow makes a noseslide nollie big heel look fitting alongside wallies and firecrackers. If you knew nothing about it, it’d be hard to tell whether it comes from 1997, 2007, or 2017 (the same can be said of other QS favorites.) People might think it’s a New York bias, but this part made us want to leave the house to go skate more than any other in the past year.

Flipmode/Bronze already released a throwaway clip as a preface to a new full Phil Rodriguez part in 2012. Lurker Lou is also working on a video with him for Iron Claw, so there’s more to look forward to in the future.

Boil the Ocean is doing a detailed “Best Parts of 2011” countdown, so you should read that if you want insight on the past 12 months from someone who pays more attention to skateboarding as a whole.

If you simply crave more year-end mania, here are ten video parts that stood out in 2011. One per video. An asterisk denotes that the given part would have been better off edited to Juicy J’s enchanting love ballad, “She Dancin’ Like She Fuckin’.”

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A Flipmode video to end the year off…

Photo by Brian Kelley

By some strange stroke of fate, Peter has concocted a video project to aid us through the first half of winter, and tallied up 2010 as the third straight year in a row of making some of the finest local multimedia available. Longer than Sognar, but shorter than Trife, Caviar has parts from Bill Piece, Pedro Garboza, and others that were largely missed from the preceding project, in addition to keeping the crew’s traditional roster (McFeely, Shawn Powers, Kevin, etc.) This may be the second time this year that Flipmode has fallen victim to video pirates, as this video seems to have been ripped from a video cassette that was originally a collage of taped evangelical daytime TV shows, Larry Johnson’s four-point play, and scenes from New Jack City. The locations in the video only fuel the fact that there are still tons of spots left in New York, all you have to do is look harder, or employ San Franciscan approaches to hillside spot discovery before you start complaining about how everything is gone. It has been a really good year for local videos.

(The video offers some ominous hints at the Billy Lynch disappearance mystery, but no clear solutions. What is it with Long Island and the perpetual vanishing of its skateboard-riding residents?)

Features Rob Gonyon, Shawn Powers, Pedro Garboza, Kevin Tierney, Bill Pierce, Luis Tolentino, Patrick Murray, Joseph Delgado, Danny Falla, Jamel Marshall, Dylan James, Mike Burch, Amadeus Estrada, Xavier Veal, Derick Ziemkiewicz, Phil Rodriguez, and Billy McFeely.

Part 2 embedded below.

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