QS Film School — An Intro To Modern Skate Videos With Plots

In Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about the porn industry of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds’ Jack Horner gives a fateful speech admonishing the advent of home video: “I have a stable of actors and actresses. They’re professionals. They’re not a bunch of fucking amateurs. They’re proven in the box office. They get people in theaters, where films should be seen, and they know how to fuck.”

It is not hard to imagine similar tirades (maybe with a few words switched out) occurring in Powell-Peralta boardrooms as the 80s were coming to a close, and skateboarding was around the corner from a crash. Skate videos of the decade were refined and narrative-driven, and for good reason. There were only like, six tricks invented at the time, so they had to fill up those other 53 minutes in an hour-long skate video with story, personality shots and other shit.

But what would come after skateboarding’s believed-to-be demise was a rebirth. Videos like Snuff, Video Days, Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies, and Questionable were unrepentant in their progression — they were too busy inventing modern skateboarding in front of your eyes to worry about the extracurricular malarky from the Animal Chin days. New faces and a camera thrown in a backpack was the name of the game. The old mode was dead. But for how long?

Skateboarding draws many parallels to pornography, but one of the most curious ones is an incessant need to add narrative to something that nobody watches for the story. As we will soon learn, plots returned to skate videos as quickly as they went.

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Halo Effect — The Oral History of the First Hundred Dollar Skate Shoe

Collages by Requiem For A Screen

There’s no shortage of talk about a deck’s notorious resistance to inflation. But what about shoes? While something like a Lebron in 2019 is substantially more expensive than a Jordan in 1999, skate shoes have hovered around the same average $70-80 price tag for the better part of two decades, even as skateboarding itself has grown and adapted to new trends, technologies, and customers. Meanwhile, every fashion house in Europe has been raking in the money these past few years, pushing puffy sneakers reminiscent of old skate shoes.

We tracked down the principal figures behind the first three-figure skate shoe, released in 1997, and got their story on what was as much of an anomaly as it was a watershed moment for skateboarding as a cultural phenomenon, and style of footwear design. (Keep in mind that, adjusted for inflation, $100 in 1997 is the equivalent of $156 in 2019.)

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What was the skate shoe landscape like at the start of the nineties?

Don Brown, Chief Brand Strategist at Sole Tech: Airwalk, Vans and Simple were the only other shoe brands. They had become so mainstream and rigid — and there was a dip in the economy, so they scrambled to get sales wherever they could. Pierre [Andre Senizegues, founder of Sole Technology] was doing the distribution for Etnies at the time, bringing it over from France. When skateboarding crashed, vert and freestyle were pretty much eliminated. There was a whole generation of upstarts, like Rocco and them, and everyone in skateboarding rode for Etnies at some point.

Chad Muska: There were a hundred riders on Etnies, or something crazy like that. Even that High Five video had so many people in it. The shoe industry then was like, “Oh, this company is going to give you free shoes. Maybe there’s a chance you get paid.” It was so secondary to boards. There were early pro shoes, like the Half Cab, the Natas, and the SLB, but I think the real start of the skateboard shoe industry being serious was when they began making videos.

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Don’t Care If That Drop-Off Got Some Mileage Mileage

It’s one of those “more words than videos” weeks :)

“But skateboarding’s worldview can often become so totalizing that commitment to it far into adulthood, past the age when it’s socially acceptable to ride around in a school bus smoking weed and listening to Slayer, can look like protracted adolescence. This is why skateboarding, for a large chunk of the country, will never fully outgrow its degenerate associations. And that’s fine.” It is notoriously difficult to produce a genuinely great piece of writing about skateboarding, but Noah Gallagher Shannon’s profile of Grant Taylor ticks all the boxes. Send it to your mom.

The cutest skate interview you’ll ever read: Skate Jawn spoke with Alexis LaCroix about life with his Instagram-famous cat, Rita.

Supreme has a quick Hi-8 Insta clip with Gonz, T.J, Rowan et al. for their upcoming collaboration with Spitfire.

“Love gave you this feeling, and I can’t explain it. Muni does not. At least for me it doesn’t.” Brian Panebianco checks in on a Love-less Philadelphia skate scene.

Sidewalk interviewed the mind behind Science Versus Life, and touched on the connections between New York and London skate history a bit. Your photo incentive check is in the mail btw ;)

With Ripped Laces effectively dormant in 2018 (no shade), The Hundreds blog has oddly been publishing some dece coverage related to the world of skate shoes: “Retracing the Strange History of Shoe Design” + a #listicle of five non-skate shoes that still became tied to skateboarding.

Stefani Nurding has an op-ed piece about how “Girls Nights” have bolstered the acceptance of femininity in skateboarding. I know this place unfortunately oftentimes reads like a boys club, but the coolest fucking thing in the world is a cop, security guard, or annoying concerned citizen pulling up to a place to vibe us out — only to see young girls, old men, black kids, brown kids, white kids, reptilian kids all enjoying a singular thing. How do you not feel like an idiot saying “no” to that?

An interview with one of everyone’s favorites, Justin Henry, where he reveals that Lebron James does, in fact, have more J.R. Smith in him than he cares to admit hehe.

This goes a good deal more in depth than his Epicly Later’d, though he isn’t as amorous with nature in it: Jamie Thomas talks to Chad Muska for an hour.

A decent bit of New York footage in feel-good Rob Hall part.

Spot Updates — 1) As you probably caught on already, Skate Jawn built a box to go over the cobblestones at Blue Park. 2) Columbus Park will probably be fine. Fingers crossed. 3) The building moved the planters back in front of the ledge at CBS.

QS Sports Desk: More excited for the off-season, than we were for like, the entire second half of the postseason. And if you think Lebron is coming to the Knicks you need to move to Mars.

Quote of the Week: “Hell no I don’t watch soccer. A bunch of buddies kicking balls? I’m good.” — Meatball

QS is perpetually giving 90% of skate video editors a hard time for their uninspired marriage to Big L + and this idea that basically all rap still needs to sound like nineties rap (how boring does that sound tbh?), but we’ll throw you guys a bone here because there’s a substantial chance you haven’t heard this one before, and it’s really fun:

Happy Rihanna’s Birthday Eve!

Today is Washington’s birthday, but the queen’s 30th is tomorrow! We are going to stick to a Rihanna’s 30th resolution of no more late Monday Links posts! Ain’t none of us perfect, I hope it was worth it.

Zered Bassett’s seafood tower cruiser will be available on Alltimers.com tomorrow. They shot a quick Insta commercial for it, which you can watch here.

Jesse Alba has a chill new iPhone edit up with footage from the past couple months.

30 seconds new Gino footage from the Astoria Park and Roslyn Banks.

QS-office fave, Dave Caddo, has been been posting some outer borough gems on IG.

Somehow missed this one when it went live just over a week ago: Nick Michel, the dude who boardslid the double-rail across from the mini double-sets at Battery Park (#QSTOP10, a few weeks back) has an amazing new part up on Thrasher, which features the VX angle of trick in question plus a trick at the ride-on rail spot that’s not on the ride-on rail! Battery Park MVP 2k18.

Didn’t even know this was in the works — TWS made a documentary about Skateboarder magazine, which was the first ever skate mag. The “trailer” basically plays like the first seven minutes of the doc itself.

Muska tells the story of when him at Stevie Williams hung out with Michael Jackson at Neverland. (“C’mon man, this kid is ten years old — he don’t remember Thriller. ‘the fuck you wanna meet Michael Jackson for?”)

Mark Gonzales skates Owl’s Head Park with R.B. Umali for a Pro-Tec commercial.

Ten Person Crew Unanimously Disagrees on Meet-Up Spot.” Forever #mood.

Two more Stop Fakin’ 3 parts: D.C. Streets montage + Kevin Augustine’s part.

Old clip, new upload…Orchard’s day trip around New York for 2014’s All City Showdown to a Steely Dan classic.

Boil the Ocean has a weird one about skaters investing in things and animal enslavement. 2018 is odd.

The Bunt is back with a new Chima episode.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: J.R. Smith with a beautiful full-court…pass?

Quote of the Week: “Do you think we’d be more into Takeshi 69 if we still skated the back of Union Square?” — Pryce Holmes

What Up Tree

Not sure who took this one (Mehring?), but shout out Aaron Szott :)

It’s grey out there, so here’s the clip of Muska hugging a tree to put a smile on your face (it’s tied with this video of like a 500 people rapping every single word to Glizzy’s verse on “Crew” for 2017’s best byte of life-affirming video.) It was a pleasure to watch this new season of Epicly Later’d — Andy Roy defending Jesse Paez was funnier than any bit of scripted comedy that someone could come up with, and if your heart didn’t melt at Reynolds’ relationship with his daughter and Kader, then your insides probably look like the Juicy J “Stay Fly” shirt.

Don’t ask James to trade a nice board for a 2014 Go Skate Day deck that has been sitting next to your radiator for three years. Village Psychic talked to the Labor C.E.O. about skate shop etiquette.

Hotel Blue has a new one over on Thrasher, which has an intro part (right?) for Juan Virues, and a pretty beast Charles Deschamps section at the end.

Kinda awkward when your board sponsor reposts a video of you and captions it “someone give this man a board,” no?

“Can human achievement in general surpass Chewy Cannon’s bank-to-ledge nosegrind or can we only hope to match it?” With the completion of the endlessly postponed, all-London Palace video, Boil the Ocean dwells on the post-2010 tide shifts that have occurred in the British skateboard industry.

This Detroit edit is rad. It chronicles the recent history of all its spots via an overview of changing Google Street Views. Also, it made Detroit look funner to skate (at least for our purposes) than a lot of recent higher profile coverage to come out of there.

The latest episode of Skate Muzik is a tribute to love songs in skate videos.

Someone compiled the past dozen or so editions of Strobeck video IG outtakes.

Skateboard Story is back after a hiatus with an Aaron Herrington interview.

“Electricity acts like a skateboarder traveling down a ramp. The higher the ramp, the more potential energy they have and the further they can travel.” See: Skateboarding as a vessel to teach how electricity works.

Russia’s Absurd Skateboards consistently puts out stuff that looks pretty much unlike anything else out there in skateboarding.

Gang Corp has a rainy day edit from L.E.S. Park in the summer.

…aanndd if you were wondering what the deal with the Barbara Kruger installation at L.E.S. Park is, here you go.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Do we start watching MSG again? Even though we know we’re just going to wind up getting hurt? :(

Quote of the Week: “Gin tastes like shit. Tonic tastes like shit. But somehow, when you mix them together, it tastes like grapefruit.” — Shrimp C

I’m good on hearing a 2017 Wu-Tang album, but there’s something endearing about them recently trending as song concept shortcuts for artists who are half their age.