New York has quite literally never felt like it does right now in this quarantined liminal space that we are in. The level of quiet in Manhattan at 8 P.M. is incomparable to even the deadest, coldest Sunday night in a residential zone. Obviously, there’s a reason for this, in that we all must do our part to minimize human contact so that COVID-19 can be contained, hospitals can maintain a semblance of functionality, and we can begin to burrow out of this chapter. Mobbing to skate midtown and being a responsible member of society are clearly at odds right now.
However, the current state of the city did bring up memories of a different disruptive event: Hurricane Sandy.
This was the decade that the full-length skate video was supposed to die. We began the 2010s with everyone insisting that Stay Gold would be the last full-length skate video. Then, Pretty Sweet was supposed to be the last full-length video. Some people thought that Static IV would be it — the end, no more full-lengths after that. But I feel like I heard someone say Josh was working on something new a couple months back? Idk.
The experience might’ve changed. We’re not huddling around a skate house’s TV covered in stickers to watch a DVD bought from a shop anymore (if this past weekend is any indication, it’s more like AirPlaying a leaked .mp4 file via a link obtained from a guy who knows a guy), but the experience of viewing a fully realized skate video with your friends for the first, second or twentieth time is still sacred.
Just as we asked for your votes for the five best video parts, we did the same for the five best full-lengths: if you could choose the five videos that defined the 2010s, what would they be? The results were a bit more surprising than the parts tally in some ways, given that it felt like independent, regional and newer, small brand videos dominated the decade, yet Big Shoe Brands™ and Girl + Chocolate still made their way into the list. The top-heaviness of some companies or collectives was less of a surprise, in that certain creators loomed large over the 2010s.
Like the installment before it, this list is sans comment for 20-11, and then via favors from writer friends for the top ten: here are the twenty best skate videos of the past ten years.
“Jake Phelps surely embodied worlds in decline: Old San Francisco, famously non-PC, MJ1s on his feet until whatever deadstock tap ran dry, proofing a decades-old print publication with a snarling discontent any seasoned editor would recognize and respect. An artifact arguing and cussing every day for a place in a world moving some other way.” Unfortunate to link their way two weeks in a row for obituary purposes, but Boil Ocean has a way with them words.
“Though I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, I can remember so much of what he said to me.” Patrick O’Dell also wrote a thing about Phelps over on Vice.
And here is a re-link to Willy Staley’s California Sunday profile of Phelps that originally ran in 2016, A.K.A. what BTO labeled as “secular-press skate piece top five.” Would be *so* open to a conversation about what the other four are ;)
Munchies has a mini doc on the institution that has sustained New York skateboarding like none other throughout the 2010s — of course, we’re talking about 2 Bros. They also bring up a terrifying reality re: the ten-year leases that got signed at the start of the decade ending (e.g. when everyone was still reeling from the recession), and the dollar slice soon becoming a thing of the past.
“I think the mainstream American skateboarding culture is kidding itself. They’re really dismissive of emotions in a way that is hurting itself. It’s becoming more and more inline with traditional athleticism, but also what is acceptable as a skateboarder is so narrow – you have to be cool, not talk about your feelings.” If you’re one of those idiots like me who put off watching Minding the Gap for months, here’s another motivator: Skateism put their interview with director Bing Liu online. Yeah, you need to enter your card details, but a Hulu trial to watch it is free, and you can cancel the second you finish the movie — provided you’re not destroyed for the rest of the day.
Can’t tell what happened with this and why it is only going online now — as it was supposed to come out, like, literally four or five years ago (maybe they just waited for angst to start trending again) — but Death Video is now online in full. Features much, much younger versions of Tyshawn, Kempsey, Troy, etc.
The B.Q.E. Lot is set to be renovated by the D.O.T. at the start of next year, and it’s going to look exactly like that shitty space around the Flatiron Building with sandpaper ground and random rocks everywhere. Can’t we just get a ledge?
“Does all this mean that New York is vanishing? Sure. But the deli wasn’t there forever, either. Vanishing is what New York does.” Roctakon’s brother wrote a rad thing about revisiting the Brooklyn delis that he had photographed back in 2008.
Watched this guy Ruben Spelta skate at Milano Centrale this past summer and it was insane. Dude is a good follow on Instagram, but this compilation video should bring you up to speed for now. Who’s everyone got for best steez 2k16 award?
“I wish Brandon Turner was wearing a Bronze tee when he switch Hardfliped Carlsbad in the Guilty video.” Skateboard Story interviewed Peter Sidlauskas from FlipmodeStick Up Kids Bronze. Link to the “How I’m Living” video please :)
“And I guess I’m also saying that Tiago, if you care bud (which hopefully you don’t) you should maybe consider changing your name to Trevor, switching from Mountain Dew to beer, and getting on Anti-Hero or something.”
Did you know there was a time when John Cardiel had a pro snowboard, and Burton advertised in Thrasher? Our bud Alex Dymond just released a book entitled Snow Beach, which chronicles an era when snowboarding was very much an offseason activity for skaters, with tons of crossover via fashion, style, etc. from skateboarding.
The new Watermelonism video, “Keep Biting,” is premiering at 2nd Nature on Thursday. Flyer here. Music by the world famous DJ Thando of “Needed Me” remix fame.
“Dipset: The Movie” — a big topic around here some ~ten years ago — is back and is actually still great. “You’re so ugly I could hear it through the phone.”
QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Sooooooooo, ANYWAYYYYYY…
Quote of the Week: “I just found out through Google that I have chlamydia, I should bounce.” — Name Withheld
Today marks ten years since the release of The Inspiration, which was 95% of the way as incredible of an album as TM101, this website’sfoundingpieceof scripture. (Even did a tribute post to it the day it leaked online, and distinctly remember listening to nothing else that winter.) There really is no greater three-peat of motivational speaking than the first three Jeezy albums. The guy has nothing left to prove #jeezysaves.