This video premiered yesterday (why does it seem like there has been a video premiere every three days for the past three months?) and is online today to keep your mind off the weather.
After putting out two videos in one year, the Film Me and Goin’ Ham crew took a few years to come back with Off the Braxx. Its vibe is similar to the past two projects, except all these kids are way better at skating now, and the short kid who was really good is now taller and even more good. Some of the rails they skate, specifically in Nate Rojas and Dylan Witkins’ part, are probably NBDs on a skateboard. The one that leads to the underground mall at the start of Water Street is nuts. Parts from Dylan Witkin, Nate Rojas, Stephan Martinez, Andre Beverly, Jamel Marshall and others.
Some real nineties-looking footage. The video says it’s from 1993-1994, or “around the time when people started skating switch.” You can see the barren asphalt wasteland that Battery Park City was prior to the completion of construction some years later, The Humps (or at least the spot I think was The Humps), and the nineties version of Midtown.
Quote of the Week: “Yo Dre, what are you doing?” — Inquisitive Gentleman
“I have been sitting here watching the ‘Ride’ video for hours and don’t feel like I have wasted a second of my day.” — Andre Page
10. The rise in popularity and subsequent banning of Four Loko
The lifeblood of New York skateboarding has always been diluted with alcohol. When sizing up the abilities of skateboarders in this city, is it important to not merely assess tricks, but the social environment within which these tricks are accomplished. It is not what tricks you can do, but what tricks you can do after waking up at 5 P.M. with half of a six pack you purchased at 4:48 in the morning still in your fridge, a pounding headache, and your friend-who-used-to-skate’s unread mass text about his acquisition of a bottle in six hours. Film a part amongst this madness (or avoid it altogether), and you will be ranked among the greats. If you falter, well, you’re just like the rest of them.
This dependence on alcohol is not comical, or tangential by any means, and it all begins with one simple exposure. For the pre-internet nineties, it was the frequent sight of the 40 ounce bottle in Kids that told youngsters what to drink. In the early-2000s, half of the under-eighteen contingent that would skate flat in the back of Union Square past 10 P.M. was introduced to alcohol through Sparks. And even further down the line, the 2008 opening of Trader Joe’s on 14th Street brought forth the availability of $2 wine for a whole slew of younger degenerates, bringing new relevance to the otherwise outdated term, “wine-o.” But 2010 was hit hard with the youth-marketed Four Loko beverages, which fueled this past summer with relentless forays into bad decisions, and can now be found on Craigslist for $10 a can.
If you’re in the handful of individuals reading this right now with a headache, just out of a sleep marred by alcohol, at least you have a solid, new skateboard video to distract you for seventeen minutes.
Goin’ Ham is a project by the same crew that brought you the Film Me video, released this past summer. There are full parts from Nate Rojas, Ray Macken, and Stephan Martinez. It’s tightly edited, fast-paced, and an all around thorough watch. Right now, it is being downloaded from Vimeo and converted to a .m4v format so it can play off a phone. That hasn’t happened with a new video in a fairly long time. (Well, not since August 22nd.)
A real stand-out part of the video is the immense array of local terrain that it covers. While any bum on wheels flying into New York from Burbank, Europe, or Australia for a few weeks in the summer could have kickflipped the Fifth Avenue Apple Store ledge to street gap, or front crooked the CBS eight-stair rail at this point, given how far skateboarding has come in the past ten years, these kids actually made it happen. It’s easy to drive out of state to find better versions of basically every New York spot, but making do with the whole city and its myriad of pretty, but endlessly flawed skate spots is a whole different story. It’s like 1999 or 2000 all over again (except with much better skateboarding), where tricks go down all over the place, not just within the same routine boundaries that have become guidelines for where to film these past couple years. Lines at CBS in 2010 are something to genuinely be psyched on, and it gives everyone a reason to break out the wax and re-energize some spot that we have been neglecting for years.
As with the also great Film Me video, certain critical corners of the Tompkins bench might write it off for “little kid style,” or other similar deterrents that exist for the aging skateboarder population of New York. The truth is, between this and the last video, there has been less than a year’s span, and every single person’s part is a notch above the last one (and some of them have been visibly affected by growth spurts.) The video goes hard, and the third one will undoubtedly be on a different level. Parts with residual little kid style, but sprinkled with evident motivation, are always more fun to watch than half-assed pursuits at video parts that are filmed in between brunch and happy hour.
Mildly related: If anyone had seen even half of the things that have gone down in the Ziegfeld fountain that we have seen, it would inevitably lead to a second thought before neglecting the potential health risks that reside on the opposite end of any comic endeavor involving contact with its contents.