📝 Words by Ian Browning
📷 Headline Photo by Morgan Rindengan Courtesy of HUF
If you count everything in the Thrasher Junk Drawer, ten full-length videos, plus another handful of solo parts and edits came out in August 2023. We’ve come to expect that sort of programming when marketing teams try to get a thumb on the scale during the S.O.T.Y. race, but the end of summer has traditionally been a much less productive time of year for skateboarding.
At least until this year.
Lakai’s Bubble, Pass~Port’s “Trinket,” and Johnny’s Vid all came out in the same week. Palace’s Beta Blockers and WKND’s Rumble Pack came out on the same day, creating a nineties skater version of the meme about how eating a bag of Takis would overwhelm and kill a child from the 19th century.
What are the chances? How did it happen? And did anybody realize what was coming down the pipeline? I called a handful of skaters and filmers who worked on the projects that were released that month to find out why it was so stacked, and how it felt to navigate the spotlight.
Intro & Interviews by Mike Munzenrider
Illustrations by Requiem For A Screen
(H/T To Memory Screen on the research)
More than two decades ago, Rusty From Maine became the avatar for all viewers shocked by Ty Evans’ departure from skate video norms.
“I just bought your video number nine, The Reason. Man, the opening montage there, no little captions with the skaters’ names on it? What are you guys doing? You know how annoying that is?” asks Rusty in a voicemail immortalized in the opening minutes of 2000’s Modus Operandi.
At the time, the lack of skaters’ names in a Transworld video was a jarring experience, when — for the better part of the preceding decade — 411VM had served up captioned names for all. Then again, such titling wasn’t always the case. Go into the distant skate video past to a time before name titles, and skaters had to play the same detective games we play now, albeit without social media clues.
Do such clues mean we no longer need to be told each skater’s name? Is it a simple aesthetic choice to leave titles out of a video, or is there a responsibility to let the world know who’s in what clip?
We spoke to four videomakers to find out where they stand on the question.
Each interview is condensed and edited for clarity. They are presented in the order in which they were conducted.
Caleb’s pro! Photo via Genesis Evans. Caleb’s Bunt (from February 2020) is really good, btw.
“Couple manuals, couple flatground.” Imagine skating for 34 years and still being this fucking good. Pocket‘s latest “Followed” episode is with the goat Daniel Lebron. They really got the pacing of life thing figured out in Spain. Big love to the Mexican families in L.A. ♥
The Duplex dudes out of Florida have low-key been putting out some of the best independently-released, no media-outlet-backed videos of 2021. “Five-Six-One,” their latest, is absolutely no exception. That Leap of Faith clip over the lady is so wild, plus Jake Sanso goes off like usual. Peep their earlier releases: “Sk8 Wing” from May + “Duplex 2” from January.
Ollie in front of Supreme by Max Wheeler. No, a different Supreme. Photo by Bobby Murphy.
The scope of skateboard travel got way smaller this past year-and-a-half. Connecticut — that lil’ big state that is basically just outside The Bronx — posed an interesting case study. Following the thaw-out from the most depressing winter of our lifetimes, our first trip out of New York was to CT. We came armed with inspiration from “Your Big Cheesecake,” a March 2021 Connecticut video that was blurbed about on here in the winter, and originally found on Skate Jawn. In it, you find a vast network of cutty, underseen spots sitting in small cities that are all a shorter drive away than Philadelphia. It wasn’t until just recently that our brains were forced to understand that maybe there was some skateboard escape nearby that wasn’t one we have been to dozens of times before. The rewatchability of “Your Big Cheesecake” definitely helped hammer that point home.
Summer 2020 QS goods are arriving at skate shops now. Product should be in all of our accounts in the U.S, Canada, Japan and South Korea by the end of this week at the latest, but Europe and Australia will be a lil’ late. Check your Australian and European locals in early June. Please support shops via their webstores or if any are doing curbside pick-ups for product while they remain closed in some areas. Our webstore will relaunch with summer goods on this Friday, May 22 @ 10 A.M. E.S.T. Top spread via Prov Tokyo.