Ruben Spelta’s ‘Astratto’ Part + Milano Centrale Bonus Cuts

Ever since he all but deactivated his Instagram and grew his hair out, Ruben put out two parts in the span of a half year (“Astratto” originally premiered in December), plus had a good bit of stuff in that “Storia Italiana” Magenta edit. (Actually, between him and Shogo Zama, Magenta now has two of the best flowy skaters out there, look at that.)

This latest one went live on Free yesterday, and is by Hadrien Buhannic, the guy who has been quietly at the helm of the Bloby edits that shaped up to be some of the most influential skateboarding of the past half decade. It’s about a third Milano Centrale stuff, with the rest in Paris, and like the last part, it is music-supervised by someone who did fire movie scores in the seventies.

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Sketchy Month

Johnny Wilson, who once commandeered the mid-2010s’ most seminal Vimeo account, has been dabbling with YouTube uploads. The most recent is a compilation of Max Palmer frontside noseslides that he has filmed yielding a portrait of one man’s journey to contort a single skate trick to the most perverse lengths imaginable.

“The best part about going pro when your 30, is you have 3 years to get a job at one of the big corporations before you turn into a contest announcer.” Can’t remember the last time someone going pro made people so happy. Congrats again to Jamal ♥

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Came to Sicily For Nothing

Knowing that that the Lotties video featuring Nick Michel’s breakthrough part was due out any day — and that Nick would soon be fielding offers from SpaceX, the Golden State Warriors and Goldman Sachs — Chris Milic, the eclectic C.E.O. of Frog Skateboards, had to act fast. The window to remind his star teamrider about skateboarding’s humble joys was closing, as he would soon be speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway in a Lamborghini Countach, on the way to his first billion.

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Ruben Spelta’s ‘Mamma Mia’ Part

We first met Ruben on a QS family trip to Italy back in 2016. Milan has a tight-knit and friendly skate scene — it feels like a lot of it revolves around Milano Centrale and the Chef Family crew. He and his friends were kind enough to show us around their city when we summoned the willpower to leave an absolutely perfect plaza spot. When a spot is that good, you willfully forget that the whole “exploring the city”-thing is a big part of skate trips. (Colleagues echo our sentiments.)

We visited Milan again a year later. On the train-ride into Centrale (yes, the train from the airport drops you off at Italy’s best skate spot), I remembered out loud, “Oh, I should probably DM Ruben and let him know we’re coming.”

“Don’t worry, he’ll already be there,” a mutual friend replied.

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QS Book Club: Head of the Lion, by Claudio Majorana

All product photos courtesy of The Palomino

To an outsider, Sicily feels like a skateboard fairy tale. It is where Mauro Caruso filmed a part in a ghost city once intended to be an eminent destination for art lovers. It is where Jacopo Carozzi et al. found an abandoned post-WWII era seaside resort that seemingly shares ancestral DNA with a skatepark. Almost every spot in Danny Brady’s “Welcome to Palace” part that isn’t British crust is in Sicily. A seasoned Euro T.M. once told me that it’s the best spots/cost/wow-factor combo for a not-obvious skate trip in all of Europe. The Dime guys echoed that sentiment, saying Sicily was maybe the best trip they had ever been on — oh, and, a volcano erupted while they were there.

Except what do any of us know about Sicily’s skate scene? Outside of that Mauro Caruso coverage, practically nothing. The aforementioned T.M. said that you need to pay a guide to drive you around to spots and handle things, because otherwise, you’re pretty much helpless.

Claudio Majorana is an Italian doctor, photographer and skateboarder. Head of the Lion chronicles six years (2011-2017) that he spent photographing a group of young locals in the suburbs of Catania, Sicily. (Catania is Italy’s 10th largest city.) It is the exact opposite of his first skate book, 2015’s The Recent History of Sicilian Skate Tours, which is about just that: foreigners skating Sicily.

The title refers to a cliff from where the crew would jump into the ocean, a rite of passage that signified they were no longer kids. Between a prologue and epilogue of blown-out video grabs, are photos of play-fighting, teenage make-outs, and religious ephemera — staples of any photo book about youth.

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