Skate spots are living, breathing things. They shift with the socioeconomic climate of the time, and position themselves to best adapt with people’s needs. Skateboarding has always been reflective of greater society, so it should come as no surprise that our lives were pushed intoColumbus Park as we began to get pushed out of the pricier, glossier haunts that we once frequented in lower Manhattan.
Columbus Park sits on ominous ground. It was built on top of what was once America’s first slum: a hotbed of vice, disease, murder and clashes for control that have been documented in manybooks and films. Though it would take decades for the neighborhood to rid itself of the notoriety it earned throughout the 19th century, the city built Columbus Park in 1897. A hundred years passed, and then a guy from Clifton, New Jersey came along. The park began its second life as one of the few downtown spots you can skate in 2017 without getting kicked out.
The video includes many developments sure to reverberate around sports talk radio for weeks to come, such as Sean Pablo confirming rumors that he did indeed sign the dotted line with Monster Energy, the revival of 1999’s “Song of the Summer” to echo the #musicsupervision of the eternally underrated 411 Roc-a-Fella issue, and the continued pillage of the Madison Square Garden double-set gap-to-rail that has otherwise sat dormant for over a decade.
Features Tyshawn Jones, Who Kid, Na-Kel Smith, Blake Johnson, Brian Briggs, Sage Elsesser, Sean Pablo, Ben Kadow, Troy Stillwell, Kevin Bradley, Jake Donnelly, Louie Lopez, Donovan Piscopo, Kevin White & Tyquan.
Also, this one flew a bit under the radar, but Marshall put together this sick video of pretty much the same dudes late last year, and in my mind, it acted as the proverbial placeholder for a Hardies team video until now. Skating starts around the 2:30 mark.
“Yeet” is the new mini vid from Blue Couch. Features a pretty wide swath of spots around the city, a ton of night footage, and some #very #interesting line choreography at the Crackhead Park on 27th and 2nd Avenue. Also the back tail fakie on the fat flatrail on Water Street was really chill. Generic skate house song idk.
“King Puppy” is the latest from Bill Strobeck, the Supreme boys and Grant Taylor, released in anticipation of the new GT Blazer they have dropping tomorrow. Highlights include a brief unofficial sequel to the Bronx bank-to-ledge session from “cherry,” switch street grabs, and Vincent Touzery displaying the finest bit of same-but-different line choreography (this website’s favorite brand of lines, tbh) since Danny Brady’s back 180 5-0 180 / back 180 5-0 shuv line at Republiqué.
BUT, the best part is Grant’s hypnotic section on the Supreme L.A. bowl. Making a three-minute section on a shop ramp look interesting isn’t the easiest thing in the world. More often than not, anybody who doesn’t know the people in front of the lens never makes it halfway through your average shop mini ramp clip. Grant annihilates every crevice, ending every line (is “line” accurate transition terminology?) by implanting thoughts of “…wait, what the fuck did he just do, why did it look so simple, and how did that light not break into a zillion pieces?” in your brain.
Present-day Paris is a case study in how one street spot could revitalize an entire skate scene. In the few years that République has existed, we’ve seen an indigenous sect of skateboarding emerge from the spot, company trips to Paris increase tenfold, and a jolt of energy to other places in the city that had otherwise found their way out of coverage circulation. The best spots are the ones we are left alone in, and there’s no greater compliment you could give Parisian culture — or any culture that applies, really — than to say that people mind their own business. No bust, no “you almost hit me,” no “there’s a skatepark down the block.” There’s a unanimous respect for your right to be in a public space, on a skateboard or whatever else your purpose may be.
You can stay in Paris for a week, meet up at République daily, but still come back with zero footage from the spot. It’s a vortex where modern ideas of “productivity” wither away in exchange for the joys of being unhassled in an open space with ledges. “Pussy Gangster,” Bill’s new one to commemorate the opening of Supreme Paris, treats République like he treated Love in 2001. While it only takes up a quarter of the screentime, you feel it at the origin of every clip. And when you’re back at the spot — the lurkers, the crazies, the unplanned lines, the sure-what-the-hell clips from the O.Gs and the interactions with traffic all count for as much as the wildest trick to go down outside of it.
Features Sage Elsesser, Sean Pablo, Tyshawn Jones, Na-Kel Smith, Kevin Bradley, Ben Kadow, Jason Dill, Mark Gonzales, Greg Cuadrado, Vincent Touzery and Kevin Rodriguez.