As we age, it’s easy to only remember the “big” changes: VX to HD, social media, Thrasher becoming the only magazine. The smaller ones are tougher to catalog, but when you think about it, had a substantial impact. In the not-so-distant past, “raw files” weren’t a “thing.” You couldn’t DM on Instagram. Polar was a small brand selling outline logo tees to the few who could get them. These things changing had huge reverberations, and in many ways, helped make “underground,” independent skateboard brands the dominant brands they are today.
It seems like just the other day that Palace was a small U.K. brand buzzing with montages filmed on VHS tapes, and P.W.B.C. news segments aimed at a skate industry still coming to grips with how to use the internet. In the ensuing decade of successes, it has remained unshakably English in its vision — even the fact that Jamal Smith is the only American to turn pro for the brand rings of a certain “foreigners appreciating your homeland in a better way than you do”-type thing.
To the American eye, Palace rose to prominence in that void left by Blueprint at the onset of the 2010s. In the time since, the world of U.K. skateboarding feels like it became closer intertwined to our own. This of course is thanks to Palace, yes, but also because of things like Isle’s unanimously adored “Atlantic Drift” series, the Yardsale videos, Free becoming one of the best alternate channels for skate media, and the inspiring success of the Long Live Southbank campaign.
With little context for how the U.K. scene actually operates, we asked Farran Golding — the man behind many of the deep-dive features on the Slam City Skates blog — to interview Charlie Birch, Palace’s newest teamrider, who we don’t know all that much about on this side of the Atlantic ;)
Photo via Stafhon
The JHAKX video from Takeshi Nagamatsu has a New York section to start it off, plus a lot of familiar faces. It’s funny to see the metal strips across the Cooper Union bank get defeated one at a time over the years.
“Pleasure” is a 20-minute NJ/NYC/Philly video by Hugh O’Hare, and “Don’t Smoke That Wood In Here” is a 10-minute NJ/NYC/Philly video by the Lottery Boiz. Shout out to the enduring badness of bust-free ledges in the greater New York metropolitan area, which causes all of us to still drive out to Staten Island to skate P.S. 6…in 2019. Also, of course skaters wasted no time editing something to Young Thug’s late summer beach anthem, but tbh, “went from boogie board shorty and now I’m the big kahuna” is a lot to live up to.
“Day in the Life” videos warrant a cursory skimming through at best, but this one with Jawn Gardner skating around Long Beach and making friends with everyone kicking him out of spots could have gone on for twice as long :)
You’ve probably caught this one already — but Go Skate Day in Bogota, Colombia was insane. Hope everyone is ok.
Philly from Humidity, Tyler Tufty, and Keith (!) Denley (!!) all have cool clips in this Nike SB wear test montage from Minneapolis a few weeks back.
People are still flying down that hill from the Long Island Expressway by Queens Mall, huh? Iconic 2008 spot. OMW is a twenty-minute video by Angel Delgado that Skate Jawn posted up last week. Features a bunch of familiar faces.
Jesse Alba made a bro cam edit from a trip to London with Cyrus, Diego Todd + some cameos from the Atlantic Drift dudes.
Alex Olson explains why Mike Carroll is the best for eight minutes.
Naquan uploaded a five-minute “remix” of Gang Corp’s Black Business video, though it feels like a solid chunk of those clips weren’t in the original video.
A wider net for skate interviews this past week than the typical guys talking about their first sponsor type of thing — 1) The Wall Street Journal interviewed Beatrice Domond. There’s a pay-wall involved, but it seems like they let you rock on one free article. 2) “I just really like New York.” Elissa Steamer interviewed Alexis Sablone for Thrasher. 3) Skateism interviewed Forrest Kirby, in what I believe is his first interview since he publicly came out last year.