Thankful For Barnes

Put all your dreams in skateboarding’s basket, and sometimes, they end up crushed. Years of blood spilled over video parts, knees hurting after being squished into tour vans, rent paid to share a three bedroom with five people — and all you have to show for it is a stack of warped boards that you never got a chance to skate.

Long story short: it is always wise to diversify your dream portfolio in case [for some strange reason] the whole “pro skater” thing doesn’t work out.

To be honest, I don’t know if Barnes ever wanted to be a pro skater. Maybe when he was 14 or something, I never really asked. But I do remember him being a staple in 5Boro videos for as long as I have known what 5Boro was. He was also a longstanding resident of the aughts’ most notorious brand-name skate house, Dobbin Block. Today, he is the closest thing we know to a deranged rich guy (see #16.) I’m not sure if he’s on the path to becoming a philanthropic sort of deranged rich guy who leaves the world a vastly better place than it was, or James Bond villain sort of deranged rich guy. And frankly, there’s a 50/50 shot for either outcome, and I’m cool with waiting in suspense until he arrives at one.

When he does, we — the skateboard family who watched Spike Jonze accept his Oscar with proud affirmation that he was one of “us” — can watch Barnes either save the world or destroy it, while telling our loved ones, “Oh yeah, that’s the guy who used to do all the crazy drop-ins in old 5Boro videos.”

This Thanksgiving, after honoring John Choi in 2017, and our dear beloved Keith™ in 2016, we would like to extend our thankfulness for Barnes.

Mostly filmed by Tombo. We ripped the rest from old Krudco videos.

Previously: Thankful For John, Thankful For Keith

Thankful For John

Photo by Max Hull

Last year, on the eve of America’s day of thanks, we paid tribute to our dear friend Keith Denley. We realized that this day of gratefulness is not about what parts Keith didn’t film after years of claims, but about friends.

As the year comes to a close, it is important to celebrate those who keep us smiling with their skateboarding and their laughs. This year, we would like to commemorate John Choi, a man kept sane only by the boys and hucking.

Like most things in skateboarding, footage falls short of communicating John’s total brilliance. You have to be there to see him huck, fall in six different ways that would make any other human break their board and go home, land it perfectly, and then decide he might as well try a switch varial flip down a ten stair because he’s already rolling switch on the rollaway and it just so happens to be fifteen feet away.

A few winters ago, at a time of night focused on decadent beverages rather than skateboarding, John found himself with a dilemma: he needed to get home. Uninterested in a $25 Uber, disgusted with the thought of dealing with a late-night J train, and realizing Max Hull was headed the same way, only on a bike, John came up with a solution.

“I’ll just run with you over the bridge,” he told him. We laughed and forgot, knowing that no sane human was going to run to Bed-Stuy at 2 A.M. in the winter.

The next morning, a text arrived. “Did you watch Max Hull’s Insta story?”

On it, was John, diligently jogging uphill behind Max’s bike, under the icy red beams of a February Williamsburg Bridge.

Thanks John. We love you ♥

Edited by Jesse Alba. Filmed by Johnny Wilson, Aaron Chilen, Max Hull, Sean Dahlberg and Jesse Alba.

Previously: Thankful For Keith

Happy Thanksgiving From QS

Best of 2011 clip coming soon.
Christmas clip coming soon.
Important re-edit coming soon.
“The Events That Defined New York Skateboarding in 2011” coming soon.

Always get a kick out of what we end up on “As seen on…” for: