No matter how relentlessly the internet churns out skate clips, finding ones that you are truly stoked on isn’t getting any easier. It almost feels like most of the new skaters we watch just don’t have much flavour… The annoying thing is that we sometimes get into our head that it’s because there’s nothing good floating about, but I’m convinced that it’s quite the opposite. We are being fed so much amazing skateboarding on a daily basis that it’s simply getting harder and harder to appreciate it. We are getting desensitised. Then again what did we expect? Even when we come across a section we actually enjoy we don’t even bother downloading it anymore. We’ll watch it once or twice, click on another link, passively stare at at the clip even if it sucks, click on another link and so on, until everything we’ve just witnessed fades into a blur of wallies, yo flips and high fives. It feels like keeping up to date with skateboarding has become as mind numbing as it is addictive. I’m not surprised so many of us find ourselves cursing the state of modern skateboarding after spending half an hour behind our computers…
That being said, at Kingpin we are convinced that some of the edits that hit the web deserve to be remembered as more than “just another web clip”. So to prevent legit skateboarding from being diluted in this way we’ve decided to launch this new section on our website. From now on at the beginning of each month we’ll be posting (in no particular order) what the Kingpin editors consider to be the best 5 edits to have been come out over the last 30 days. I’m sure those of you who have better things to do than watch every single video that gets posted on this site (like actually ride your skateboards) will benefit from these little monthly recaps.
Street Machine Copenhagen: VORESKBH
I have to admit that it was quite difficult for us to choose between this one and this month other excellent Scandinavian release: Oslo 5. Hjalte’s section with the Pontus cameo probably gave it the edge… I think it’s the first full part I’ve seen from the Scandinavian Smithy and I was blown away! His skating is a mixture of spontaneity, flow and a little something special I can’t quite put my finger on. It has to do with the way he makes every spot look tiny without looking too big for his skateboard. I’m not denying the fact that he’s a rather imposing young man but it has more to do with his rythm and how he barely moves his feet before he glides out of every trick. I think I must have replayed his switch back tail at least 5 times in a row. I love how he’s completely leaning back and looking the wrong way as he lands, everything about it looks so switch. It’s such a steezy little backwards swerve.
The standard of skating in crew videos is so high these days that it takes a little more than a bunch of stylish tricks to stand out. In this case the way the scene’s atmosphere is portrayed is probably one of their main assets. Here recurring spots and shared sections obviously help show this but I’m convinced that the few trip sections sprinkled between the parts are what really make a difference, even if the skating’s not taking place in Copenhagen. Seeing this group of friends take on some spots they’ll probably never get to skate again is one of the best parts of the video. You actually get to compare what they were naturally inclined to try and enjoy everything they managed film in a short amount of time rather than the usual 3 minutes of offcuts these sections usually offer. It felt like it was the first time someone did this properly since “Bon Appétit”.
The Philadelphia Experiment:
I’ve always been a fan of Chris Mulhern’s work but I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed by his switch from VX to HD. Of course he’s one of the few filmers who actually knows how to use those bulky cameras but I was worried that he’d never quite be able to recreate the something as good as “This Time Tomorrow”. Then he released this incredible time travelling experiment. Reading him say “the way the headlights streak on actual film emulsion is something that HD can never recreate” in his Theories Of Atlantis interview was all it took for my faith to be restored. Of course a lot of you may find the whole the VHS/90’s look a little bit played out but I don’t recall it ever being done so effectively and frankly, out of all the current skate video trends, it’s by far the one that makes the most sense. It may have lost a little bit of its novelty but I’d much rather see skateboarding take this route than the HD slow-mo ledge dancing one. At least those cameras actually capture the way skateboarding feels rather than dumbing it down for a wider audience. Plus slipping some of Ryan Gee’s old high 8 clips in there was a stroke of genius! It keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat, asking yourself “wait a second was that new Ricky Oyola footage”? The confusion created by the recent clip of Brian Panebianco rocking the classic 1995 swishy pant/Chunky DC outfit at LOVE park is also one of the highlights.
Then there’s the whole Mark Suciu phenomenon. We had to decide to not have more than one Suciu clip in here, but objectively his Sabotage 3 remix and his Adidas part were probably amongst the 5 best edits that came out last month. Taking his Californian (robotic?) consistency to Philly was definitely excellent for his career. I can’t think of a better way to gain a bit of extra credibility than than move to a city with tons cellar doors, crusty looking spots and an iconic “back from the dead” plaza.
Sylvain Tognelli’s Kingpin interview edit:
No matter how determined they are to ruin a legit company, the Blueprint owners must suffered from the serious blows they took last month. I’m not even referring to the Hitler video or the pages and pages of hate on the forums and on their Facebook. I’m talking about the rise of Isle and all the hype that came with it, Brady getting on Palace, Coakley’s sick welcome to Think clip, Smithy killing it in the National Promo and of course Sylvain’s Kingpin/Lakai edit. Blueprint’s demise doesn’t seem to have slowed them down one bit and I’m sure the future (The Grey video, Palace’s video, Morph/Kev Parrot’s video) will show that this painful episode has fuelled their motivation if anything.
In terms of skateboarding I feel like there really isn’t any need to explain why this clip is in the top 5. It may be a shorter than expected (I’d be curious to see what the Americans filtered out…) but every single trick is incredible. Who else have we ever seen do a nose wheelie on a wall?
Dimestore’s “Dime Turd”.
Anyone who’s seen a Dimestore video knows exactly why this is up here. On one hand you’ve got all the elements you’ve learnt to love an expect from them: footage of Montreal’s weirdos, Crackheads and gnarly street fights; sick skating (Antoine Asselin, J-S Lapierre and Charles Rivard always deliver the goods) and the editing is always hilarious. Who else uses the X-Files theme song or makes giant reincarnations of their mates appear through the clouds? On the other hand they are completely unpredictable. This one for instance is full of skaters that weren’t in the previous ones. That includes cameos from big names like Wade Desarmo as well as full sections from unknown nutters like Alexis Lacroix, the guy who “mono-sky” bombs”over that gnarly SF double set.
Another notable surprise in this one is the absence of their beloved mascot. Judging from the filter YouTube has imposed on their first video I’m guessing they must have had a few legal issues with her. What a shame we were just getting to know her.
Lucien Clarke’s welcome to KR3W clip.
Out of all of the unique styles London has produced Lucien’s is definitely one of those that I find the most interesting. It takes so many ingredients to create such a peculiar balance of finesse and power. One of them is probably his flick. You just don’t expect someone with Lavaresque flip tricks to be able to do them down massive gaps, let alone with the same delicacy as on flat. Then theirs his ability to make to roughest grounds look as smooth as MACBA. The footage of him frontside flipping some stairs at 0:29 is a good illustration of what I mean. When he absorbs the impact it looks as if he’s landing on some buttery Californian schoolyard asphalt but believe me that is one shitty set of stairs. It’s only 5 minutes away from Bordeaux’s outdoor skatepark which means that tons of skaters roll past it everyday yet I seriously can’t remember anyone ever bothering to skate them before Lucien. I guess chucking yourself down horrible British sets for years is bound to enhance your ability to adapt to anything… Finally there’s the way he always seems so calm and in control. It’s as if he was taking his time without necessarily going slowly. It might be a little more noticeable in This Time Tomorrow (it’s easier to see this kind of thing in a 5 minute part) so use this as an excuse to rewatch his section (starts 43 minutes in).