Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Speed Demons #4: Austyn Gillette

Austyn Gillette definitely has one of the smoothest styles in skateboarding. But what makes it so much steezier is the fact that he skates super fast and still manages to make everything looks so debonair. I feel like the speed at which he skates is often overlooked simply because everyone is in awe about his style or pop or terrific flick. But there's a reason why he was the feature of a video part called "Quik" (above), where you can see some of Austyn's greatest pushes - regular and switch - and some great tricks at full speed. The cruising line on the sidewalk/bridge at the end is just a treat for the eyes.
One of my favorite parts of all time is Austyn in Habitat's Origin. He definitely exhibits his smooth speed in this video, particularly with the very first line. Without the need to push at all, he flies on by with an alley-oop back 180 up some stairs right into a fakie big flip over and across a long manny pad, at Embarcadero I believe. Then at 2:09 he hits back to back bump to bars that show his ability to maintain speed more than anything, still a huge speed demon factor. Haven't seen much back to back action like this other than maybe Boo Johnson with his ollie, front 360 but on mellower bump to bars or Brandon Westgate with his ollie, boardslide up and across. Those were both really sick clips, but Austyn was the first to my recollection of skating two bump to bars back to back. And closing off his Origin part was that enormous ollie at the Brooklyn Banks over the handrail.
In Austyn Unlimited, there are tons of clips with super fast rollaways and some downhill action that look super quick but also very easy for Austyn. To pick out a few tricks, the landing on the long front board at 1:55 really shows that he's going a lot faster than you'd think. At 2:34 he stretches out a really long ollie between two curb-like platforms and then follows that clip up with a speedy switch ollie over a wide patch of grass. Then at 3:16, Austyn puts down a very solid (and underrated) mark in the streets of San Fran with a sweet back 360 over a bank to bank walkway by some houses.
For more fast skating from Mr. Gillette, you can check out his part in Cosmic Vomit 2, where the first two lines in particular are rather rapid. Then, without exaggeration, I'd say every clip from Austyn in the Huf Stoops Euro Tour, conveniently compiled by some dedicated fan for watching Austyn exclusively here, involves a good deal of speed that you don't typically see with your average skater. But the super long ollies at 0:24 over the Southbank up-ledge and at 1:08 across a banked set of stairs are prime examples of the flowy speed that Austyn so effortlessly skates with.

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