Saturday, September 7, 2013

Video of the Week: Raul Navarro - Adidas

For the weekend, I decided to pick this video part of Raul Navarro for Adidas that went up on Tuesday. I had somewhat heard of Raul from Adidas before through his Diagonal part and when he was in the Adidas International Team Montage (that cab flip at 3:21 has been cemented into my memory). Being off the radar for most skaters, Raul pretty much defines that OG European tech style: fast, assertive pushes, and really capitalizing on the use of shove it tricks.  To me, watching the typical tech skater now is for the most part like "kickflip back tail, and now let's see what craziness he can do out of it".  So when someone uses shove its and 180s in super technical tricks, it's really refreshing to watch. (Shoutout to JB Gillet as well). Tricks like these help you see just how much control someone has.  The fakie pop shove at 2:40 and the cab noseblunt to regular at 3:13 stick out to me for their cleanliness and for how properly they were done. Overall, really a fun watch thanks to Raul's one of a kind style and trick selection and the consistently beautiful editing from Adidas.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Video Parts #1: Jake Johnson - Mind Field

Coming from Jersey and living in Newark, I really respect the way some skaters make East Coast spots look like standard obstacles at the skatepark.  Jake Johnson filmed what seems like most of his part in the New York area, and I didn't notice anywhere the typical ledges or sets you see in California. That in and of itself makes this part extremely appealing to watch with all the grittiness and difficulty you'd expect from East Coast spots.  Combine that with Jake's raw shredding power and Alien Workshop's memorably unique editing, and out comes one of the most aesthetically pleasing displays of skateboarding I've seen.
Jake covers it all with strength and finesse, something you don't see too often with tall dudes like him.  The ride on 50-50 at 1:46 looks sketchy to begin with, but no problem for this guy to go switch apparently. Later on you'll see Jake flying through a speedy back 180 at 1:58, a classy Easy Coast trick at 2:03 (just kept on pushing through those streets), and a baller fakie heel at 2:19 at the Banks that is just unfair to have down like that.  Jake must be ready for marriage with the way he's committed to the kickflip back lip at the Black Hubbas at 2:25, which are a lot more intimidating in person that I'd imagine. Jake's switch pop is super entertaining to watch, particularly at 2:45 when he switch back 50s the bench (in a line!) and then decides to go switch over the rail at 3:38 because going over the top regular has been done too much already.  And to top it all off, Jake throws down an enormous double set wallride at 3:21 and closes everything with a huge switch one.  Man it must feel good to skate like that...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Favorite Video Parts #2: Andrew Reynolds - Stay Gold

Emerica knows how to make me smile.  Just starting off with the sound of running water mixed with "Om Nashi Me" from E.S. and the Magnetic Zeros provides that soothing feeling, which is only amplified by Andrew enjoying time with his daughter while cruising around his backyard park.  It's the same happiness displayed here in the intro that you later feel with every trick as Reynolds somehow defies the laws of aging and effortlessly crushes skateboarding's largest and most historical gaps.  When a part starts with a frontside half cab flip down Carlsbad (later followed by a switch back heel down it as well at 2:19), you're instantly hooked and understand exactly why he's The Boss.  I could probably write about every clip with how perfectly it contributes to this epic part as a whole. (Don't worry, I won't.)  But Reynolds comes through with the ideal balance of heelflip tricks with his iconic [frontside] kickflips, super solid lines that show his powerful style and pop, and the nice array of handrail/ledge/gap tricks we all love him for.  For some specifics, the nollie inward heel (to close a line nonetheless) at 1:27 and the fakie tre down the same gap are two of my favorite tricks in this part for the way Reynolds flicks and catches both.  When the music changes at 3:13, I felt a definitive change in the part where everything that follows was nothing short of an absolute banger. This was a hard statement to make considering all that has already happened, but when I watched this for the first time with my friend Steve, we just sat in silence awestruck at every clip to come for the rest of the part. Getting two clips at a few of these spots, Reynolds hits the big ones: Wallenberg, the ATL 5 block, Bercy 5, Hollywood High 16, UC Davis Ivy Gap.  Every single trick here is utter perfection. But you wouldn't expect anything less from The Boss.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Favorite Video Parts #3: Mark Suciu - Cross Continental

Again, much like the other videos of this week, the music behind this part really works perfectly with the skating. Beirut's "The Rip Tide" blends with Habitat's art direction and pulls you into the part, calming you down just enough to just sit back ready to be in awe at Suciu's smooth and technical abilities. This is later followed by Elliot Smith's "Junk Bond Trader" which gives off that feeling of fun creativity as the shredding continues. The timing of the song to his switch backside flip to start the part is almost cathartic in the way that I feel jealous but totally stoked at the same time.  The extra little rewinding 180s in the line at 0:55 is what I now personify Mark with: that quick-footed style that never seems to get old no matter how much footage he puts out.  I feel like a lot of people get tired of watching some skaters because they're too robotic or too predictable with their tricks.  This is exactly where Mark Suciu comes in. He provides that spontaneous and unexpected addition to his tricks and cleverly crafted lines, like a bonus 180 out of a grind or a random wallie just to hit an obstacle you normally wouldn't.  Cross Continental is filled with these welcomed little surprise tricks, some of my favorites include the backside flip at 1:17, immediately followed by a fun pop out of a back lip at 1:20, the back noseblunt front 270 in at 2:29, the extra pivot to finish the line at 3:43, and somehow throwing in a switch back noseblunt down a handrail at 5:06.  Not only the fast feet and creative tricks, but for the record he also throws down a switch feeble and a switch smith grind down handrails.  If all this isn't enough excitement yet, there's no way not to LOVE Mark's varial heelflip ender.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite Video Parts #4: Austyn Gillette - Origin

Before Austyn started turning into Dylan Rieder (with what I'd call at this point an exaggerated style, that while still more appealing than a lot of styles, hopefully doesn't reach that "too cool for anyone" status), he had an organic flow that just worked perfectly.  And back when Habitat released their video Origin, Austyn hadn't yet blown up to the big name he is today.  In fact, I'd seen relatively little footage of him at all, but the Habitat ads and short clips leading up to this part were really intriguing.  So when Austyn flies in for a quick back 180 the hard way up some stairs as the very first trick in the part, I know some sweet skating's about to go down.  I must point out the line at 0:47 because when you make a front 180  look that good, only to follow with a switch back noseblunt, you're reminded that you don't need the most stairs or most flip tricks into ledge combos to make skating exciting.  A beautiful heelflip at 1:59 balances out the trick selection, and the double bump to bars at 2:10 blew my mind at first as to how he can keep his speed and composure through the second one.  The line at 3:10 is what made me an Austyn fan, iconifying the concept that less is more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Favorite Video Parts #5: Cody McEntire - Smoke and Mirrors

Cody Mac can probably do anything he wants on a miniramp, most likely from hanging out with Dave Bachinsky so much.  So his opening line just sets the tone for the rest of this timeless video part, where he looks so natural on the board, both switch and regs.  Lynard Skynard's Simple Man starts chiming in as Cody proceeds to demonstrate an enticing sneak peak at his big bag of tricks, only to close out his opening line at Carlsbad with a nollie big spin down the gap.  The whistles at 0:57 provide the perfect stoke, almost as if you were right there with the crew to dish out some high fives after the trick.  And then he proceeds to issue his controlled destruction of spots.  I love his trick selection for the line at 1:33, I don't think I've seen many people flip in and flip out of the tall manny pad at 2:23, the catch on the switch flip at 3:29 is almost comical for how cool it is to look at, and I still feel like his "spread eagle" nollie big heel down Carlsbad ender is the sweetest trick done at that gap.

High Fives all around!

Welcome to Skateboarding High Fives!  Combining the “no more than one video per day” idea behind Walker Ryan’s Under Saturation blog, and the collective theme behind Oliver Barton’s Top 5 Youtubes of the Week, I present you with this new collection of skateboarding videos through my eyes.  Every week has a theme and every theme will have 5 videos, one for each day of the week.  The weekend will be free for whatever skateboarding goodness comes its way, as weekends are meant to be. High Fives all around!

To get things started, this week will be dedicated to my own favorite video parts.  Over the years I've seen many parts that are nothing short of legendary, with guys like Rodney or Daewon, and quite a lot of parts that are just so epic, Geoff Rowley in Sorry for example.  But despite the incredible skating that still holds strong today, I found that the song choice (along with the edit) really solidifies a video part into something that will never leave my head.  It's cliche by now but you've heard it before, the song makes or breaks the video part.  I'd say there's definitely some truth to that.  The video parts going up this week all have songs that I keep high in my iTunes rotation, even though I usually don't look for music in that genre.  They act like highlighters to these video parts and make everything stand out.  Combine that with a myriad of skating styles and gnarly tricks that also go down in the skate history books, I now present to you my Top 5 Favorite Video Parts.