All posts by thejunkpirate

Lucas Rabelo and the heavy inheritance of Flip

A celebrated legacy can be a real weight for a skateboarding board brand. Sure, it may sell a bunch of logo boards and provide a lot of material to dig into for possible reissues. But it can be a real anchor around the neck of your current riders. Or perhaps more of an invisibility cloak.

Just ask Alien Workshop’s Frankie Spears or Stereo’s John Lupfer or new H-Street pro Isiah Hilt or Powell’s Brad McClain (or anybody on Powell since, like, 1990) or Black Label’s Jake Reuter or Zero’s Tony Cervantes, who has been that team since 2008 but hasn’t made a fraction of the impact Wade Burkett did when he was on Zero for about a year in the beginning.

No matter how good you skate and how much charisma you exude, people’s memories of the brand are locked into some golden years and golden teams of the rose colored past. You’re likely to be judged that much harder for having the audacity to think your name belongs among the hallowed firmament.

No team has created a heavier estate to bestow than Sorry(s) era Flip. We’re talking Tom, Geoff, Arto, Ali, Bastien, PJ, and Appleyard (and to a lesser extent Rune Glifberg and Alex Moul). Characters so popular you know them by first name alone. Starting with Rowley and Penny arriving in the states in 1994 and ending with Shane Cross’ death in 2007 and Arto’s subsequent departure, Flip was unstoppable. This is a brand that could be considered in decline as it added Bob Burnquist, Rodrigo TX, Lance Mountain, and champion Luan Oliveira. In 2012, the same year riders David Gonzalez won Skater of the Year and Alec Majerus won Tampa Am, Flip released a video called Weight of the World. Would their best ever be enough?

The fact that Louie Lopez, nurtured at Flip’s teat and turned professional in 2013 at age 18, had to leave the team to establish himself as a full-grown skateboarding superstar speaks volumes.

And, in 2019, into this shadow stepped South American Lucas Rabelo.

Lucas, whom I had never heard of but apparently has been an up-and-comer in Brazil with Matriz skate shop since he was little, has a lot of tools on display here starting with very first trick: A mammoth yet crispy clean alley-oop frontside 180 to switch hubba grind. Between that and a similar skatepark alley-oop 180 to switch smith that went viral earlier this year, Rabelo has dibs on making this thing (and its variations like the 5-0 later in the vid) his signature trick, perhaps even with naming rights.

He also demonstrates advanced levels getting twisty and tech into the handrails. That frontside 270 the hard way into a switch bs lipslide is both a mind bender and a face melter. I’m not a huge fan of long pinched grinds on mellow rails which are trending right now, and thankfully only one of them is in here. It’s presence is as if to point out that, yes, he can do those too. Same “don’t think I can’t” thing goes with the switch handrail hurricane.

We also get some ledge slides measured in yardage to help counterbalance all the flip outs (one as part of a 4-trick line), some flatground pop over garbage cans, a heaved frontside 360 for fans of the gap, and a surprise bs 360 ollie out of a rail 50-50.

But, with all this expert level skateboarding happening, the clearest sign that this kid could be something great is the line at the 1 minute mark. Solid fakie backside nosegrind 180 with enough speed leftover to go straight into a popped flatground nollie heelflip. Then ending with a nollie backside 270 to frontside noseslide (done in a polished ‘switch-fakie’ style). The discipline to throw in a ‘simple’ line like with nary a flip or shove it in or out shows an eye for style, and when everyone can do everything, power, form, and selection are what can separate and elevate.

The cover of CemporcentoSKATE magazine, one of the biggest in Brazil.

Now, it’s not entirely impossible for a brand with a long and glorious history like Flip to write a new chapter that shines equally bright under its own renown. Some would argue that Real Skateboards, fast approaching its 30 year anniversary and sporting such immortal alumni as Gonz, Huf, Salman Agah, Tommy Guerrero, and Julien Stranger is setting high water marks for itself. Somehow the current Foundation team, even without Corey Duffel, will probably go down as its most memorable.
Hell, Blind lost Gonz, Jason Lee, Tim Gavin, Rudy Johnson, Henry Sanchez, Guy Mariano, Keenan Milton, Jeron Wilson, and Brian Lotti by late 1993. But whose legacy are TJ Rogers and Kevin Romar currently laboring under? Ronnie fucking Creager and a cartoon Grim Reaper mascot, who joined the team to pick up the pieces from all those departures, that’s who.

So here we are at the dawn of a new decade, Flip’s 5th if you count the years in the UK when they were called Deathbox. 45% of the pro team is middle aged, Luan appears to be waiting out his contract, Arto is just a bloated shell of his former self who clearly isn’t riding a skateboard anywhere other than his custom built backyard pool, Ben Nordberg is still am at age 31, and Lucas Rabelo has been elevated to professional.

Between Lance and Bobgnar and Tom Penny (who appears to have hit a comfortable plateau in his abilities; seriously, I can him skating at this level, selling mushroom boards by the trunkful, and wearing these exact same outfits well into age 70) Flip has the nostalgia market covered. Will Lucas Rabelo and Denny Pham and Matt Berger be enough to rebuild Flip. Probably not, but it’s a good start. If he can keep skating at the level we saw in this part, and not get lost in the lucrative world of contests, Berrics clips, and inevitably Monster energy logos, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Giving that tears-of-joy kid the ender in their recent Spain Tour edit is also a solid feel good move from Flip.

BONUS:
Here’s a quick edit of 15 year old Lucas skating for LRG Brazil back in 2014.

“I wanted to do my best” – Huf in Non-Fiction

It’s easy, and usually totally appropriate, to celebrate the good in somebody once they are gone. In death, we remember their best qualities and finest moments. We can speculate on the great things that were to come but now won’t happen without having to face the reality that most of our heroes shine much less brightly through their second and third acts. It is safe to say that, while an early demise is always tragic, some legacies clearly benefit from ending before they can be diluted.

Keith Hufnagel‘s recent death after a private battle with brain cancer that lasted several years requires no selective retrospective. His life, his interactions, and his career(s) were simply all good.
Unlike others in the skate-sphere who have passed away, where we have to choose to ignore some of their less savory moments and celebrate their skills and contributions in skateboarding while looking away from their less admirable sides, or having to face the question that if they had somehow altered a couple of decisions they would still be with us. There is none of that. Huf ruled on and off the board.

One of the best conceptual ads ever.

The fact is that a bad thing happened to a great person and it sucks. Keith, by every account, was cool and humble and friendly with everyone he encountered. He ruled New York and then ruled San Francisco and then, most improbably of all, he dominated the global shoe game. The general rule is that you can’t do that much and be that successful without making some enemies along the way. As far as I know, Huf made no enemies. Everyone admired Huf’s skating and business. More importantly, everyone respected Huf as a person.
And these aren’t just rose-colored glasses looking backwards; The tales of him being a solid dude we’re well known and expressed when he was alive. Huf was beloved, and it helps to think he knew it.

There are a lot of better eulogies happening than what you can read here. My entire knowledge of Keith Hufnagel’s personality is hearsay. But what I can comment on definitively is how much I enjoyed Huf’s skating. And there are a lot of great Huf parts to enjoy. Even better, they are almost all the very best type of skate videos. Not the type of videos where death was narrowly escaped or you can’t fathom how such a trick can be done (although there are a few of those moments), but the kind of skate videos that make you want to get out and skate.
We may not have the talent or guts to take on the biggest of rails or the deepest of ditches, but with Huf in your mind it is easy to feel like you can pop just a little higher and roll just a little smoother.

Keith’s part in Real’s Non-Fiction is my favorite, but it really is a toss up. My favorite Huf trick, the 360-flip from block to block at SF’s Brown Marble (the best trick at one of the best spots of all time) is in the Finally FTC video from 4 years prior. But Non-Fiction just oozes with all the excitement of the mid-90s Bay Area potential. It was a magical time and place to be alive and skating; And Huf’s part captures that and then takes everything up a notch. His Union Square grinds spark, his Kezar Stadium 50-50s go all the way, his SF-cruising hill adventure features pole jams and wallies off of statues.
We also get that fish-eye angle of the Banks line we already loved from Underachievers. As a personal nostalgia bonus, my heart jumps with the clips from the Marin School bank-to-wall (which was in Berkeley, not Marin (it was on Marin street) and we skated all the time) and the Oakland Museum rails (which I skated by regularly but never had the guts to try).
He then fucking does a trick on the black rock at Black Rock! I was lucky enough to have gotten to skate those ledges in 95 and 96 and that was just not fathomable. That spot was a ledge and stairs on a hill. The ‘rock’ was just in the background. They had to build a little plant garden around that huge sculpture because of Huf!

There is a lot Huf will be known for: Obviously the Pop. The plywood ramp ollie over a dumpster. The blond mop-top he rocked for not that long but we will never forget. The best frontside lipslides on ledges. The weed socks trend he inadvertently unleashed on the world.
But for me it’s the 360flips. He gave us a lot of really good ones, but this is just tops. And it was in 1993!

Rest In Peace.

Trainwreck

To be fair, if we are indeed going to account for All the Gall, we should consider the bright but brief blowtorch of a career from Alex ‘Trainwreck’ Gall (no relation to Fred). It won’t take long, for his legacy was built on the weight of just 2 full parts. With such a strong impact made so quickly, only to disappear so completely, Trainwreck’s career path has become the archetype of the explode then vanish what-ever-happened-to skater.

As awesome of a nickname as he posses, Alex Gall didn’t earn it from his aggressive skateboarding or monumental slams. He got literally hit by a train as a child.
His skating wasn’t on any radars at all as he grew up and he emerged fully formed as a ball of destruction in his Jamie Thomas produced Wheels of Fortune part in 411 #39 from 2000. He went pro for Zero not too long after, but quit the team while on a trip to New York, thusly never having that Zero part you swore he did.

The original tape has a Ramone’s song.

By 2002, Trainwreck was pro for Bootleg skateboards (back when it was still connected to Baker), covered in tattoos, and skating to Slayer for his definitive part in Transworld’s In Bloom video. The part is a barrage of burley that was the style of the time: Handrails and hubbas with an occasional carcass toss thrown in there. The only line to be found is just a sequence of two large parking lot gaps. Looking back from a few decades in the future, the switch kickflips stand out, and that backside lipslide to fakie at the Banks is golden.

By the time Bootleg released it’s Bootleg 3000 full length video in 2003, Trainwreck was gone. With his body broken (and a drinking problem that wasn’t helping), Alex walked away from the skateboarding-for-money game completely, which is a rare thing in skateboarding. So there you have it: his career lasted all of about 4 years.

So where is he now?
Eventually Alex sobered up, got his shit together, and is now making high end aquatic themed fine art metal sculptures. For real, he does public art commissions and stuff. Thrasher did an Out There about it.

Bonus Trainwreck:
In 2015, the Thrasher series called Ricki the Dude’s Total Recall posted a whole mess of footage of Alex from 1999 that was filmed for Duffs, thus nearly doubling the amount of total Trainwreck skating available to watch.

“I’ve died a thousand times but I’m still alive” – Fred Gall – Dirts Win

Fred Gall doesn’t really seem to worry about the past too much. He is celebrated because his friends and fans celebrate him, not because he is a self-promoter. Even in the midsts of his present comeback (which feels like a beautifully collaborative happening with his New Jersey crew), Fred seems more interested in shining light on the spots he is skating than himself.

And so, until the next part comes, we end this fantastic voyage of Freddy. I saved the 2013 Thrasher retrospective, Dirts Win, for this final post. It’s a very solid celebration of the career of Fred up to that point and even features a few never-before seen tricks and angles. Plus Brian Wenning chilling on the stoop in sweatpants. I asked Fred who made this video and he told me, “Dude. I think Brennan [Conroy] might have made that cuz I don’t know who else would have.

Also inspired by the general idea of Dirts winning is the Dirts Win clothing company done by Freddy’s boys out of Florida. Tim O’ encapsulates the connection in a Thrasher article from over a decade ago: “There’s a lot of Jersey folks who are disgusting scumbags, and there’s also some Florida scum, so it’s just scummy bastards bonding.”
They should have some new stuff coming as soon pandemic manufacturing allows.

Freddy has had such a long and legendary career based on both early innovation and crusty spot choices. But much more important is the loyalty he has gained through being such an genuine fun person and a true skate rat. Fred has made some very bad choices over the years and it is a testament to his character that everyone stands by him through it all. The fact that he has had essentially just one board sponsor continuously for 30 years despite being such a handful is very telling. How many other skaters have stuck with, and been stood with, for that long without owning the company? Cab? I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.
We all want Fred to triumph, which makes his present resurrection so satisfying for all of us as spectators.

You can support Fred buying boards or shoes with his name on them where you can find them and by telling Habitat to stop sleeping on our boy. Domestics, the made in America clothing company of which Fred is part owner, is still around so buy some pants or a shirt. I’m still hoping they reissue this Turkish Script logo.

Most importantly, in the spirit of Freddy, spend time with your friends and have fun. Pitch in a bag of concrete and some elbow grease to that DIY, bring a case of beer or sparkling water to the session, give that grom a high five when they finally get the guts to skate that hubba but then slam, if you have a pal who is trying to get sober be supportive. Be good to your friends.
Oddly enough, the biggest realization in this exhaustive examination of a single skateboarder is how interconnected he is to his scene. The story of Fred Gall is populated with essential supporting characters as is all our lives: The filmers, photographers, TMs, teammates, shop owners, friends, business partners, fans, friends, Mom, and Granny.

Bonus Fred:
The Chrome Ball Incident interview from 2019 is amazing. All their interviews are amazing, but this one is the best. I also took a lot of photos for these posts from Chops’ scans.

Bonus Bonus Fred:
The Tim O’Connor podcast with Freddy is fucking nuts. Like, seriously unselfconscious talk about kinds all of horrific things. It is amazing.

The Bunt also did a great podcast with Freddy in 2019.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but the Bobshirt interview with Freddy is essential.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Freddy talks about a different time he saved lives in foreign countries on an episode of the Ride Channel’s Free Lunch from 2012. Unfortunately, Fred never appeared on Rob Brink’s Weekend Buzz show.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
The Fred Gall episode of Epicly Later’d from 2007. Featuring Granny and a pole jam rock to fakie.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
We’ve already mentioned Freddy’s instagram account, which is just infested with crusty spot checks up and down the East Coast, but some other Gall-grams worthy of a look are the @churchofgall tribute account (which never really solidified its following like the Cult of Tom) and this account that posts the same Fred Gall pic everyday.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
In 2010, Freddy calls Tony Hawk from Canada to see what strings the Birdman can pull to get Jaws across the border. The conversation is about as clearheaded and sensible as one might imagine. Ryan Lay recorded it. I think the Boil the Ocean transcription is even better.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Here are some more images I gathered from the interwebs but didn’t use yet.

Freddy caveman dark sliding a handrail
Uncle Freddy
Perhaps the one of the earliest Fred photos by Geoff T Graham
another masterpiece from Matt Price
I can’t squander this opportunity to post this brilliant Thrasher valentine.

I want to thank Fred for taking the time to connect and answer my questions, Jared over at 4ply Magazine for getting the ball rolling on this one, Matt Price for the photos, Thad Croskey for unearthing the busride footage, everyone who has said nice things on social media, blog comments, or the message board, and everyone whose photos and videos I used for these articles. If I didn’t give you proper credit, please let me know so I can make it right.
Shout out to everybody in the NJ Fred fam for their support, especially Metal Skateboards (I assume it’s Lou behind that account), NJ Skateshop, Paul Gar, BA, and everyone else. All those session seem like so much fun.
Acknowledgments to Jono Coote’s 2016 Fred Gall Footage Feast article in Sidewalk for doing this first.

Please check out our Fred Gall: Living Legend article on 4ply that crunches the numbers on all these videos with interactive data-visualization charts. Freddy even gave us a few choice quotes about some of the tricks.

I’ve made an All the Gall playlist on Youtube that dives even deeper, so check that out if this just wasn’t enough Fred for you.

We’ll be back when that new part drops. Until then, have a good time all the time.
More skate video commentary and analysis coming soon right here on the Warm Up Zone.
Thanks for tuning in.

“Dude, I’m coming in HOT on this one for sure.” – Fred Gall 2020

Emerging from the darkness in early 2019 with the support of his friends, Fred Gall successfully completed rehab and good things started to happen immediately.

In spring of that year, Alien Workshop reissued (although neither Fred nor AWS seemed to promote) a vintage Fred Gall graphic.

In June 2019, photographer Matt Price released Golden Hour #2, a photo book dedicated to Freddy shot over a dozen years touring, skating, and hanging out. (Get your copy, 50% of the proceeds go into Freddy’s pocket.)


Also that summer, Freddy began work on a backyard ramp at Granny’s house, which he now occupied. This would eventually, along with a concrete bowl, the curb he brought there 3 decades earlier, and possibly more obstacles, become Freddy’s skate Compound, a DIY spot that, despite a falling tree’s efforts, won’t be destroyed like all the others.
Fred demonstrates his five favorite mini-ramp tricks in the Transworld quickie.

Freddy’s Compound, along with a close group of friends and filmers like Fat Bill understudy Paul Gar and wine-rack artisan NJ Scum Petillo, might not just lead to the resurrection of Gall but old-time Philly head Sergei Trudnowski and 2000 SOTY Brian Anderson as well. Somebody get Ricky in this mix.

I see that, even though his name is not very prominent, Freddy does have a new deck presently available through Habitat as well as a guest board on Matt Rodriguez’s Es La Boom.

And even as I was publishing the first of these All the Gall articles, NJ Skateshop’s Freddy and Friends video, featuring tons of Northeast skate celebrities shredding the latest in defunct New Jersey DIY spots, Hebrew Hideout, dropped on Thrasher.

Things continue to look up; It appears like you can once again wear a shoe with the Gall name on it as State Footwear has confirmed the rumor that there is a Freddy shoe available now. Whether this is just a short-term Habitat collab situation or the start of a something lasting will be told with time, but in the meanwhile get yours while you can.

In addition to all this, Freddy has been perpetually giving us the gift of slowly logging every barely skateable piece of crust in the East Coast with his Instagram Spot Checks. Dig in and be inspired to scour every cranny of your neighborhood cause you no longer have any excuse for not trying to hit that bank-to-wall.

I asked Fred about his thinking behind the spot checks on the ‘gram and he told me, “If I go to Philly I’ll get 5 photos, I’ll slowly put them out. And the sometimes if I don’t have a photo that’s new I’ll dig up an old one. But for the most part it like I’m going to the spots and I’m posting ‘em. Some of them are a joke, if you’ve noticed. I’ll post a curb or something. If I film tricks at a spot I won’t post it. Any old spots that have already been seen I don’t care, but for the most part anything I’m trying to keep private to myself I won’t post.

Which brings us to the big question we that has lurked underneath this entire exploration… Will there be another full-on Fred Gall skate part?

I’m filming a video part. I have so much footage right now. My main part is going to Thrasher. And then whatever I have doubles of or leftovers is going to Transworld. And then I have a whole DIY part going to Jenkem. I worked really hard on this part. And I’ve been sober the whole time filming it. A completely different approach. So this ones gonna be real good I think. Dude, I’m coming in HOT on this one for sure.

Just a little bit of Compound the surplus from Insta
Some serious crust in this photo by Paul Gar

And so we end this odyssey on a happy note. Freddy is out there getting clips and skating in the backyard with friends (often with a broken arm). Sobriety has been good to Freddy over the last year plus. But, in typically Freddy fashion, he doesn’t seem at all ashamed of his past nor concerned in any way with what folks think about him. As I’ve said repeatedly throughout this series of blog posts, Fred’s endurance and popularity is rooted in his authenticity.
In a constantly filmed social media world of people trying way too hard and forever needing affirmations, Fred Gall is who he is and skates how he skates.

A note from Fred from the Happy Hour zine opening

Bonus Fred:
The same day this post was published, Jenkem releases a video of the pals buying and delivering Freddy a new mattress. This whole thing happening in Jersey right now is very endearing.
I really don’t want to think about what the old mattress was like, though.

Just, one more episode of All the Gall remains where I try to wrap it all up.
So tune in next time here in the Warm Up Zone.
Til then, get out and there and skate.

“Sucsess or defeat your call” – Fred Gall 2016 – 2018

With Habitat reunited to Alien Workshop and rebuilding on the backs of SOTY Silas Baxter-Neal and SOTY contender Mark Suciu, Freddy found himself relatively out of the spotlight for an extended period of years here. He might have been down, but he certainly wasn’t out. Habitat released boards with his name on them here and there, but he was seemingly being transferred to unspoken ‘Legacy’ status, where the respect is high but the pay is low. “I got bummed out, too, because Habitat, when it got sold and all that shit happened I kinda lost my place, you know what I mean. I was like ‘Fuck, I gotta get a job now.’

This timeframe found Fred facing more legal difficulties, mourning the loss of Granny, dealing with the IRS, unsuccessfully undertaking rehab, and then having to cope with the untimely death of his Mother. By late 2018, when Bam held his bizarre gathering, Freddy was not looking healthy.

But throughout all this time, even without the spotlight or a specific video project or a sponsor’s travel budget, Fred kept skating. Since there are no official video parts in these years, it’s all just Bonus Fred:

In 2015, Fred talked with Quartersnacks a bit about his day job as a set builder.

Fred Gall went to the CPH Open in Copenhagen in 2016 and, like everyone else, skated high on mushrooms. Jenkem videotaped it.

In 2017, Vice started a little webisode thing called Can You Skate It?. Inevitably, the debut episode featured Freddy; Trespassing and skating an abandoned NJ wind tunnel. That episode has been taken down by Vice (but we still found it over here); Freddy is in a later episode where they “build a skatepark out of mean social media comments”. It is about as enjoyable to watch as it is well conceived… not very well.

Fred Gall drops in

Probably the most significant thing that happened in this time period would be Freddy getting a guest board on Fucking Awesome. Dill came through for Freddy (and us) during a time in need and the deck was popular. When prompted, Fred told me, “They paid me really good. I made more off that board than I have from Habitat in fucking five years or something.
Those boards already sell for nearly 4 times their original value on the collector’s market… I guess people really want to childhood portrait of Fred in a Mets jersey with a shit-eating grin on their wall.

2018 was a busy year for Fred despite the partying and day job. The Habitat connection was kept alive with a couple of tricks in the montage section of the Connector Line video.

He was honored as St. Frederick of Jersey in the latest Jenkem book.

He skated Shorty’s Place a bunch during its last hurrah.

He finally got his own beer with Cypress Brewing Company. It was “is a 5% DDH America Pale Ale brewed and dry hopped entirely with Amarillo with notes of tangerine.”

Check out Daniel Mercuro’s compilation of Freddy and Friends iPhone clips from 2018:

Bobshirt did one of his amazing interviews with Fred Gall for a DeckAid show at NJ Skateshop. Like all his interviews, it is just so good and insightful. I absolutely utilized this video heavily when making these All the Gall posts.

This whole era culminates in a strange party over at Bam Margera‘s Castle Bam mansion and skatepark in Pennsylvania. It was bizarre to see this from the outside looking in through instagram; It appeared to be a tornado of drinking, possible drug detox, Andy Roy, Tim O’Conner, Danny Way, some dude in a bandana, a Ghost concert, a head injury, a baby, the possibility of a Meek Mills performance, skating, and then maybe the crowd rips all the ramps apart with their bare hands. Some morning in the middle of this ruckus an impatient Freddy spontaneously bombs Bam’s driveway, which apparently was a NBD. It is fun to hear how pumped Fred and Bam are when he makes it.

The good/terrible times continued into early 2019 until tragedy struck. But from the darkness Fred survives. Tune in next time as we spread hope and speculate on the future of Freddy.

“Straight outta Jersey. Come check it.” – Fred Gall – Domestics and OJ Wheels

Fred Gall and friends (specifically Joe Dorsi) started Domestics as a skate shop at some point in the early years of the 21st century in Carteret, New Jersey. Finding more success with making clothing (and not properly zoned for clothing production at the shop), it eventually moved to a warehouse where it continues churning out screenprinted shirts and hand-sewn jackets, bags, and other soft goods to this day, made right here in the US of A; Including the Fred Gall Signature Lightweight Work Pants. They also make pandemic face masks. In 2013, they released a little Fred Gall promo part. It’s pretty badass.

It’s got some all-time Freddy moments in there like the kickflip backside noseblunt to backside revert, a dump truck into a dump truck, and a heavy gap into bank ollie in front of a dozen mesmerized Cambodians. And I bet you missed that crustition fakie kickflip.

Freddy didn’t do many fakie flips.

Most monumentally, Freddy takes things up a notch at his hometown Metropark narrow street quarter pipe thing, a spot he has been continually fucking up for a while now, with a this beauty:

Fred talked about the origin of the name ‘Domestics’ in a 2008 Thrasher interview:
There was this bar next to my mom’s house when I was 18, and I would go and drink beers in there. I would order Budweiser by telling the bartender, ‘I’ll have another Domestic.’ I got kicked out of there so many times, but I lived next door so I would put on costumes and go back in there. I’d dress up as different factory workers.

Habitat also released Search the Horizon in 2013. Not a bad video, but very much focused on the newer riders like Al Davis, DeLa Torre, and Mark Suciu. Freddy only had 3 tricks.

Freddy’s tricks are at 11:30

A few months before the release of Search the Horizon, Pacific Vector Holding Inc. had bought a controlling share in the DNA brands: Alien Workshop, Habitat, and Reflex bearings. Within a year they would be dismantling it. This, along with a lot of highly publicized departures, led to the temporary end of Alien. But Habitat, thanks to a lot of Castrucci efforts and a short-lived distribution deal with Tum Yeto, kept itself more-or-less together. Fred stayed on the team, but found his role being diminished. As Kerry Getz and Tim O’Conner would fade into retirement, now Gall would not only be the last of the 1990s Alien Team to remain, but the final member of the original Habitat line-up still standing.

photo by Xeno Tsarnas

Fred, like so many skateboarders before him (and along with him (and also in the future)), lost a lot of productivity down the black hole of the NYC party scene around this time. Somewhere in the haze he found himself spending a brief amount of time locked up, a brief amount of time being married, finding a job in the construction industry, helping build the Shorty’s Place DIY park, and skating regularly in front of Andrew Petillo’s lens.

Which leads us to our (almost) final Fred Gall part (for now). A two and a half minute promo for his new wheel with OJs, released in 2015, called, logically enough, Freddy Gall for OJ Wheels!

As has become the trend, several tricks in this part were seen before. Regardless, the part itself still holds up pretty well. 82% of the tricks are on crust, 24% are wallrides, and 52% are on some kind of transition. A couple of key moments would be the backside 270 ollie nosepick to 270 revert out, the hefty quarter to quarter frontside flip, and the 1-2 punch of the gap to frontside tailslide on the banked ledge followed by a quickie hippie jump.

But wait, there’s more… I just learned that in late 2015 Freddy shared a part with Al Davis and DeLa in John Valenti‘s Local Express video. John’s filming is always impeccable, and Fred, as usual, destroys some banked ledges from both stances.

Freddy starts around 11:20

Bonus Fred:
Fred Gall tours the Domestics warehouse and talks about spots in this early video from Jenkem:

Bonus Bonus Fred:
In Search the Horizon, Mark Suciu did a little homage to the master…

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
The Scum League, sponsored by OJ Wheels, returned to a rain-soaked Shorty’s Place in 2013.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Now you can learn to patch spots with as much skill and craftsmanship as master bondo artisan Fred Gall in this 2014 Jenkem instructional video:

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Some Thrasher content featuring Freddy’s First Look at the mag from 2013. Some great moments here such as Freddy pining for Geoff Rowley’s Vans’ paycheck, giving ex-teammate Austin Gillette some sass, affectionately calling Dylan a “ladyboy”, and counting stairs like a skate rat.

Check back in the Warm Up Zone cause we ain’t done. Uncle Freddy hasn’t released a ‘part’ since 2015, but he hasn’t been silent either. We still have plenty more Fred to ponder including the dark years that culminated with whatever the fuck it was that happened at Bam’s, our hero gets sober and then gets busy, and Freddy tells us what he his cooking up for the future.

“He gets emotionally involved because he really cares” – Fred Gall, the X-Games, and Burning Monasteries

For Fred Gall, 2012 was a year of unrewarded efforts, times of trouble, but also some of the most selfless actions imaginable. It the year Uncle Freddy went from skater we love to folk hero skate legend. It all starts when Fred and NJ Scum, thinking some exotic spots might give Fred a fighting chance to take home some cash in ESPN X-Games Real Street challenge, head to Cambodia.

Freddy delivered a decent part for Real Street, indeed encompassing some colorful spots along with the crusty ditches, crumbling pools, and highway underpass wallride lines we have come to rely on him for. It even has that excellent roll-in at Ogden Bank to Ledge in NYC where Fred is rocking the cornrows.

Alas, Freddy did not win X-Games Real Street that year; But he did achieve enough karmic credit to counterbalance his hedonistic lifestyle several times over when he saved a bunch of Buddhist monks from their burning monastery. This true story is absolutely incredible, and one of several occasions Freddy has literally saved the lives of strangers. Rob Brink wrote a decent article about it for ESPN. There are photos and video footage if you have any doubts. The whole tale is just beyond epic, yet everybody who knows Fred and has commented about these heroic actions all say the same thing: this is just the type of person he is.

Speaking of heroes with skateboards, donate to Anthony Huber’s family.

In addition to acts of gallantry and ESPN, 2012 saw Fred spend some time dealing with some legal troubles. Hear him narrate NSFW jailhouse tales of terror in his Brick Harbor online skate shop part, Fred Gall, Sober?

If you’re having trouble following what shop Freddy represents, let him explain, at length, from a recent discussion: “NJ Skateshop. And I rep Orchard and Seasons too.
So rather than this part being a shop-sponsor announcement thing, it seems like Freddy just stopped by the Brick Harbor offices with some prison stories and a fresh mix of NJ Scum clips to share.
Not too much here we haven’t seen before in some variation, but the stylish bs 5-0 bs 180 out and the crooked grind to fakie over the stairs in a pool are worth note. Freddy also swallows a raw egg.

Bonus Fred:
Vindication! The Nut Daily News reports: Freddy wins Real Street 2018. “To the dismay of his fellow contestants, Fred was neither asked to join, nor did he submit any footage that could even be judged.”

Bonus Bonus Fred:
There is a little bit of footage of Fred in the burning building.

Fred stays calm enough to nearly drop a “…and you’re watching 411” style introduction

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Towards the end of 2012, Street League Skateboarding held its Super Crown Championships in Newark, New Jersey. Somehow Freddy and his misfit team of crusters got on the course after hosting their own “Scum League” event at the Shorty’s Place facility in scenic Paterson, NJ.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Fred’s fun Enthuse Your Curbiasm video for Indy. It features that curb from Granny’s that Fred still has, and a Chucky doll, so I can finally post this Fred vs. Chucky photo I found on some Instagram account somewhere but I can’t remember where.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Fred Gall ‘n the trenches’ for his clothing company, Domestics.

“If I didn’t suck I wouldn’t be the Worst” – Fred Gall wins WSOTY

The crazy soup that is Uncle Freddy‘s skate footage got real thick as the new decade arrived in 2010 and 2011. Fred dropped no less than four parts in the span of about 16 months in that frame, so one can be excused for getting them mixed up. It can all become a blur of sweat and crust. If you can keep your head together through it all, some of these tricks rank up there up as Fred’s most stylish.

In the first week of 2011, Lowcard Magazine did an online vote to declare the Worst Skater of the Year for 2010 and our boy Freddy took the crown (Dan Drehobl was runner up). As far as we know, another WSOTY has never been proclaimed.

The WSOTY video by NJ Scum has some great tricks amongst the dry heaves and snot rockets. Fred frontside wallrides a chainlink fence, bluntslides a handrail, and gaps into backside lipslides. Of the 15 clips of ‘Fred-Smashing-Stuff’ in his career (and this includes him blowing things up with explosives), the switch beer bottle jam ollie to bottle stomp is king.
Overall, Lowcard’s video is some grade-A Gall.

It is also worth noting that this WSOTY video is a single skater internet part that was released less than two months after P-Rod’s Me Myself and I part. So, yeah, Freddy also was one of the innovators of the modern internet part and how we presently consume modern skate media content.

A few months before this Freddy had a similar part in Habitat’s Origin DVD. I say similar because the intersection of Origin to WSOTY is near total. Not including ‘lifestyle’ clips of dumptrucks-into-the-river or machete Freddy, there are only 3 tricks in Origin that we haven’t already seen in Lowcard’s vid above.

Habitat did, however, do a little 20-year anniversary celebrating with Freddy in 2011 by posting all of his ads with AWS and Habitat up until that point online (since taken down) and a commemorative Hell on Earth deck.
They damn well better do something big for his the 30th anniversary in 2021.

I guess technically Origin was both earlier than WSOTY and confined to a physical disc rather than the net, so the overlap is understandable. I guess these two videos, featuring nearly the same footage, are a solid marker of Freddy starting to fall solidly into his own aesthetic rather than Castrucci’s vision.
Origin is still worth a view if only for the frontside 50-50 on a kinked rail at 0:42.

Unfortunately for Fred (and for hippie skaters everywhere), his shoe sponsor, Ipath was sold by then-owners Timberland (who by all accounts seemed to be decent bosses) right around this time, and the shoe brand’s decline towards dissolution began. With a team video by Thad Croskey almost finished, the new majority stakeholders had just cut most the team and weren’t interested in releasing a video to promote the brand. While Freddy made the cut and continued to be sponsored and even had signature shoes on Ipath for another couple of years, by all standards it was a slowly sinking ship. The skate trips to exotic lands were over.
Thad jumped ship in solidarity with all the cut riders and they pooled resources to bring the world The Other Ones as a ‘vigilante style’ independent release in 2011. If you ever wanted to watch Fred Gall skate to country music, here you go:

Clocking in at 4 minutes long, this is Freddy’s second-longest (non-retrospective) part, although some of the footage gets reused here from previous parts or again in later parts (yes, we see that ledge ride to handrail fs lipslide in at least 3 different videos). It’s got plenty of interesting spots, both of the crusty curved and street variety. In fact, nearly 25% of the tricks in this part are ledge tricks. Not bad and not what exactly one would expect of Fred during this time.

Some of the highlights include a tasty slow-motion frontside flip on a giant brick cone, a backside kickflip to tail to revert on a cobblestone street volcano, the retro line featuring a nollie backside flip and switch crooks to regular, and Fred shouting “I made it alive!” after surviving a monumental ollie into a ditch. You can see a 60p version of The Other Ones here. Freddy’s part starts around 21:00.

Rounding out the year 2011 is a dual shared shop part with Steve Durante for Orchard and/or Seasons skate shop. Apparently they put out a collaborative wheel and have open relationships with their riders. Again, some deja vu footage from NJ Scum since everyone wanted in on that sweet Jersey VX1000 action. This cut also has some gems like a straight up rooftop gap kickflip, a rarified nose manual trick, and Freddy skating a pool wearing a gas-powered leaf blower. If you ever wanted to watch Fred Gall skating to the Misfits, here you go:

Bonus Fred:
Lowcard made a handful of episodes of Fred Gall Show around the time they crowned him Worst Skater of the Year. It’s basically just a buzzed Uncle Freddy with a swollen face yelling into a beer can microphone while he ‘interviews’ the likes of Bobby Worrest, Pat Duffy, the Daggers, John Falahee from New School, Jeff Pang, Steve Rodriguez, and other randos.

Bonus Bonus Fred:
Our hero gives Ryan Sheckler a run for his money in a high-stakes game of skate in 2011.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Story time with Uncle Freddy for some Brazilian website called Rettaskate, or something, I don’t know there is a lot of random stuff out there with Fred and it can be hard to figure out who did what and why. I find this one funny, though.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
Freddy and Pat Duffy sort of talk about Recs and Primus and other things in this video from sponsorme.com (what the fuck were all these websites?). Worth a watch just just to hear Fred deliver the quote: “What, do I gotta buy some shit to skate your spot? I’ll do it.

“We’re going to watch Fred die here and now. Wonderful.” – Fred Gall wallrides a moving bus

In 2009, while on an Ipath tour to Bangkok, Thailand, Fred Gall did a wallride on a moving bus. Not inside a bus that was moving, but on the outside off the loading platform. Each attempt required gauging the speed, distance from the platform, and landing, as well timing the bus as it drove by. Other than the occasional skitch, almost all other ‘moving vehicle’ tricks before or since have involved a high level of coordination with the driver of the vehicle. Correct me if you know better, but nothing even close to it was attempted until Tyshawn boardslid a moving construction vehicle a decade later. Fred got as raw street as possible in a foreign country.
It’s fucked up and awesome.

I first heard about it in a Boil the Ocean post that referenced a Skateboard Mag article. When I talked to Freddy about the All the Gall project, the conversation inevitably went there:
People were flipping out. I would hit the bus and the bus would stop, every time. The bus driver would get out and yell at me. Or I would just skate away. And like, that went on for like, over an hour. And I had to wait for one that wasn’t going too fast and it was really hard to judge. I landed a couple of times with like just my feet on the bus and got really fucking spun around and shit.

A little investigating and one can find this amazing photo by Matt Price. Matt was a photographer for the Skateboard Mag at the time and there to document the exotic Ipath trip, which had become a somewhat annual thing. This picture was a full page in that magazine article. He also published it and a few others from the ‘session’ in his Golden Hour zine #2 (dedicated entirely to Fred Gall, get yours here). Quartersnacks did a little movie poster parody from the photo.

I reached out to Matt for his thoughts on the whole bus fiasco and he did me one better; He contributed some high-res outtake photos of the event for this All the Gall event. Gorge yourself on these:

Thad Croskey, who was filming for Ipath during those years, gave me some insights on the event. “It was just crazy he even saw that spot and was like, ‘I wanna wallride a moving bus off this platform to the street.‘ Fuckin Fred man.”
So Fred waited until the final days of the trip to get his attempts in “…you know, in case he died.” He spent the better part of one evening waiting for the right bus going the right speed (with a little help from TM Ohio Dave running interference) for each attempt. At the urging of his cohorts, Fred put his efforts into cavemanning into the ride. Despite nearly loosing his leg into a wheel-well and an arm in an open window, he got a land. This is the session with the purple Domestics shirt.

The next evening he returned (wearing a brown shirt) determined to straight up ollie into a wallride. After some hairball attempts and some very angry bus drivers, cooler heads prevailed and Fred walked away hoping to get it on next year’s Ipath trip. As discussed, Ipath changed ownership before another Thailand trip could happen, and their busses have remained free from Freddy’s scuff-marks since.
But Fred is still hopeful for a make. When I spoke to him recently, he told me, “Dude, I want to go back there and get that. It’s insane.

But what of the footage? Fred tell us, “There’s footage of me cavemanning into it and making it. But there is no footage of the actual make of the ollie into it.
I asked Matt Price, and Matt connected me with Thad. With only a polite request to prompt him, Thad dug deep into old hard drives and emerged with the goods. I want to emphasize that both Matt and Thad got zero compensation for their generous sharing. They all contributed for the love of skateboarding and Freddy.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Frederick J Gall busride footage:

So what did happened to the footage? Why have we not seen this before now?
Thad reveals, “The [Ipath] video was 95% VX footage and I was trying to keep it as much VX as possible. Plus he was thinking of going back to ollie on to it, so we didn’t want to put that footage out right away in case he went back.”

Bonus Fred:
Thad also gives us a little sampling of the shit Freddy and friends were dealing with on that second day of attempts.

Bonus Bonus Fred:
If all this amazingness isn’t enough bonus enough for you, here is Freddy talking about his 1994 Thrasher cover in some 2009 online content. These were the types of ‘internet exclusive’ videos on thrashermagazine.com before the game changed the following decade.