Category Archives: Internet Parts

An one-shot full part, debuting on an internet website, that is not part of a full length video project that is otherwise being sold in tangible or paid online download.

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’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.

“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.

Mason Silva. Mason.

I don’t typically feel the need to jump in to point out a video that is up presently. More often I want to spend my blog writing efforts on celebrating the parts of yore and those that might have slipped through the cracks in the internet age. But, holy hell, that recent Mason Silva part for Nike SB is just on another level of monstrousness.

Kids that come up through the Element camp are guaranteed talented from the get-go, but increasingly the top of the crop is quick to move elsewhere for fear that they’ll forever be high-fiving Chad Tim Tim in the shadow of Nyjah and reissued Bam boards. Peacing out since Peace is Tyson Peterson, Evan Smith, Nassim Guammaz, Greyson Fletcher apparently, and perhaps the skater with the most to gain, Mason Silva. After floating for a bit, he is now comfortably in the stable Real/Spitfire family, getting decent checks from Nike SB, and completely taking things up a significant notch with his video output in 2020.

Every trick in this part is huge. Just take a moment to analyze any trick in the video and it dawns on you just how incomprehensible nearly all these tricks at these spots are.
How about that 4 trick line around 1:00 which should serve as a breather after a just humongous and stylish bump to bar hardflip. A huge crooked grind on the top of a bench back, landed perfectly, frontside tailslide launched to fakie on the next bench back, a quickie switch 360flip, and then a straight-on fakie ollie to switch manual and let’s just 180 out of that for good measure. And that is one of the less memorable clips in this video.

Speed. Power. Style. Trick variety. Decent spot selection. This video requires multiple viewings, several rewinds, and maybe even a pause here and there to give a proper look at just how damn steep the bank is.

The only criticisms would be the camera angle on that last ollie, which just seemed so much more monumental on the Thrasher cover, the video being titled “Mason” (which utilizes a titling concept that should’ve been retired with Dylan), and the song selection. I could see where some folks might like the Roxy Music track, but I feel like Mason’s skating is strictly hardcore.

#weskremer

By all accounts, Wes Kremer should be washed up by now. A whole bunch of the prerequisites for a long-tail coast to quasi-retirement are present in his career thus far:

  • Being marketed as a hardcore stoner.
  • Being a hardcore stoner.
  • Having already summited the mountaintop with his 2014 SOTY award (probably the last skater to authentically have won it by just skating and not “campaigning”).
  • Being treated as the face (or even mascot) of both his board and shoe company and having a guest trick in every other skater under that sponsor’s parts.
  • Being really good at manuals and other low impact ‘dork’ tricks.
  • Being incredibly well liked by everybody in the industry.

Wes Kremer would be well within precedent to never jump down a flight of stairs again. A new part from him could easily just be a bunch of wall rides and a few low-risk pole jams paired with some slow-motion footage of blowing reefer smoke at the camera and dropping Sk8Mafia hand signs.

But instead, Wes delivers the goods, on 4/20/2020 no less, in the ironically titled #weskremer part. Here are some of my favorite tidbits:

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The opening line that terminates with this ridiculous flatground slam shuts down any notions of solemnity or gravitas for the upcoming part. This is Wes. We’re gonna have fun.


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What the hell his this red thing Wes is popping 360s on? It looks like some type of kiddie climbing gym apparatus in the middle of a sandbox.


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A sunny day. An empty plaza. A shiftied out switch wallie over a bench.


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Wes is not is uptight and neither is Baker-made hardflip. The hand drag ads a little bit of unpretentiousness and makes this trick stand out.


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Jam the cannonball. A great example of a ‘dork’ trick that, upon closer inspection, is fucking gnarly.


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The big gap pop shove is such a good looking and underutilized trick. This one is switch. The twilight sky is just the icing on the cake.


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Switch stance frontside tailslide impossible. And this wasn’t even the ender.


Honestly, one could GIF just about any trick in this video and just get lost in the hypnotic flow of Wes. His whole oeuvre is chock full of tasty treats, so dig in.

Dakota Servold – Green peaks

 

In the world of professional sports, the kinds of sports with championships and agents and assistant general managers studying statistical evidence, people pay a lot of attention to the correlation between age and peak performance. When there are millions of dollars on the line it is good to know what effectiveness might be expected for your dollar. And, outside of injuries, some typical patterns emerge.

For straight-up athleticism, the decline typically begins around age 26. While experience, wisdom, and a mature attitude towards training and health can extend the peak until perhaps age 30, barring the introduction of performance enhancing drugs, an athlete’s 30s are basically a battle to slow down the decline and stay viable. By the 40s you are just holding on, seeing how long you can even compete, much less dominate.

We skateboarders like to consider ourselves different – perhaps more artists than athletes. With a few ridiculed exceptions, professional skateboarders don’t “train” during the “offseason”, they don’t have “coaches”, they rarely are provided “healthcare”, they are often “intoxicated”, heck, most of them aren’t even getting paid a “living wage”. Yet, athletes they are and the peak performance pattern still holds up.

Pre-pubescent kids can show amazing talent but are yet to develop the strength and style of an adult body. The late teen / early 20s set are going crazy, touring for months straight, leaping down big sets straight out of the van, recovering quickly from injuries, smoking spliffs and drinking beers, literally while skating. But this is where many start to fall off. Some descents are caused by a decline in ability, some from injury, some just lose interest and explore the possibilities to get paid for more lucrative talents, but mostly, and sadly, so many great careers fall off from a decline of skateboard riding effort. Lifestyle casualties.

With the exception of Dustin Dollin, one typically needs to sober up (or at least get that shit under control) or already have accumulated enough brand-name popularity to get paid through the long tail of the late 30s and early 40s decline in productivity. Big street rails give way to waxed indoor park ledges. Impact gets substituted for smooth style, unique spots, and wise trick selection. Check out the blossoming fine-art career that is enough to keep that name on a board for a couple more seasons. They might not have a part in the new full length but they are performing an acoustic set during the premiere.

Knowing this pattern, one would think more skateboarders, or at least team managers, would do their best to squeeze out the greatest quantities of heavy tricks while the getting is good. To clock as much footage as possible before back pain, a spiraling chemical dependency, and/or the need to feed your family pushes you out of the spotlight.

Dakota Servold gets it. After 6 or 7 years of being a workhorse pro for a board company that apparently doesn’t pay much, as well as riding the peaks and troughs of the clothing sponsor rollercoaster, Dakota left it all on the field for his new show sponsor, Emerica. Not that he phoned it in for the past three Foundation videos, but Green is something else.

As discussed in his Nine Club podcast interview and then again in his recent Thrasher Magazine interview, Dakota wised up, took his job seriously, and pushed his limitations. Longtime Servold friend, Emerica TM, and Green filmer Tim Cisilino concurs, “… we sort of just wanted to make it happen for each of us together. We both agreed that people who work hard get rewarded so we both were working our asses off to be the best we could be.”

And it shows. The backside 180 ender would be evidence enough, but you can pull nearly any trick from the part and behold something special. The endless front blunt rail. The ollie over the Chase sign. The man-ledge version of the ramp rail ollie to curb grind. The solid frontside 50-50 transfer to backside tailslide on the kinked rail. That improbable kick flip up the loading dock. These tricks hit hard and fast, but none feel like filler. And as a fan of both normal stance skating and non-pinched handrail grinds, I have no complaints.

What I like best about this narrative is the lack of a rock bottom. As far as I know, Dakota’s career wasn’t in jeopardy from his drinking and lack of productivity. He hadn’t wrecked a car or got dropped by key sponsors or blown out his knee and couldn’t skate or gotten hooked on heroin or anything that dire. He isn’t even claiming alcoholism or lifetime sobriety. He simply made a choice to give it his all. To look back on this well documented time with pride and not wonder how good he could have been ‘if only’… but to know… Very. Fucking. Good.

With all this concentration of peak performance, I was curious if Dakota had considered quitting smoking. Tim Cisilino: “Nah, he loves that too much.”

Big thanks to Tim for answering my rambling questions.

Everybody loves Pat Burke.

Say what will you will about Virginia, but it has produced two things that have made this world a better place to live in… Gwar and Pat Burke. And while it is common enough to find a person who can’t or won’t appreciate the theatrical artistry that is Gwar, I am yet to have ever met a person (or even a person who has met a person) who doesn’t think Pat Burke is awesome. Everybody loves Pat.

There are several hits in the Big Pat-B discography that I indulge in regularly, with two freshies coming up in the past year to go along with his decade-overdue pro model. But the one that gets me grinning again and again is the 2013 stand alone gem that is Pat Burke & $lave.

Pat Burke is like a muppet on a skateboard. Arms akimbo. Sweaty hair flopping. He falls like a bag of laundry and it feels like that next slam is coming at any second, probably when he is not even trying a trick. Pat isn’t graceful. Pat is sloppy and silly and unpretentious. But God DAMN he seems like he is having a lot of fun. And Pat is having fun, I am having fun.

Pat Burke & $lave hits all the notes for a feel good make-you-wanna-go-skate track. It’s got great driving music (Going Down by Freddy King), some decent slams, some tricks that got away (the frontside 360 ollie heelflip!, or the frontside flip in the rain), and his nollie backside flips are just magnificent.

So get loose and get down with Pat. I guarantee you’ll feel good after watching this part.

Pat Burke and $lave