Tag Archives: 2009

“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.

“Yo, we gotta go to Colombia and skate” – Fred Gall in Pasado Presente Futuro

It is just so easy to lose hours or even days going down the internet rabbit hole in the name of research. Looking for that long lost skate graphic or trying to confirm who filmed that clip. And with the bottomless skate video machine that is the internet, you can believe that for every word I’ve typed here at least ten minutes was wasted consuming ephemeral content in the name of skate history.

But occasionally our meandering minds stumble upon pure fucking gold and one wonders how such a shiny piece of treasure has been hidden all these years. Such is the case with Fred Gall‘s part in the 2009 Frontside Skate Shop video Pasado Presente Futuro.

also Tim O’Connor and Brian Wenning, if that’s your thing.

As far as I can tell, Frontside uploaded this video to Vimeo within a year of its release over a decade ago and (as of this writing) it has only been viewed 2085 times. And at least 20 of those are me! For a comparison, the Nine Club Experience episode where Freddy facetimes in for a few minutes has been viewed over 36 thousand times in just 2 years.

Now, this part isn’t just throwaway excess from some trip to South America. In addition to what I assume are clips of Fred skating spots that are local to the shop and some demos, this part is chock full of never before seen US of A footage, some dating from all the way back in 2003. There’s Pyramid Ledges footage here and wallride variations from that Mosaic opener spot. So how did a skateshop in Medellin, Colombia get all this gold?

Fred recalls: “My boy Hector from Colombia started a skate shop there. And my boy Don La from Jersey is Colombian, so that’s where that connection came. And then Hector came and stayed with us, and then me an Tim O’ where like ‘yo we gotta go to Colombia and skate.’ So we went to Colombia. We paid for ourselves. And we were like, holy shit, this place it rad. And we went back a little while later to do a Slap article. So that’s how that came about. We had Brennan [Conroy, Habitat videographer] with us. So that shit should have made it somewhere but I guess it didn’t.” 

Freddy, Hector Cataño of Frontside, and some rando who probably didn’t amount to anything

Snooping around on Instagram, it became clear that Frontside is a force in South American skateboarding and has been a regular stop for Freddy, the Habitat team, and lots of other professionals for a while now.
A side note that Frontside, despite being from his hometown, does not seem to have any association with David Gonzales.

Pasado Presente Futuro video gives us a lot of the Freddy you didn’t know you needed until just now. Freddy ollies from the wall into the Brooklyn Banks again, but now that fence is there and it is filmed long lens. Freddy bombs into traffic switch. Freddy with the stalefish grab at a demo. Freddy switch frontside 180ing into a wallride down steps. The only filmed Fred Gall nollie 360flip in existence.
Freddy skating to Kool Keith and Ultramagnetic MCs.
And then this:

Pasado Presente Futuro is a gift for us Freddy fanatics. I hope you enjoy it as much as I continue to. If you find yourself in Colombia, tell Hector “Gracias” from us here in the Warm Up Zone.

Bonus Fred:
You can watch the Freddy and Friends Frontside part in higher quality on Instagram here. Interesting to note that with the help of Google translate it seems while the release of the Frontside video was 2009, most of this footage was filmed in 2004. Here is a picture of when Fred Gall, practicante de skate, was in a Colombian newspaper in 2004:

Bonus Bonus Fred:
I was going to delve into the whole moving-bus-wallride thing here, as that also went down in 2009, but let’s save that for next time. In the meanwhile, here is a picture (again from the Frontside IG) of Freddy holding a jar of Juan Valdez coffee wearing a Rodeo Time hat and a Hewlett-Packard parody shirt that says “Son of a Bitch”.

“You can outrun and outsmart the cops at the same time” – Fred Gall in Brutality, Ipath, and more.

The latter half of the first decade of the 21st century is fuzzy time in skateboard video history. It is after the decline in dominance of VHS tapes but before the birth of the stand-alone online part. Internet video content was mostly contest footage, tour edits, or Ask the Phelper. The real heavy tricks were saved for the few and far between DVD releases. Sure, we got some classics like Mind Field or Ride the Sky in that mix, but a great deal of decent parts have just been lost in the mist of shop videos, second tier video magazines, and low resolution uploads to early youtube.

It is in this fog that Fred Gall released part after part, about 2 every year for several years in a row. Freddy’s chief collaborators through this period were Habitat videographer Brennan Conroy and Andrew “NJ Scum” Petillo, who could be described as Fred’s primary filmer from Inhabitants onward. While Habitat would release plenty of Gall footage through a couple of videos and many, many internet ‘Field Log’ cuts, NJ Scum would bring us the majority of Fred footy sliced and diced into various projects.

Ipath ad in Transworld, 2009

Further exacerbating the blurring of all these parts is the fact many tricks are used twice (or even three times) in separate projects. Other times it is a different variation on a previously seen trick, or unrelated tricks at the same spots during the same session. While the overlap might not have been disorienting when these videos were being released with limited reach and and big enough gaps in between, but when one is surveying All the Gall consecutively, the results are a not-unpleasant haze of graffitied ditches, noseblunt stalls, and crusty frontside ollies.
I’m not gonna lie, it was a bitch trying to log all these tricks for our statistical analysis of all these parts over at 4plymag (article coming soon). Just as we thought we had witnessed every drop in and yank out, a new part would pop-up from the aether featuring wonderful new footage with stuff I swear I had seen elsewhere… or had I? You will forgive me if I get confused. Such were the wondrous days of digital video before instagram let you post videos, not that shit got less hectic from there.

This whole odyssey of lesser known parts starts with a real treat: Thrasher magazine’s rarely mentioned 2008 video, Brutality, of which Freddy had the opening segment.

Clocking in at nearly 3 minutes and over 50 tricks, Brutality is the third longest part Freddy has made, which is saying something considering it came right on tail of his mighty efforts in Inhabitants. In fact, it is much more of a companion to 2005’s Decade of Destruction (of which it shares a couple of clips). And it certainly isn’t just Habitat leftovers. There are some sweet tidbits in here.
We got a couple of pole jams, which is a surprisingly rare trick from Fred. That nose grab blunt to fakie on the parking garage bar is fucking crazy. Have you ever tried to skate one of those things?!? We also get the only Fred Gall Burnside clip ever released here, another oddity considering Fred is an honorary member of the “Nobodies” gang of local PNW Burnside toughs.

Also coming out in 2008 was Joe Perrin‘s full length Last of the Mohicans, a video that started out as just a made-up title for a non-existent project but eventually blossomed into a classic of New York skating. Freddy has a solid 90 seconds of footage as part of the first “Loose Cannons” montage. The whole video is tops.

Let’s round out this era of Freddy with Ipath’s 2009 Promo video. Around this time, as clear as I can tell, Ipath released the signature Gall Jersey Devil mid-tops. I have no recollection of this shoe, but maybe it was just me not inspecting the velcro-strap section of the footwear display closely.

The later-era of the Ipath team was pretty tight, featuring Matt Rodriguez, Adelmo, vagabond Kenny Reed, Danny Dicola, a few tricks from Richie Jackson, and a young Ben Raybourn. Fred’s gets his licks in with a rooftop backside 360, the wall-footplant-Sal-flip-to-fakie, and plenty of crust.

Freddy’s part is at 6:15

There was yet another full part by Freddy that was released in 2009, but that one is so special I’ve decided to wait until next episode to dig into it. Check back soon, you won’t regret it.

Bonus Fred:
This 2-part ESPN.com interview with Freddy from 2009 is good. Read it before it gets lost to the internet black hole of dead links.

Bonus Bonus Fred:
Searching around the web, I’ve found a grip of images of Fred’s Ipath shoes from 2009:

NJ Skateshop collab

Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
I also found some evidence of the Fred Gall Low Life shoe from a 2010 Ipath catalog PDF.

Heading even further down the rabbit hole, I found this image, also apparently from an Ipath catalog, on an old SLAP thread. It appears that the Gall Mid came equipped with Fred’s ‘personalized stash pocket’. The quote to go with this photo is a classic, but I really don’t see Freddy ever actually saying, “If you are smart and want street cred, buy my shoe…”

I don’t believe the Low Life or the updated Gall Mid ever got fully produced, and consequently Fred, and countless others, did get busted.
Ipath switched ownership in 2010 and dropped a bunch of their team along with a nearly completed video. Fred did remain on Ipath into maybe 2013 when it fully died, and that video with another full Freddy part did get released eventually, but that is a tale for another time.

Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Fred:
The plot thickens: After I did a social media post about the Gall Ipath shoes, the good folks at Metal Skateboards clued me into the Derelict, Fred Gall’s low model that was around from maybe late 2010 into perhaps 2012. The 2011 Ipath catalog highlights that the Derelict features “…our advanced More Cushion for the Pushing footbed”.

Josh Kalis – worldwide in Mind Field

For the designation of true lifetime ambassador for street skating, consider the nomination of Josh Kalis. Slice out any portion of his storied three decade career and you see a man who is 100% about it. Be it a baggie-pantsed kid 360 flipping gaps for cigarettes, or a baggie-pantsed young father bringing his infant daughter to Love Park with him, or a baggy-pantsed 42 year old man landing his first Thrasher cover; It is obvious he bleeds skating. Inspiring those who would go on to become legends as well as successful contemporary emulators, recreating classic clips over garbage cans for the nostalgia crowd, building and skating his own granite ledge in his garage during quarantine (and shaping the obstacle like one of those small street-level sidewalk steps); Kalis does not let you down.

Unassumingly, he has slowly inched his way up from pro status, past legend, and into the hallowed halls of GOATyness. He somehow got rich yet never sold out. He hasn’t really changed up his kit yet never seems to be dated. His reputation is one of both extreme loyalty yet genuflecting to no man or corporate entity.

Case in point, Josh filmed and released this excellent Mind Field part for Alien Workshop as he was more or less quitting the team. In a video that featured phoned-in parts from two professionals who literally owned their own training facilities, Josh had plenty cause to go half-hearted for Mind Field. He was already way ahead of his AWS colleagues in term of productivity with the release of Kalis In Mono in 2006 (the precursor to the current solo internet part routine we are in today, which is another notch in the Kalis belt). Why risk injury to promote your team when all signs are pointing towards a shift towards the younger recruits? As we all know, despite a solid part in the TWS Cinematographer Project video, Josh was the canary in the coal mine when he left the Workshop.

Yet Josh Kalis delivered in Mind Field on a global scale. With all the 360flip variations, complete ambidexterity, and not even a hint that any trick was completed in any other style than that which was intended. The fact that this part is perhaps regarded as routine rather than exemplary is both a testament to Mind Field as a video overall as well as Josh Kalis’ rock solid repertoire of video parts.

Grant Taylor and the birth of the commonplace ATV

Looking back, the first tremors of the coming seismic shift in skateboarding are all present in 2009’s Debacle video from Nike footwear. I recall sitting at a computer and streaming a full length skate video for the first time, in High Definition no less, and thinking the game done changed.

And it wasn’t just watching a skate video on a computer screen without paying a cent. Nor was it the fact that I actually enjoyed and accepted a Nike product as a legitimate skateboarding artifact. The game change was seeing Grant Taylor skate and realizing he could do fucking anything, anywhere. Be it backyard bowls or European plazas, tech to rails or blasted airs. All fluid and easy.

But Grant Taylor wouldn’t go on to be another once-in-an-era superhero like Cardiel. He, along with others like David Gravette and Aaron Hamoki , were just the vanguard of what would become a regular occurrence among the young sponsored ranks of the future. We’re not talking Tony Hawk awkwardly skates a handrail out of career preservation necessity… We’re talking total domination of all styles of skating.

All this progression greets us a decade later in the contemporary era where we have such all terrain innovators as Oski Rozenberg or street maniacs who seem as equally at ease on a roller coaster rail as twirling transition 540s or ally-ooping oververt park pockets. Your Zion Wrights, your Evan Smiths. An era where a strickly park dog like Cody Lockwood just tosses in a gnarly street rail here and there.

As we truly revel and grow jaded in the common era of everybody-can-do-everything, let us look back or even look right and left, and appreciate what Grant Taylor begat.

Marisa Dal Santo – Strange World


A recent interview with Marisa Dal Santo over at Jenkem got me back in the loop of watching this part over and over again. It’s interesting to read her story of refilming tricks, broken wrists, and turning down professional status while collecting $40,000 contest purses.

Although skateboarding is embarrassingly several decades behind where it should be in the realm of gender inclusivity (with a lot of work to go), it is good to see a lot of deserving women are getting signature models of their own this year. Regular skate parts, as well as filler park content and bearing sponsor promos, from women is finally becoming more routine and less novel.

Still, I consider Marisa’s 2009 part in Zero’s Strange World the reigning champion of skate parts from a women thus far. The opening slam on the backside flip roll away, the surprise no-comply heelflip one footer, smith grind tail grab, the Stranglers song, the Chicago Bears jersey… this part may have been the been what broke Marisa’s enthusiasm for hammers, but what a part!