Tag Archives: 2011

“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.

Riley Hawk 1991

Riley Hawk gets stoned – Quicksilver in 2011

Hudson Hawk was born in late 1992, his parents apparently completely unaware of the terrible Bruce Willis movie that had stunk up theaters the previous year. Once they realized their mistake, they started calling him by his middle name, Riley. Not long after that he started skateboarding like his father. A little over two decades later he had the final part in Lakai’s The Flare.

But somewhere in between, Riley Hawk transitioned from Tony’s son who is also coincidentally sponsored by Birdhouse to “Daaaaamn!” One can see the metamorphosis was well underway in 2011 when Quicksilver released an unnamed online promotional part. Let’s take a look:

You can practically smell the reefer kicking in throughout this video. Riley’s little kid grown-out buzz haircut is turning into flowing headbanging locks. A Black Sabbath forearm tattoo shows up. The t-shirts get more and more metal as the tricks go from tech to tech-gnar. He starts to look less Birdhouse and more, well, Baker.

In less than 3 years after this video’s release Riley would turn 21, get completely covered in tattoos, be named the recently digitized Skateboarder Magazine’s Am of the Year, and go pro for Baker skateboards. His promotion to professional status would set off a chain reaction that would lead to the end of Jeff Lenoce’s career, compel Braydon Szafranski to sell luxury pajamas from the Playboy Grotto, inspire Spanky to sober up, and , in the unlikeliest of occurrences, force Shane Goatmouf Heyl to courteously relinquish his Baker pro board with grace and dignity.

Brandon Westgate – New shoe, new part – 2011

Cranberry heir Brandon Westgate gave us a solid stare into our future when he released an internet video part to promote his new pro model shoe for Emerica back in 2011. He showed us a strange and wonderful world where a full-on 3 minute skate part could consist of all potential enders. He correctly prognosticated a future where a part stood alone on the internet, without a disc or tape for the shelf, promoted as a rider alone, apart from his teammates. But Westgate was also a seer of dark times… a dystopia where the pinnacle of a professional’s career is all but forgotten as the seasons change, if not sooner.

The single skater, web released promo part was pioneered several months earlier with the Paul Rodriguez’s Me, Myself, and I, and we could feel the tide shift beneath our wheels when Gravis released dylan. (plus there were a few others), but the internet-only video was still reserved for tour edits, contest recaps, park clip throw-aways, and the occasional Ask the Phelper.

So from this stew of disposable internet video material emerges spry little Brandon Westgate with a new shoe and a bucket full of hammers.

The doorway ramp kickflip and amazing 360 flip that was just heaved out there stand out, of course, but the real treat here all the footage of Brandon riding the San Fransisco avenues. The sense of speed and danger comes across on those hills, with those stairway bumps really tossing him. For a skater whom appears to be so in control of his board at all times, the sense the Westgate is less dominating the obstacles and more flowing with the terrain ups the excitement significantly.

Brandon would go on to drop all of his ‘core’ sponsors (although Zoo York was already tossed it’s credibility by this time) for the bland pay stubs of the Element black hole and New Balance or something.

 

Hell Spawn Nowison – Dustin Dollin 2011

The last Piss Drunk standing filmed an entire part for the Vans video (that would eventually be Propeller), but he clocked too much footage too fast and nobody else on the team had anything and wouldn’t for another four or so years.

So Dustin Dollin gave his footage to his homie and griptape sponsor and made a classic video part that stands soaked heads above everybody else’s in the video. He then re-upped enough footage for a shared part in Propeller and that slam-only / Pee-Wee’s nightmare part for Volcom in the meanwhile.