Tag Archives: Chris Joslin

Chris Joslin Prequels – Episode 2 – Ground Control

The story up until nowChris Joslin‘s amazing ability to flip his board down ungodly sized gaps is successfully kept under wraps by Plan B to then be unveiled in 2014’s True video. The part is amazing and distracts us completely from being ghosted by Danny Way, Colin McKay, and PJ Ladd (but good on Pat Duffy for actually riding a skateboard). However, with just a little digging in the crates, we discover that True wasn’t the first video part of Chris’ to be distributed via the world wide web. Witness entnies Welcome to the Team part from earlier and 2014, and then feast upon Chris’ section in the 2013 Bones Wheels’ New Ground video.

But did Plan B, Sheckler’s etnies, and Bones brand Wheels really discover this kid? Following this thread even further back in time, we unearth the young Joslin gem that is his big part in the independent 2012 Ground Control video. Here lies the Powell Peralta flow-years footage of a prodigy finding his footing and taking is park-honed skills into the streets.

Somewhere there may exist a miniDV tapes loaded up with a fearless child jumping transitions to flat at the El Dorado park, but the story gets interesting when a just barely teenage Chris Joslin begins to hit the streets with the older Cerritos Ground Control crew in 2010.

The crew had been gathering footage for over a year and a full length independent video was starting to form. The concept that would become Ground Control the video, along with a proficient line-up (featuring future names like Mike Piwowar and Jason Park), was getting locked in. But then Chris started filming tricks. Filmer/editor Ilja Maran recollects, “Chris was always so successful on every filming mission (usually landing HUGE tricks in 5 tries or less) so before long it was pretty obvious he would have last part. It wasn’t even a matter of who would end the video with the biggest trick. It was always just Chris with a heavy ender that he would keep out-doing.”

Ground Control sees Chris as a fuzzy-headed yet already well-rounded street skater with a penchant for shoving out of ledge tricks and all the standard rail tricks on lock. His potential is obvious and local shops like Gallery and Mad Wax provided the stepping stones of sponsorship, as is the natural order of things. And while Chris might have had eyes on bigger fish in the board sponsor ocean than Powell, he was appreciative of what they provided.

For the most part, this isn’t ‘little kid’ footage, especially as we approach some of the really big tricks in the final two minutes of the part. The familiar ‘bolts’ landing on the big sets that Chris would soon be famous for emerges.

Ilja talks about the final tricks: “One of my favorite clips with Chris is obviously the ender at House of Drops. We went to shoot the tre-flip late one day and he stuck every try for almost 30 minutes but it got too dark before he could get the rollaway… We went back the following weekend and he was NOT getting close at all. Then, magically, after 5 or 6 tries he rolls away from the first stick. It was unbelievably easy for him. He seemed so non-chalant about the massive tre so I thought, why not keep going? I think I said “I got you on lunch if you sw frontside flip it”. And again, of course… Flips a few not close at all.. Then BOOM perfect catch, perfect stomp. Rolls away after the first stick. That was honestly the most stoked I’ve ever been on filming a clip and probably ever will be. Not only was it the ender of the video it was a HUGE surprise to everyone who was at the premiere. Everyone assumed the tre-flip was the ender of the video because the whole crew knew he tried it but the sw frontside flip was our secret surprise. Me and Chris went on a small side mission for that ender.”

A tightened edit of the Ground Control would go on to win the Berric’s Younited Nations 3 contest, earning the entire cast (along with always fun Distreeto crew from Mexico) a weeklong trip to skate the Berrics, which perhaps gave Joslin the last little push he needed before he dropped the perfect stomp into the skateboard consciousness.

I had to do a little digging to find the edit of their session, and you will be shocked at who got the ender. A little side note: why would the Berrics not be preserving their old video edits? Besides some of the earliest Joslin footage, that Josiah Gatlyn Recruits was one of the few repeatable park edit parts and all we have is some low-res youtube upload. Get it together, Steve.

Thanks to Ilja Maran for giving me the insider’s view into the emergence of a unique talent. The whole Ground Control video is solid and has a unique aesthetic with a consistent long lens panning style to interconnect every trick. It’s an unconventional vision that takes a bit of habituation for a viewer to settle into the flow of this filming and editing style, but I find it eventually creates a sense of rhythm to the video that unites all the parts. I’m also a fan of the use of long-lenses for big tricks, and it delivers that in spades.

As with most independent videos, Ground Control was a passion project for the friends . A lot of independent filmers sacrifice their bank accounts and their bodies just to celebrate their local scene so don’t let their work get forgotten. You can follow Ilja on the ‘gram at @dead.pixels or check out his youtube channel to see the latest skate edits. His professional film work reel is over at fineprintfilms.com.

Chris Joslin Prequels – Episode 1 – New Ground

22 years after Pat Duffy done changed the game with his video-opening debut part in Plan B’s 1992 Questionable Video, the scepter was passed.

Once again, decades after Questionable, Pat was back on Plan B and back in a Plan B video. But he was present less to skate (although, unlike he fellow Plan B OGs Danny and Colin, he does skate), but more as a symbol of a legacy. Pat is the prototype of an unknown entity who emerges from out of nowhere to knock skating up several notches, making himself famous in the process and affirming that Plan B is, in fact, a skateboarding super team.

Plan B’s True video in 2014 very well might have been remembered for all the wrong reasons. The broken promise of yet another missing Danny Way part. The continued disenchantment with an absentee Colin MacKay. Pat Duffy’s brave effort that nevertheless puts forth undeniable evidence that he is, in fact, over the hill. Trevor McClung disrespecting a post-slamming on-the-clock pizza delivery boy who left it all on the field. Felipe Gustavo inducing yawns as he gets ill on the final 6 inches of a slippery low ledge. The wrong Decenzo brother. And, of course, the most famous skateboarding trick that never happened in skateboarding history, Sheckler’s claimed El Toro backside flip. One can see why filmmaker Eric Bragg and the Plan B board of directors went all-in by promoting the bombshell debut of their newest am. A reintroduction to the “Theory of Pat”.

And it worked.

Chris Joslin‘s hammerfest in True, indeed, set the bar unfathomably high. Now, over half a decade later, I say his two song part is still unmatched in the world of high-impact street skating. It is an achievement and should be celebrated. It was worth the iTunes admission price to an otherwise lackluster video. But was this the first the world had seen of Joslin? Not quite.

Curiously, etnies shoes (the lowercase is correct, apparently) jumped the gun with a welcome to the team part that came out a little over a month prior to True. It’s actually a really good part if you ignore the 2 minutes of ‘credits’ footage and probably the worst Goat song you could select. But for those of us taking notes, it greatly reduced the potential impact of the Plan B video. I’m not sure how or why etnies got out the gate first with Chris. Probably shoe money, even Sole Tech level shoe money, trumps board brand money.

Digging even deeper, Joslin gave the world an even earlier taste of his talent with 50 seconds of fury as part of a montage in Bones Wheels’ New Ground video in 2013. While the etnies thing was definitely filmed in conjunction with Plan B and is of the same timeframe, the Bones’ part is from Joslin’s prehistoric Powell days.

From ages 14-16 or so, Chris was sponsored by perpetually sinking ship that is 21st century Powell Peralta skateboards. He went on a Pacific Northwest summer tour with them in the summer of 2012, according to this amazingly still active Powell-Peralta blog. According to an interview with Nieratko in 2014 (for the X-Games), Joslin was aware of his coming ascension and what role Powell would play: “… everyone always knows that Powell-Peralta is a stepping stone in a way, so it was meant for me to leave, in a sense.”
Then-and-now Powell team manager Deville Nunes must have agreed, as he apparently brokered the deal that sent Joslin to Plan B. It is worth noting that Powell completely dropped all their team (except Cab) in 2013.

All Joslin’s tricks in New Ground are just completely ludicrous in size and cleanliness. The final backside 360 ollie kickflip was pretty much the exclusive property of Chris Cole at the time. And that little extra flavor is tossed in the mix with that out-of-character banked no-comply tailslide to quirky 360 shove it nose manual makes the whole thing that much more entertaining.

Who is this kid? Where did he come from? How the hell was the first ever footage from a talent this monumental just crammed into a montage in the middle of an online wheel video?

Or was it this not truly our first possible dose of Joslin? Tune in next episode and find out.