As discussed previously and will surely be brought up again, Transworld Skateboarding was on quite tear there in the years surrounding the turn of the century. Releasing at least a video every year, often two, sometimes even three, and all of purchase-worthy quality. John Holland, Ty Evans, Greg Hunt, and Ewan Bowman were locked in pretty tight through this time and a lot of future legends had a chance to build their legacies in the new digitally recorded video format. While these videos may have started as simply the video documentation of the tricks being photographed for interviews and contents pages, their importance in the preservation of skate heritage has, in most cases, surpassed the (now scanned) printed page.
These videos aren’t perfect. The mumbling intros are lucky to be forgotten. The insistence on using Atiba’s puttering attempts at electronic music for the closing credits is a continually wasted opportunity. The overenthusiastic editing and slow-motion can be a bit dated.
But there is so much right about these videos it is easy to not concern oneself with these trifles. And take a look the VHS releases the competition was trying to sell around this time: Do you remember who skated in the Thrasher’s Go For Broke video? Neither do I.
Some will argue that Modus Operandi is the best of the best, but I find myself going back time and time again to 2001’s Sight Unseen. Cardiel’s only non-Anti-Hero bro-cam part. Young Dustin Dollin going for broke. The mysterious momentary resurfacing of Henry Sanchez. Duane Allman on rollerblades! Heath!
And then there is on-the-verge-of-puberty Tosh Townend’s sleepy part. I never really liked that one. I always thought is was slow and a bit boring and just threw off the pacing of video. But its a worthy price to pay it as it transitions brilliantly into one of the best montages of all time.
Some unknown hesher stands tentatively on a rooftop on a dreary day, sizing up the easily double-overhead distance to the flat below. He drops in, perhaps loses some momentum on the flat of the roof, and acid drops into the abyss. Dude fucking sticks it, but his old board isn’t having it and snap under the pressure. Oooooh! I have no idea who this guy is, but he forever has my respect for committing to that crusty plummet. Easily my favorite drop in of all time.
The montage that follows is an entertaining capsule of the era with a solid mix of future legends (pre-Menikmati Arto, Expedition-era Janoski), heroes in their heyday (Dill getting buck), famous flameouts (lil Evan Hernandez), and dudes I can’t recall at all (Victor Sonosch?). Brian Anderson tosses a big double-set varial kicklfip, Max Dufour highlights a little vert section with a heaved double flip, and Kevin Taylor delivers a gorgeous Suski grind.
Toss in Ed going feeble, Trainwreck, 15 year old Bastien Salabanzi, Chris Lambert going big as usual, Bob Burnquist somehow wrangling an out of control kicklfip indy grab, and Alf’s bs noselide the La Jolla High handrail that was so textbook it ended parts in two separate videos.
Winter is coming. Get out and skate while you can, friends.
I just got word through the magic of Instagram comments that the drop in is by Kyle Haggerty. Not much other info on him out there, but he did have the opening part in the 2003 Ker-Per trucks video, and it’s pretty good. Apparently he is now a smokejumper fire fighter. Damn.