Alex Walker’s Top 5 Tricks

I’ve known Alex Walker since we were both in our early 20’s in the mid-2000’s, meeting up at the metal mini ramp in Leamington Spa to enjoy rad sessions and learn new tricks. When I moved to Leamington in 2015, he was basically the only skater from the town I had kept in touch with, and at the time I had become a bit of a hermit, not having really skated much and suffering from anxiety and stress. He got me involved in the local scene again, introduced me to many local skaters, and basically was a bloody good mate to me at a time when I needed one in skateboarding. When I approached him to ask for some blog content, he served up 2 thoughtfully written, expanded blog posts for me: one of which was posted a month ago, and the second being this Top 5. – Ade

Once again Ade makes a request to do blog post for him, and once again I succumb to the deeper questions within the format set out by the blog.

Nobody, ever, will be able to agree on a Top 5 tricks. We are fortunate to engage in an artform and discipline so diverse in freeform movement that each of us will perceive different manoeuvres more aesthetically pleasing than others. I also believe that what helps us shape what tricks we perceive to be better ability wise, or are more please on the eye, is the type of skating we align ourselves with or what brands we tend to prefer.

Obviously, I can appreciate the absurd and insane gnarly-ness of David Gravette, for example. I would never put any of his tricks in my top five however, as I personally would prefer to see some tech wizardry or something which others might deem as silly. With skateboarding being so subjective, is it ever possible to be objective in our decisions as to what we deem better? I do not think so, and I am glad as it would limit our ability to become who we are with regards to our skateboarding identity.

Skateboarding’s complexity also makes me pose the notion that on another day I would line up a different top five, depending on where my mind is at. Our subjectivity develops fluidly in the same way that our emotions, thoughts, and feelings will impact on the way we skate every day. That is food for thought, anyway… – Alex

5. Tom Penny – Frontside Flip

As seen in basically any Tom Penny FS Flip Clip

This first one was difficult for me. I had a toss up between Penny doing them anywhere or Reynolds doing them down some stairs. Both are incredible, no?

Is it a Frontside Flip, Illusion Flip, Frontside Hardflip? Whatever. I think sometimes we can get to caught up in names for tricks and realistically it is not important. In the favellas of Brazil kids used to call Tre Flips Kickflips, so there is no need to get hung up on it. 

But back to Penny. The guy is a total artist and has such a relaxed style. The move is filled with a certain grace which is often hard to find in skateboarding. I love them. I could watch them all day and I wish I could do them like he does.

4. Rodney Mullen – Fullcab

As seen in The Bones Brigade Video Show, 1984

I was actually going to write casperslide as my Mullen trick in the number four slot initially then towards the end of the article I was reflecting on my choices and this sprung to mind and I reflected how I felt when I saw it in a video in the early 2000s.

I have some a tonne of fullcabs. Some bad ones and some good ones, but when I saw this, I thought about the impact that must have had on skating at the time. At 1:06 in the video above, Mullen does it over a deck and they slow mo’ it. How cool is that? At the time it would have been phenomenal and ground-breaking, and without the godfather of street skating we would probably all be arguing over whose turn it is to do kickturns in the bowl. I am joking of course. We would be doing Madonnas with late 80s Tony Hawk haircuts.

3. Frankie Villani – No comply 180 revert to 5-0

As seen in Primitive’s Encore, 2019

This guy typifies having fun and artistry on the plank, and he also represents the bigger guys, so I got a lot of respect for Villani. I have watched this section so many times since it came out and it is impressive to see a skater of his calibre riding for Primitive, the Harlem Globetrotters of skateboarding (something I will talk about in my next guest post).

At 55 seconds in on the video above, the majesty of this trick really had me spellbound. It is audacious in its approach but really highlights the majesty of where skateboarding is at and how technically wicked people can be. As a huge fan of no-complies this trick really speaks to me too. Do not ask me how, it just does.

2. Mark Suciu – Nollie 180 FS heel to switch 5-0 revert

As seen in Verso on the Thrasher website, 2019

This part is total wall to wall bangers from one of the most stylish cats with some of the quickest combo feet to ever grace the game. I had to rewatch this part for this article as I was going to chose one of two different weird combos he does; hardflip on some pyramid then BS bigspin over a chain, or this thing he did up and down a ledge at the side of the stairs. But when I found myself rewatching it again choosing this one and that one, I finally settled for the ender (at 10:33 in the video above) as it just looks so dope and signs off, in my opinion, one of the best street skating sections of all time.

It is one of those sexy alley-oop nollie 180 flips to grind which have become far more common in the arsenal of seriously decent skaters. I think this trick also reminded me of kicking it at Macba in Spring 2018 and watching so many locals tear up the ledge. It is important to recognise how the tricks you watch evoke memories or emotions and allow yourself moments of reflection to understand your subjectivity within skating.

1. Marc Johnson – FS lipslide up, BS noseblunt down

As seen in Lakai’s Fully Flared, 2007

This whole video is just absolutely bananas and one of my favourite videos that gets me really pumped to skate or talk to people about skating. The fact that MJ had a three-song part in 2007 shows how much he was destroying spots and innovating street skating at the time. 

From what I can tell he was going to do the trick (seen at 9:13 above) when it was dry but decided to just do it regardless of the adverse whether conditions. This shows the real grit and determination that skating imbues within people and how skaters can push themselves to their physical and mental limits in the name of their art. Just imagine the slams you could have from those slippy picnic tables too. Massive respect to Marc Johnson for all of his skating. He really is one of the greatest street skaters to have ever existed.

Honourable Mention – Any kickflip

Preferably fakie as they have a sexier movement to them. Kickflips are just dope and I love to see them anywhere and everywhere in video parts whether they are sketchy or sublime.

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