So the very first Top 5 I ran here on the blog was me running through my Top 5 Skate Videos. If you were being a smart arse, you might combine that with my Top 5 Pro Skaters, and think you’d know what my Top 5 video parts might be. Well, you’d be wrong (sort of). Here’s my Top 5 Video Parts. – Ade
5. Ed Templeton in “Good & Evil”
When I first started skating, I absolutely idolised Ed Templeton – his skating, his artwork, and his brand “Toy Machine”. When “Good & Evil” dropped back in 2004, I remember watching it for the first time and seeing Ed Templeton’s banging opening section. Everything about that first few minutes of the video, from the minute the Toy Machine Monster animates on screen, made me super stoked to not only skate, but make more skate videos. Getting people hyped like that opening part is the holy grail for any skate video film maker.
The song choice, the textbook Impossibles, the forceful, charged street lines and Templeton’s signature, iconic style all made this part amazing to me. After watching this part, I immediately went out and tried to learn to frontside ollie out of banks on the street the way Ed does in his opening line.
This part is also probably the reason why the humble bank is my favourite obstacle to skate on the street. It’s such a versatile and plentiful obstacle: more abundant than street transition, and also available in such variety (as proven by this part). Templeton hits up every bank type imaginable in this part – steep, shallow, lipped, wallride, with rails at the top, you name it, Ed shreds it in this part.
4. Dan Drehobl in “Krooked Khronicles”
I really had a hard time choosing between this one and Cancer Dan’s part in Thrasher’s “Shotgun” – his “Shotgun” part was filmed by the late, great P-Stone and is a rapid fire constant assault of awesome, inventive tricks on all kinds of terrain (even gravel). At the risk of including two parts from the same video though (more on that later), Drehobl’s “Krooked Khronicles” part had to be on this list.
There are a few factors at play here: Firstly the song. “Forever In Blue Jeans” by Neil Diamond is a surprising banger that suits Dan’s skating so well, and once you’ve seen this part it will almost certainly get stuck in your head. Many years back a group of us who absolutely love this part ended up singing along at full volume to the song on the car radio, to the chagrin of the high street pedestrians we drove past.
Secondly, there are just some absolutely banging tricks in this part. “Shotgun” features similarly amazing tricks, but this part has some mind blowing tricks that honestly cemented Drehobl as a personal favourite. This video was my introduction to Dan Drehobl, and like Ragdoll in “Blackout”, I came away wanting to skate like this guy. The epic, huge boardslide at 1:47, the dumptruck wallplant to fakie at 2:56, and the rad wallride lip tricks that close the part: Every trick is a winner in my book.
3. Jason Adams in “Label Kills”
Jason Adams is one of the reasons Black Label was my favourite board company back in my early days of skateboarding. Shortly after picking up a skateboard in 2001, I got my hands on Label Kills, and was blown away by Jason Adams’ section full of slappy grinds on curbs, no complies, tight street transitions and long, flowy, cruisy lines.
Adams introduced me to the Firecracker (for the uninitiated: a trick where you ride/manual down a stairset, slapping your tail on each step on the way down). Because of Adams and his Black Label team mate Ragdoll (who was incredibly influential for me early on), the Firecracker was a staple part of my trickbag in the mid-2000’s.
Combined with the use of one of the greatest Bluegrass/Country songs ever (“The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by Charlie Daniels), this part stuck out in stark contrast to practically every other video part I had seen at the time, and the editing style Black Label used stood out against the more simple effects and editing techniques employed by other companies. Everything about it was punk rock as fuck, without actually relying on stereotypically punk tropes – in essence it really re-enforced that skateboarding wasn’t any one style, it was a beautiful mish mash of whatever you bring to it.
2. Mark Gonzales in “Krooked Khronicles”
I could honestly watch The Gonz skate for hours. He’s absolutely amazing. When I mentioned Jason Adams and long, flowy, street lines, I knew he was a perfect setup for a guy who makes long, cruising street lines endlessly entertaining and effortless. Mark Gonzales’ closing part in 2006’s Krooked Khronicles was the defining moment that confirmed The Gonz as my favourite pro skater – a legendary all terrain shredder with the most unique style and bag of tricks around.
Mark skates practically every type of terrain under the sun in this super long part, skating to “Rock Box” by Run DMC. Charging through traffic, throwing tricks off drop curbs, boosting airs out of transitions, bopping off wallie blocks and throwing out tricks in both stances with ease, Gonzales proves his status as a legend, but still finds time for the odd skit that’ll make you chuckle.
The part ends with some choice advice which, even to this day, I keep in mind when I go skateboarding:
“Learn new tricks, learn harder tricks, do ‘em faster, do ‘em more powerful, do ‘em more finesseful, don’t… don’t get hurt”
1. Louie Barletta in “Bag Of Suck”
Back when “Bag Of Suck” came out, I was super excited to see Louie Barletta’s part, and with good reason. Between Ragdoll and Barletta, my view of what street skating could be was completely re-written in the mid-2000s – a discipline in skateboarding that I thought was just huge stair sets and handrails (two things I have never had the confidence or bravery to tackle), turned out to be much more versatile and approachable due to how people like Louie skated.
Don’t get me wrong: there are plenty of rad tricks on handrails and stair sets in Barletta’s Bag Of Suck part. There’s also a vast quantity of other obstacle types, and some super inventive approaches to even the most humble spots such as curbs. For me, this part destroyed the rule book on what I thought street skating was, and what others had told me it was. It inspired me to approach street skating on my own terms, and not on the terms that others deemed as the proper way to skate street. Ride-on grinds, tailblock slaps, transition footplants on the street, and even just simple tricks done on horrible terrain – Louie plays by his own rules.
This is a part that literally ticks every box if you love skateboarding. Good vibes, smiles all round, great tricks, surprising moves and a fantastic pace. For me, it’s basically the perfect video part.
The reason I held off doing this Top 5 for so long was because I really had a hard time narrowing it down to 5. I couldn’t write this blog post without acknowledging the parts that didn’t make my Top 5, if only to direct your eyes to them after watching the above favourites: