Like many people have pointed out before, the longevity of online skate videos just isn’t the same as tangible skate videos that you can pop in the DVD player or VCR. This is partially because there isn’t a physical copy to hold on to, or loan to your friends and worry about whether you will get it back in one piece or not. It is also partially because the digital revolution has given the thousands of once isolated skaters an equal opportunity to shine, but as an unfortunate side effect it has resulted in literally probably three or four times as many videos with just ‘okay’ tricks.
Not that any knowledgeable skater really needs us to point out which edits are on top of the game and which are not, but we thought this may give the hard working skaters, video producers, and companies a chance to regain some of that lost longevity and attention to detail. Here’s a look at some recent edits that caught our eye.
Richie Eisler—Barcelona Section:
Topping this first list is the nomadic shredder, Richie Eisler. I believe he is originally from Canada, I remember first seeing him skate in the Atlanta video “Hashassins,” I last saw him in the Australian video “Vine Street,” and now he is shredding the streets of Barcelona, España.
It opens up with some goofing off and funny clips of Eisler unsuccessfully trying to grind a fountain ledge which he keeps falling in, but after a while I think he really just wanted to go swimming. It picks up very quickly, however, with some very hard hitting tricks. Almost every single trick is unique, but unlike the tradition of experimental tricks, Richie somehow never lowers the level of difficulty that many times gets sacrificed for the sake of creativity. According to Andy Kruse’s original analogy, this would qualify as “Peyote Blading” more so than the more mellow “Mushroom Blading.” There are a lot of cess slides/shuffles in the section, not for the sake of cess slide, cess slides, but more like he has already laced an impressive trick and decides to go ahead and make the trick that much harder, cess slides. One of the most notable maneuvers Richie laces is a gap to disaster darkside fishbrain stall/tap on the edge of narrow drop ledge, hard to describe but when you watch it you will be yelling “WTF BRAH?!” for sure. The ender trick seemed out of place to me, a narrow ledge roll next to a wall to a decent/moderate sized gap. The trick was difficult, no doubt, but definitely wasn’t the most difficult of out the bunch.
The ninjas over at The Powerhouse really do some amazing camera work and this is a perfect example. It is a long section, 6:01 including the “non-skating” intro clips. It has a unique soundtrack, it’s a sort of remix of oldies with a beat. It ends with a bizarre commercial starring a pair of the Carbon Free Carbons that have been frozen in a block of ice and are now de-thawing and erotically dripping ice water. I think The Conference is trying to push subliminal messages into skater’s heads using a metaphor of the rigid stiffness of carbon melting away like a block of ice, returning to a softer, more flexible plastic boot. Or maybe they just got stoned and decided to be assholes and freeze the boss’s skates? The world will never know.
J-Bah and E-Rod:
Since the beginning there has always been a hip-hop presence in rollerblading. Whether it is an individual like Franky Morales, a crew like FP, a company like |B|unique or an entire era like 2001-2005, there is always someone there to represent. It has always been criticized, sometimes rightfully so in regards to all the gangster trends, and sometimes, unfortunately, it has been full blown racism. But most of all it is its self-confidence that our culture, which has become defined by being self-conscious, seems to dislike the most. This edit is good. This edit is self confident. This edit is what fruitbooting needs, regardless of the genre of music it is set to.
It is not set to a J-Bah track if you were wondering. There is a grip of b-roll/lifestyle clips scattered throughout the edit in the tradition of Joe Navaran videos, who actually helped film some of this one. Mostly drop ledge/rail/roof hammers mixed with some tech, it’s a well-rounded edit that’s maybe lacking a bit of non-grind tricks like most sections do these days, though E-Rod jumps a gap through a narrow opening that would make Latimer proud. Notably missing is E-Rod’s drop fire escape rail top soul that was seen in his ONE interview a few weeks prior. Regardless, it is a high energy edit that will definitely get you juiced.
Ever since that first JC Rowe edit dropped last year, Xjsado via Brandon Negrete has been dropping Christmas presents on us all year round, this time in the form of a Ben Schwab edit. Unless you have never seen Ben skate before, there is not much new info I can tell you that you need to know other than it delivers. The camera work and editing are on par with what you would expect from Negrete and
the Bob Dylan The Strange Boys joint suits Ben perfectly.
The opening clip is maybe the most difficult of the whole section — backsliding a large, drop, square rail — which is still one of the most stylish and dangerous grinds. Ben also laces a number of cess slides in this edit, one of the most stand-out is a long royale on the ground to fake 360 an 8 or 10 set. Also very notable is a zero spin, kind of illusion spin, to limp rocket fishbrain on another square rail, and then the ending banger, where Ben leaps out and up to a shoulder high soyale on a wobbly fence and then drops into a bank below.
The only thing I wonder is if they are filming for a team video and putting this high of quality online content out there, either they have some even more amazing footage of Ben stashed on the hard drive, or they just don’t know any better. Either way, we are coming out the winners here.