Oceanside, CA 1986 / Grant Brittain – The Skateboard Mag
In the late 80s, Powell Peralta’s The Search for Animal Chin was easily the best skate flick ever made. If you’re watching it for the first time today it’ll seem corny, dated and ridiculous, but back then it was brilliant: five friends on a sesh-fest-quest to find the fabled shred master, animal chin. Like porno movies from that same era, animal chin had a storyline, terrible (yet endearing) acting and an orgiastic denouement that remains unsurpassed to this day. Photographer Grant Brittain was in a helicopter on the final day of shooting, snapping arial photos of one of skateboarding’s finest hours.
‘I was humming to myself as the pilot brought the helicopter in low from the west, just feet above the San Luis Rey River. Reeds and cattails were blowing furiously and I’m sure the startled furry creatures residing there were running for their burrows. Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’–as seen in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now–was the soundtrack in my head and the images of Lt. Colonel Kilgore attacking a Viet Cong village in order to surf the perfect point break briefly danced in my mind.
Coming over a small rise in a bend of the river, those images ceased and the music stopped. The scene had changed, before us were five figures with skateboards under their arms running out of the brush and up to a behemoth of a wooden half-pipe. When the skaters got to the edge of the great structure, they paused to take it all in and consider their very good fortune. The helicopter I was in circled the ramp several times as Stacy Peralta directed from the ground, Pat Darren hung out the door shooting video and I clicked away on my Nikon FM2. The Bones Brigade – Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Tommy Guerrero and Tony Hawk–began to explore the multiple facets and vast possibilities of this new kind of ramp and the filming continued.’