G’day and welcome to VPA number four.
I hope you enjoyed the old Easter long weekend. Whether you spent it praying to Jesus, eating choccies or recklessly bendering, it’s all over now and we can finally talk about the joys of vandalism.
Maybe you’ll know that sometime in 2013, an Instagram account called @lowerbobs was created. The first posts were pics of a few bags of concrete, a backside lien to tail on a quarter pipe and a photo of the late P-Stone barbecuing. This was actually the beginning of a DIY skate park on a vacant block at the end of a street in West Oakland, California. As with most DIYs, the idea was to build something to skate on an unused bit of land. A columnist in the SF Chronicle summarised back in 2014: ‘Young men forming a community—what could be bad? There’s only one trouble—it’s all fearsomely illegal.’
The article continued, ‘No permits were issued for the skate park; no safety standards were imposed. There is no official supervision of the park or its people.’ It sounded like an urban paradise, some sort of apocalyptic, lawless utopia. Between a few online campaigns for funding and a fuck-load of hard work, Lower Bob’s is now a legit-looking park, replete with a fire pit, an undercover area and a shrine to P-Stone. All DIY. It seems a shining example of just how good vandalism can be.
Implosionistic Tendencies: 28 MPH
I bring up Lower Bob’s because an Anti Hero video called Implosionistic Tendencies: 28 MPH just came out and it features a bunch of footage from the Oakland DIY. The vid includes clips from Frank Gerwer, Robbie Russo, Austin Kanfoush, Jeff Grosso, Daan Van Der Linden, Peter Hewitt, Raney Beres, Tony Miorana and a coupla others. It’s a rough and ready, tranny-heavy edit that also contains a burnt out car or two, a bit of backyard pool and vert stuff, and an impromptu backyard piano jam by Frank Gerwer that serves as the soundtrack. I particularly enjoyed the iconic drain tunnel hillbomb and the homeless samurai man. At first, I assumed that it was just a one-off clip, but then a came a follow-up, Implosionistic Tendencies: Autopilot, and it’s probably even better, chock-full of Daan footage. Seems like Implosionistic Tendencies might be some sort of a series, which would be great.
In other Anti Hero news The Body Corporate was released on YouTube last week (it was previously only out on DVD or iTunes). It’s a beautifully shot and semi-experimental account of the team’s 2017 tour of New Zealand with a whole bunch of interviews with the fellas about how they got into skateboarding and how they view it now. While it’s not exactly new, the whole production is a treat for anyone who enjoys that distinct Anti Hero vibe.
A Melbourne crew by the name of Local News are set to release a full-length VX video on May 11 and, judging by the trailer, it looks like it’s going to be a cracker. The vid will feature Juzzy Reid, Gareth Stehr, Sergio Reinhardt, Chris Vaughan, Woody Butwilowsky, Tawa Hayes, Jayden Robson, Yuta Tanaka and Will Hine. It was put together by Harrison Herkess, who’s spent the last couple of years patiently chasing VX clips with the crew in the streets of Melbourne (as well a few trips elsewhere). Can’t wait to see it.
And for all the Melbourne skaters present, the Local News premiere will be held on May 11 at Clifton Street Market in Prahran with an accompanying photo exhibition by Wade McLaughlin. Wouldn’t miss that, especially with a couple of booze sponsors on board.
‘Straya’s Vans Park Series Qualifier Winners
And onto the athletes: it was the youngins who dominated the Vans Park Series qualifier at Fivedock Skatepark in Sydney on Sunday April 14. Sixteen-year-old Keegan Palmer from Currumbin won the men’s event and 18-year-old Poppy Starr Olsen from Newcastle won the women’s. The results weren’t particularly shocking since Keegan has won the Oceania qualifier twice before and Poppy is undefeated. The result means the pair have qualified for the Vans Park Series circuit, starting in Shanghai, China, on May 18 and ending up at the World Championships in Utah in September. Shout outs to Kieran Woolley, Shanae Collins, George Richards and Taniah Meyers who also earned their places on the podium.
Private Joy – Burst
Here’s an eerie and aesthetically delightful little clip outta Sydney from a company called Private Joy. It features Corey Young, Jae Overton and Josh Heffernan, filmed by Murray Maclean and edited by Kaloe Kaaikala. It’s all steezy lines in the streets shot with VX and Super 8 and cut to a groovy as fuck soundtrack. Lovely stuff.
Coughing Up Some Shit With Nora
In case you missed it, I spoke to Nora Vasconcellos on the phone recently and let me tell you, she’s really nice. If you like her scooped backside airs and back five-o fakies, you should hear what she has to say about her life. We talked about her upcoming part in the Welcome video, her experiences with creeps and trolls online, how she manages her anxiety and what changed when she went pro. Read the full article here, or if you just want to know what Nora hates, have a look at this video that Andrew Peters made.
And finally, I’d like to end the day with some skate-fashion advice, courtesy of an article I found on wikiHow, titled, How To Dress Like A Skater. Yes, it is as awful as it sounds. The article contains words of wisdom such as, ‘To fake the skater look, rip your shoes around the toes.’ Thanks, wikiHow.