G’day mates and welcome back to VPA, the skate column for vandals, posers and athletes.
I’ve just returned from my holiday in Bali and am back at my cold, rural shack in Northern NSW where I obsessively watch skateboarding videos in order to write this column. It’s quite a good ‘job’, if you can call it that. The first skate video I ever owned was Baker 2g on VHS. I think my dad bought it for me. In the opening credits, it read, ‘Warning, this shit is raw’. And it was. There were street fights, heavy slams, crusted blood, and the tightest jeans I’d ever seen. In the intro, some guy is passed out on a tile floor and gets an egg cracked on his head. The soundtrack was phenomenal. I loved it. My old man must have been concerned but he played it cool, explaining that these dudes were all emulating Sid Vicious. I didn’t even know who Sid Vicious was. I had a lot to learn.
Evisen X Daido
Anyway, enough about my insignificant little life, let’s talk about Daido Moriyama. He’s an 80-year-old Japanese man who takes beautiful photos. In fact, he’s one of Japan’s most distinguished photographers, known for his high contrast, mostly black and white images depicting the grit of modern Japanese life. The reason I bring him up is because a skate company from Japan called Evisen Skateboards did a collab with Moriyama and came out with a really gritty, moody and interesting skate edit. It runs for less than five minutes but it’s a visual delight, chock full of stylish, low-impact tricks interspersed with Daido’s photos.
Featuring a whole bunch of (mostly) Japanese dudes you probably haven’t heard of—including Shinpei Ueno, Katsumi Minami, Koichiro Uehara, Laurence Keefe, Shor West, Seimi Miyahara, and Kento Yoshioka—this video rules. And the spots look fun as fuck. The Japanese seem to have an eye for style when it comes to photography, videography, graphics and skateboarding. If you’re a serious fan, they’ve even got a limited run of Daido boards and shirts for sale.
Ben Currie – Chocolate and Cheese
Check out the heavily-mulleted Ben Currie from Berwick, Victoria in his ripping new part for XEN. Cuzza is an all-round legend, and this part, filmed by Tony Woodward, is a joy and a privilege to watch. It’s always good to see a man step up to big rails and big stairs and come away victorious (heavy slam on that kicky front board though—ouch!). I was at Martin Place on the night that Cuzza stepped up to that ollie over the memorial statue and then the quick frontside 180 down the ten-stair. There was a charity organisation running a soup queue for a large group of homeless people at the bottom of the stairs and a few of us formed a line at to prevent Cuzza’s board from flicking out and into anyone who was lining up for a feed. There was a touch of crazed heckling before Cuzza slipped out and nearly took out a table. But within a few shots he rolled away, smiling. Not bad for his first time skating at Martin Place.
Disc is Nike’s newest all-Australian clip, featuring four of the best up-and-coming skateboarders in the country: Noah Nayef, Rowan Davis, Sam Sutton, and Ben Lawrie, aka Lincoln Child. They’re all super young, like, crazy young. Lincoln Child is 21-years-old and the rest of them are still teenagers. Lots of potential in these baby-faced boys. Maybe you’ve already seen Ben Lawrie’s insanely lengthy crooked grind around-the-bend ender on Instagram? Anyway, it’s worth busting the laptop out and watching the whole six-minute production full screen. And a ‘disc’, in case you were wondering, is apparently Melbourne city slang for a cheap pizza. Strange language down there. Disc is a Geoff Campbell production, so you know it’s good.
Crimson and Clover
It doesn’t get much more Melbourne than this edit, which pays tribute to the late Keegan Walker in the streets of the Victorian capital. Featuring a whole bunch of the city’s resident skateboarders, including Shaun Paul, Max Couling, Phil Marshall, Lincoln Child, James Hall, Anthony Mapstone, Callum Paul, Bryce Golder and shit-loads of others, it’s an edit for the homies. Tidy soundtrack too. I hadn’t heard that song, ‘Crimson and Clover’, since Andrew Reynolds skated to it in Baker 2G.
Arms Wide Open
Here’s one from a solid crew of up and coming young ladies, featuring Fabiana Delfino, Helena Long, Amy Ram, Breana Geering, Lucy Adams, and Una Farrar on an expedition through Bali, Jakarta and a few other mysterious Asian locations. It’s cool to see an exclusively female tour squad stacking clips, bombing hills and skating all kinds of terrain. The dreamy Super 8 footage and mellow soundtrack gave the whole thing a free and easy holiday vibe. And that nose-manny nollie tre was wild.
That’s it from me, mates. See you at the next one.