I’m sick in bed, which is not a bad thing (yet).
I have a sore throat but I don’t have a temperature, which achieves the perfect balance between guilt-free laziness and possible Covid-ness. While awaiting the results from my government-sanctioned nasal cavity scraping, I decided to eat half a pot cookie and write some cerebral skate video reviews.
Palace Skateboards: Man of das World
To a surprisingly reserved and tasteful Fleetwood Mac backing, Bryggeriets alumni Heitor Da Silva bounces around London and Copenhagen showing off his newly-minted pro skills. Da Silva’s loose flowy style is reminiscent of choice names from the past—Quim Cardona, Kenny Reed, Keenan Milton—while making it all completely his own. You could say he lays it on a bit thick at times—the moustache, the extreme ’90s fits (a visor pops up in a couple of clips) and exaggerated landings—but you’d be a total dick for doing so. Just soak up the glorious majesty of Heitor’s flow, and reflect on the next generation that will rightly regard him as one of the best to do it.
Chocolate Skateboards: Introducing Erik Herrera
The once-great Girl and Chocolate (aka Crailtap) camp seem hellbent on re-establishing themselves under the guise of their previous selves, as if the Ty Evans era never happened. This type of revisionist history may be deluded (you cannot unwatch Pretty Sweet) but their recent self-referential output is very enjoyable. New addition Eric Herrara hits a bunch of familiar LA spots with a smooth style, sick trick selection and funky instrumental backing track, which feels very much like the Chocolate of old. In fact, the all-out Chocolate flavor almost overpowers the incredible skating at times, leaving you with a sweet, slightly bitter aftertaste (sorry, I had to do it).
REAL Skateboards: T.V.V.
Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those embarrassingly serious 10-minute long ‘documentary’ parts. It’s more like a condensed-full length from Real, like going to the movies (remember going to the movies?) for exactly the amount of time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. There’s a Huf tribute at the start, leading into a lengthy team montage, then the actual part, and finally a full three minutes of closing titles and b-roll. Tanner Van Vark only gets a few tricks in—just kidding. The rubbery-limbed, curly-wigged Van Vark (why do I keep typing ‘Van Ark’?) gives a thorough display of new-style hammers and ledge combos. It’s all wrong-way-this and wallie-into-that, which is actually quite trippy to watch. Wow, we’re really evolving as a species; like, human beings from even fifty years ago couldn’t perceive what this guy is doing. They’d go mad if they saw it.
Alien Workshop, Joey O’Brien
Like Chocolate, Alien Workshop has a very heavy past as a brand that looms large over any of their output. That’s not a bad thing, per se; it just becomes the elephant in the room. I spent a few minutes of this clip lost debating the concept of AWS 2.0 before I paid any proper attention to Joey O’Brien, which was dumb of me because he skates raw East Coast spots with speed and authority (though confusingly, on a Real board in much of the footage). The thing is, we may bring unfair preconceptions to an Alien video, but we’ll sure as hell still watch it. The elephant gets you the keys to the room in the first place, right? And in real estate, it’s all about location. I don’t know, I may have eaten too much cookie.