Text: Tuka Piziniztee.
So, whilst everyone and their stylist is currently hammering out their ‘Best of 2013’ lists to show off how down they are with what’s occurring, here we are doing a similar thing but with the criteria for inclusion slightly altered.
The click bait you’re about to read has absolutely fuck all to do with any preconceived ideas about what we, (or anyone else for that matter) think is the ‘best’ and EVERYTHING to do with which skateboard related clips have generated the funniest and most controversial comments online over the past 12 months.
Personally, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse whether you think Nyjah should’ve been crowned Robin Hood Prince of Theeves or whether you’re still crying that Jason Park’s fakie benihana wasn’t included as a special move on GTA 5: I’m here for the lulz, and the lulz alone….
The following are in roughly chronological order of release – enjoy, or don’t.
Entirely up to you…
Check back tomorrow for Part 2.
POWERS SURGE – Feb 2013
So to start us off with the first of 2013’s most hotly debated online skateboard clips is the inimitable pint-sized Puerto-Rican himself – Shawn ‘Espy’ Powers and his official ‘welcome to the team’ Powers Surge clip from Palace.
Boasting an impressive 75.9k views on Vimeo and with Facebook as its number one traffic referrer, Espy’s magnum opus utilizes all the visual tools that one would associate with the words ‘Palace’ and/or ‘New York’.
This is 6 minutes and 32 seconds of vignetted fish-eye footage, VHS tracking, fire hydrants, Umbro tops, shove-its and the man himself dancing in front of annoyed taxi-drivers. As expected, plaudits were as numerous as detractors, and for every genuine online ‘thumbs up’ for the line at Flushing Meadows or the banging fakie tres over the bench, you can find an equal number of disgruntled internet fiends frothing disgust into their keyboards at the kebab-esque nollie flip at 2:49 or the possible baby-death incident 4 minutes in.
Put simply – Powers Surge served its purpose – namely to expose Mr. Powers to an audience far greater than those who already knew about him because they either frequent the QS site, live in NYC, or have heard the story about how Shawn may or may not have seen that pop singers’ pink bits…
[part title="Magenta's PANIC IN GOTHAM"]
Magenta’s PANIC IN GOTHAM – Feb 2013
Dropping the same month as its Palace counterpart above and utilizing a similar aesthetic of fish-eye footage (albeit without the ironic vignette), deserted New York streets, hip hop and low impact skateboarding, Magenta threw their organic pork pie hat into the ring with this high brow skid vid which was originally filmed in late 2012 as NYC was shut down for Hurricane Sandy.
Featuring an array of Frenchmen alongside NYC locs and other Yanks, Panic in Gotham deliberately set its sights on a more self-aware theme than its contemporaries by executing paradigm-shifts such as including lines with two consecutive ollies, wearing lots of camo gear and generally excelling in ‘doing not very much but making it look good’. Racking up close to 67k views on Magenta’s official YouTube page obviously means they were doing something right however, despite a clear split in responses to the clip encompassing everything from:
“half this video is boarderline longboarding with all these ridiculous powerslides and reverts_" from renowned YouTube critic Michal Knara - through to more positive comments such as, “So fucking sick this is true skateboarding so stoked to see these people kill it like this. Fast and dirty no fucking pretty hs handrails" from the always sagacious Internet head ‘don’t worry about it’.
Extra mentions must go out to filmer Colin ‘mandible claw’ Read who not only won fans globally by exposing the treachery behind the demented balls-up that was the final Slap OIAM, but also managed to log onto to multiple forums across the world under various pseudonyms to serve out self-props for his own filming – now that’s commitment.
[part title="The National Skateboard Co Promo"]
The National Skateboard Co Promo – March 2013
Dropping in March 2013, this promo pulled in 47k views across two video-hosting platforms despite being the first release from an independently-owned UK skate co whose initial ‘drop’ consisted of nothing more than anonymously posting branded shirts with no company name and a geometric logo to skater-owned shops across the UK. Mixing up VX 2000 purism with footage of dads resembling Santa smashing their £500 geggs into lamp posts, evidently struck a chord with the viewing public however, as these younglings generated as much hype as a TV chef getting throttled by her estranged husband for a week.
Online responses were almost uniformly positive with T.L.F of the skateboard.com.au forum moved to say, “This looks interesting, love anything with space monkey footage", although fellow Aussies ‘Krang’ and ‘Jejehausen’ found themselves locked into the following argument:
Krang - "We probably wont ever even see this brand in australia. there are dozens of smaller brands like this in england and really the only one sold in australia is palace (if they are even still considered to be a smaller brand). im just psyched david mackey and neil smith got on something after blueprint turned to shit."
To which the exalted Jejehausen responded, “what do you mean abut blueprint? its been relaunched with a 'sick' 'new' team and everything...
The rise of these 'smaller' brands everywhere is awesome, but I can't see a lot of them doing much more than hanging on for a while if they dont really find an identity of their own.
not throwing in the towel for these guys after one clip, but less monkeys in space, and more englishmen in skate."
I mean, seriously, who can argue with that level of critique?
[part title="Blueprint Skateboards 2013 Team Introduction"]
Blueprint Skateboards 2013 Team Introduction – March 2013
Such Antipodean high brow Critical Theory leads us perfectly on to the next highly controversial and much discussed skate clip of early 2013 – namely the introduction to the ‘all-new’ Blueprint team following the mass exodus of every single original Blueprint rider in the space of a week in early 2013.
Now to be fair to the Canadians this was never likely to be anything other than a Herculean task given the depth of penetration and respect that the OG BP had globally but I think it’s fair to say that they royally fucked themselves right in the arse with this one. Not only did the now Canadian-owned Blueprint intro clip come set to Nile Rogers eponymous movie title track ‘Coming to America’ but it also crossed the streams by mixing street footage with contest runs, a cultural faux-pas than not even the inclusion on Mike York could correct. This, coupled with seemingly allowing a hormonal 12 year old to manage their Facebook page, their new TM deeming it appropriate to start slagging off ex-riders and staff on various forums across the globe and, worst of all, a white dude with dreads being on the team, pretty much guaranteed that of all the clips featured in this list, this one would garner universally negative comments.
Even the briefest of Google searches will back this assertion up – not that you can read any of the hilarious comments on the official YouTube clip or on Hellaclips since they all got deleted but 213 thunbs down v’s 29 thumbs up should tell you all you need to know. Somebody call Dignitas…
[part title="A Golden Egg by Jesse James and Chris Atherton"]
A Golden Egg by Jesse James and Chris Atherton – April 2013
In stark contrast to the sheer horror of the above came the third-eye squee-geeing majesty of A Golden Egg, which was initially released in late March in limited physical numbers before debuting online in time for April Fool’s Day, (appropriately). Now for those of you unaware of Jesse James and Avi – watching the following video for the first time without any prior knowledge of their approach to skateboarding is probably akin to shoving A4 sheets of acid underneath your eyelids and watching Bagpuss backwards with a telly strapped to your face. Put simply – this is skateboarding as joy. Nothing else.
No product endorsements, no claims, none of that meaningless shite – just pure, unadulterated fucking about with your mates. Pressure flip late flips in size 40 clown shoes, kickflips on PC keyboards with wheels attached, pantomime horses, skateboards covered in bread – yep. Pure unbridled not-giving-a-fuck.
Not so much ‘thinking outside the box’, as realizing that, ‘there is no box’.
Pulling in nearly 60k views and even being featured on the fucking Berrics of all places, Accrington’s most beloved mycophile truly excelled himself here with a barrage of visuals designed to give the most stoic straight edge bellend a whitey.
Unsurprisingly, the Internet reaction to this was almost 100% positive, even from those who didn’t understand it.
To get a feel for the general reaction, see below:
‘metal666micky’ for example felt compelled to say, “LSD + Circus Performers + Skateboarding = A Golden Egg." Which, to be fair is difficult to argue with.
Similarly Blake Swaringen earnestly asked “2:16 dildo in girl’s butt?"
Whereas I think that the always-on-point YouTube commentary of the one and only John Doe provides the perfect signing off point – “I don’t understand….Am I dead? WTF?"
[part title="‘Bobby Puleo’ or ‘V5’"]
‘Bobby Puleo’ or ‘V5’ - May 2013
Now old Bob is no stranger to controversy as since days immemorial, (and by that I mean stretching back as far as his FTC, Mad Circle and 411 sections), Mr. Puleo has made no secret of his very particular views regarding skateboarding culture and aesthetics – positions that only seem to have hardened over the intervening years. However I don’t think anyone was expecting this 2.24 clip, which dropped online with virtually zero pre-amble in May of 2013. Did he upload it himself to spite iPath after they stitched him up? Is he still riding for Traffic? Was that really him arguing with himself about people ‘dogging’ ‘his’ spots on the Theories website? Is he trolling everyone with the cellar doors? All these questions and more were thrown like mewling kittens amongst the hardened and vicious New Jersey pigeons with the online release of the eponymous ‘Bobby Puleo’ or ‘V5’ (depending on whether you watched it on Vimeo or YouTube). To further add to the mystery surrounding Bob – this is the only clip featured herein that has the public stats on Vimeo disabled so I can only hazard a guess at the total view count on this deliberately understated masterpiece, but with 45k on the YouTube version we’ve got to be looking at around 90k at least.
To be fair his style is as fluid as it ever was and despite it being almost as one dimensional as a Nyjah clip architecturally – this one will demand repeat viewings from all but the most petulant energy-drink poisoned children. If Victor Meldrew skated, this is what it’d look like.
A quick sample of YouTube comments is as revealing as it is hilarious:
“Many cellar doors were harmed" – Brandon Clark.
“Needs more cellar doors!" – happynoodleboy23
“how the fuck does he find all these cellar doors! he must work for the company that installs them" Dank Nugget
But the cherry on the found Bakewell really does come in the form of this almost transcendent moment of lyricism from YouTube poet Spencer Noe – I think it’s something we can all get down to: “this is sofucknig radical as i am writing this on crystal meth".
[part title="40 Years Later – Long Live Southbank"]
40 Years Later – Long Live Southbank – May 2013
So here’s the one notable clip from 2013 that needs no lame attempts at comedy to justify its inclusion. Henry and everyone involved in the LLSB campaign have forever cemented themselves into the hearts and minds of the global skateboarding population through their sheer perseverance and refusal to kow-tow to their self-appointed ‘betters’. Fuck you Bully Bragg. LLSB.
Go watch it again…now.
[part title="Jimmy Boyes – Sidewalk 200 section"]
Jimmy Boyes – Sidewalk 200 section – June 2013
Featuring footage culled from all over the world and one of the grimmest straight-to-the-neck slams ever recorded, this one came in tandem with the release of the 200th issue of this here magazine and featured the one and only Jimmy Boyes doing what he does best: namely being the wrong side of 40 and still skating like pain doesn’t exist. It’s often repeated that if and when the world does finally end that Jimmy and cockroaches will be the only living things still standing. Just think Snake Plissken from ‘Escape from New York’ only with a Durham accent and an intimate knowledge of every tent brand known to humanity. Jimmy is a phenomenon, a force of nature, whose idea of a relaxing holiday is to cycle across India on a whim, on his own.
Put simply – this guy is a one-off and this clip presented only a tiny glimmer of the reality with which he surrounds himself. Not so much a ‘controversial’ clip as a universally embraced one, (with an impressive 47k views) so it’s probably time to let the Internet speak for itself for once.
el-bee-pee: “Jimmy Boyes is the warrior poet Mike V imagines himself to be
and probably more"
[part title="Brady Fairfax"]
Brady Fairfax – June 2013
We only had to wait…how long? 5 years maybe…for the return of the visual precursor to the Palace brand, the highly acclaimed and Berra-baiting PWBC Global Skateboard News. For those who were clueless enough to think that Palace just sprung out of nowhere like a hard-on in a eunuch colony, this clip was probably a bit of a shock, given that it was touted as a straight forward welcome-to-the-team clip for Danny Brady and Benny Fairfax until the 11th hour. To those in the know however, when the P-Bomb finally did go off there was universal joy at seeing a return of characters like Rubeboy Mandemi, new faces like Tommy Wright III lampooning the questionable hair decisions of famous US pro skaters and the now traditional inclusion of some obscure NYC footage to add a piquant knowing edge to the piss-taking.
Although lagging on the view count in comparison to the earlier Powers Surge clip, (with only a measly 44k in comparison to the 75.9k garnered by the suggestion of dead cyclists), the return of PWBC GSN received as universally positive a reaction as a company founded on being as divisive as Palace is ever likely to get.
I think ‘Crocodile Dundee 8’ encapsulated the zeitgeist most clearly on the skateboard.com.au forum with this comment a few months later – “More of this funny shit – less fucking gym-shoes-in-space…."