Donny Barley Footage Feast

The term ‘East Coast Powerhouse’ may be a skateboarding cliche, but its rarely been more apt than when describing Donny Barley. Blowing up in ’96 with a section in both Toy Machine’s Welcome To Hell and Dan Wolfe’s Underachievers, Barley appeared as a sort of heir to Eric Dressen’s high speed ATV demolition unit throne, but with a much more technical lean. The likes of him and Ricky Oyola helped shape the popular view of East Coast skateboarding as a mixture of flowing lines, stomped tricks and crusty, awkward spots, which on celluloid acted as a visual antithesis to sun-drenched Californian schoolyard benches.

Barley also put his stamp on skateboarding with the Barley Grind, a frontside 180 to switch front smith (although technically the first documented version of the trick came from Rick Ibaseta’s 1991 part in New Deal’s ‘1281’ video), alongside having one of the best hardflips and switch hardflips ever (scroll down to Underachievers and set the timeline to 2:20 for clarification of this point). Decidedly embodying the ‘less is more’ approach to footage means that the sections below may be minimal, but they should still offer up all the inspiration you need to get out, hit the streets and push as fast as you fucking can…

Toy Machine – Welcome to Hell (1996)

A formidable arsenal of wallride variations, skating in traffic, backyard pools, triple sets, handrails and Black Sabbath – Barley covers plenty of bases in his section in the classic Toy Machine video Welcome to Hell.

Eastern Exposure 2 – Underachievers (1996)

Kicking off his section in Eastern Exposure 3 with a bin to the teeth, Barley then settles down into a section heavy lines and ninja-steezed hardflips set to Dinosaur Jr’s On The Brink – absolute classic!

Emerica – Yellow (1997)

Donny Barley, John Cardiel and Ron Whaley, alongside more Sabbath – there’s a reason Emerica’s Yellow gets regularly mentioned on here. Watch the transfer 50-50 drop down 50-50 fakie at 0:14 in repeatedly and consider the potential for death…

Element – World Tour (2000)

Although he had a fleeting introductory clip on Third Eye View, Element’s World Tour video was a more fitting introduction. Who would have thought that a ten second introduction followed by 25 seconds of skatepark footage could be this good?

Land Pirates (2002)

An indoor park section gives Barley a chance to stretch his transition legs – in case you hadn’t been paying attention during Yellow, or Jim’s Ramp Jam.

Get Familiar (2006)

The longest bit of Barley footage we were treated to for a good while, Chris Hall’s Get Familiar gave a solid fill of CT’s finest – power pushes, high speeds and nonchalant street destruction summed up by the lengthy back tail and casual powerslide at the filmer, which you can witness at 0:57. The natural U-pipe session at 2:16 is fucked!

The Skateboard Mag – Mag Minute (2008)

Barley trawls the streets for a Mag Minute feature, menacing spots like a school bully ready to take their lunch money or deliver trick-based violence…

Zoo York – Zoo York State Of Mind (2009)

East Coast spot charging, tricks over slides and a double tram track ollie – Zoo York State of Mind is a fitting way to close this post. If you haven’t got this far without wanting to go out and push about the streets you probably haven’t been paying enough attention but, if you still want more, check out Donny discussing punk rock and skateboarding with The Loud Ones


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