The Gonz's Top Ten Parts
There are few people who have had more influence on skateboarding than Mark Gonzales. Along with the likes of Rodney Mullen, Tony Hawk, Natas Kaupas and a few other forefathers, the Gonz set the agenda for the future direction of skateboarding decades ago. We've rounded up some of Mark's most influential video parts from over the last three decades so that you can fill in any gaps that may exist in your knowledge. However, this list is by no means exhaustive and there are plenty more amazing Gonz parts out there to be discovered so go seek them out. In the meantime, here are a couple of classic Gonz Sidewalk covers to whet the appetite.
All hail Mark Gonzales...
Words by Ben Powell
Savannah Slamma Contest (1988)
Long before the X-Games and Street League was Savannah Slamma, a series of contests organised by Thrasher to showcase the emerging street-style movement in skateboarding that attracted all of the biggest names in US pro skateboarding at the time. Whilst most of his contemporaries were still fannying around doing G-turns on the flat, Gonz was already throwing out switch method airs off jump ramps and frontside boardsliding down contest rails.
Mark's infamous Savannah Slamma run is above, and to get an idea of how far ahead of the curve he already was at that point - watch the full contest video here.
Vision - Psycho Skate (1988)
Before there was Gonz-era Blind there was Vision, the 80's behemoth who released Mark's first pro board and first presented video evidence of how far ahead he was to a global audience. Thankfully, somebody has seen fit to re-edit the best of Mark's footage from this fairly dreadful full length video so that you can enjoy it without having to sit through some of the crap they also included.
Blind Skateboards - Video Days (1991)
If you need an explanation as to why this is THE most significant and influential video part in the history of skateboarding then just focus your board now and leave.
"We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams..."
60/40 - Glasses for your Feet (1995)
This is a lesser-seen Gonz part from the period after he left Blind and before he joined the Real team, whilst he was riding for the short-lived 60/40 (aka ATM Click) skateboard company. Gonz shares this section with fellow 60/40 pro Gino Perez and, although it's short, still contains some pretty insane footage.
Real Skateboards - Non Fiction (1997)
Returning with his first full-length part since Blind Video Days, Gonz came through with typically whimsical mastery of all terrains on Real skateboard's second video 'Non Fiction'. Vert, street, skitching rides from cars, wrestling with Spike Jonze - this is an indisputable classic.
"We're on the cutting edge of artistic expression"
Real Skateboards - Kicked out of Everywhere (1999)
"I dunno, I thought it was shortcakes...I thought I was going to 5050 to another trick...Hello!"
Two years after his debut Real part came this classic from Real's third full-length flick 'Kicked out of Everywhere'. At a point in skateboarding where the majority of brands and media were focused on swishy pants and overly-tech nonsense, this part dropped the fundamentals of going as fast as possible; swerving in and out of city traffic, stalling inverts like no other human and destroying massive handrails like they were nothing. Pay special attention to the last trick.
Real Skateboards - Real to Reel (2001)
"The name of this poem is called Monkey dance..."
Get Familiar by Chris Hall (2006)
This spontaneous, seemingly unplanned section in East Coast legend and one-time New Deal pro Chris Hall's independent video 'Get Familiar' is a joy to watch. Skateboarding in its purest form: fun.
Krooked Skateboards - Gnar Gnar (2007)
This early release from Mark's DLXSF-backed brand Krooked anticipated many things that would come to dominate the aesthetics of skate video releases in the years that followed. The most notable, but by no means the only glimpse into the future, came from Mark's use of outdated VHS cameras to film it and the decision, in complete defiance of the DVD-led era that it came out in, to only release it on VHS. Deliberately lo-fi and with repeated music, Gnar Gnar was an instant classic. RIP Van Wastell.
30th Anniversary Interviews: Mark Gonzales - Transworld SKATEboarding (2013)
It seems fitting to end with Mark's own words here. Listen and learn.