Mark Gonzales' Top Ten Lines
Hot on the heels of our 'top ten Gonz sections' post the other day, we decided that we hadn't quite had our fill of his creative take on skateboarding. For this reason, and to offer the rest of you a quick hit when you haven't got the time to dedicate to full sections of his unique shredding, here are ten of the best Mark Gonzales lines to grace our screens; you can guarantee that this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Words by Jono Coote
Bench line (Blind - Video Days, 1991)
Kicking off with a high speed nosegrind on a bench, Mark then steps up the curb combos which dominated sections in the era with a frontside 50-50 on a bench, ollieing out over a gap to frontside boardslide on the next bench. From then on we are clearly in uncharted waters of quick-footed spontaneity, with the filmer happy to just follow - a nollie 360, frontside 180 fakie nosewheelie over the corner of a curb, then a fakie ollie up the curb and a revert before dragging himself around the corner holding on to a pillar, he is clearly going wherever the board takes him. The true definition of cruising!
Vert attack (Real - Non Fiction, 1997)
Rightfully hailed as one of street skating's innovators, the Gonz's vert skateboarding is mentioned less but there are always some transition gems scattered throughout his sections and the opening minute of Real Skateboards' 'Non Fiction' is a particularly good example of this. A boosted judo air is followed by an equally lofted boneless one, straight into a trademark stalled eggplant on the opposing wall. Bonelesses aren't the easiest trick to maintain speed on a big ramp but this doesn't seem to be a problem here. After a split second where the eggplant is held completely still, head facing the coping, re-entry is made; straight into a stomped indy fastplant to fakie (I'm sure it also has a name that is less of a mouthful, but I'll leave that for the vert dogs to argue). The line gets an exclamation point courtesy of a big ol' fakie popped indy grab, front arm windmilling like he was fighting invisible wasps.
High Speed Assault (Real - Non Fiction, 1997)
Three benches start this line off, each with a hefty gap between them. Gonz charges his way into shot, ollies up, ollies the first gap, then ollies the second one to manual. A quick footed shuvit is followed by a boosted frontside shuv out of a curb cut into traffic, then an ollie over a traffic cone marks the beginning of a hectic push through an unplanned slalom course. Rattling trucks, flying cones and a couple of reverts followed by a 5-0 grind on the curb capture the essence of skateboarding perfectly.
Ollie Rollercoaster (Real - Kicked out of Everywhere, 1999)
Sometimes less is more...this line of high speed, downhill ollies demands repeated viewing. First over a fire hydrant into the street, up the curb on the other side, then over two curb cuts, using them like a driveway. Off the curb, pop up the curb again, grab the board and drag your hand along the pavement like it was a wave, back into the road to brandish your fists at a passing car. This has to be a contender for the most fun looking line ever!
Wallie, Backside Flip (Real - Kicked out of Everywhere, 1999)
Almost too quick to be considered a line, I've still always loved the way this looks. After a collision with a passing cyclist on the first attempt, Mark wallies up a waist height block which leaves little time for foot adjustment before a beast of a backside flip off the other side.
Raw in Philly (Real Skateboards - Real to Reel, 2001)
Another quick one, Mark takes to FDR's flowing DIY savageness with a floated backside air on the big wall followed by a couple of pushes into a uniquely Gonzed out kickflip over the pyramid hip. This one is in there for the height and ease of the backside air, the signature kickflip, and the subliminal 'Mullet Power!' graffiti.
3rd and Army (Real Skateboards - Real to Reel, 2001)
Demonstrating again his street flow at one of San Francisco's most iconic spots, Mark barrels through a frontside bluntslide and fits in a couple of pushes before screeching his wheels round to fakie - a fakie flip, switch front tailslide and switch tre then get seen too with fucking aplomb!
Mongo off a wall (Krooked - Krooked Kronichles, 2006)
Again, street flow is distilled with a line that defies you not to want to grab a board and head straight out the front door. A high speed kickflip up a curb leads to an ollie up a crusty looking wall, riding round a three set before mongo pushing off said wall and out into the street. We are clearly back in a spontaneous realm, as evidenced by an ollie body varial up the curb and a fakie frontside big spin before rolling into the tree...free form skateboarding at its finest.
Wallies for days (Krooked - Krooked Kronichles, 2007)
Another blink and you'll miss it type of line, a boosted wallie out of a mass of curved concrete opens proceedings, a wallie boardslide just around the corner closes them - the spot looks stupidly awkward at that. All with a glove hanging nonchalantly from back pocket!
Fighting Buses (Krooked - Krooked Kronichles, 2007)
Straight after the wallie line on the previous page, the last clip in Mark's Kronichles section is a testament to high speed gnarliness. Almost taking himself out with a mach ten kickflip, arms flailing, he steadies himself with a couple of pushes to charge a nearby brick bank with a frontside ollie. A wild tre flip, a front truck hooked over the edge of the hip in the next bank, and its time to boot his board at a passing bus. Section finished, article finished, and a solid summation of why the Gonz is a beast.