louie barletta crail

Skateboarding is rad for many reasons, but one of the major ones is definitely the fact that the wood, metal and urethane under your wheels is essentially a blank canvas. This is why it draws in those who can't fathom the appeal of team sports and rigid systems of rules, offering the chance to see everyday objects in a new way and ride a board without essentially being told what to do. Despite this and like any culture skateboarding has evolved with a loose set of rules, with style and trick fashions coming and going and taking the majority of participants along for the ride. This one goes out to those oddballs taking the other path, getting laughed at and carrying on regardless to the general good of skateboarding's advancement.

Above photo: Louie Barletta crails the wave for Thrasher Magazine

The inspiration for this post, Tim Jackson's section in the 1990 Santa Cruz video Risk It stood out in glorious wall-crawling originality. Metal riffs, layback boardslide high fives, backside ollies on curbs and powersliding at bins, this is probably the raddest section ever filmed at complete non-spots. Beyond this section and a couple of photos he never put out much, but this excerpt from an interview with Juice Magazine makes for an interesting read.


Photo courtesy of Chromeballincident

Avant garde skateboarding at its finest! Simon Woodstock played up his clown persona to the hilt - making boards from skim and snowboards, skating sofas and crates and dressing up at the drop of a hat. Alongside this, a surreal interlude saw him entering the field of celebrity boxing and taking on opponents including Suicidal Tendencies frontman Cyco Mike Muir and rapper Sticky Fingaz. After a few years' disappearance from the skate scene he recently made a welcome reappearance with a guest model on Death Skateboards (more on them later).

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The most legit possessor of a bowl cut we know of! Louie Barletta has been adding a healthy dose of pissing about to the skate world for years now, with an eye for an unusual trick or spot coupled with a genuine talent on a trick stick. Barletta has never conformed to what tricks are or aren't cool in skateboarding - as testified to by numerous sections where he charges whatever is put in front of him with no complies, fingerflips, front blunts, hurricanes and seemingly whatever else he fancies trying at the time. Tilt Mode Army!!


Photo courtesy of Chromeballincident

After our Gonz splurge a few weeks back I didn't want to re-post the same footage, although it would have fitted perfectly into this article. Instead here is another one of the forefathers of modern street skating, Natas Kaupas. With an original style unhindered by a knowledge of what was happening in the wider world of professional skateboarding, his creativity undoubtedly pushed street skateboarding considerably forward.


Photo courtesy of Chromeballincident

Sometimes you gotta look back to look forwards...Welcome's varying board shapes and 80s inspired madness have tapped into an underlying seam within skateboarding, footplants and skate nerdery for days!

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Photo courtesy of Welcome Skateboards

While people like Mike Frazier, Alphonzo Rawls and Danny Way had been taking street tricks and applying them to a vertical plane for a few years, until Bob appeared not many people were hitting those walls switch. I've started this section at the point where the switchstance ridiculousness really kicks in but the whole thing is worth a watch if you can handle the medieval lute soundtrack! He can stunt his way around megaramps and grand canyons for sunglasses and watch sponsors all he wants, this section will always get me stoked.

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Photo courtesy of Transworld Skateboarding

I'm pretty sure that Gou Miyagi's section in Overground Broadcasting nearly broke the internet when it came out, as everyone pored over it trying to work out how the fuck he'd put together such an insane section consisting mostly of skating flat rails. While his more recent footage has looked a little too 'parkour' for my liking, this is an inspiration to try and approach a spot from a different angle.


When I first started skateboarding there were plenty of companies jumping on the Zero bandwagon and focusing on some serious stair counting, and doing a back lipslide down a massive handrail wasn't something that I could really relate to as a young teenager in a seaside town with very little in the way of spots. Then I somehow got my hands on a copy of Squadrophenia, the second Death Squad video, and a whole new world was opened up to me. Along with Heroin Skateboards, Death and their output seemed to sum up the general vibe of a seam of rad skateboarding that didn't take itself too seriously. Humour, solid art direction and a reliably sick team has kept me stoked on all of their videos since! Dan Cates is the heir to Simon Woodstock's multi-coloured crown.

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Photo: Rob Shaw

Jason Adams' section from Label Kills is one of my favourite examples of creative skating; high speed bendy legged radness on all terrain with wallies, slappy grinds, no complys and firecrackers galore. Check out our Adams appreciation thread here.


Photo courtesy of Thunder Trucks

I could have incuded Zarosh in the Death Skateboards part of this due to his riding for them, but that would have meant that I couldn't give him the final post in this article...and that would suck, as he sums up the main thrust of what I'm trying to say both on and off a board. DIY skatepark builder, knee-exploding bomb dropper, screen printer, griptape artist and all around shredder of the unconventional variety (check the hubba ledge grind on bearings at the end of the above section), an immersion in the culture of skateboarding as well as a clear love of an abnormal spot or trick makes any new Zarosh footage a cause for celebration!


Photo courtesy of The Skateboard Mag