Woke up to a wet and rainy day. Yesterday, I heard plenty of miserable people on the streets talking about how it was going to rain tomorrow. Not having the wake and skate option, I voted for a couple extra hours of sleep instead of being productive. After work, the mist was just starting to clear up, but like I mentioned in the last post, the cold and windless rainy days, even when it just turns to clouds, nothing is drying up, so I watched a few extra skate videos to get my fix.
Zoo York’s City of Killers was first in the DVD player. I don’t remember where I even bought this. I’ve had it since it came out, or at least within the year, the internet wasn’t the shopping mall it is today at the time this came out, I must have snagged it from the skate shop, I just don’t remember seeing it and needing it, which is a shame. City of Killers is an incredible video, in a gun to my head scenario, it might be the one video I take to the deserted island. It has epic, give it all you’ve got skating, mellow and chill sessions, skate spots all over the world, amazing street, amazing park footage, hype and party shit, plus, the legendary skaters on the team at the time, and, the man on his own legendary list, Billy Fucking Rohan, granted, he’s not in the actual video, but you can find him in the bonus section. But seriously, that video has everything, ledges, rails, gaps, lines, parks, tranny, all on a global level, it’s too good.
After that I had to throw in Vicious Cycle. I saw an Instagram post of Zered throwing the 180 boneless down the hollywood sixteen so many years ago. I remember him talking in some interview about how he was getting drunk with Vinne Ponte the night before and was talking shit about how he can 180 boneless anything and was claiming the sixteen, since they were in LA. The next morning, Vinne didn’t forget and Zered didn’t want to not be a man of his word. I was in a Dr Z mood, Vicious Cycle, in its entirety, is fantastic, but I needed to see that 180 boneless. That part, so much of it is still relevant today, and what isn’t, doesn’t even matter, because it looks so fucking good, it’s timeless. Then that had me thinking of his ender in Zoo York State of Mind, switch three flip lipslide to regular the great and famous blubba, this was earlier, or around the same time that everyone was having a heart attack over Mariano throwing the same trick down a knee high Cali schoolyard rail. Not talking shit on Mariano, but the reactions to each, Mariano’s was more relatable and understandable, Zered taking that trick down a wheel squealing kinked(FUCKING KINKED) blubba, I feel like it was too gnarly for people to comprehend, he’s a lot of people’s favorites, but I don’t think Zered gets the credit he deserves. He can do everything he does and also can switch frontside flip above the lip of a vert ramp, no grab, no disaster… oh yeah, and rodeo flip.
Keeping on my east coast fix, I had to get some hits of Pete Eldridge. He was always one of my all time favorites, unfortunately, totally slept on by the industry, then he was getting back into his prime on Mystery, but they didn’t seem to do much with him. He got on Cliche, which seemed to be more into to putting him out there, then sadly, he got his knee blown out a couple times on switch 50-50’s, his Transworld part had to be what it was, which was sick! But I can only imagine how much he would have been able to put out if he didn’t get that knee injury, then again, blows it out, shown in Cliche’s final Gypsy Tour video intro. I’m so happy he’s back at it, busting huge pop with his smooth confidence again, thanks to Instagram and others who know how perfect he is on a board and know it needs to be given to the world.
Anyway, I went for my fix of Eldridge online, I bought a copy of Bootleg 3000 when it came out for my friend, Alex, on his birthday. Alex and I were attached at the hip from like 16 to 22, so we watched the hell out of that video. Maybe five years ago, before the glory of Instagram accounts of such amazing people that manage Secret Tape, Useless Plastic Toys and the others I don’t know about, ha, anyway, I bought a Bootleg 3000 off some guy who had a website, I’ve seen that video so much. I wanted to watch the footage I hadn’t seen as much, his old footage of the DLX videos when he was on Stereo, his random Adidas commercials and footage and the highly untalked about, Plain and Simple part. His skating is just so satisfying, the spots, the tricks, the long grinds and slides. His effortless style, not robotic at all, while he does the gnarliest shit, like switch lipsliding a thirteen back to switch on a rail, that at the time, most dudes were barely warming up to skating backside grinds and slides down it, and Pete comes through and switch lips it, back to fucking switch. Even aside from his pop and spot attack over the years, he’s one of those skaters you can watch warming up on a mini ramp and get stoked. He’s without argument, one of the best.
I started to think about other underrated or openly underappreciated skaters, one from the DC area, like me, Jimmy McDonald. I heard about Jimmy McDonald through my friend Alex, he told me about a video called Next Try, by Zorger and O’Dell, it has endless Jimmy footage, he does every single trick, every flip, grind and slide, regular, fakie, switch, nollie, he does them all into grinds and slides and all out of grinds and slides, not literally with that last part, but the guy does do the first tailslide hardflip out I’ve ever seen, and it’s like a twenty foot tailslide too. Then Alex told me how he blew out his knee, then he was back but in college. The first time I saw him skating in person was at Pulaski. Alex nodded to him and told me, “That’s Jimmy.” as he did the most beautiful tailslide 270, just warming up, while he was filming for the John Edwards video, Autonomous. That part is so good, that’s such a fantastic underground video(included in a link below). His part in Mulhern’s video, Few and Far Between is another legendary part, as is his Introducing video to getting on 5 Boro Every part that follows is just as heavy with so much truth.
There has to be over an hour of legitimate and necessary Jimmy footage floating out there on youtube and Instagram. So many other skaters come to mind, like Ryan Bobier, I hope on some hard drive, somewhere, is endless hours of his skating that never made it into anything. So many other skaters missed out on before the smartphone era.
I don’t know, it’s just crazy, some of the best dudes who get slept on, I mean come on, Pete Eldridge, Zered, it’s like Busenitz, they’re always in the running for SOTY, they’re also a SOTY contender, if they can get the footage out there, but they never win, they never will. These types of skaters are beyond SOTY, they’re the ones in line for the first ever and every other following of the Thrasher John Cardiel Award. Never sleep on the underground dudes, the misrepresented or under utilized skaters.