Speed Freaks raw files: Santa Cruz archive gold!

The drip feed release of the Speed Freaks raw files has been a highlight of the last few months.
Delivered via the YouTube account of legendary film-maker and surf photographer Tony Roberts, this is certified gold. For those too young to understand why the clips above and below have all the creaky knee dads frothing at the fishtails, here’s a quick history lesson.
Tony Roberts is the man responsible for filming and editing two of the most influential skate videos of the late 1980s. Speed Freaks (1989) and its follow up Risk It (1990) featured Santa Cruz skateboards massive Speed Wheels teams. Both videos dropped on the cusp of the biggest cultural shift that skateboarding had ever known. Hugely popular at the time as videos which literally catered to every single type of skater, (from slalom to progressive street skating), these two anomalous masterpieces have been weirdly absent from the modern day conversation when it comes to epoch-shifting VHS marvels.

Maybe that’s down to the montage style whereby skaters from every brand in the industry all appeared in the same place at once, a format unknown at that point (but later normalised by 411VM). Possibly it’s down to both Speed Freaks and Risk It coming out at the point when the industry went from being vert led to street led. Or perhaps it’s just down to the fact that both videos are so long and have never been uploaded in full in decent quality to the internet. Until now that is.

Speed Freaks raw files

Basically, if you have any interest at all in the history of skateboarding, and in particular the skaters and scenes who formed the vanguard of the late 80s/early 90s then you will LOVE these Speed Freaks raw files. Tony Roberts is still in the process of uploading it all as I type, he’s not even got to Natas Kaupas yet either! For me, some of the craziest stuff is of the skaters who kind of disappeared from the TV screens of the world soon after both of these videos came out.
Up there you can watch an hour of raw Neil Blender footage – Dr Spock casually redefining the future in a kit that could be run today. 30 years into the future.
Below you can see the raw footage that created what must be the most unique video part ever released – Venice Beach’s very own wall man Tim Jackson from 1990’s Risk It.

Honestly, you shouldn’t need any more encouragement to lose days in Tony Robert’s Speed Freaks raw files archive but, if you do, how about 45 minutes of never-seen Eric Dressen footage?

Or, if that’s not enough – how about Tom Knox casually inventing off-the-flat kickflip wallrides in about 10 tries in the middle of a day long session that turned into the most progressive street part of the 1980s?
With me now?

This shit is GOLD!
If your appetite is piqued, why not head over and check out out huge Santa Cruz range too?

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