News Tagged ‘Natas Kaupas’

Speed Freaks raw files: Santa Cruz archive gold!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

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?


Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots and ripping as usual

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

If you’re too cool to openly admit that big Tone is dope then you’re dead to us.
The video above featuring Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots just cements it, again.
Mainstream coverage of skateboard culture doesn’t have the best track record if we’re honest. From 7-Sports Wigan contest coverage back in the 80’s (complete with Bill Danforth pissed up on the mic) to New York Times coverage of the rise of Tyshawn Jones, they just seem to always make a bollocks of it. I mean in their defense, that might be just because skateboarders are notoriously picky but, you all know what we mean.

Anyway, with that said, and very probably due in part to Tony Hawk‘s involvement, we’ll put our hands up and admit that this Vox piece, which sees Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots alongside skateboarding’s premier academic Iain Borden, is definitely worth a watch.
From Mount Baldy to Natas Kaupas’ infamous hydrant, this is an in-depth look at many of America’s (primarily at least) most iconic spots accompanied with discussion by Tone and Iain and a brace of archive footage. You’ll love this whether you’re a 15 year old stair hero or an arthritic 50 year old struggling to force your beer gut up a kerb.
As an additional (and customary) treat – you’ll find links to various other bits of documentary coverage of skate culture (both good and awful) littered through this text – take your fingers for a wander and scoff at Danforth’s not-so-subtle digs at Sean Goff nearly 30 years ago.

Tony Hawk discussing legendary skate spots

If you enjoyed the above, get your eyeballs around some more Tony Hawk ripping courtesy of the latest Homies clip featuring Independent Trucks riders big Tone, Omar Hassan and various others skating tons of classic spots in Montreal, Canada.

Now go enjoy the sun whilst it’s here and don’t pay any attention to all this foolish talk of a skateboard hardware drought – we’re stocked to the gills like always.
Visit our web store or come in and see us and we’ll sort you right out.
Avanti Jerry!


Chris ‘Cookie’ Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

It’s taken a while and generated a fair amount of forum conspiracy theories in the process but, finally, Chris ‘Cookie’ Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards.

 

 

After being left out of the most recent Element full-length, (directed by ex Emerica video head honcho Jon Miner) it looked very much as if this multi-talented North Dakotan ripper would be stuck in man am purgatory forever. Slap’s vociferously outspoken forum community offered various potential reasons for this, from aesthetic conflicts with Jon Miner over filming, through to more wild theories regarding his War & Peace being part just being too good to sit amongst the 60 minute full-length without taking away some shine from his team mates.
Regardless of whatever the thinking was behind this bizarre omission – this unassuming maniac’s ascension to pro status was announced yesterday making him the latest pro skater for a brand with a massive back catalogue of highly influential and era-defining pros.

 

With the above in mind, we thought it provided excuse enough to remind you of a few other memorable pro skaters to have emerged from the Element Skateboards brand over the 20+ years since its birth.
Props must be given to Element also for having an extremely diverse approach to team riders right from the very outset, with an unashamed embrace of non-US skaters stretching back into the earliest days of the brand.

So without further ado – here are a brace of some of our favourite Element heads from over the years in descending chronological order.

 

 

Curtis McCann – Skypager – 1993

This one is from the very first Element video release, back when the brand was co-owned by Andy Howell and Johnny Schillereff (Element’s current CEO) and was called ‘Underworld Element’ prior to the 1994 re-brand as ‘Element’.  Aside from notable appearances in various Powell-Peralta videos, this is UK legend Curtis McCann’s only full pro section and coincided with the release of his pro model on UE making Curtis the first UK street skater to receive a pro model from a US skateboard brand. Light years ahead…

 

 

Next up, from the same 1993 release is Julien Stranger’s (yes, he rode for UE too) Skypager part.
Pay close attention to 1:11 for the first ever documented nosegrind pop out and the last trick which still makes no sense 26 years later. This part could come out today and still blow minds.
(Watch the full Skypager video here.)

Chris ‘Cookie’ Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards

 

 

 

Jumping forwards a year and we have another super progressive before-its-time section from the much missed DC native Pepe Martinez. Count the NBDS in this one and pay atention to the style. Lord Finesse!
Pepe Martinez – Element ‘Fine Artists’ 1994

 

 

Next up, it’s 1998 and Tim O’Connor joins Element with this short but banging shared part on their ‘Third Eye View’ release. Nollie hard flip nods to Julien Stranger’s Skypager part at 1:35.


Chris ‘Cookie’ Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards
 

 

The year 2000 sees Element skateboards bless us all with one final, short-but-sweet section from one of skateboarding’s most influential and often overlooked pioneers – namely Natas Kaupas (click this link for more).

 

 

It’s 2005 and Element skateboards release ‘Elementality Volume 1’ – this is peak Bam Margera madness – driving Ferrari’s over unicorns, FDR destruction and a pre-booze addled Bam.

 

 

The first decade of the new century begins with the 2010 release of Element skateboard’s first European focused project showcasing the likes of Ross McGouran, Madars Apse, Phil Zwijsen and various others.
Full-length below.

Chris 'Cookie' Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards

 

 

A year later and Element’s golden child Nyjah Huston announces his return to the brand with eight minutes of handrail destruction in the form of 2011’s ‘Rise & Shine’ stand alone section.

 

 

Two years later and Flip skateboards SOTY and Canadian big lad Mark Appleyard jumps ship, announcing his switch to Element skateboards with this 2013 ‘Soul Rebel’ part. The steez…

 

 

Closing up on the present day now so what better place to end this than with Brandon Westgate’s epic 16 minute raw files War & Peace release from Thrasher? When you’ve got Heath Kirchart towing you in on the sesh, you know you’re 100% down with the greatest.

 

 

 

And there you have it: a whistle-stop tour of some of your favourite Element skateboards releases from the last two decades. If your wallet is now itching to spend some coin – why not head over to the site and have a peruse of our massive Element range, including a huge sale section on jackets and winter apparel?
Happy hucking…
Chris ‘Cookie’ Colbourn is pro for Element skateboards!