News Tagged ‘Neil Blender’

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?

Vans Syndicate Neil Blender

Monday, March 10th, 2014


It’s a surprise this blog post ever made it to the publish button due to the time I could spend trawling the web reminiscing at one of the most iconic skaters in the whole of skateboarding’s history. Yes I know, very strong opening statement but Neil Blender is what most see as the very essence of skateboarding, simply put he’s just one of them guys that stands completely alone and probably invented the phrase “Marching to the beat of a different drummer.”


So the reason/excuse for this post is the good folk at Vans Syndicate have come through with this powerful collaboration from the man himself. First up is the Authentic Pro “S” in the Washed out Grey featuring Blender artwork around the out sole along with the Ultracush HD cushioning we’ve come to expect from the Syndicate range. These are obviously a take on the original and probably most recognizable Vans shoes but with that added extra comfort and higher grade materials used across the whole makeup. Second up is the skaters favorite Chukka Low WC “S” in Suede, and washed canvas upper which incorporates the Vans patented Wafflecup sole unit to give this normally Vulcanized shoe a completely different feel and more supported fit.


We’re being told the UK release will be early March but you can keep checking back to Vans Syndicate on our website or alternatively give us a follow on our Instagram for daily updates.



So back to the self indulgent part of this post, scan below and get all nostalgic with the true legend that is Neil Blender.