People have asked about this for a long time, so I’m going to give you my top ten skate videos of all time. These are all available on the Skately library, which is what I normally use. They have pretty much everything except 411 issues and video parts that Thrasher has posted as a classic. Those probably just get copyright striked too easy.
This is a list of my favorite videos, but they’re all videos that you should see, if you haven’t yet. They’ll give you a much better rounded view of skating.
My number 10 video is Opinion by Globe in 2001. This isn’t the last time you’ll see a Mullen video on this list. He has always been my favorite skater, and a lot of my favorite videos were discovered by me looking for more Mullen footage. But they won’t make it to this list if there wasn’t something more.
Speaking of Mullen though, this is my favorite video part of his. In Second Hand Smoke, he had a little freestyle section of legit flatland stuff. But it was his farewell to freestyle. All throughout the 90s, it was nothing but street. Almost forcibly, like he was required to never do another freestyle trick. But in Opinion, this feels a lot more comfortable, like the way he would actually skate without cameras. Mullen uncensored.
But this video is on the list because there’s a lot more going on than Mullen’s part. The Renton Millar/Ben Pappas shared part is really cool too. I love vert video parts because most of the time you see vert, it’s in contests. But this stuff is next level, with a lot of no grab flip tricks. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this kind of stuff.
Another standout part is Chet Thomas. I love how tech this part is, which the hardflip grinds. He’s got a lot of really long lines that might put you to sleep, but there’s still a lot of great stuff to see here.
The next video is Darkstar’s Battalion from 2003. There’s another really good Chet Thomas part here, but the stuff that I really love are the ones by Sven Kilchenmann and Guy Kampfen. I had never heard of these guys before, but these video parts are super technical and innovative. I love this kind of stuff. This is my favorite kind of skating to watch.
Number 8 – Fully Flared. While a lot of the videos on this list are here because they’re nostalgic or they represent a certain time period, this one is just one of the best skateboard videos ever made. From the absolutely classic intro to the mind-blowing skating, this video has something for everyone. And it’s 89 minutes long! Most skate videos are closer to 30.
Mike Mo starts the video with a ridiculous intro part. Coming out of nowhere and just taking the skateboard world by storm. He shows complete mastery of every stance, and ends it with this beautiful combo. Well technically this is his ender, but everyone remembers the other one.
Lucas Puig has an incredible part too. I’ll never forget his accidental smith kickflip to primo slide. That completely blew my mind. I’d love to see more stuff like this.
I wish I could play the music too, because the editing is just so freaking good.
The video ends with parts by Carroll, Biebel, Koston, Mariano and Marc Johnson. One of the best teams ever put together in a video. Marc’s part is so amazing, I still watch it from time to time. By the way, check out this weird editing trick they pulled here. I thought that was pretty hilarious. Just a fun little easter egg to see if you’re paying attention.
As much as I love Marc’s part, I don’t want to skip over Koston and Mariano. Koston has some really cool grind changes and some really advanced switch and nollie rail stuff. And Mariano’s part made everyone crap their pants when this video came out. I think I remember it winning some awards too. Either one of these could have been an ender.
By the way, this one is not on skately, but you can find it really easy on youtube.
Number 7 is Almost’s Round 3 from 2004. I bought this DVD and watched it every single day before school. It’s a rare case of a video worth having a physical copy of – there was a bonus 3D section and 3D glasses to match.
The Mullen part is great, and he really pushes those primo slides to the limit. Daewon Song’s part is insane too. Lots of really cool DIY stuff in here, and it was probably single-handedly responsible for the Rigger character type in the later Tony Hawk games.
But we also get to know Chris Haslam. Before this, he was a really clean cut guy doing standard tricks… but this is where he really becomes himself, from his style to his more unique trick selection. Cooper Wilt, Greg Lutzka and a very young Ryan Sheckler turn in some great parts too.
Six is a New Deal video – and I can’t decide between 1281 and Da Deal is Dead. So you’ll probably have to watch them both. They came out in ‘91 and ‘92. You have to watch these videos, not for any specific part, but because every trick ever done is either invented or taken to the next level in this video. Julio De La Cruz is a great example of that. He invents the feather flip in this video and does some early versions of forward flips. If you think that you invented a trick, you have to watch these videos first to make sure they weren’t done 26 years ago.
The fifth one is… Yeah Right! This is from 2003. This is the first video I remember going crazy with special effects and stuff like that. The Owen Wilson skit was really awesome. And the invisible board part is really cool. I’m impressed by this. They painted the boards green and just green screened them out, but it’s not that simple. They have to fill in where the board is with background information. Not too hard on tripod shots, but a lot of this stuff is in motion. This was a ton of work, and it’s really cool to see. But the skating was crazy too. Brandon Biebel is one of my favorite skaters, and it all started with this part. Marc Johnson has some really good stuff too. His video parts are some of my favorites. Mike Carroll and Rick McCrank have good parts in this too, and Koston’s is amazing too. This stuff was unbelieveable in 2003.
Number 4 is 2000’s Menikmati by Es Shoes. This one has solid video parts all the way through, from Ronnie Creager, Tom Penny, and Bob Burnquist. He’s got this fakie frontside gazelle, some alley oop grinds and stuff. Really sick part. Koston ends this video too, if you didn’t get enough from the last video.
Number 3 is Deca’s 2nd to None from 2001. This is a really weird video in general, because they basically just got this warehouse and built all their dream spots. Daewon does some completely crazy stuff in here, like these homemade roof gaps and stuff like that. I love this part and I love the creativity and vibe of this whole video. You have to check out Shin Okada’s part too, while you’re at it. He’s got some great stuff too.
Before we get into the top 2, I wanted to take a look at some honorable mentions.
First one is Wonderful Horrible Life. This one is from 2002. It was made by Coliseum Skate Shop, not a big brand, like you would expect by the names in it. PJ Ladd has one of the best video parts ever. It’s just dripping with talent and flow. Someone tried to argue with me before that there’s no such thing as talent in skateboarding, just hard work. But I think this part is enough to disprove this. He just does everything with such ease. It’s unbelievable. You’ll also see parts by Jereme Rogers, Alexis Sablone and Ryan Gallant. This video was enough to launch the careers of all these guys. Coliseum tried to follow this up with another video, but there’s a lot of throwaway from the last video because everyone else was too big for them after the first one.
Next is Tim and Henry’s Pack of Lies. This is a really short promo video from Blind in 1992 with Tim Gavin and Henry Sanchez. It’s super tech and you’ll definitely see something you’ve never seen before. The only reason this one didn’t make it to the full list is because there are only two parts!
My third honorable mention is Cheese and Crackers. This video is just a big miniramp session with Daewon and Chris Haslam. And it’s amazing. It brings back all of the old school minramp parts from videos of the 80s and 90s. The actual video is one big combined part, but there are also reedits of them both separately on the DVD. There’s also a really fun offroad skateboard part with Cooper Wilt, and a regular part by Lewis Marnell.
Last is Hokus Pokus, or any other H-Street video. I like these better than the Powell videos, because they’re more authentic to the 80s. I really like these videos, and this one would have made it to the list, but they’re really dated now. Most of these videos on the list show off something different – like the DIY stuff in Second to None. The H-Street videos are mostly just out of date. But they’re still a lot of fun to watch.
OK, back to the list. Number 2 is The Storm from 1999. From Jerry Hsu’s nollie backside flip late flip to all of the other crazy stuff in this video, it’s an absolute classic. One thing that makes a video classic to me is when it has a theme. They take some kind of trick or location and just blow it up and do everything. In this video, that theme is nose and tailslides. They do basically every possible variation of them, especially Dave Mayhew. Flips in, flips out, shove its in the middle. And he does a tailslide impossible out, which is definitely the first time I ever saw that one. But this video has variety. You’ve got Josh Kasper doing giant gaps, and you’ve even got a vert part from Mathias Ringstrom, who does a fakie inward heelflip. He does a couple of front foot impossibles, even though these never really look right on vert. And a nollie late flip. And some casper flips too, believe it or not.
And my number 1 video is Questionable by Plan B. This one is an absolute classic, and shows why I love 90s skating so much. This video just has everything. Look at Pat Duffy’s part. He wasn’t the first guy to do rails, or even big ones. Frankie HIll was going big too, but he was just doing it caveman style. Pat was the first to really do legit tricks on rails, like smiths and lipslides and stuff. This looks pretty dated now, since everything has been done down a rail at this point, but it’s mind blowing if you keep in mind that it’s 1992.
Sal Barbier and Sean Sheffey both have good parts too. Yeah it’s funny sometimes when they have fake lines and super sketchy stuff, but these tricks were extremely cutting edge at the time. Like, these tricks were a couple of weeks old and they had to hurry up and get them on video.
Rodney Mullen is in the video too, and this is his first real outing as a street skater. His last part was pure freestyle. So to see all the stuff he can do already is really crazy. His first trick is a nosebluntslide, which was a pretty new trick. And he follows it up with a 540 shove it like it’s no big deal. He’s got a ton of stuff in here that I’ve never seen again, like a front shove late varial double heelflip. And an impossible late varial flip. People accuse Mullen of having terrible style, but most of the video has sketchy stuff like this. The only reason Mullen gets a bad rap for it is because people still watch his old stuff.
But as impressive as this part is, my favorite is actually the miniramp section. This just looks like so much fun, and it’s something that’s missing from videos these days. Especially now, parts are released individually, and it’s all about one person. But this part, even though it has some good tricks, is great just because the whole team is there hanging out and having a good time. And it shines through the whole way. This is probably why I loved Cheese and Crackers so much.
So there’s my list. I know most of them come from the early 2000s, but that’s when I was getting started in skateboarding, and these left a huge impression on me. I think there’s a lot to get out of those videos too, even if you started later. Seeing what people did before you can help you pick out what you like. Maybe you can even learn some new tricks watching them.
So check out those videos when you get a chance, but until then, here are some more videos of mine you can watch as well.