Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 10-1

10. “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life,” 2002
PJ_Ladds_WHL

A stacked shop video that marked Jereme Rogers’ debut, Ryan Gallant’s elevation to journeyman status, a girl, and also happened to feature one dude who would realign street skateboarding for the still-new decade. Not sure what the ’00s analog to Guy Mariano’s part in “Mouse” would be (if there could indeed be one) but it might be possible to suggest PJ Ladd’s breakout section as this decade’s Mike Carroll/”Questionable.” The tricks – the last run – are so crazy and so well done, and the whole part is shot through with the type of energy that makes you want to push two more times and flip the board again, a feeling of actual fun being had in the process of blowing all those minds. It’s still hard to imagine how PJ Ladd could properly surpass this part, so in some respects it’s alright that he hasn’t really tried, because it still stands up fine by itself.

9. “Bag of Suck,” 2007

Tilt-moders put on their serious face for a more straightforward release with relatively few bells and whistles, if you don’t count a kinda all-star friends section, the most fantastic synchronized section next to “Hot Chocolate” and various Bones Brigade efforts, and some fairly awesome intros. Caswell Berry, completing the transition from ponytail to mental issues, makes a seven-year-old rap tune sound fresh, Big Joe Red pursues his continuing education in the BA school of outsized grace, and Jerry Hsu goes for broke with the type of understated slaying and style progression that transforms a careerist into a legend. Favorites from this part: the frontside 180 into the bank, the switch f/s shove-it over the rail, and that switch 360 flip he does on the Prince board.

8. “Yeah Right,” 2003

Full-lengths from Girl look to be a once-per-decade event nowadays, and given the inevitable team shuffles as well as the preordained hype/release euphoria/internet backlash/acceptance cycle that accompanies every video of this caliber these days, maybe that type of timeline is necessary. There’s some grousing to be done and fat that could be trimmed (Skatrix) but in spite of the still-evolving teens and the preoccupation with hammers and the Evans brand of overproduction this has all the well-loved hallmarks of a Girl vid, from the pink/invisible boards to Jeron Wilson’s switch 360 flip over the channel and Carroll’s last maneuver. The growing pains ensure that “Yeah Right” won’t compare favorably to the mid-90s golden age, but in the realm of skateboard companies, it’s something that the Crailtap empire is still around, much less making good videos, and Brandon Biebel footage ages like fine wine.

7. “Static II,” 2004

Josh Stewart struck aesthetic paydirt with the second helping of the ongoing “Static” series, searching for an alternative to perceived overwrought handrail epics, and helping birth the cellar-door subgenre while elevating Bob Puleo to internet diety. “Static 2″ cemented Josh Stewart’s place among the bailgun wielders, offering well-deserved props for John Igei and Paul Shier, guest shots from the Habitat and Traffic squadrons, and the long-awaited answer to the question of what exactly Kenny Reed had been doing in between shopping for vintage camo pants and region-specific headwear. Josh Stewarts’ videos may not make him rich with gold, but he’s secured his status as a booster of the underground, which probably counts for something in Slap board rep points.

6. “Sorry,” 2002

Flip’s blaring, cussing’ teeth-gritting apology for whatever wasn’t real far removed from the “Baker2Gs” and the “Menikmatis” of the early part of the decade, as far as the skating, but editing-wise it came off way more immediate and unvarnished, a far better vehicle for the sort of skating brought to the table by the unwashed roustabout Ali Boulala, the slacker droop of Mark Appleyard’s drawers, the business side of Arto Saari’s flowing mane and the utterly without fear Geoff Rowley. Who’d have guessed that Bastien Salabanzi, primed for superstardom, would fade while Tom Penny’s shaky but expertly played return here would see him through the rest of the decade.

5. “Lost and Found,” 2005

Hands down the best video made east of the Atlantic in the last ten years and maybe ever, Blueprint’s “Lost and Found” saw the venerable U.K. company coming of age alongside its poster boy Nick Jensen in one of those rare 60-minute jobs that’s very possible to watch all the way through and not skip a part. The quality and sheer amount of footage is matched with sharp editing and generally good music (even, dare we say, the British rap music), and I can think of only a couple examples where dudes’ parts in this video were not the best shit they’ve put out so far (Danny Brady, Jensen, Neil Smith, Colin Kennedy, Chewy Cannon). What was on display in “Lost and Found” was beautiful spots and more than trick firepower a viewpoint and vision – things that few others really had going at the time, plus, Chewy Cannon’s nollie 360s.

4. “Fully Flared,” 2007

Although I dislike Band of Horses to the extent required by law, musical complaints toward the Lakai video now must be fairly viewed through the glorious kaleidoscope of Mannie Fresh, Jeezy and the best song Public Enemy made in about 15 years. Yes, the ledge combos are sometimes a bit much; no, this doesn’t a boring video make, and I think we can be glad that everybody else latched onto this idea instead of the tiresome pole jam-to-manual-to-wallie stuff being peddled in “Let’s Do This!” Here we have a resurgent Anthony Pappalardo, a world-conquering Lucas Puig, Mike Carroll’s best part in 9 years, Eric Koston at long last throwing the last-part weight from his shoulders, Brandon Biebel again, the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Fernandez and his fakie 360 flips, and the almost comic overkill of Marc Johnson’s 15-minute tour de force, all of which met our super lofty expectations. Also Guy Mariano came back and a bunch of shit blew up.

3. “Modus Operandi,” 2000

You maybe could say that the prototype for ’00s videos was first set with “Feedback,” which was in turn improved and expanded upon with “The Reason,” after which both were to be taken off the shelf and calmly stuffed into the toilet to make way for the “Modus” juggernaut. Nah, but this was one of those videos that, even though pretty self-indulgent some of the time, got a lot of people rethinking the way these little projects needed to be put together, and what they should try and “say.” Back before voiceovers earned the fast-forward button you had Marc Johnson reminiscing about misjudging a jock, and doing two separate ledge tricks on the same block in the same line; Chany Jeanguinin declaring his love for vert and ushering in the raw denim manual antics of Biebel; Mike Carroll, his neuroses and a shot at the perfect line; and Brian Anderson vouching for the power of visualizing your goals, wearing Axions and crushing hubbas to the tune of Muskabeatz. What a time to be alive..

2. “Sight Unseen,” 2001

The “Empire Strikes Back” of TWS vids, maybe, owing to the classic status and generally dark atmosphere clouding the Henry Sanchez, Dustin Dollin and particularly Heath Kirchart sections. First, though, there’s the blaring gnar of John Cardiel, the mile-long handrail and burly hubba moves ensuring a spot in the hearts of kids who don’t have the time to wade through Thrasher vids or access to “Fucktards.” Mostly inoffensive Tosh Townend plays this video’s Jordan Richter, bookended on one side by the unrepentant Henry Sanchez, Pupecki-grinding rails and at that point still better than so many other dudes, and the salivating assault of Dustin Dollin, lurching from kinked handrail to kickflip frontside blunt. Then lights out for Heath Kirchart’s symphony of destruction, the gap-to-blunt, and the best backside noseblunt committed to a rail at that point.

1. “Photosynthesis,” 2000

The platinum standard of modern (?) videos, in this random blog-site’s opinion. Variety and editing make this video a cohesive classic for the ages instead of some kinda “Time Code 2,” as long as you aren’t into vert skating and you can tolerate interludes concerned with hamburgers and javelin tossing. Van Engelen’s grease-fire ledge attack, Pappalardo’s clockwork precision, Fred Gall with one pants leg up, Danny Garcia demonstrating how to pop out of a backside tailslide, Wenning’s backside nosegrinds and switch heelflips, Josh Kalis doing “the” 360 flip and the walk down into Jason Dill’s bent world, back when he was doing all those 180s the hard way into ledge tricks and settling into New York. With most parts clocking in under 3 minutes and a runtime around 35:00 “Photosynthesis” rivals any video in the quantity/quality department and nearly all that have come since in terms of achievement in this medium – making something that’s cool to watch, gets you off the couch and has you thinking about watching it again when you get home with your socks still sweaty in your shoes.

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40 Responses to “Now That’s What Boil the Ocean Calls Skateboarding (’00s Edition): 10-1”

  1. theProgram Says:

    LAF is one that I had completely forgotten about…nicely played. And I fully agree with the placement. Sight Unseen ahead of Modus is a little off IMHOHOHOHO, but hey, this is your blogosphere. Pretty spot on otherwise I’d say.

  2. Lt. Capt. Obviou Says:

    Top 10 are spot. fucking. on. Good write up.

  3. Dan Says:

    This series of posts has been a treat. Thanks. As a Brit I’m stoked to see Lost & Found placed so high.

    Tosh’s part in Sight Unseen the equivalent of Jordan Richter in Video Days? Ouch. That’s harsh. There’s some great stuff in there. The park line that ends with a frontside nollie heelflip looks so fun, and the backside 50-50 near the end has that thing whereby a simple trick on a rail looks so much better than something tech. The ledge lines; the flow of the song – it’s a strong part. I’d pick Spanky’s coming-of-age section in the Emerica vid as a peer.

  4. peaceout Says:

    men i appreciate your choices ….. BUT

    i hope you consider the new slave video

    shit was out of control!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. .. Says:

    no sight unseen ahead of modus is totally correct, modus has some horrible editing which virtually wrecks BA’s part

  6. Rikku Markka Says:

    I always thought TWS could not top themselves after “Feedback” and “The Reason”, but they sure did with “Sight Unseen.” I see where the allusion of Tosh to Jordan Richter fits, because while very good skating on Tosh’s behalf and the way J. Mascis’ songs fits, you kinda forget about him because: 1. Cardiel 2. Dollin 3. Heath. There so much raw shit in their parts (e.g. Cardiel carving through the bowls to crossbone transfer; Dollin’s one-footed crooked grind on that blue rail, and as for Heath, where do you start). With shit like that as a starting point, you kinda forget Tosh was in the video too.

  7. clew Says:

    I’m so down for “region-specific headwear”, that shit is gonna kill me all day. Top ten is right on…I love watching “Sight Unseen” with the director’s commentary (DVD). Also when Heath comments how it’s more interesting for him to break his collarbone than land two lipslides in a row, that shows you what that guy’s all about. It’s funny, every person I’ve showed his opening montage thinks the speedometer is fake…I hate people that don’t skate. Cardiel 4ever.

  8. Mike Says:

    List is pretty spot on, though I would take issue with Carroll’s Fully Flared part being his best part in nine years (Modus?), and then I also wonder about Photosynthesis in the top spot. I look at Photo and other videos released in the year 2000 and see them more as culminations of what the 90′s had to offer than videos that would be emblematic of what the aughts were, are. My humble pick for the top spot would have been Bag of Suck; its so 00′s.

  9. e. Says:

    I was going to give you a ration of shit if you didn’t include Blueprint’s Lost & Found. Probably my favorite skate vid.

  10. BOB Says:

    Not one Black Label video anywhere? Your list is officially bullshit and invalid.

  11. the hungover ghost of dash snow Says:

    Black Label is corny as fuck, brah.

  12. John Says:

    plus they just make terrible cookie cutter videos

  13. art hellman Says:

    rad top 10 for sure…especially given the difficulty of a whole decade worth of vids

    on a pure-number-of-times-watched, my top 10 would look something like

    10. The Good Life
    9. Get Familiar
    8 PLWHL
    7 Static 3
    6 Inhabitants
    5 Static 2
    4 Fully Flared
    3 Lost and Found
    2 Mosaic
    1 Photosynthesis

  14. lionz Says:

    like someone else said this was a treat to read. my list would be in a diffrent order and include ‘black out’ (for ragdoll’s part alone). also, thank you for not liking ‘band of horses.’

  15. Cobs Says:

    I got more and more stoked as I slowly scrolled down the page, trying not to spoil anything for myself. I wouldn’t have thought about putting Static 2 in, but it’s definitely worth it. Also, Band of Horses aren’t that bad, but I can officially say I liked them before they were big, well, before they were in skate videos anyway. hahaha

  16. OaklandPete Says:

    Great series of blogs.
    How about a nostalgic to 10 (or 20) for the 90s.

  17. camelsarelame Says:

    I’ve probably watched VIA more than any other video I own. Other than that I thought the list was great. keep blogging it up!

  18. Andreas Says:

    Thank you for this very well-composed list. I sympathetically agree with the majority of the rankings and your descriptions of the videos (although I would have put Sight Unseen first and Photosynthesis second, and what happened to Good and Evil? One of Ed T’s finest parts and it’s placed before the intro? Epic.)
    I’d like to encourage you to make a similar list of 90′s videos since you did such a good job of this one and also to recommend to you the little-known video The Strongest of the Strange by Pontus Alv, which definitely belongs on my top 10.

  19. mo Says:

    Ah, Photosynthesis. I still have it on tape. Completely deserves the number one spot.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    sometimes things fall exactly into place where they should be, and photosynthesis is right where it belongs. It took the post-Osiris “the storm” era bullshit and slapped it upside the head. I feel that video changed a lot of people’s perspectives on skating in general

  21. alliv Says:

    sometimes things fall exactly into place where they should be, and photosynthesis is right where it belongs. It took the post-Osiris “the storm” era bullshit and slapped it upside the head. I feel that video changed a lot of people’s perspectives on skating in general…

  22. Jim Jam Says:

    Loved the Empire Strikes Back reference….genius call.

  23. Jim Jam Says:

    But also, is Welcome to Hell missing??

  24. smorgasbord Says:

    Toy Machine-Welcome to Hell? in my top 10 for life!
    Eastern Exposure 3?

  25. Al Says:

    Welcome to Hell was 1996, but would end up in top 10 of all time for sure.

  26. becky Says:

    ‘I look at Photo and other videos released in the year 2000 and see them more as culminations of what the 90’s had to offer than videos that would be emblematic of what the aughts were, are’

    you are the worst.

  27. patrick Says:

    I’ve gone through 3 original brand new copies of Photo from watching it too many times, but still have two more unopened copies that I look forward to ruining. Thank you for the list.

  28. goldchain Says:

    DJ Chavez stole my copy of Photosynthesis. Dick.

  29. handerson Says:

    popalardo has mr. burns style. other than verbally jerking off popalardo every time there is a chance to mention his name it was a solid list. Seriously though if Mr. Burns were a skateboarder he would skate like Popalardo. P.S. Wenning is a turd. Both of those guys are techinically amazing, but crappy style.

  30. Watson Says:

    Chomp On This?

  31. isaac Says:

    great posts, top 10 is pretty much spot on but I think Krooked Kronicles should have been in there. solid parts from all involved and the rewatch factor is high.

  32. TONYMONTANA Says:

    pretty spot on top ten surly pj ladds whl should be higher than modus tho! oh yeah an heaths gap to blunt on that kinked rail is on this is skateboarding.

  33. playa larga Says:

    Where is Can’t Stop the Firm???

    Also Bag of Suck was pretty weak aside from jerry

  34. k swoosh Says:

    no, bag of suck was pretty sick all around especially considering what happened to them before that video dropped.

  35. Tymer Says:

    WHL is over-rated beyond belief. If this was a top ten parts section and PJ’s was stuck in there, fine. But the whole video can’t rest on one part and no one gives a shit about any of the others

  36. uh, really ? Says:

    ur a fag tymer, watch the video again.

  37. Beginners' Blueprint « Manual Magazine Says:

    [...] with 2005′s celebrated Lost & Found, the video that got Danny Brady and Nick Jensen a new shoe [...]

  38. Skate Sounds: Search, Skate, and Destroy | GET BENT! Says:

    [...] soundtracks (a strong working relationship with J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. certainly helps). Other sites have already lauded AWS’s new millennium release, Photosynthesis, for its embodiment of [...]

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