Brian Wenning Is The Best Skater Alive


Rich off cocaine

Dovetailing nicely with the Plan B focus this week comes the inevitable news that Brian Wenning has been let go from the Danny/Colin hardgoods dream team, shortly after being handed his walking papers from Droors Clothing Shoe Co USA. Given Wenning’s lack of footage these last few years, mostly underwhelming photo output and recent Youtube antics, it maybe isn’t super surprising that these eventualities have inspired a flood of “don’t let the door hit ya on the way out” commentary across the skate-related interwebs, but it’s disappointing, because what people are overlooking is the fact that career collapse or no, Wenning will come to be seen as a hugely influential figure in 00’s skating, and if he is flaring out, it’s in proper 1990s party-spiral fashion.

Personally I think Wenning’s on some Henry Sanchez trip; the “over-it”-ness he aired toward DC in his recent Skateboarder* interview and, er, fireside chat video are only a prologue to what surely will be a blaze of sour grapes toward the likes of Ryan Sheckler and Jereme Rogers. More people used to name names, now everybody’s got business interests, but Brian Wenning is from New Jersey and seems to prefer drinking with his low-life buddies and skating a shitty pre-fab park that his little brother gave up on years ago.

Whether or not Wenning achieves or even attempts a comeback I think is totally beside the point in a post-Fully Flared/Sorry age, where legends are unearthed, outfitted in fresh sponsorship deals and New Eras, and set about writing sequels and prequels to stories that were basically holy scripture. I saw that Timberland video, Wenning’s still got it I think, but what’s the upside for him? A part in a soon-forgotten Axion promo? A spot on Element**? (I think he’d need to have a real rock-bottom Oprah awakening before Fred Gall could make a convincing case to put him back on Habitat.)

Probably the smart move for Wenning would be to drop off the map more or less completely, make random solo appearances in New Jersey, maybe grow his hair real long and not really skate. (The Timberland thing was possibly premature in this way.) If Bill Strobek is kind he could delay dropping his video for another year, at which point skateboarding will have forgotten the Brian Wenning of the two-inch scratcher slides at those alphabet ledges and people will trip out anew on the Photosynthesis era – while PJ Ladd’s video part had a bigger impact on actual tricks I think Wenning’s Photo part remains one of the most influential sections style-wise over the last ten years, and I shudder to think where, say, Ronson Lambert would be without it today. The Henry Sanchez comparison again – Brian Wenning was doing the hottest tricks at the coolest spots, looking like nobody else at the time.

So we’ll see. Maybe in a couple years he can mount a comeback part, get a board offer from say Zoo, figure out a way to get kicked off within three weeks and quickly slide back into obscurity. You almost hope he does – in a lot of ways it would be preferable to seeing him dried out and born again in time to chase pole-jam variations and waxy ledge combos. Or Scientology.

*Keep your head up, Source Interlink employees
**Baker probably a more realistic prospect, but with the economy in the toilet who really knows anything about anything

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23 Responses to “Brian Wenning Is The Best Skater Alive”

  1. Watson Says:

    Me and Police Informer were debating this last night, and actually we are debating it right now via computer interweb chats.

    He says Wenning is a legend, and still has it in him and deserved good sponsors.

    I say fuck him.

  2. quartersnacks Says:

    You should’ve posted this version to celebrate the mentioned Photosynthesis era.

  3. Old Jeezy Says:

    ayo watson, you a good dude but seriously. shuta yo mouth. you obviously have it out for wenning since you wrote that lynx article. we get it you dont like him. thats you. everyone else unfortunately loved him so shut the fuck up and keep your opinions to yourself. wenning is a legend and deserves to be treated like one.

  4. Villa Says:

    the best part was when “classic shit” pops up on the screen…even they know that nothing can compare to the photo era footage. I mean, c’mon, more than half that part was from over 7 years ago at least. Even if wenning is fading, or faded, nothing can change the nosegrind pop out, switch tre flip, switch bsts bigspinning insanity i witnessed all those years ago. In person, dude was one of the most consistent skaters i’ve ever seen, but i’m talking pre-Love Park remodel days. Looks like jersey is weighing him down nowadays.

  5. tim Says:

    funny how many people hate on him now after calling out pops and dc shoes. i still don’t disslike any skater for whatever their personal opinions or beliefs are whether it be berra, rowley, lizard king, timtim etc. you mentioned where would ronson be without wenning, my question is where would steve durante be without wenning?

  6. Watson Says:

    Ayo Old Jeezy, you a good Jeezy, but seriously.

    Old Photosynthesis Wenning was dope. A “legend”? Fuckin please. That guy was fucking rad, but he does not have legend status. And even if he did I could give a fuck. He’s a fuckin kook now. Just cause someone put out one good video part does not give them a free ride for the rest of their lives.

    So you know, shuta YO mouth.

  7. Old Jeezy Says:

    unfortunately my friend you are missing his dc video part, split part with biebel in subtleties, his split part with oconnor in mosaic, his timecode part with pappalardo, and his ian reids video footage. all of which are phenomenal. we get it. you dont like him. just shut up about it. no one else gives a fuck.

  8. Sean Says:

    I’m really interested in this imagined Timecode shared section you speak of.

  9. Old Jeezy Says:

  10. Mike Says:

    That looks more like some trade show promo than a section from Timecode.

  11. Old Jeezy Says:

    still should not be disregarded, that part is so good.

  12. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:

    Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for writing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your posts.

  13. Watson Says:

    Sorry Boil if we’re turning these comments into the Slap Boards or something.

    But yeah, Jeezy, you make good points. I totally overlooked those sections. To tell you the truth I didn’t stop that hard to think about it. He was super sick at one point, and now he’s not. I was a fan at one point and now I’m not.

    But it’s not like I have the skateboard media world by the balls and I have the cover of every magazine each month saying how lame I think Wenning is. I think he’s a goof. I’m expressing my opinion. You like him, and you’re expressing your opinion. Both of us can ignore each other’s opinions if we want. I don’t see why it would make you so mad that I don’t like the guy.

  14. theProgram Says:

    eh. you can only do so many switch fs shove its before people don’t give a shit anymore.

  15. bumsley Says:

    He’s chubs like Sanch that’s for sure.

  16. Rudy Says:

    This is turning into the Slap Boards.

    I appreciate both views, but unfortunately Wenning’s days are over.

  17. carbonite Says:

    BRING BACK NEWPORT

  18. hoen Says:

    wenning was great no doubt. insane talent. but his style has always been terrible. nothing personal

    • ace Says:

      All the chubby hood kids with long hair at my skatepark would disagree.

      One thing I will forever appreciate about Wenning was (yes, past tense) his ability to haul ass through a lot of his switch lines. No tic-tacking out your landings when you’re balls to the wall.

      “If you’re not going fast, then it doesn’t count.” -Plato

  19. With This Diet I Shed Thirty Póunds in Only a Month Says:

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for posting. I will certainly be coming back to your site. Keep up the good work

  20. JNH Says:

    “Brian Wenning was doing the hottest tricks at the coolest spots, looking like nobody else at the time.” Spot-on assessment. Whether you like (or liked) Wenning or not, definitely one on the most unique styles around. Its not necessarily pretty but reminds me of MJ, Brian Anderson, or even Pops, in the way that just watching them push is pretty fucking great. That said, its not such a good look on the chubby, 18-inch ledge destroying version of Wenning.

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