Freeway To Heaven

When I think back on great skateboard moments of the past decade there are a couple obvious highlights, like the occasional dispatches from planet Andy Roy and Bob Burnquist doing the switchstance inverted indy grab loop, but few put a smile on my face as much as when the opening chords of Mannie Fresh’s “Real Big” tingled my ears at my local Lakai video premiere. It was a cultural and personal high-water mark that few moments have managed to touch or tingle in such a way since, that is, until Pete Eldridge today appeared on my screen pushing his monochrome board in the new TWS vid to the rock organ-infused tones of his brother from a different beard, Rick Ross the [onetime prison] Boss.

Delving again into the powerful nature of Pete Eldridge’s brand of East Coastism, almost like dwelling on Rick Ross’ correctional officer resume, is probably not necessary for the purposes of this space. So instead let us pay tribute to the lesser-loved nuggets of eras past that Eldridge makes look timeless, including but not limited to crew-neck sweatshirts, blue jeans and switch b/s tailslide shove-its. And it’s fair to say he’s earned the video clip incentives due from all those gratuitous triple-stripe shots for his switch f/s k-grind, as well as tangling wrong-handed with a rail in the rain while a certain former law enforcement official heaves away in the background about manual labor and 50 Cent’s house catching fire.

“Hallelujah” is said to be the 22nd video by Transworld, which is enough to make the likes of certain absentee blogmongers feel a coming rain in their weary ankle bones, but more surprising than the long-livedness of this franchise is how they’ve managed to mostly maintain the good portions of the formula (A-list and oughtta-be-A-list dudes, grab-bag of styles/approaches, production value, general effort and soundtrack budgets affording the likes of Bill Leonard Roberts II) while sooner or later ditching the tiresome (lengthy intros, too many montages, THE VOICEOVERS). Thought about making a labored comparison to a band like AC/DC that hit its stride after the first couple go-rounds and has since mostly held up its legacy by sticking to what they do best, or a reliably reliable TV series that went on for decades like maybe “Bonanza,” but not sure either one really works. Year in and year out TWS vids are at worst worth watching twice and at best one of the better efforts of the year, which this one could be unless “Stay Gold” is scored entirely to “Teflon Don.”

The TWS vids occasionally go some distance toward making dudes’ careers and this time I found myself growing bullish on the Decenzo bros, this being the second dose of Canada’s late-aughts answer to Jeremy and Jonas. Kind of digging the unvarnished brand of rail-chomping they pursue, helped by how they apparently look for new and harder tricks to take down the rails even if they don’t always wind up looking that great (nollie barley grind was impressive for real though). Rollercoaster lipslide looked fun. Taylor Bingaman’s nollie b/s 5-0 down that great big round rail mainly looked scary.

Someone on the Slap board described backside slider to backside flipper and noted teal fan Tyler Bledsoe as Alien’s answer to Sean Malto, which is accurate enough in its way, and it’s nice to see him do some more lines here than in “Mind Field.” Thinking in particular the tail, smith grind, kickflip sequence, a thoughtful turn that reminded me of teammate Arto’s opening runs in “Sorry.” This section seems meant as Bledsoe’s pro bow (and he has a beaut of a debut graphic) but the “Hallelujah” choirmaster has to be the increasingly hairy Torey Pudwill… his “Dudesx3” part served as a notice of arrival and here he appears intent on pushing his freakish powers to the limit of video-gamedom with all those kickflips in the midst of ledge combos and generally lazer flipping whatever frightening jump is in front of him. The arms still flap now and then but the unhinged look has a way of making some of these moves a teeny bit more realistic, or at least justifiably hard, and on some of those __ kickflip __ things you have a hard time imagining anybody else doing them, which is saying something nowadays.

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34 Responses to “Freeway To Heaven”

  1. Rudy Says:

    My immediate response when it was all said and done were- “that was pretty good, but I’ll never watch it again.”

  2. Silvio Brolusconi Says:

    welcome back pilot light, we/I missed ya. someone youtube this vid already…

  3. DamnDanMan Says:

    Here you go

  4. theProgram Says:

    appreciated all the skating…but i still think the montage (read: gilbert crockett) is the best part. followed closely by eldridge.

  5. Rocuronium Says:

    1. Notice how PL finally posted once the X Games ended…. can’t wait to read that summary.

    2. One of the great mistakes being made in vids today is only filming single trick clips of great tranny skaters Bingaman, Grant Taylor, etc… How lame is it to see some guy pop into the screen, do a backside smith, and then disappear…

  6. Tymer Says:

    I completely agree with the above poster. Transworld video editing formats do not suit park bowl rippers well.

    Also, I think Ben Hatchell deserves a mention, easily. It still seems shocking that there is some kid out there actually doing that shit.

  7. Watson Says:

    Haven’t seen the video, but I will argue that Bledsoe is infinitely more interesting than Malto.

    I also wish that I could write like you. *swoon*

  8. Gnarf Booley Says:

    Deathlens followcam lines in trannyland is the future…

  9. SnoozeButton Says:

    Sorry. I’m usually quite often with you on your reviews but I fear that you’ve made a rather gruesome swing and a miss this time around. “Hallelujah” was about as enjoyable as chewing broken glass whilst watching Whoopi Glodberg and Elisabeth Hasselbeck debate politics on TV’s “The View”.
    Some of these skaters are highly skilled and there was some entertaining and impressive skating to be soaked in for sure. But I just don’t get the way TWS videos are put together these days. My assessment would be that this is what a video would look like if Walmart decided to get in the skate video game. Flashy skating + extremely safe production.

  10. Rudy Says:

    Agree (SnoozeButton) you pretty much went the long way of saying what I meant.
    The formula needs a reboot….

  11. Silvio Brolusconi Says:

    finally got to see it. felt like tyler should have gotten the closer part, super smooth and just as tech as torey, sans arm flap.

    • Rocuronium Says:

      The problem with TPud’s approach to ledge freestyle disco is that there is so much sliding on wax involved. I feel like I’m watching an ice skater manualing from one toe to the other heel as he hops from bsts to nbs or whatever.
      If I could actually hear the screech of the wheels powersliding I would think more of it as skateboarding.

      Nonetheless he is a great talent and boundary pusher and seems like a sweet fun guy.

      • Silvio Brolusconi Says:

        Agree on the wax theory, and no questioning the talent, but, alas, the skate purist in me feels there is room for improvement in cleaning out the foot shuffling and pivoting to finish turns/keep from falling. Never thought I’d hear the Benders in a skate vid, that’s a cool track for his part.

  12. Rikku Markka Says:

    I saw this with a shopful of other skaters, and we all agreed it was a good video with great skating. IMHO watching Pudwill and Bledsoe do these heretofore unseen, insane combo tricks was kinda numbing and boring. They get points for originality, but when you realize what it takes to land those tricks, you come up with hours of trying. I’m sorry to the offended readers of this comment, but I don’t want to skate a ledge for hours on end just to roll away from one trick. Watching their parts doesn’t get me motivated to skate. Watching Bingaman flow through a park or watching Busenitz blaze through a street line does. BTW, as much as I liked Pete’s part, I still hold a candle for his part in Bootleg 3000; all his rail tricks were switch. And where is Scott Kane’s comeback?

  13. SnoozeButton Says:

    I don’t understand how readers of THIS site can refer to “Halleluah” as “good”.
    There is gnar skating, no questioning that fact. I’m backing Eldridge’s style and Bingham’s versatility. Bledsoe is always impressive and you’d have to be retarded to not be impressed by Pudwill’s abilities. But this video has zero heart and about as much soul as a Kenny G album. Something was lost along the way to TWS video number 200,000 and it just became a bland recipe. Rikku, I don’t know what shop you were watching this video in, but in the shop in which I watched it we were all holding our heads in our hands with disappointment. I was really looking forward to Eldridge’s part. And although his style delivered, I felt that the part was a let down. I don’t wanna see Eldridge skating some bogus Arizona tranny spot covered in bondo and quikcrete. I’m crying foul here boys.

  14. luke Says:

    Torey Pudwill has something really classic about his style…it is hit-or-miss, and I think far too much is made of his arms (you arm watching faggots). What gets me is the way that he seems stoked to be skating, endlessly upbeat and just positive about what he’s doing. He wanted to be a skateboarder and now he is one, so he’s using that opportunity to push himself to skate the way he envisions it.

    It may not get me psyched to skate (if anything it makes me feel like a total dope on a skateboard because this kid is younger than me) but it does make me feel good for Pudwill. He’s doin’ things.

    This video is totally average. It felt like they were trying to make something classic, and when you try to make something classic you almost always miss…

    • arm watching faggots Says:

      sorry bro, and I agree torey’s cool and all, but arm aesthetic says a lot about style: you can have some rigid jereme rogers arm waving style, or fists of fury a la jason dill’s in snuff; or kids swimming out of manny combos a la daniel castillo back in the day, or any paulo diaz/carroll/keenan/natas footage. all in all, arms count homie. just sayin.

  15. DamnDanMan Says:

    I don’t know why everyone is freaking out because this video isn’t another another Sight Unseen. Theres some cool skating, Bledsoe rips. Every video doesn’t have to be a classic or have “soul.” fucking relax, watch the shit, don’t take it so seriously, and go skate.

  16. My 2 Cents Says:

    I see a blog and website. Two things that are easily avoidable if your not feeling the shit their kickin’. Don’t press play or type in this url in the future.

  17. Magic Pizza Says:

    Tyler has magic feet. Torey is a Tyrannosaurus Rex and the ledge is his carrion (T. Rex was a scavenger, scientists believe). Pete looked out of place, but I liked his Suski-esq lines. Descnezo’s sugarcanes were cool, I wonder what other obscure lip tricks he can take to handrails…

  18. SnoozeButton Says:

    Holy snowballs! Sorry “My2Cents”. Apparently we’re not allowed to post our opinions in the comments section now? Jesus H. Christopher, get ahold of yourself. All I’m saying is that this video is weak. And it doesn’t deserve the hoopla, fanfare or hullabaloo it’s receiving. That’s right, I said it, no hulabaloo at all.
    The shit is wack-tastical. I know it confuses you why someone may have less-than-gracious things to say about a Transworld video, but maybe you’ve got no shit-filter and you think everything is just hunky dory. But while you, Opie and Andy Grifith are whistling dixie and waiting for Aunt B’s apple pie to come out the oven, some of us out here have to have opinions and view things critically. Hows about this lil prediction. Next years TWS awards will give you 3 options for video of the year. I wonder if they’ll nominate their own video. And I wonder if they’ll leave out the Blueprint video?
    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    • My 2 Cents Says:

      My logic: if you hate a video, why would you keep talking about it? Things I dislike I project in an opposite way instead of spreading opinions like wildfires.

      For the record (and the only semi-serious portion of this text), Transworld sucks

  19. arm watching faggots Says:

    on a side note, lakai winning skate and create? the credits were longer than the video, could barely see the skating…were they awarding over-production?

  20. Al Says:

    PL, I’d love to see your thoughts on the “Dylan” Gravis clip. It pretty much blew me away. Looks like Mr. Reider has been skating a lot with Arto, and the locks, leather pants and loafers made famous in his Mind Field part were replaced by speedy assaults on lots of really tall rails/ledges and lofty flip tricks. Am I crazy for thinking this is in the running for best online clip of all time?

  21. clug Says:

    DR clip review please.

  22. dedleg Says:

    I’ll third that. Very interesting project and sick skating, even if Gravis is wack and his shoes look like they’re from Lord of the Rings or some shit.

  23. Rocuronium Says:

    At this rate, might as well make it an entry in your Top Ten Video Parts of the Year.

  24. lionz Says:

    we want a new post mr. boil the ocean.

  25. Ratt Says:

    Where you been boil the ocean? I need some new juice.

  26. awaiting Says:

    no write up for dylon OR stay gold? are you still alive?

  27. Rocuronium Says:

    First ISSHEFILTHY and now BTO?

    Rough year.

    PL, you are the only person I would be interested to follow on Twitter. Maybe that medium would better suit your time constraints.

  28. Ratt Says:

    Are you OK BTO? ! Hope you didn’t get jimmy hoffa’d.

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