There once was a time when there were no more then 2-3 independent skate video makers in the entire world who's work was actually seen outside of their own TV screen. Now it seems like just about every other day there's a new video being linked on every skate blog on the internet. Incredible to think that an art form that quite nearly died out just a few years ago has come back with such a force. But perhaps the craziest part of all of this is not the sheer number of underground videos popping up, it's the shocking fact that a lot of them are really good. Not just good, but entertaining, inspiring and creative. Far more so than most of the big brand projects coming out over the past few years. In fact, all of my favorite videos over the past few years have all been underground indie projects.
One thing that makes a lot of these videos particularly strong and interesting is that they represent a crew of friends in some specific region of the world. And they give us a glimpse into a different cultulre or scene. Instead of being sold the new fall season of a brand's line or a new collab shoe, we have a video maker introducing us to his crew, promoting his friends instead of a product. I recently came across a few new perfect examples of these kinds of projects and wanted to share them with those of you who are not yet privy.
After living in the Tampa Bay area for 29 years and making 4 full length videos w/in it's confines, I know how horribly difficult it is to make anything interesting happen on video there. With a bi-annual influx of thousands of skaters flocking to town for the Skatepark of Tampa contests, pretty much every major spot has been picked clean like a possum carcass on the side of I-275. But this group of skaters in St. Petersburg, making up the 'Soft Hoagie Rolls' crew, somehow managed to not only make a generally rad skate video, but it actually made the Bay area look fun to skate. There's not a ton of world-altering skateboarding happening in "Spooky" by Robert Pawlikowski, but the video got me stoked to skate and generally looked like these dudes had a blast making it. Thumbs up in my book.
After sitting on our desk for a few weeks we finally got a chance to check out a video out of NYC representing a crew of friends in Brooklyn that frequents a mellow, tiny ledge spot in McCarren Park. This rad little 15 minute video captures the fun vibe of filming with your friends without stressing over the heaviness or technicality of the tricks. Produced by Derek Heydle and Kevin Martinez, this short project may not be the next "Propeller" video, but it definitely made me want to skate a lot more than I did watching dudes huck themselves off buildings and impale themselves down 20 stair rails.
And finally, yes, it's another video from out of the Tampa Bay area. That's right, fuck you! Just try to watch this trailer without getting hyped, I dare you. It's not gonna happen. Stephen Buggica did an awesome job with the Shaqueefa Mixtape Vol 2 in 2013 but this next edition looks like it's going to be epic. If it's at all as good as this trailer we have a huge treat to look forward to. Again, it cannot be overstated just how difficult it is to skate and film in the Tampa Bay area. So these guys already had their cards stacked against them, but they're making some gangster lemonade out of those skatespot lemons. Yet another example of a crew video really hitting the mark.
Where big company projects leave us wanting for some inspiration or creativity, crew videos have been filling the void and providing a more enjoyable watch before stepping out to do some realistic skating. We'll continue to check out future projects as they show up in our mailbox and keep you posted with more of our favorites. Enjoy!