Meet the Boys Behind "Duck Tapes"
Our boy Steve Brandi spent some time in South Florida last Spring and told us about the rad scene happening down in the West Palm area. A strong, eclectic crew of skaters that make the most out of the drab Floridian strip mall landscape by shredding and making rad projects happen, all under the lens and motivation of a filmer that goes by the nickname "Duck". Duck recently released a new full length video online entitled "DuckTapes" so we asked Steve to chat with the guys involved and help share the stories behind their scene and the video. So the words below are those of Steve and the guys he managed to speak to on our behalf. Thanks Steve!
Colin Brothers: Back Tailslide - Photo Justin Fuller
Hailing out of West Palm Beach, Florida, Josh Harden (Duck) created a video capturing the many styles and personalities of the WPB skate scene. Showcasing many generations of the area’s skate culture, Duck decided to focus on filming primarily with his friends and other local talent. The video has two full parts, one of Dom Tejeda and the other of Colin Brothers. In addition there’s a mix of smaller cameos of skaters from around the States who Duck knows.
The video has a hometown feel, sprinkled with some contributed footage from friends on the East and West Coasts. I decided to catch up with Duck, Dom, and Colin to obtain a little insight into how they initially began skating on their own, and how they subsequently started skating together. Then I took a deeper dive into what helped make this video possible.
JOSH "DUCK" HARDIN:
Josh "Duck" Hardin was born in Miami and moved to Loxahatchee ,Florida “in the woods outside West Palm Beach” when he was 11. As he told it, “I’ve been filming since I was like 13. It started with my parents’ old VHS camera, f**king around filming my friends in my driveway. The first camera I bought was a GL-1 Raynox setup when I was 15, and I eventually sold it on eBay for enough money to get a VX. Funny thing is that I got the VX from an adult video eBay account! That thing got stolen in Miami a year later though. Around 2010 my (now) fiancé got me a VX MK1 for Christmas. That was nuts!”
“How I got the nickname ‘Duck’ is dumbest story. I was a freshman in high school, and these dudes that skated, who would put their stuff out on the website kinesisfilms.com, just started fucking with me and calling me that...but it stuck. Meeting new people, I’d never shake someone’s hand and introduce myself as Duck. It’s funny though, because the majority of people never remember my real name.”
“It seems like I’ve been filming forever. I’ve always had plans to put a video together but just never got around to it. I broke my arm skating in the beginning of 2020. It was shitty. I had three surgeries and I was in the hospital for two weeks. So after that I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m just going to film from now on.’ So then filming got a little more serious.”
After asking Duck about his past, we moved into discussing Duck Tapes and how it evolved into a full length video. He said, “So this video started with me filming Dom and Jack Bartolucci for Duplex 2, a South Florida independent video series. Dom got some footage they didn’t use, so I thought ‘fuck it, let’s finally make a video.’ I hit up Colin about filming a part because we would always film together...so then it was on!”
Duck told me he actually wanted to premiere it in 2021, but getting everyone together was tough: “I work full time Job at Sabal Design. We build bars, which people like me consider God’s work! Getting together with Colin can be challenging as well. He’s a lone wolf. Although he’s got a good eye for spots, he doesn’t like being on a heavy session. I respect that so much. Also he has a wife and 3 kids and runs a business, so he’s busy as fuck. Most of the time when we’d go out it would be late night after us working all day. Then Dom’s another story. He’s a manager at a bar so he has way different hours. He wants to skate when I’m working my 9-to-5, so we’d do more daylight and some night time sessions. With all the other homies, it’s always a random link or hit up like ‘Yo, I just found this thing, let’s hit it tonight’, and I’m always down. That’s just how clips should happen.”
With regard to delaying the release date, Duck mentioned he felt that everybody needed to be happier with their footage, so they decided to wait. But a little delay in the release turned out to be worthwhile. He said, “Mike Mag is always traveling the world, but when he’s home he always hits me up. Two weeks before the premiere, we filmed two more clips, so I pulled him out of the friends section and gave him a mini part. Charlie Cassidy hooked it up with the sick NY section, that was so rad. All those dudes are from here originally. Jesse Braun in Cleveland blessed me with Bagel’s footage. Bagel is my fucking boy. I couldn’t have made a video without bagel in it.”
After wrapping up filming and editing the video, Duck decided to have a premier in West Palm Beach. With some relief, he said, “It was at two of my good friends’ shop. They actually insisted I premiere the video at their warehouse. It was a super sick turnout.” Indeed it was a good video and everybody at the premier enjoyed it. If you watch the video to the end, you’ll see the magic: quoting Duck, “Max Van Arnem forever, we keep pushing for you.”
"I got hooked on heroin gnarly,” Colin told me. “After my tenure at a homeless center, I got shipped down to a halfway house in West Palm Beach. That was 10 years ago! Life has changed dramatically.”
For the first five years Colin lived here he wasn’t involved at all in the WPB skate scene. He said, “I met Andrew Considine when we were both going through some shitty times with our girlfriends. We just skated through all that together. Also our homies had moved to California and we were just down to skate. He said they got sparked: “So we got a VX and just started filming stuff, messing around. It’s funny because all that footage got lost but it served it’s purpose. We survived the rough times! I got back with my girlfriend, now my wife.”
“Around the same time Andrew and I were skating together, I met Duck. That led to us just skating here and there. Duck got hurt, and to fill the void he picked up the VX with the goal of putting a video out, which would include me. I love skating and never really had someone down to film me like that. Duck just gets me juiced and has a similar eye for what I like. I think the monotony of adult life gets pretty drab so having an outlet and something to show for it was the drive. I wasted a lot of years getting wasted while watching friends build and join skate companies. I’m not out for any of that stuff, but just getting out there skating is fun. In addition, I will say the death of our friend Max Van Arnem lit a fire under our ass to get me and Duck out there skating with a mutual goal.”
Colin construction sign wallie - Photo by Justin Fuller
With regard to his personal life, Colin admitted, “Yeah I have three kids with my wife Jenny. She rules! It’s not easy to get out and film or do much of anything with a one, four, and eight year old. In my daily routine I work a full time job Monday through Friday at a treatment center and only get out to skate at night typically. If I’m not doing stuff with the kids and my wife Jenny or working in the evenings, I’m out there lurking or fixing a spot that’s not a spot. Sometimes I think the seeking is more gratifying than the skating.”
Colin told me he was stoked to film a part for a local video, “I mean it’s pretty much all West Palm Beach. It’s not the aesthetic I was looking for, but it allowed me to get out at night and film in the pretty small windows of time I had with everything going on in my life. The scene here has a cool history. What got me sparked and still does are the Shred Shed videos, Noise videos, and all Duplex homies. It reminds me of what the NYC scene used to be - super insular and on an island of its own. The industry didn’t really care about NYC when I was a kid. It’s blown out now. Within the last ten years Florida went from being low key and slept on to breeding insane skaters. Seeing these local people essentially takeover the industry is wild!”
Thanks Colin! Is there anything else you’d like to share?
“Duck is such a skate rat and so down for anything to make it happen. Good egg that Duck! Big love for my family: Jenny, Seamus, Flynne, and Dashiell; and to WKND, the GFR’s and KTD’s. And to the readers here, tell your friends you love them and ask for help should you need it.”
Originally from West Palm Beach, Dom told me he got into skating with his cousins. He said, “They just had an extra board lying around which they gave me, and I just kept with it.”
“I damn near work a full time job now. I’m a bartender so my schedule’s kinda crazy. Most nights I don’t get home until 4:00 or 5:00 am. And if you get caught up in drinking, shit definitely takes a toll on you at some point. That’s where it becomes a little difficult getting myself motivated to go skate. It’s usually easier to get everyone else out to skate and film. I would say it’s harder to get myself out there, lol!”
When I asked him how he met Duck, he recalled, “I’m pretty sure I met him through mutual homies, and I started filming with him while trying to film stuff for the Duplex videos. After that Duck decided he wanted to put out a video with me in it. Most of time we filmed at night due to everyone’s schedules. By the time everyone got off work and we all met up the sun was already going down. It’s sick filming with Duck! It feels just like any other day skating with everyone. We have a few spots in West Palm, but not many though. We’re only an hour away from Miami, so it kinda just makes more sense to go down there if we’ve got a full day to skate.
Being from Florida myself, I asked Dom how he liked skating year round here. The summers can be hot! “The footage is kinda all year round but it always feels like summer down here. It’s just always hot and humid,” he admitted.
Is there anything else you’d like to share Dom?
‘Yes, shout out to Duck and the Duplex homies.”
It was really fun and interesting interviewing these three gents. I gained a lot of insight into the local West Palm Beach skate scene and the different paths that brought them there. Seeing a skate scene developing in a relatively small town like this and the enthusiasm of the local skaters is exiting. Now, make sure to watch Duck tapesI!