Travel back in time with this vintage skate footage featuring: Chris “Gazelle” Biank, Peter Spierig, Chris Pawlowski, Mike Spierig, Josh Farrell, Jim Szarek. The video was uploaded to youtube by Zombiefish Media this past week and with a lot of people finding themselves at home with time on their hands, why not indulge in some skate nostalgia?
This video highlights one of my personal favorites to reminisce about: 90’s & early 2000’s era indoor skateparks. I’ve heard it before from people, and I agree that I feel more comfortable skating wooden/skatelite ramps than I do skating a concrete park. Maybe that’s just me being “soft” but at 33, I’m not a fan of being hurt. I don’t heal as quickly and I’d rather not be out for an extended amount of time between sessions due to injury.
Besides that though, there’s something about wooden ramps, especially indoor…it’s like when you skate 2nd Nature in Poughkeepsie, it adds something intangible to the session. Maybe it’s because at indoor parks, you are more cut off from so-called outsiders. Most recently, I got this feeling when I was working at Skatepark of Tampa this past summer. The team guys do an aftersesh once a week where it’s just a select few. Cut off from the outside world, skating with just the homies with no distractions it puts the session under a microscope in your memories that make it a special moment to go back to when you’re stuck sitting on the couch with your thoughts.
Take some highlights from skate history for example. You hear people talk about the old World Industries Skatepark. In NYC, people remember the Autumn Bowl, Winter bowl & other places. To poke a hole in my argument about wooden ramps for a minute, I feel like Shorty’s in Jersey had the same type of vibe to it. I’ve seen Skatepark of Tampa redesign the inside of the park every year for the last twenty-something years, and that’s the thing about private indoor parks and DIY’s they have a soul of sorts because they are always changing over time. These places are alive with ideas. As skaters, we interact with these environments and respond to them, adding to them, these places become a part of us in a way, and we a part of them.
Think about any favorite spot you’ve skated. I bet you can name at least a handful of tricks that went down, and your favorite person to watch skate there. Selfishly, you also have the tricks you’ve done there that are special to you. It’s why we battle with tricks at certain spots. Look at Joslin’s relationship to this 360 flip at you know where. I don’t even have to say it, everyone knows this stair set by name, even if you’ve never been there. It’s just the type of connections we make with our crazy world. The other thing we miss when we can’t get out there and skate…and to a greater extent as we get older and our crew thins out or changes, is skating with our crew of friends. Those bonds we make are unlike any other relationships we form. It’s why we still make crew videos to watch with our homies, like this crew making an edit of their trip to 2nd Nature:
That brings me back to the clips from Newburgh. SAVE YOUR FOOTAGE! No matter how lame some of the clips seem to you right now. Do yourself a favor and back those bad boys up. As you get older, or when you’re stuck inside and are looking for a side project it will come in handy. These clips from Newburgh capture the session back in ’94 with a crew you probably have never heard of. I have no idea where this park was or if it still exists but right about now I really wish I could skate it. This footage helps bring back the session to life years later, you’re gonna want to be doing that with your footage so don’t let it get stuck on your phone and ultimately lost. Can’t tell you how many missing mini-dv tapes and crashed hard drives I still have strong feelings about.