The first Shep Dawgs videos were named like the first Led Zeppelin albums and the comparison stayed true with Shep Dawgs 4 where it was clear the kids had grown into men with long hair the heavy metal chops to back it up. Not just being fans of the rock n roll life, but living it in that smoky bubble of Oceanside where the 70s are very much alive.
After Zeppelin released 4 they released Houses of the Holy and stopped numbering their albums. While one of the greatest Rock N Roll bands of all time got into studio experiments and cocaine after their 4th entry, the Shep Dawgs continue to produce another classic album.
Most of the team has gone on to bigger things since Vol 4. Let’s just do a tally to keep score. Riley went pro, Kirby went pro, Rowan went pro, Stephen Lawyer lost his mind and went Instagram famous, Tron made manbags the must-have skate accessory right now.
With skateboarding moving in whatever direction it is, the Shep Dawgs stay true to what they know, huge rails and heavy metal and blue jeans. It has to be noted that there is very little nonsense when it comes to tricks, there is a single step off trick in the whole video, provided by a homie (I think Noah Lora?) and the clothing is black t-shirts and blue jeans. This is skateboarding not a fashion show.
Taylor Smith starts the video with my favorite part. He has a trick selection and pop that sets him apart from the other dirty dudes. The good tweak of a foot on a back smith or a quick flipped and popped kickflip are all style points he has on everything. The flip lip had me thinking about Tom Penny. In my head he was the most “burnt” of the crew, while most others have gone on to bigger things I thought he was just hanging out smoking weed, but his part is my fav in the whole vid and I can’t wait to nervous and fan out when I see him at Grandeur.
I went to the premier as well, it was on the pier at the same stage where the first handrail was tried by Natas in 1980 something. Imagine if you played this video to them in that same hour and said, “THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BECOME, TURN BACK ALL YE WHO NOT GRIND BIG” and made everyone pee their little neon shorts.
It was evening out on the pier and we didn’t see anyone we recognized because it was dark. But upon Instagram review and thrasher pics it appears that much of skateboarding celeb world made it out. We almost couldn’t see the video because we had to sit so far away, but better to be able to kind of see it then cram into a tiny bar and have someones head in way. Poor Anderson couldn’t see shit and just stared at the ocean, but he was digging the sound track which is good. Foreigner – To Much Time on My Hands has been stuck in my head all weekend.
Everyone delivers, and it doesn’t feel like anything was filler, which is good because the Thrasher interview was all about how they have real life jobs now and don’t get to skate as much. But you would never know it from the skating.
When Riley and Kirby’s parts come on the video really turns up the heat and gives high quality parts with monster rails and banger after banger. Between this part and Riley’s Lakai part he is performing at top form. The fact that he is Tony’s son doesn’t even cross my mind. I can imagine tony sat through that whole part saying “Holy shit I wish I could do that” And even better is how good Tony’s part in Saturday’s was. I imagine Riley had some jealousy over Tony’s vert tech.
The curved rail that both Riley and Kirby both buckle up and take the ride down that you have all already seen is a good example of how good these guys are. They are both stepping up to anything. When I watched Shep Dawgs 3 I thought they were men. Even though we are roughly the same age, they seemed like adults even living in the Carlsbad mansion. Now I see they have really come to full form. They are doing the gnarliest shit, and riding for the companies and going on the trips. They are living the dream they came up with in Shep 1, whatever it ended up being.
Kirby’s part comes right out of the gate mashing your skull into the ground. The opening chords come down on you with a sense of doom while he handplants over an 8-foot fence then does a line at the famous Oceanside bank with a Huf from ledge to ledge and a highspeed boardslide at the rail you’ve always looked at. It never lets up either, he goes full speed towed in from a girl on a chopper to fly over the bump to flat Shane O’Neil just had a thrasher cover switch flipping. He 360 flips the bump over street in Escondido. 360 flips are not a trick you can just send flying at 40 miles an hour, but Kirby is raw and real.
It’s a full-length video that doesn’t feel like they had to work to make it that long, and certainly aren’t making a big deal about if the full length is dead. This video feels inevitable. The level of ripping, the level of friendship, and the world they have created for themselves allows these to come out. I didn’t expect Shep Dawgs 5 but now I hope they never stop, and I hope it inspires more crews to keep at the dream. Keep making videos and maybe 10 years down the road all your homies will be pro and you can live like your idols.