Kyle Beachy, skateboarding’s man of words suggested everyone write 300 words about the new Bronze video. I could very easily write 900 more but here it is. (go buy The Most Fun Thing)
You either hate the Bronze videos or love them. There is no middle ground. They either spark a joy and hopefulness that the next generation is going to be fine or they piss you off. They are disrespectful like a teenager on the internet and fully aware of what they are doing. This irreverence is what makes Bronze so special.
The first thing any hater mentions is the little non-skating clips used. From video game references to weird vaporwave clips from the stone age of the internet, I’ve heard people bemoan these as unnecessary. These moments are like a little treasure hunt to discover what it is a reference to. When you get the reference it feels like an inside joke. This is so much better than clips of birds in super 8 as b-roll. There is a world happening alongside the skating that keeps my adhd, internet rotten brain interested.
The music also moves beyond the idea that a video needs a connected “vibe” or that each skater’s song should represent them. The music is all over the place and the transitions are neck breaking. It will go from NYC rap to a euro club banger to hardcore within the same part. The music choice is another inside joke that makes the Bronze cinematic universe feel deeper than just what is on screen.
I should probably mention the skating and not just the editing choices. It doesn’t feel like anyone set out to “film a Bronze part”, rather it is just a collection of skaters who are good at getting tricks. It feels completely devoid of pressure unlike how a Ty Evans production does. For all of the irreverence that goes into the editing, the skating stands up with the greatest of them and shows a deep respect for trick selection and spot choice.
I recently spoke with Erick from Kinda Bummed mag about the creation of my zine. It was a great talk and he was happy to let me ramble about starting ETB and many other things. Go check it out and support Kinda Bummed holding it down in SD!
For the last eight years Eat The Bologna has been based in North County San Diego where I covered the local scene from my perspective. From right in the center of one of the healthiest skate scenes in the country I was able to show what it looked like to me. Now I am relocating to Portland Oregon and the zine will be coming with me. I am looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned and applying it somewhere new. Change is good.
ETB has always been hyper focused on my personal experience. I never wanted to be a source for information on the biggest local events or pretend to be any kind of authority on the local scene. In fact, I took pride in carving out my own slice of skateboarding in a place that was so saturated with skateboarders. It was always fun to me to show up at spots the day after seeing them get destroyed on Instagram. I enjoyed taking photos of my friends rather than the best skaters out. It was always about building up the locals.
I took a special pride in seeing the homies from the apartment complex I lived in come up. Watching Ozzy, Andy, and Smilers succeed fills me with joy and I can’t wait for more and more people to see what amazing skateboarders they are. The nights spent at Connor’s watching a new generation of kids learn how to kickflip together were some of the most pure moments of skateboarding I have ever experienced.
I will miss having dozens of great skateparks a short drive away. I will miss 365 days of perfect weather. I will miss Grandeur. I will miss smooth parking lots and icy red curbs. I will miss Lookback Library. I will miss Sheffey remembering my name at Alga. I will miss spot hunting with Josh.
There are also things I won’t miss. A scene that is so big is also a scene that is complacent. People don’t feel the need to be welcoming to new faces because there are already too many faces. People are taking what they can get and not giving back. People think they are cool and can surround themselves with others who will parrot that back at them.
Already in the short time I have spent in Portland I have been overwhelmed by the difference in attitude of the locals. People care about their scene and are willing to put in work to improve it. They are welcoming of some weird kid from California with little wheels. They are happy to enjoy the summertime because they know winter is coming.
So I look forward to bringing the same focus on my personal experience that I cultivated in California to Portland. I have already met people I want to interview and take photos of. I have found places that I love to skate that may not have perfect ground but have perfect vibes. I hope that my perspective can bring a new light to this scene. I hope to lift up the locals and get people excited to be where they are. ETB in PDX will be a new chapter. Vol. 2 starting now.
Skate videos are magical. I don’t watch television, I get antsy sitting through movies, I hardly even have the attention span to watch an instagram video, but when it comes to a full length skate video I am watching with every bit of focus zeroed in on the screen. Combine that with seeing my friends skating local spots and I am overcome with joy. Afterbirth hit me in the same spot as videos very near and dear to my heart like the Settlement videos or Double Guns.
The promos for the video were enough to get reviewing in the zine a few issues back. I had known they were making this video for a long time and was so happy to see it finally happen. I’ve been watching smaller projects by these dudes for years. The roots of hype for this video were planted a long time ago. When I moved to San Marcos my apartment was the same as Ozzy’s and I got to see him grow from a little quiet kid into a powerhouse of a skateboarder. At Mark Park I got to see these kids early on and it makes me so happy to see them out here doing it.
There can only be so many full lengths and single parts, but the 24 hours skate cycle requires more content every day. Just like 411 of old there are lots of other types of edits that are just used to fill the requirement of “content.” Here are my least favorite genres of skate edit that I’ve seen lately.
Raw edits with no B-roll
This is essentially just a part that is not edited, but worse because its IS edited but they tell us it is not. I don’t even care if it was first try and that’s all we get. I want to see the talks in between, the kickouts, the bails, the screaming and board breaking. I do not care to just watch the part a second time where you don’t have to pay music rights. Some of the Thrasher edits are better than others and give us a glimpse into the background of a part and this is where the gems come in. When I look back at videos of the past, I tend to talk more about weird bails, people talking, and other b-roll more than I talk about the banger tricks. Beagle tapes are what im looking for. If it is a rough cut, give me something more than just the song removed.
Another San Marcos area banger. Keep ’em coming guys
You know I always be putting on the San Marcos locals and these kids have been super enjoyable to watch come up. You can tell this is just a group of kids having the time of their life being young and going on skate adventures. It isn’t so much a video with full parts from anyone (which I would love to see) as a random collection of hijinx and clips.
The San Marcos homies are my favorite thing about skating in this town. I’m sure every city has its group of up and coming young bucks but these are MY local up and coming young bucks and therefore I love them.
They are gnarly and have an obvious love for making skate videos. They make the most out of the spots around them, seeing things that most other people haven’t ever touched. They are the ones bondo-ing the cracks and cutting off the kinks on the rails. They have an affinity for rolling off of roofs or rolling into terrifying banks. The section of Smilers skating into the drain during the rain had me screaming at my TV “Stop it!!!!” but that’s the thrills they are after.It’s the energy of GX1000 chasing hills but for a town without any hills.
In this video alone Andy takes like 3 horrific slams from the top rope, but that’s kind of just how his skating is. Make or break. His footplant over the wall at La-Z-Boy is legendary and for that alone he is going into the history books. Ozy has the same mysterious power found in greats like Heath or Shorty’s Steve Olsen. He will sit on the sidelines and then just do something crazy perfectly. He didn’t have that period of potential, he just woke up one day and was incredible.
In addition to the skating the video is filled with hijinx. The kid with the airsoft gun shooting smilers as he bonlesses off the roof and they play the voice message of the guy complaining about “Mexican kids on the fucking roof” is instant classic.
These kids are are filled with a love of skating that is contagious and I am so lucky that they are from my neighborhood crushing all the spots I see everyday. Today San Marcos, tomorrow the world.
Everybody else is making their best of lists so I figured why not throw in my dad hat. My criteria were solely based on what did I watch a lot that year and what I would still watch now. Hindsight is 2020 (haha) and a few videos I didn’t watch when they came out turned out to be classics and some that I loved turned aged poorly.
2010: The Shuffl Video
It was the year I moved from my small desert hometown to sunny San Diego and I really didn’t know what to expect. Skating went from being one of many hobbies to something much more important in my life. This Walker Ryan constructed VX video showed me all these spots right on my doorstep all skated with style and often switch. It felt like there was endless opportunity right in front of me. It is still a point of reference for many of the local spots in my brain.