- a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes; a fertilized ovum.
noun: zygote; plural noun: zygotes
The title itself, “Zygote,” implies the birth of a new life, the beginning of a new era. Element Skateboards has indeed been a staple skateboard company for years, but the last few years has proven to be a regeneration for the team and for the brand itself. From the early 2000s era of Jermey Wray, Bam Margera and Donny Barley to today’s crew including Evan Smith, Greyson Fletcher and Nyjah Huston, the skate team has remained at a top-tier quality. But they have evolved, just as skateboarding has as a whole.
The implication of the video’s name is absolutely met by quality, and we were excited to see every minute of the 11+ minute edit. Although not a “full-length” video, the clips include the entire team, push the limits of what is happening in skateboarding and remind us what it takes to make skateboarding insane again. Although not each member of the Element Skateboards team has more than a couple clips, everyone did contribute footage and a select few made substantial waves in the blogs and Instagram feeds of modern skateboarding.
Following a well directed video introduction, the first skater to grace the screen with proper clips was Mason Silva. A recent rookie who has quickly come up and into the eye of the skateboarding industry gives some solid pushes while rolling up to a perfect half cab flip over a hefty handicap ramp to bar. He then continues to lay down fifteen tricks that at least impress or flat-out blow minds. Following up the young rookie is a line-up that we must not forget – Mark Appleyard, Ray Barbee, Chad Tim Tim and Levi Brown. All legends in one regard or another. And then, Element, once again reminds us that their team is stacked to the top. The segment afterward includes Tom Schaar, Maders Apse and Greyson Fletcher, all standouts in their own generation. Schaar, child prodigy; Maders, Euro line master; and Greyson, the ultimate transition maniac. But the video is less than halfway over.
Despite a slight headache from witnessing all the ripping thus far, the show goes on, with a full part from Tyson Peterson no less. Making every trick look fun, even when we all know how impossible it is, is why he is so fun to watch. And he delivers a burly part for the audience. Skate nerds and passive viewers alike can appreciate Peterson’s approach to rails, banks, gaps and all. And fresh on the heels of new guy Tyson Peterson, well-known Nyjah shares a part with Dominick Walker. Both Nyjah and Dominick show up with hyphy, gap-heavy parts, complete with plenty of speed and hairy roll aways. Needless to say, the ripping is nonstop.
Brandon Westgate and Chris “Cookie” Colbourn join Ethan Loy and lesser known Jacopo Carozzi and Jaakko Ojanen to give us a thorough visual attack. Brandon’s speed and power are almost unmatched. Colbourn’s unique approach and creative trick selection is a breath of fresh air from almost any skater we’ve seen. And the rest of the Element team complement each other so well that it’s easy to forget they all ride for one brand, supporting a single message through the company. Element.. but wait.. It’s not over.
This whole time, wondering who would be the ender of the video, we see one more name come up on the screen. Evan Smith. And we knew when his name came up that this would, in fact, be the last part. Evan has been on top of his game, and on top of skateboarding’s game to be quite frank, for the last 5 years. Between Street League Finals appearances, mind-numbing video parts and his crushing demos all over the world, Evan may very well be on a path to SOTY 2016. But that only builds the excitement toward watching this last part. He did more flip tricks over rails than we expected, transferred places we didn’t see coming and constantly kept us on our toes. Evan’s one of the most unpredictable pro skaters in this world, and he kept up his reputation with this Zygote part.
It’s amazing, but not surprising, that Element selected Evan as last part for “Zygote.” First of all, he had a healthy amount of footage for it, especially compared to some of the team riders. But furthermore, he embraces the attitude of the brand, almost to a T. Element has always had an environmentally conscious ethos and a “do it differently” mentality. Evan’s the guy who, when given his “fifteen minutes of fame” during his introduction on live TV for Street League, presented the world with a piece of paper – sharpie’d on: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” He’s also the one who will never be anticipated. From his tricks, to his music and his wardrobe, he is the ultimate rolling stone, road warrior, and slowly becoming the industry’s favorite skater.
Cheers to Evan. And Cheers to you, Element. Here’s to the the 24 years you’ve been ripping. And to 24 more. The zygote is here…