Within the first thirty seconds, almost immediately, the video starts with the ultimate hype track (and footage to match). House of Pain’s “Jump Around” set to mixed team footage of shredding Barcelona spots is more than enough to get any skater excited for the full video to come. And if that weren’t enough, The Gonz provides narration that skaters of all cultures and backgrounds can get down with. “…if you do something that’s really excellent, somebody has to do something that is excellent but in a different way.” Given his unpredictable ad hoc style, his words speak to skateboarding in one of the most meaningful ways possible.
The openers of the film, Lucas Puig and Rodrigo TX, fully represent the international and newly legendary skaters which make up the distinctive team that is adidas Skateboarding. And the way in which their parts are edited parallel the quality and unique genre of the skating itself. A full part from Mark Suciu and shared part from Na-kel Smith & Jake Donnelly further show the diversity of the team and pure ability that exemplify skateboarding as it really is. The perfect medley moves forward with a European urban life section, showing the reality that is skating in within a metropolitan hub: riding through thick crowds of oblivious pedestrians, waiting for trains in underground junctions, getting kicked out of spots, the blur of rapidly passing lights, and the chaos that strangely brings order to the wandering mind of skateboarders worldwide.
The transition is quick yet natural to a shared part featuring Gunes Ozdogan, Pete Eldridge, & Kevin Lowry. These three skaters all have styles that contrast distinctly yet share an element common to the smooth track of Dusty Springfield. To the American audience, we have two relatively new names sandwiching a modern legend in Eldridge, and the result is poetry. The next quick exchange brings us to the skating of Nestor Judkins and Miles Silvas. Nestor and Miles are both staples in their craft, with even more distinct styles and approaches to their wooden planks. From the dusty streets of California, to Asian marble and Parisian granite, nothing was excluded from the clips of these two, and the soothing tunes of New Order supplement the unforgiving vibe of Skepta (ft. Young Lord).
Lem Villemin promptly reminds us that he’s not only in the game, but killing said game with his smooth yet heavy street skating. The mainstream scene had not seen a full part from Lem in quite some time, so it was refreshing to see a solid block of clips from the strapping young Vietnamese German. And what better to segue into a Southbank montage… The local London team rippers and a worthy segment of other adidas riders stacked clips in the historic Southbank plaza via an edit that truly showed the significance and influence that one single spot can have. The Gonz and crew bring the hype right along to a shared part with Chewy Cannon, Benny Fairfax, & Blondey McCoy. Each of these dudes has their own different flavor that contribute to the extra special sauce that is London skateboarding. If only we could get interviews with these guys to see what the British equivalent of Wheaties are for them. Watch and admire. Skate and destroy. Perhaps nobody understands that mantra better than Aussie transplant and CA resident, Jack Fardell. Whoever coined the term ATV for skaters had this chap in mind, because he will absolutely wreck anything in his path (or even off the path). Lots of LA footage of Jack leads wonderfully into the following segment.
Although skateboarding has spread its wings in the best way, the worldwide culture still finds a true birthplace in Southern California. And thus, it was fitting for adidas to incorporate a full Los Angeles montage in its full video. This Away Day was in the City of Angels and ultimately revealed two new team riders to the skateboarding community – Marc Johnson and Daewon Song. American team skaters, joined by video opener Lucas Puig, cruise around the city in a classic Buick, looking for and skating spots, in true LA fashion, and it is a beautiful thing to witness. Irving nailed the energy of LA skateboarding with this section, and the introduction of two legends to the adidas family was well done to say the least. But this only lasted for a bit, the video showing a plane taking off from LAX for…
Australia. Straight Down Under with Dennis Durrant, a skater who’s new to the American scene but won’t take long to stick. Dennis’ ripping speaks for itself, and his Public Enemy track doesn’t hurt in bringing awareness to this dent in skateboarding. He shares a part with Raul Navarro, Spaniard and Barcelona local. The Australian and Spanish footage and styles complement each other so well, and they’re followed up by even other deserving rippers. The team is stacked, and clips don’t stop. Brazilian Klaus Bohms and Norwegian Gustav Tonneson make a great pair, because their approaches to skating are equally yet uniquely mind-blowing. The massive pop fresh from Brazil is on a separate scale from those quick feet of Gustav from Norway, but each will leave their mark on international skating.
Bringing it to the American homeland, Alec Majerus produced some heavy bangers for this feature. Away Days was expecting of some of this, but Alec blew the doors off with NBD kicker combos, switch stair game, and unpredictable hammers galore. A young gun followed a relatively young gun – Tyshawn Jones came out strong with his classic G street style. Bred by the unforgiving streets of Manhattan, Tyshawn made sure to show the world that he went to work for this video by rounding up sick clip after sick clip, even with an NDB Love Gap trick…
At this point in the video, the audience is wondering if the next part is the ender.. And the next skater to grace the screen: Silas Baxter-Neal. Thrasher’s 2008 Skater of the Year and all-around veteran ripper from the Northwest, Silas is a special breed. His quick feet, switch skills, and ledge wizardry haven’t faltered one bit, and his Away Days contribution couldn’t have disappointed even the most cynical of skate nerds. The Pixies narrated his lines and single tricks in a way that shared his skating so well. thank you Silas, and all of the adidas Skate team!
But wait… Credits weren’t rolling, but instead there was suspense building up to one more part. And then we saw Dennis Busenitz’s name on the screen. Busenitz, your favorite skater’s favorite skater, has been pushing boundaries as a pro skater for more than a decade, and is still, apparently, ending full-length blockbuster skate videos… His approach to skating is and always has been one of unpredictability and light-footed bewilderment. Some of the things we see Dennis do don’t make sense, and that’s why so many strive to skate like him. His control and and sureness when on the board are serious forces to absorb, even as a spectator. Not leak spoilers too hard, but he unleashes some hippie jumps that we couldn’t have imagined possible.
Away Days is wrap. With that, we’re stoked to see where adidas Skateboarding goes from here and how the team evolves and revolves the globe. If Snoop Dogg cameo’d in this one, who’s in the next? If skateboarding’s where it is now, where will it be then? “You have to go, go, go, go. You have to keep going,” said The Gonz in the outro of this video. Mark suggests to do it better, to do it harder, and to put your own spin on it. It’s crucial for skaters everywhere to push their own skating in whatever direction they want to or feel that they need to. Don’t feel pressure from the outside, but rather embrace influence.
Do you. Get out there. Create your own Away Days.