20. Zero “Thrill of it All”
“Mother” is an absolute banger, but any video that uses Danzig without acknowledging his contributions to Misfits is revisionist history. Those that don’t know the past are doomed to believe Michael Graves was cool.
19. World Industries “Rodney vs Daewon”
Ever wondered why the kid with greasy hair and dirty-ass fingernails at the skatepark has a rectangular skateboard? It’s because of this goddamn video. Daewon obviously had the better part–weird fashion choices aside–but all every kid ever wants to do is pogo their board like a mega-dork when they should be trying to switch bigflip some crusty gap in the parking lot of the world’s loneliest post office.
18. Adio “One Step Beyond”
One day, every kid in the mall was wearing the Adio Kenny Anderson even if they had never touched a skateboard. What the fuck was that about? Posers aren’t allowed to wear… shoes. I mean… they were special shoes, okay? This video was fucked because after it came out, anyone could look like they skated even though they couldn’t do anything but lovingly embrace skate fashion out of admiration.
17. Big Brother “Shit”
Instead of going to therapy and seeking to resolve their trauma, dudes in 1996 read “Big Brother” and had Depends parties.
16. Osiris “The Storm”
Before Osiris, skate shoes were regular. Normal people wore lots of different types of jeans with their skate shoes until the Frankensteins at Osiris decided to inject their shoes with steroids and ruin fashion for the next decade. Some of the skating in the video was great, but the shoes were corny and made everyone look like their feet were swollen. We still don’t know why everyone was playing paintball in the video though.
15. Emerica “This is Skateboarding”
Every kid watching this started as Kevin Long but morphed into Herman and Ellington by the end. Smokes. Wispy mustaches. Missing teeth. You name it. Those lovable little skate rats turned into haggard lifers over the course of an hour. “This is Skateboarding”? More like This Is Child Endangerment.
14. Baker “Baker 3”
It would be hard to argue that “Baker 3” is not a D.A.R.E. propaganda film secretly funded by the United States government. Watching it made me want to find AA meetings for my friends the second they started wearing tight pants and talking about David Bowie.
13. Transworld “Free Your Mind”
Taxi drivers are not your friend, and they want to skate with you only slightly more than they want to murder you. “Free Your Mind” made it seem like every dude driving a taxi was down to shred until I asked a man named Benjamin to drive me to the skate park. It came as a real surprise that Benjamin couldn’t kickflip frontside tailslide on a vert ramp or do anything besides leer menacingly at anyone who came within five feet of him.
12. Zoo York “Mixtape”
I hate to admit it, but this video made me believe I could afford to pay Wu-Tang Clan to record a track for a sponsor-me tape I sent to CCS. My parents spent my entire college savings account to cover those sessions, and all I got was sponsored by Swisher Sweets. Who needs college when you’ve got unlimited access to individually packaged blunt wraps that are intended to be used with tobacco products only?
11. Black Label “Label Kills”
Jason Adams and Mike Vallely empowered every dude over thirty with back problems to dust off the shred sled and do overly-aggressive powerslides for the next half-decade. This correlated with an immense uptick in opioids and armpit sweat in the parking lot of local skateparks as well. Correlation is not causation, but… we’re looking at you, Lucero.
10. Real “Real to Reel”
Pop quiz. Name one person who’s ever worn a pair of IPath Grasshoppers that could afford to live in San Francisco. None of ‘em. That’s how many. Not only did Real skateboards encourage unnecessarily huge ollies–RIP, Huf–it gave literally thousands of pimply-Midwestern hippies the belief that affordable housing existed in California.
9. Transworld “First Love”
This stupid video featuring Shiloh Greathouse skating to one of those songs from “Donnie Darko” inspired my best friend to get a tattoo of a skateboard on his forearm with the words “first love” around it. Do you even know how stupid skateboard tattoos look? Well if you don’t, let me tell you they do.
8. Habitat “Regal Road”
Habitat’s European tour and Kalis’s solo part presented the idea that classic rock is ideal music for a skate part. To everyone’s surprise, Captain Beefheart did not make anyone’s switch backside tailslides more impressive.
7. “Shake Junt’
“Shake Junt” made every dumbass kid at the skatepark feel like they were part of the Baker Boys crew. And since they were in the crew, these poor fools with uggggggly-ass griptape thought they could be sponsored without an Instagram story that Spanky regularly watches, a TikTok filled with bangers, OR a podcast. Hell, they barely had a Facebook presence. MySpace was sick though. Remember that? Shit. We do.
6. Emerica “Stay Gold”
This movie is absolutely nothing like the book. Seriously, I just kept wondering when the Piss Drunx were going to fight the Socs, but all I got was skateboarding. Where was Pony Boy, Dally, Soda Pop, and Darry? Huh? There was some sick skating, but why did Emerica make everyone think they needed to read a book before watching their new skate video?
5. Stereo “Way Out East”
Stereo skateboards briefly reminded everyone that NBC’s favorite mustachioed hillbilly Scientologist could still tre flip–thus opening the floodgates for other sub-par television star to start their own skate companies. Remember Steve Harvey’s curb wax? Nick Or Lachey’s hardware company? Thanks, Jason Lee.
4. Transworld “Modus Operandi”
Being as good as skating at skating as Muska is a tough ask, but I honestly though the beats I was making in my bedroom were way better than his. In fact I bought 25 copies of this video and edited my own songs over all the Muskabeatz songs, donated those videos to Goodwill, and I’m sure whoever owns those now loves those tracks.
3. Flip “Extremely Sorry”
It is entirely unclear whether or not I hallucinated parts of this video because I “watched” it after eating the bag of mushrooms that came with the DVD. I don’t know if it’s the head trauma, excessive amounts of psilocybin, or the weird claymation, but did Flip really have tricks from Shane Cross AND the guy who killed him in a drunk driving accident? Probably not. I’m gonna say I hallucinated that.
2. Habitat “Inhabitants”
More bird documentary than skate video, Habitat pushed a lot of kids out of skateboarding and into birding. The homies used to hang, but now they’re all, “Yo! Check out that yellow-tittied burblex!” or whatever. I mean, birding is kinda wholesome and I don’t know a single birder that’s overdosed in the last week, but still…
Besides being an open and shut case of blatant elder abuse, this video gave enough Bam Margera to last a lifetime. Was it funny? Sure. Were there some gnarly tricks? Some. Was it all worth it when skate shops turned into prank museums full of kids wearing H.I.M. shirts and spending all their money on the Dimmu Borgir discography instead of Spitfire tee shirts and Lucky bearings? I don’t think so.