Articles / Sidewalk Magazine / Theories

STATIC IV

(Originally for Sidewalk Issue 215 (August ’14), but was cut due to space reasons.)

After what seems like an endless wait to reach the UK, Josh Stewart’s finale to the STATIC series has finally hit the shelves of shops over here. The opening shots of the NYC subway system accompanied with ominous bells serve appropriately, signifying the end of the era for Stewart. Ironically however, it was the dawn of one for me as STATIC IV is my introduction to the Static series as the first video was released when I was five years old… Regardless, like any informed skateboarder of my age group, all witnessing IV will do is encourage us to watch the series with a mature appreciation of the trajectory skateboarding has taken since then.

Opening Static IV is Polar’s resident yank, Aaron Herrington. If you’re a fan of Herrington, you already know he’s of the best when it comes to NYC/East Coast style skating and his delivery of one of many Frontside 5050 Backside 180 Outs. The variations of the trick seasoned throughout the video all look rad but Herrington’s mid ledge Frontside 5050 Backside Bigspin Out is superb. Precision pop over back to back bank to rail gaps, bluntslide drop down to bluntslide and flinging himself Backside 180 over a rail into about 10 inches of ride out that stand out, Herrington delivers a fantastic opener to what is surely one of the most definitive New York City videos for years to come.

Mark Wetzel follows on with a near miss car collision that will have you scrambling for your remote to rewind. With standout tricks being a Frontside 5050 Backside 360 out (mid ledge again…) and a wallride to nose manual – it’s refreshing to see the often imitated style of skateboarding Stewart’s videos helped encourage done properly. There’s also a Montage featuring Static heads from over the years which is elaborated on in Static V. Notably, riding on cars is sure to be the new in thing, as skateboarders are rapidly running out of objects to wallie and while the footage looks amazing, arguing with police about why you’re doing so is another battle. Therefore, if you take that bit of influence away from Static IV, save those filming sessions for midnight on a bank holiday Sunday for to minimize chances of a bust/hefty fine.

A main difference in Static IV and V is the emphasis on New York itself. Though the cinematography excels in its simplicity (less is more kids, rinse and repeat), I imagine with such excitement surrounding the video is the reason Stewart kept a far larger focus on actual skateboarding in IV and then chose to pay more attention to the visuals in V. Although more recurrent, it never tires or feels like the obligatory skyline shots to remind everyone it’s NYC heavy as recent videos have succumbed to with current trends. Throughout runs a motif of the NYC subway where ‘456’ frequently appears providing a nod to V which Stewart kept secret until release. While the opinion that ‘New York is the new Barcelona’ gaining more momentum each day, if ‘cherry’ was the teaser to make adolescent skateboarders want to travel to the Big Apple, then Static IV seals the deal.

As with Wetzel’s near collision, the traffic dodging continues with Pat Steiner showcasing an apparent invulnerability NYC skateboards have to cars. One of many outstanding musical moments alsomanifests itself as Steiner rolls away from a lengthy Fakie Frontside Noseslide Shove Out to brief soundtrack pause. Landscape Skateboards’ Snowy and Joey Pressey also share a part with Snowy providing extra credence to the 90s vibes thanks to him sporting dunks (#veryrare). Wallie Backside 360 at Southbank needs commending not only for obvious difficulty and height also

The Magenta crew all contribute to Static IV with a both a shared section and full part from Ben Gore, which includes likely the most fliptricks you’ll have seen from the company. If like me, your main introduction to Monsiers Magenta was Soliel Levant, then you will definitely be surprised that when not performing the most precise ninety degree skids ever done around a few corners, Leo Valls is content with blasting knee height tre flips with fellow Magenta main men Vivien Feil and Soy Panday joining in. Ben Gore, arguably the most obvious rider to actually do kickflips, goes for a mean gap to front wallride and wallie 180s a tree that is far Supreme to the one by a younger Olson from earlier this year… Further props given for the irony in a rider from a company notorious for not doing flip tricks, fearlessly delivering flip after flip down numerous hills.

Jake Johnson takes the penultimate, and my personal favourite, section of Static IV. While the wallie and wallride continue to climb in popularity; Jake takes it to a level beyond with this part. Firstly, huge props to Props to Ryan Garshell (of GX1000) for the handling of most of jkjhnsn’s footage for Mr Stewart. Out of the whole video this was the hardest to talk about because I watched it without making any notes whatsoever the first time and continued to simply bask in stoke on further viewings. Kicking off where Mind Field finished, Jake deliveries several switch wallride’s early into his part followed by a wallie to frontside wallride later on to be received with a torrent of ‘huh?’ and ‘how?’. Also for the keen eyed, there’s a switch pole jam recently touched on by AVE that will no doubt have forum lukrers arguing over who wore it better…I honestly feel however if it was any other skateboarder, the wallride variations would feel overdone but Jake’s affinity for the trick and the magnitude they are delivered at warrant perfect justification. My only critique of Jake’s part is the lack of flip tricks. Simply because all of Jake’s fliptricks look so good it’s a true shame we aren’t treated to them more often (re-watch Jake’s Mind Field part for evidence). Finally that insane wallride, you know the one, is in there and, just…fuck!

After another visual treat of the NYC subway system we are left with Quim Cardona to end the video. Wallies and tight landings are handled in abundance with Quim’s first trick being the possibly NBD call provoking wallie up some stairs followed a seriously interesting backside 180 out of a…bank to rail only Deawon would consider a spot. Aside from a bad noseslide to fakie of which I’m hesitant to use the term due to lack of slide, Quilt Bedcovers lives up the expectations set for this part. Bins get bonked, poles are jammed, 5050s taken to above knee high ledges and rails and most impressively a nine set gets wallie gapped over.

As well known by now, Josh Stewart spent so long dedicated to Static IV, he also produced Static V rather than let the footage go to waste. Therefore, viewing of both is mandatory for the full experience and the head count is so high I couldn’t talk about everyone involved I had this entire issue to. As said, whereas Static IV focuses more on the skateboarding, Static V provides more cinematography and showcases New York in its beauty. Kevin Tierney opens V with various bits of night footage and bangers on NYC skate landmarks; highlights being a 5050 up Black Hubba and a seriously lengthy Fakie Front Nose across the Flushing Meadows grate gap. Tierney definitely deserves more recognition so if you’re unfamiliar with him, after watching Static V, fire up your search engine for footage and check his semi-recent interview on Jenkem Mag, the dude kills it! Yonnie Cruz follows on with another memorable part delivering various lines from block to block, the odd cab/360 here and there with a style slightly reminiscent of 90s Dill…but maybe it’s just the Sideshow Bob hair.

Thrown in are also montages of several Static/Stewart stalwarts and associates which makes Static V seem longer of the two videos. The music used in both is fitting, though odd at times with an acapella version of ‘Heard it Through the Grape Vine’ accompanying Steve Brandi’s part working perfectly. Rounding off this actual final video to the Static series is Hopp’s head honcho Jahmal Williams. After Stewart said “Basically, the way I ended up releasing it was pretty much the only way I could include all of the skaters I wanted to include and also the only way I could give both Jahmal and Quim a last part.” I doubt anyone expected two full videos. After viewing Jahmal’s part also, you’ll understand why Josh saw this as necessary; pushing 40 with a double song part is certainly ender worthy, more so when its more tech than anyone else in either video. Josh really needs applauding for his dedication filming not just Static IV but the entire series and documentation of East Coast skateboarding as a whole for generations to come. Rather than just watching the parts that are available online, go buy the DVD as it’s a piece of skateboard history. Massive props again to Josh Stewart and be sure to pester your local for some Theories of Atlantis gear!

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