In the beginning of the 2013, we were flipping through the Jan/Feb issue of Focus Magazine to get our fix before heading out to skate with the crew. Right as we reached the last couple of pages of the issue, we were practically forced to take a double-take. The Photo Incentives section of the mag featured an image of the all to familiar LOVE park & within the photo, someone was bluntsliding across the entire ledge, with those obnoxious pink planters in place, while wearing a pair of DC Lynx. After looking at the date of the mag in order to reassure ourselves that we hadn’t picked up an older issue, we knew that this had to be an older photo. After all, how could someone be skating a pair of DC Lynx in 2012-13? It’s impossible. Well, we were fucking wrong.
It was during a trip to Cali, our friends at Kinetic skate shop told us about Brian Panebianco. They said “Hey, you should try to talk to this guy. All he does is find & skates DC Lynx. It’s sick.” After getting in touch with Brian & seeing his collection, it makes this story that much crazier. The myth was true. Someone, rather than collecting skate shoes & leaving them in his closet in order to profit later,off of them, was actually skating them instead. And not just any type of skating. If the shoes weren’t already that big of a deal, he was skating them at the location where they had gather their following. Undoubtably, when thinking of the DC Lynx, your mind tends to wander to the LOVE park days. Was Brian using a time machine to get back to the times that we most treasured? If so, we want in.
This story is more than just skate shoes though. Brian also happens to be one part of the genius minds behind the Sabotage videos. The resurgence of East Coast skate vids has never been this strong. We knew that the series of Sabotage videos were bringing the east back, we just weren’t aware that it’d be happening in the same shoes we grew up loving.
How and Why do you skate these old skate shoes? How do you even find these original DC Lynx, Kalis’, etc?
Well, it’s weird because I never actually used to skate those shoes when they we’re available or sold. For some reason, I just never got them. I think my cousin had em and after that, I thought they were sick. They were just so much different from any other shoe at the time, especially at a time when shoe design was all going downhill, like it is now. It’s hard to find a good shoe that I like. I found em on a random site and they were all on sale. And they were like the last of the last production pairs of the Lynx.
Wait, so when did you start looking for DC Lynx online?
Probably around 2008-09. I had to get them on some random European shoe site. Like other sites that hardly sold skate shoes. I got em and I skated like 3 pairs and afterwards it was impossible to find them to a point where I started searching eBay everyday. Actually, I ended up going to Brian Wenning’s house one time and his basement is just flooded with boxes of old shoes, boards and I was kinda just looking through some stuff. Not trying to be too nosy or anything, but you know it’s just some cool shit to look at. While looking around, I found a pair of Lynx’s, original production, and I put one on and I was like “Dude, let me just get these off of you because they’ll probably just rot down here” and Wenning was like “Just take em”. So I was psyched and then I look down to put on the other shoe and realize that they’re were 2 left shoes. I was crushed man. I was just saying “how the fuck can this be possible!?” Then Wenning was like “Whatever, there’s more shoes over there too”. So I ended up pulling out a box of Lynx’s 2′s from the other side of the room and just skated them.
That’s fucking wild. Any other gems down there? Like Kalis’ or anything…
Yeah he has a ton of rare Habitat/Workshop boards and I’m sure way more shoes that I didn’t see. But The Kalis’, I actually got those a while ago. The Kalis 2′s, the Truth’s. They were a little big for me so I never really got too into skating them, I just wore them so they’re still pretty new looking. Then Chris Mulhern was doing this Hi-8 video that was suppose to take place, well it was suppose to take place in 98-99, even though the shoes came out like 2 years later. So I wore them for that clip and got a line in em. Just tried making the clip look real old, just tried to make it look different.
Has anybody else seen you skating those & asked you “What are you doing?!” because there are people that legitimately save those same shoes you’re skating in hopes of paying for their daughter’s college tuition one day.
Oh yeah, people are usually pretty hyped to see em, but that’s the thing. People put them in their closet & no one skates them. I got to admit though, I have some shoes saved and try not to ever skate so now I’m trying to get over it. Now, I’m trying to find another shoe to skate so I don’t ruin these (Lynx’s) because every year it gets twice as hard to find an original pair. I just got two pairs off of eBay and before that I was trying to get them for that Mulhern Hi-8 Clip. Now, they’re in my trunk but I really should put them away instead of getting tempted to skate them.
I looked up the Lynx’s not too long ago on eBAY and it was incredibly difficult to find anything. All I could find were like size 5′s and nothing else.
Yeah, you gotta catch em quick.
Is it just eBAY or do you have some secret other spots you have, European sites or something?
I used to do that. I’d google search in pretty much every country just to find them but in the end, the exchange rate would be too crazy so I’d never be able to get em. It’d basically cost me $200 in some countries.
In Sabotage 3, Dylan was wearing some pretty older shoes too. Is he on the same program as you? I did catch him skating DC Dompierre’s & even older than that, Accels.
Yeah, I gave him some Lynx HE’s. In my first line, in my part, I’m wearing the same shoes he’s skating in his part. They really fit his style so well that I just gave them to him. They even last so much longer than most of the shoes today. I mean, it’s not like I have to buy a shitload of Lynx’s just to film a part. They outlast anything else I’ve had.
Like you said earlier, the decline in quality skateboarding footwear is so intense that people forget how well the quality used to be. Seeing as how you’re skating shoes that are nothing like today’s offerings, what’s the main difference between the two?
Yeah, they were built to last and they used to have all sorts of technology to keep your feet from hurting. Now, it’s like a sock on your foot and you’ll get hurt out of nowhere. They just aren’t for me.
Of all the crazy things that were featured in the Sabotage 3, from the Bum fights to the borderline riot that you guys captured, most people tripped out on was those 2 clips of Brian Wenning in the video. How did that come together?
Well, I’ve known him for a bit. Just skating with him, on and off, at his local park. I only go down there because my girlfriend lives down there & when I’m there, I always tell him to come to LOVE but for some reason he’s pretty over it. Of all the times that I’ve asked him to come, he actually showed up an hour later that day. He just showed up with Ronson Lambert and this was around the time that he just got on Lockdown so they were pretty hyped on filming. He was just cruising around. He wasn’t really skating because it was crowded and I was trying to get him hyped by telling him to get a line and next thing you know, he pulled his tricks outta nowhere. Real quick.
I always heard that people like Wenning never lose their talent. Not matter what. That they’ll always be capable of doing the same tricks that they did back in their prime.
Yeah, I’ve skated with him at the skatepark and at one point, I didn’t think he had it anymore & then I look back & he’s doing switch back smiths, first try. He’s still got it. I’m not sure if the motivation is still there. For me, just to skate with him, from just growing up watching him, I don’t care what he does, it’s just sick, y’know? Just seeing him & being friends with him, it’s all pretty sick.
How did Sabotage even come about?
It was my friend Ryan Higgins. I’ve always filmed, but he had the whole idea of keeping it all together. We were all pretty much skating the same shit, with the same people. And he had all these crazy clips of bums, while I was down at LOVE filming. We just had clips & threw it all together. With Sabotage 2, I don’t even know if it was planned?! He had all this crazy footage & I had all this skate footage & I was just thinking that we were going to make a montage. We just ended up making a video that worked out well. Then we wanted to make a video that we would actually focus on (Sabotage 3).
So it came out natural is what you’re saying?
Yeah, it’s nothing really that planned.
Are you guys already filming for Sabotage 4?
We haven’t really discussed it, but that’s how it works. Right now, I’m just filming. I mean, if it doesn’t get used for something else then maybe we’ll make another video. I just don’t wanna know that I’m filming for another video.
It’s a pretty stock question but what’s the craziest shit you’ve ever seen at LOVE?
In my part, in Sabotage 2, there were these 2 girl bums fighting, well they were arguing. The next day, I think the smaller one stabbed the big one, but I got there 10 minutes after it happened. There was blood everywhere. They had already taken the body away. The cops kinda had taped everything off. Even though I didn’t see it happen, it was just gnarly how they left the blood there. They kinda powerwashed it now, but it was kinda weird because since that was a murder scene, they let us skate there. They weren’t worried about us. It takes something like that to get the cops from bothering us there.
Is LOVE still a bust? You guys don’t seem to have a problem getting footage there.
It’s doesn’t really show on footage but it’s really hard to get footage there. You can go down there all day & only get an hour but sometimes you can get the whole day. We’ve been skating there during the weekdays, all this week. Yesterday, we skated there for an hour & the day before I was skating/filming there with Dylan Sourbeer. But, the other day, the cops came there like 3 different times while we were trying to get a line. They were pissed. They came in from all different sides but once you see one, you know the rest of them are coming. The way LOVE is, with all the stairs, makes it kinda easy to get away while you’re in LOVE. When you run out into the street, they’re on bikes so they can chase you as long as they want. So you have to fake em out while you’re in there. Maybe run towards the municipal building because it’s all stairs.
You’ve seen the scene at LOVE from old video footage…i.e. Ricky, Stevie, Josh K, etc. Is there a distinct change between then & now?
I think there is but I don’t know. I’d like to think that it’s still the same because I grew up watching that skating. When I’m skating there, I wish it was still the same. I think the only thing that’s missing is having all the pro’s that used to live here. You’d just see people show up. I mean, I don’t even call anybody when I go there because everyone knows to just be there. I’m sure it was the same back then, like you wouldn’t have to call anybody to know that you should be at LOVE, especially on the weekend.
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor & get the latest Sabotage video. Thanks to Ben @ Kinetic for putting us in touch with Brian.