Skateboarding’s Beloved Soundtracks: The Kinks

The Kinks

The Kinks

While it’s not hard to believe, the fact that skateboarding can have such synergy with a song or an artist tracing back to the 1960s is still astonishing. The Kinks’ peaceful sounds and ability to harmonize makes them a more unpredictable choice for SBS, but their ability to change attitudes and tones give skate videos an extra bit of personality and warmth that many other bands/genre’s fail to emulate. The Kinks’ music can’t be tuned to just any skateboarder; rather, they happen to cater to those with an impeccable choice of tricks and creative lines. Moreover, there’s something to say about a video part that both you and your grandfather could vibe with.

We’ve put together a selection showcasing the varying ways in which the Kinks’ music has been utilized in skate videos.

5. Tom Knox, SML Wheels
For Tom Knox’s recent SML Wheels edit, master editor Jacob Harris dug into the vaults and found ‘This Strange Effect’, a never-released Kinks song from 1965. Web parts of late have self-aggrandizing tendencies, but the mellow song keeps this part from taking itself too seriously. Most of this footage may be mostly Vase offcuts, but there are still plenty of gems sprinkled throughout, such as the line ending with the gap to backside lipslide and the backside 50-50 B/S nollie out. The highlight of the part is easily Chris Jones’ nose manual up and into the bank. No word on if The Kinks make an appearance in Isle’s inaugural video offering.

4. Dave Caddo, Last of the Mohicans
The Kinks’ arena rock period is seldom heard in videos, so it makes sense that Joe Perrin chose ‘Sleepwalker’ for the elusive Dave Caddo’s part in Last of the Mohicans. One thing that struck me about this part is how well the sounds of skateboarding accompany the music. Caddo spends much of the part on two wheels, walls, or mid-line, creating a greater emphasis on the sounds of rolling. The transition on the lipslide to switch crooked grind syncs up with Davies’ change in tone, and the scoop of the B/S 360 coincides with Mick Avory’s drumbeat. The transition to nighttime clips and party footage is well done, if not a little obvious.

Fun fact: this is the only part listed that doesn’t feature a F/S 180 fakie 5-0 half cab.

3. Stefan Janoski, Inhabitants
Joe Castrucci is arguably responsible for the Kinks’ relative popularity within skateboarding, so it would be a disgrace to everyone involved if a Habitat video didn’t end up on our list. With that being said, this is by no means a pity entry. Stefan Janoski was on a tear in 2007, and there was no doubt that he’d have a career-defining part in Inhabitants. Janoski’s footage is some of the gnarliest skating he’s ever done, but the inclusion of “Animal Farm” keeps the part light and easy. What’s more, the song is practically engineered for a skate video, with plenty of breaks for long lines, slow-mo, and awkward pop-out tricks in Barcelona and Sacramento alike. The perfect transition from The Kinks to The Velvet Underground hammers section is just the icing on the cake.

2. Jack Sabback, iPath Promo
It’s easy to imagine Jack Sabback treating ‘Sunny Afternoon’ as a personal mantra after watching the iPath Promo. Roy Davies’ drawling, drunken rants pair excellently with Sabback’s laid-back style and meandering lines. Meanwhile, the rhythmic section (the piano, especially) drives the part forward and keeps the song upbeat enough to capture the long, balanced nosegrinds of the switch and backside varieties Sabback is infamous for. Take note of the F/S 50-50 through the corner to F/S 360 out, still a rarity by today’s standards.

1. Bobby Puleo, Static II
The message is clear from the opening lines of “Shangri-La”: Bobby Puleo is in his happy place spot-hunting through the seedy underbelly of any major city (in this case, London and New York City). “Shangri-La” is a upbeat song, and Josh Stewart chose to forego a build in skating for an all-out barrage of cellar doors, quick bumps, and bank-to-ledges the moment the instrumentals start. After the B/S 360 to camera beam combo, the song breaks and the viewer is treated to Puleo’s more precise skateboarding, such as the manual turn-around at the Verizon banks and the backside nosegrind through the kinks, as well as a few longer lines. “Shangri-La”‘s tempo compliments the cutty, fast-reflex skateboarding Puleo is known for,  and the song certainly played a role in making his Static II part a cult classic.


  1. Piri

    November 20, 2015 12:21am

    Hieroglyphics next please!


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