Skateboarding’s Beloved Soundtracks: Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd, like skateboarding, is known to have a few different eras. Not everyone skated the exact same in those specific times, such as the vert-dominated 80’s or the focus of rails in the mid 2000’s, but the times had a distinct relation to what went down before a given period. Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, and Roger Waters all led the band at separate times, creating new sounds with each of these members. The time disparity between Pink Floyd’s releases and these following video parts only makes the band that much greater, as the songs serve the sections well and display their diversity over the course of their changes. Only bands with the scope and vision of Pink Floyd can truly elevate these sections to another level.

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5.) Tyler Surrey – Sk8mafia Am Video (2009) 

Song: “Ibiza Bar” from More, released in 1969

We initiate our list with the deepest cut of this edition of SBS: Pink Floyd edition, a song the least like the more common Pink Floyd sound. We all know Tyler Surrey was a skater raised on the 90’s when we watch him for almost 40 seconds skate a mostly flatground line with a kickflip over the rail in a Tom Penny sort-of-fashion. Surrey had that flow then that we know him by today, but you can tell he was still evolving at this early point in his career. When you get this deep into the band’s discography, you’re going to end up with a more unique edit, which rings true with this part holding the most nollie and switch tricks of this entire list. When David Gilmour rips into the guitar in the beginning of the song, it somehow makes that kickflip shifty over the rail even cooler (which is an ender in a part featured on this list). But, Surrey has a switch frontside flip into a street at 3:29 that looks flawless, only to be accentuated by Gilmour’s sonic guitar. Who would’ve thought that all of this could be included in a Sk8mafia video?

4.) Habitat’s Regal Road (2005)

Song: “Fearless” from Meddle, released in 1971

There’s an inside joke regarding this team that you have to play a few guitar chords to clench a spot of their ranks, but I hope every single Habitat-hopeful plays “Fearless”, because this song suits Habitat better than words could care to describe. Prior to The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd had Meddle, containing this anthem that needs to be paired with the band more whenever Pink Floyd gets a mention. Brennan Conroy tailors the clips to match the central ascending riff ending with a crash, marking a landing, popping a trick, or switching clips, creating a rhythm within the tour video. Standout moments include the star-studded ensemble: a technical Raymond Molinar, lots of Ed Selego, a rising Stefan Janoski, a wet-behind-the-ears Silas Baxter-Neal, and your dirty uncle Fred Gall. They all kill it and this clip shows how teams, ideally, feed off each other. In one park, Selego does a smooth back smith and a backside flip on a pyramid, with Silas doing a kickflip back nosebluntslide and Stefan popping off fronstide flips in a way only he can. The entire team skates on a top-tier level without the feeling of needing to kill themselves doing so.

TA Carve

3.) Dogtown and the Z-Boys “King for a Day” (2001)

Song: “Us and Them” from Dark Side of the Moon, released in 1972

If you haven’t seen this documentary eviscerating the inspiring origins of real skateboarding, educate yourself. This brief yet eloquent section cultivates the day-to-day progression of the Z-Boys and the non-intentions of doing so: “There were no precedents. They set precedents every single day they went out and rode,” says Glen E. Friedman. In its entirety, the progression felt organic: with the uncontrollable drought at the time in California, swimming pools were left emptied and droves of skaters flooded them. As these kids skated together, they were able to develop their own style as they pushed each other forward, all of which is explained with the drifting notes of “Us and Them” playing in the background. Irony fills this moment of the documentary, as this song that sounds like a dream with a subject of war plays for the explanation of these kids who were in a hostile, violent environment, but commented on each others’ smooth, surf-inspired style. This Pink Floyd classic fits in, but it is also cinematic. Each clip or photo shown in this sequence gets progressively more technical and stylish. Tony Alva carves over the light in non-Ty Evans slow motion, someone skates an improvised tombstone, then Marty Grimes carves over the same light as Alva while wearing a nearly identical outfit, but does it in his own style. As the visuals of the Dogtown skaters get paired with the soothing tune of Pink Floyd, Stacy Peralta created a symbiotic match.

2.) Mark Gutterman – Feel Free (2010)

Song: “Matilda Mother” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn, released in 1967

If this video part were dropped today, you would be seeing a lot more coverage of Mark Gutterman. Dare I say ahead of his time, this part embodies a lot of what we remember of Syd Barrett. It’s enigmatic with the trick selection, especially considering this came out in 2010 when every line had a 360 flip (this edit lacks a single one). Think about the concept of timing in this part: the song harkens back to fairy tales of childhood, while this part feels yanked out of the peak of the psychedelic 60’s. We don’t even get a note from Nick Mason’s drum-kit until 1:21 into the part/song. Its highly unusual to watch a video part that uses drums so late, as the percussion provides tempo and backbone to a part. In fact, Mark’s skating seems to be cued by Waters’ voice, I.E.: the held note of “waiting” at 0:37 when he powerslides a rock; more held notes as he lands a small gap skating down a hill in a parking garage at 0:45; “Oh, mother” ends when he lands on a slab at 2:12 when the next line begins as he hops over a big soon-to-be garden, and the heftiest push in the video at 2:48 matches Waters’ wailing close to the song’s end. Powerslides, film as a medium, and fakie flips push this part into the underrated category.

1.) Brian Anderson Welcome to Hell (1996)

Song: “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” from The Wall, released in 1979

Brian, if you’re reading this, thank you. Brian broke the mold of the typical street skater with his career. Probably the most equal amounts of power and style, BA skates to Pink Floyd’s most disco-like hit. As an east coast skater, he flows as if he was a Z-Boy himself in a past life. He skates everything between rails and transition, including a mixture of both as his ender. As Gilmour sings “We don’t need no thought control,” he transfers a guard rail into a bank after he grinds it. As B.A. ollies up a curb and over a small fence, he sways back and forth between the edges of the sidewalk, matching the guitar chords at :55. As the guitar fades during the most famous line of The Wall, the most iconic front blunt of all time goes down Hubba Hideout. . . midway through the part. Full of unique and instantly classic skating, it’s no wonder that B.A. made the list. He probably had the hardest song to pull off in a skate video as the mystery that sometimes surrounds what song is playing with the part isn’t present here. Utilizing the band’s top selling single, with over four million copies, it could have been a jarring experience hearing a song so familiar in Toy’s best video. Luckily for us, Brian delivered an even more jarring video part.

What other notable Pink Floyd parts do you guys like? Who do you think should skate to a Pink Floyd song next?

Comments

  1. topsyturbzy

    April 5, 2016 1:36am

    Nice picks (love the Gutterman and BA mentions) though I gotta suggest an honorable mention to Mike Maldonado’s part in Jump Off A Building.

    Reply

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