Dylan Rieder 'Dylan'
As we say goodbye to another decade we feel it only fitting to pay tribute to the clips we believe to be among the most important of the past ten years. Of course skateboarding has changed dramatically over this period; new stars are constantly in their ascendancy and favourite names have sadly been lost along the way.
When the decade broke the full length video was still king, corporate footwear companies may have had a foothold but traditional skater owned brands still had the most traction and the idea of Instagram was little more than a twinkle in Kevin Systrom's eye. Stay Gold and Make Friends with the Colour Blue were the big releases of the year and, as that new dawn broke, the established norms of skateboarding media consumption remained strong. Then came DYLAN.
Much has been written about the tragic and untimely passing of Dylan Rieder. An otherworldly talent channeled through impossibly good looks and a style (both on and off the board) often imitated but never ever bettered, at this stage his legend is so well known it's almost impossible to imagine skateboarding without his influence. Hark back to 2010 though and the young man from Westminster, California was (to the outside world at least) just another promising talent.
Sure, his Transworld Time To Shine part had certainly turned a few heads and Alien Workshop's seminal release Mindfield hadn't done his career trajectory any harm but nobody could predict the seismic impact his part for Gravis Footwear was about to have. It's not hyperbolic to state this part changed it all; DYLAN introduced the idea of the stand alone part as something of merit, something to be worked for and something to be appreciated. And, most importantly, DYLAN introduced Dylan Rieder to the world stage - nothing was ever the same again.
Women's skateboarding has come into it's own since 2010 and, put simply, that has to be the best thing to happen in the past ten years. Though obviously women have been skating every bit as long as men, and trailblazers from Peggy Oki to Cara Beth Burnside and Elissa Steamer to Alexis Sablone have always been at the forefront of the media, these last few years have seen confidence grow in young girls the world over and stigma attached to the sport as it being "something for boys" has long been cast aside.
Over in the UK there's always been a scene; we sponsored Sam Bruce in the mid 00's, Jenna Selby has been producing female centric media for longer than most of the current crop of skater have been alive and the traditionally thought of "male dominated" skate park spaces have always striven to be just as welcoming to those with two X chromosomes.
But, with everything, there always has to be one name that rises to the top. And whilst non skate media may well try to kid itself that this position belongs to Leticia (don't get us wrong, we're big fans and have enjoyed seeing her progress from the promising child that first appeared at NASS all those years ago), those of us with a passion for skating know the crown really belongs to Nora Vasconcellos.
Think of her as a modern day Lance Mountain if you will; whilst others may technically be better in some regards, there's a certain X Factor that separates a real beloved star from the rest and Nora has that in spades. This twenty minute look into not only her history but her personality too was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring clips of the past ten years. Remind yourself of the brilliance of Nora Vasconcellos by watching it again below!
Nyjah 'Til Death'
Over the past ten years skateboard media production has gone into over drive. From Hellaclips to Thrasher, DVD's to instagram; quite simply there has never been as much skate content to consume, so committing to only four pieces out of one decade is a bit of a tall order!
Now we'll be the first to admit this isn't the kind of video we're playing to get hyped before a skate. A little bit of Gustav Tønnesenâ or Tiago Lemos is much more our kinda thing but there is no denying the meteoric rise of Nyjah Huston, culminating in this face melting (and sometimes rectilinear lense vomit inducing) part produced by Ty Evans.
Skate super-stardom is nothing new (Tony has carried the torch and so has Bam) but Nyjah seems to be in his own league right now. In a world where most of his peers have to work a job to make ends meet, Nyjah Huston is the rockstar the industry doesn't necessarily want to admit it needs. A child prodigy, raised in a skate park owning strict Rastafarian family, Nyjah single handedly took Street League by storm but also kept it "real" on the streets. That's if skating handrails Jamie Foy would wince at is considered real!
And this is definitely his biggest part to date, receiving over 6m views on Nike SB's official youtube account. It doesn't matter if you're not a fan of his 'fits or his playboy attitude - when you're selling advertising like this lad there's no denying you're the biggest thing of the 2010's.
Full Lengths Still Exist (Just)
As we've mentioned already, the skate media landscape looked very different ten years ago. Magazine readership, though dwindling, was still strong enough to maintain a decades old model and full length videos were pretty much the only game in town (discounting the obvious tour vid of course). But after 2010, and the release of DYLAN, Shane O'Neill's Pro Debut Part and New Year's Dae, the writing seemed on the wall and people have been decrying the downfall of the full length ever since.
Except it hasn't actually gone away. I mean, look at the list below (and these are just select few); there have been some truly memorable long player releases over the period and in 2019 the industry is still producing its fair share.
Highlights include 2010's Stay Gold and Prevent This Tragedy, 2011's Since Day One and In Search of the Miraculous, 2012 wasn't slouching with Pretty Sweet, Tweak the Beef or 5 Incher and the rest of the decade continued along the same pace (think Away Days, Made: Chapter's 1,2 & 3, The Deathwish Video etc etc. We'll stop listing before you get too bored!).
Basically as much as things change, things also stay the same. As skateboarders we obviously enjoy sharing our latest park clip with the homies and checking out our favourite pro's Insta story but we're also still madly in love with a cohesive linear structure and well crafted parts to music. There are no two ways about it, the full length inst going anywhere quite yet!
With that in mind, here are three of the best from 2019: The Sour Solution II, Baker 4 and Primitive's Encore. That's your next few hours sorted...
Thrasher Magazine - Baker 4
Primitive Skate - Encore