This is the first time I've ever reviewed a video on Nose Wheelie. Now you may be wondering why I decided on this particular title. A more natural choice might be one of the Sector 9 or Gravity videos, or maybe reach into the skategeezer past for something like Skateboard Madness or Five Summer Stories. First of all, this is a classic. If you don't agree with me, you haven't watched it lately. Plus, it's readily available. You should have no trouble ordering it through your skate shot or directly through Powell-Peralta, (805) 964-1330.
Well, what makes this such a good video. A lot of things. First, Tony Hawk. It can be said that Tony Hawk wrote the book on vert skating. This is a chance to see him when he was starting to put together his notes. Tony was about 17 when this was shot (actually he looks more like he's 13, all knees and elbows, but an incredible skater). You could probably say that what Tony Hawk did for vert skating, Rodney Mullen did for street skating. The video features Mullen doing the most incredible tricks imaginable. But probably the main reason I chose this video is that it has some of the best downhill sliding action ever caught on tape.
The video is broken into a number of different sequences. The first and longest is called "Good Morning, Mr. Mountain," featuring Lance Mountain skating around various L.A. skate spots. Lots of old school street skating, bonelesses, cess slides, and that sort of thing, plus pool riding, a cool little irrigation ditch, and a trip to Venice Beach to watch Per Welinder do some phenomenal flatland freestyle. I think what makes this work so well is the way the transitions are handled. At one point, Mountain picks up a skate mag with an interview with Rodney Mullen and they cut to Mullen doing freestyle. Later, he goes into a skate shop and sees a Tony Hawk model deck and they go to Tony Hawk shredding the big pool at Del Mar Skate Ranch. You'll be simply amazed by the stuff he was pulling off more than a decade ago. Mountain skates his way through all of this, riding whatever he encounters on the way.
I don't know what it is, but surf and skateboard movies always show whoever driving to the next spot, like if you didn't see them pulling up in a car you'd be confused about how they got there. I probably can't even count how much time I've spent fast forwarding through surf and skate videos. You really don't need to see them get out of the car, take the boards off the roof and walk down the cliffs every time they hit a new spot. It's like dirty movies. Nobody cares about the inane banter between the cable repairman and the lonely housewife. We want to see the action. But here, you have Mountain skating, which at least gives you something interesting to look at between spots.
The next sequence is called "The Downhill Slide," and this alone would make it worth picking up the video. I only recognized one of the skaters, Stacy Peralta. There isn't a single longboard, but still you have some of the most awesome Coleman slides and variations thereof that you could imagine. You see 360 slides, both frontside and backside, slides to fakie, and they always manage to straighten it out and keep on going. Most of it is shot from a moving truck at a low angle, so you can really see the slides unfolding before you.
The rest of the video is a number of short sequences. "The Mountain Manner" shows some solid backyard ramp action, marred only by some hokey spectator reaction shots. "The Amazing Mr. Mullen" shows the most incredible freestyle stuff, including a backwards space walk and some kickflips that are so complicated that you have to watch them three or four times to figure out what it is he's doing. Next is bowl-riding action from the "Del Mar Spring Nationals" and the "Upland Turkey Shoot." "The Broken Bones Brigade" is a collection of wipe outs and tricks gone awry, including what happens when your buddy runs you into the back of a station wagon when Coleman sliding. Finally, the video ends with a bunch of shots of the skaters just screwing around on their boards. Skateboarding seems to take itself so seriously, it's good to see guys just having fun.
This is a great video. I've watched it about a dozen times, and unless I'm looking for something in particular, I've never had to fast-forward through the boring parts, because there are none. I'm sure the bulk of the credit should go to director, Stacy Peralta. He put together a video that is not just good action, but very watchable as well. I don't know whether this was the first skateboard company promotional video, but it is definitely one of the best. It's what skate company promo videos want to be when they grow up.
Nose Wheelie, except where noted otherwise, was written and created by Chris Sturhann.
Copyright © 1999 Chris Sturhann