Lakai Fully Flared Video Premiere
Posted on Friday, November 23, 2007 by Jason
Fast forward to this past Friday when Alex Moul, John Muldoon (who flew out from Minneapolis just to see the Video), and I went and witnessed a barrage of new tricks and amazing videography the likes no one has seen.
My night started out with an early poker session with Mouly and Muldoon. We came up a little loot and headed out to the campus of UCLA where the Video was being premiered. We left super early so that we would have no chance of being late because of traffic. Then we went to grab a bite to eat at some little campus pizza/cafeteria joint and ate with Daewon, Haslam, Cooper Wilt, some other South Bay heads, Mike Sinclair and Josh Kalis. At the table right next to us was Jason Alexander (George from SEINFELD among other things). I really wanted to geek out and take a photo to start this article off with but I didn’t want to be the kook asking for his photo while he was eating with his friends, so I left it at that. Random celebrity sightings are one of my favorite pastimes here in SoCal. I was shopping at my local grocery store and saw Gene Wilder once (Willy Wonka himself). Enough of that, onto the Video!
Jake Phelps was on hand to intro the video as only Jake can. Lakai did a co-op Thrasher shoe so it seemed fitting that Jake would be the one to do it. Right off the bat the Video starts with the most amazing intros. I thought that the beginning montage for Yeah Right! was super sick, but this one topped even those. I guess when you’ve got the resources that Spike Jones has, you can come up with some pretty creative stuff. I won’t spoil what the intros are, but it’ll blow your mind.
Every video needs a solid opener to come out swinging and Mike Mo Capaldi started this one off with fireworks. His part would be a precursor of things to come because he had so many ledge tricks that you’ve never seen before...it’s ridiculous. Nollie heel backside tailslide to bigspin? No problem. How about back tail to bigspin flip in a line, only to top himself by doing a switch back tail to bigspin flip on the next single trick? He of course kills stairs as he’s very well rounded but his ender is UNBELIEVABLE- fakie front crooks to fakie 360 flip out. Take a moment to think about that, is that even possible? Maybe Spike hooked them up with George Lucas and his THX magic they used for Star Wars or something, but either way the crowd erupted with that trick and it was on.
I’m not sure of the exact order of the guys in the video, because I was watching and not taking notes, but there were a few guys who had solid parts mixed in. Florida’s own Jeff Lenoce did what he does best with big nollie heels and perfect switch heels. Anthony Pappalardo skates those types of spots that if you go to them there’s no way you could do a single trick...and he’s filming entire parts on them. Much in the same vain as Bobby Puleo kills it, Pops is right along with him. There was a shared part with Scott Johnston and Rob Welsh in there doing what they do best, Rob’s cab fakie manual was super sick. There’s also a Royal Family montage in there as well to spice things up.
Now we get to some more surprises. One thing about this video is that nobody’s rink-dinking on ledges with 3-4 foot grinds. Everything is like 30ft. long and popped out in the middle. That is where the French Connection part comes in. The biggest surprise in the whole video was Jesus Fernandez. I’ve seen some stuff of him, but not a ton and this dude is seriously the best ledge dude out. Switch frontside lipslide to switch kickflip out, backside 270 kickflip to tailslide...like I said earlier, there are so many NEW tricks to be seen that it’s almost overwhelming. The rest of the French guys (who aren’t all French, but are lumped in there) also had totally standout parts. Lucas Puig and JB Gillet were great, but Jesus owned that part of the video.
Brandon Biebel is quickly becoming one of my favorites. His steeze is so sick. Lately we’ve been seeing him at our SPoTlight events and he’s been killing it (2nd at Manny Mania in NYC). He came up with a banger of a part since his last part in Yeah Right. Some highlights included a nose manual nollie flip down eight stairs, nollie heel nose manual on the three-stair in SF and tons of ledge tricks that I can’t remember at the time being and of course the illest manual tricks on nothing but the tallest of ledges and blocks. His pop is absolutely untouchable.
Rick Howard has always been one of my favorites. He’s been so good for so long (back to the Blockhead Video anyone?) and is always filming new tricks that it makes me feel like a total old pile of crap because I’m always trying to relearn stuff I did 15 years ago. Props to him for coming up with a great part in this Video as well.
The next few guys were probably the most anticipated. Who do you end with? Koston, Carroll, Guy, or Marc Johnson? Seriously a tough question. Mike Carroll is another guy who just keeps coming up with new stuff. His trick selection is the best. Back smith to backside flip out and back smith to 360 ollie out. The back smith to…whatever was also a theme in the video. All the U.S. guys did back smiths and the Frenchies did front smith combos. Kind of funny. Carroll even went back to Hubba Hideout and front feebled it.
Koston was next. That’s right, Koston had the 3rd to last part. That doesn’t say that he couldn’t have finished the video, but it tells you how good the next two parts were. Nobody needs to be told how good Koston is so I’ll spare you with the praise, but he had some serious bangers and a full part. Nollie back 180 fakie nose manual to switch front bigspin out on a picnic table and fakie 5-0 half cab kickflip out in the MIDDLE of a flat bar. Oh yeah, he’s got it like that.
So that brings us to Guy Mariano. He’s had two video parts in the last 15 years. Holy hell, it’s been 15 years since the first Blind Video came out. One more reason for me to feel like I’m about to take the dirt nap. Anyways, that was the world's introduction to Guy Mariano, then he laid low and came out with his Mouse part, only to leave us wondering when and if he would film another part again. It’s here and you’re not going to believe it. Here’s a couple of gems - nosebluntslide to nollie bisgpin heelflip, frontside tailslide 180 to front noseslide, frontside 180 to switch crooks to fakie flip, noselide to crooks on the silver Houston rail, and switch 360 flip to lipslide DOWN A HANDRAIL. His ender could’ve closed the Video - backside 270 to tailslide down about a 10-stair handrail.
So, the ender goes to MJ. I saw Marc just after the video got out and he looked like HELL. Mouly asked if he was wasted and he said, “No, I’ve been throwing up for two days because I was so nervous about the Video”. Think about that. It’s a ton of pressure to be saddled with the last part INSTEAD of Koston (who always has the last part) or Guy Mariano’s “comeback” part. It starts off normal, super sick and buttery lines like he always has, with creative spots and just all around classic MJ. But, it transitions into a slow-mo part that is off the charts. Frontside bluntslide bigspin flip out, half-cab nose manny to nollie heel bigspinflip out, switch nosebluntslide pop to backside nosebluntslide over a little obstacle and the list goes on and on. It just kept getting better and better. His part must’ve been 4-5 minutes long, but it was all the best stuff you’ve ever seen. I heard that he had something like 20 minutes of useable footage. Can you imagine trying to edit out Marc Johnson’s “throw away” footage? Probably could’ve made an ender part with the stuff he tossed out of the Video.
The video ended and everyone rushed outside to smoke, enjoy the festivities of whatever the night had in store for them (straight back the casino for me, Mouly, and Muldoon on our end) and now we just wait until it comes out and we can enjoy it over and over on our couches.