The first Shep Dawgs videos were named like the first Led Zeppelin albums and the comparison stayed true with Shep Dawgs 4 where it was clear the kids had grown into men with long hair the heavy metal chops to back it up. Not just being fans of the rock n roll life, but living it in that smoky bubble of Oceanside where the 70s are very much alive.
After Zeppelin released 4 they released Houses of the Holy and stopped numbering their albums. While one of the greatest Rock N Roll bands of all time got into studio experiments and cocaine after their 4th entry, the Shep Dawgs continue to produce another classic album.
Most of the team has gone on to bigger things since Vol 4. Let’s just do a tally to keep score. Riley went pro, Kirby went pro, Rowan went pro, Stephen Lawyer lost his mind and went Instagram famous, Tron made manbags the must-have skate accessory right now.
With skateboarding moving in whatever direction it is, the Shep Dawgs stay true to what they know, huge rails and heavy metal and blue jeans. It has to be noted that there is very little nonsense when it comes to tricks, there is a single step off trick in the whole video, provided by a homie (I think Noah Lora?) and the clothing is black t-shirts and blue jeans. This is skateboarding not a fashion show.
Taylor Smith starts the video with my favorite part. He has a trick selection and pop that sets him apart from the other dirty dudes. The good tweak of a foot on a back smith or a quick flipped and popped kickflip are all style points he has on everything. The flip lip had me thinking about Tom Penny. In my head he was the most “burnt” of the crew, while most others have gone on to bigger things I thought he was just hanging out smoking weed, but his part is my fav in the whole vid and I can’t wait to nervous and fan out when I see him at Grandeur.
I went to the premier as well, it was on the pier at the same stage where the first handrail was tried by Natas in 1980 something. Imagine if you played this video to them in that same hour and said, “THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL BECOME, TURN BACK ALL YE WHO NOT GRIND BIG” and made everyone pee their little neon shorts.
It was evening out on the pier and we didn’t see anyone we recognized because it was dark. But upon Instagram review and thrasher pics it appears that much of skateboarding celeb world made it out. We almost couldn’t see the video because we had to sit so far away, but better to be able to kind of see it then cram into a tiny bar and have someones head in way. Poor Anderson couldn’t see shit and just stared at the ocean, but he was digging the sound track which is good. Foreigner – To Much Time on My Hands has been stuck in my head all weekend.
Everyone delivers, and it doesn’t feel like anything was filler, which is good because the Thrasher interview was all about how they have real life jobs now and don’t get to skate as much. But you would never know it from the skating.
When Riley and Kirby’s parts come on the video really turns up the heat and gives high quality parts with monster rails and banger after banger. Between this part and Riley’s Lakai part he is performing at top form. The fact that he is Tony’s son doesn’t even cross my mind. I can imagine tony sat through that whole part saying “Holy shit I wish I could do that” And even better is how good Tony’s part in Saturday’s was. I imagine Riley had some jealousy over Tony’s vert tech.
The curved rail that both Riley and Kirby both buckle up and take the ride down that you have all already seen is a good example of how good these guys are. They are both stepping up to anything. When I watched Shep Dawgs 3 I thought they were men. Even though we are roughly the same age, they seemed like adults even living in the Carlsbad mansion. Now I see they have really come to full form. They are doing the gnarliest shit, and riding for the companies and going on the trips. They are living the dream they came up with in Shep 1, whatever it ended up being.
Kirby’s part comes right out of the gate mashing your skull into the ground. The opening chords come down on you with a sense of doom while he handplants over an 8-foot fence then does a line at the famous Oceanside bank with a Huf from ledge to ledge and a highspeed boardslide at the rail you’ve always looked at. It never lets up either, he goes full speed towed in from a girl on a chopper to fly over the bump to flat Shane O’Neil just had a thrasher cover switch flipping. He 360 flips the bump over street in Escondido. 360 flips are not a trick you can just send flying at 40 miles an hour, but Kirby is raw and real.
It’s a full-length video that doesn’t feel like they had to work to make it that long, and certainly aren’t making a big deal about if the full length is dead. This video feels inevitable. The level of ripping, the level of friendship, and the world they have created for themselves allows these to come out. I didn’t expect Shep Dawgs 5 but now I hope they never stop, and I hope it inspires more crews to keep at the dream. Keep making videos and maybe 10 years down the road all your homies will be pro and you can live like your idols.
After a bit of time running in similar circles with similar friends, nerding out about skating on twitter (@etb_scott) and a feature on his SkateFillet Podcast I finally got around to doing some skateboarding with Grant Fiero and fellow MSCSPB starting power forward Billy Jackson. Billy is good, he got it like that, like how you want it. He was trying some nosegrind – flip out variation on a little flatbar and just sitting in the nosegrind showed master control. This video shows some of that good, the stuff on the bump over rail is all really well done and looks way too easy. See you around boys.
A good friend of Bologna and issue 2 cover boy, I’ve never posted any Lenny footage on the blog.Austin has been out with some ankle problems but he has been getting back at it at Mark Park. This is a tws part from a little bit back. I walk past that rail he ollies over everyday at school and always think about it.
Stevie is has the sickest pop. Silky damn smooth and hes tall so his tricks are all way up there too. I see him at Alga, I see him at Granduer, he’s the truth. This part is all VX but Stevie comes through clean. The last few tricks will show you exactly what I mean.
The new Birdhouse video should be on your screen soon and to build hype here is Shawn Hale’s Thrasher part. This is one that got lost in the flood of skate videos to me, but his new part made me a bonafide fan and this part shows a lot of whats good from his Saturdays part.
check out my review of Saturday’s here
Skateboarding lost a legend this last week. No one in skateboarding doesn’t feel the heaviness in the air. Instagram is overflowing with love for him. Even when it is a painful time I hope it starts a conversation in skateboarding about alcohol abuse. So many great human beings have lost their lives, and many others have lost their careers living in this party atmosphere that skateboarding promotes. Skateboarding attracts some wonderful people, but often those people are allowed to slip into substance abuse just because they are talented. If you see your friends having a problem, say something. If you see a friend getting behind the wheel of a car drunk, say something. R.I.P P-Stone, you made skateboarding a better place and will continue to do so.
The Birdhouse premiere of Saturdays in Encinitas was exactly what I want to see at a premiere. Not packed, not too partied out, video played on time, everyone could see it and the skating was amazing. I must be getting less jaded or something because Saturdays was a wonderful time.
People in skateboarding like to act like they don’t get shocked by seeing pros and don’t fan out. I am the exact opposite of that calm persona. I get excited, maybe a little loud, I’ve caught myself exclaiming “IS THAT DAEWON SONG???” a little bit louder then I meant to say. This one was packed with A-list skateboard celebrities and the fan girl in me was screaming. I recognized most of the people there and my fan girl inside me was giddy. Maybe it’s because he is 6 feet tall and impeccably dressed but Tony Hawk looks like the man running the show, which he is I guess.
Before the video started Tony got up on stage and gave a short speech about why Birdhouse made a full length. Tony has seen plenty of amazing tricks in dozens of different styles but what made him want to make a video was seeing all the team skate together, and the camaraderie he saw.
“There was something I saw that was much more special than the demos, or getting things are street spots. It was almost a family dynamic.” Tony said, “There was this energy there that I just that was more important than anything I had seen in a long time.”
Think about how many teams Tony has been on. Bones Brigade in the 80’s, Birdhouse during The End, these are some of the most iconic teams that were on the same page starting together. It isn’t about the tricks, it’s about catching that magic when you are skating with your friends any trick is possible. Skateboarding can feel robotic and over planned, that feeling Tony is talking about is one of the greatest in not just skateboarding but in life.
There is a section of the video that isn’t in anyone’s part but captures this moment perfectly. They are skating a massive Hubba down a 5 block. The ledge is taller than Raybourn is to get onto. The whole team is there and Clint is wading waist deep into sewage slush to get boards out of the water, it is a full mission. Clive and Shawn Hale are both jumping on the Hubba and Jaws is jumping down the gap. You can just feel the electricity in the air. Each time one of them sticks it you can see the others just getting more pumped. Individually I don’t think any of them would have been able to do the tricks, but with the whole team there hyping everything they were all able to get their makes on that massive skate high. It’s something I wish more videos could portray because it is magic.
The rest of the video was enjoyable as well. Shawn Hale really stood out with a fantastic trick selection and spot choice, a major standout that I will be remembering for a while. Jaws has some flip tricks that impress because I’m so used to seeing him fold into a ball and fall from the sky. Tony even has a full part full of memorable moments. Clint and Clive are both ridiculously good and love em or hatem they are doing it big. They remind me of skateboarding’s “good ole southern boys”; Clive looks straight up out of an 80’s southern rock band and Clint has a crazed stare like Nebuchadnezzar by Blake. The skits are mercifully short and mostly clever. It was nice to see Tony use his pocketbook and name to get some real actors in. There is a Trailer Park Boys one and it is fantastic. It was all people that the skaters obviously were fans of so each one was special. Even though I think there was one body varial and Clint did a no-comply or two into a handrail, it was completely devoid of anything trendy.
Saturdays felt good. The small premiere in Tony’s hometown with family and friends probably helped, but there was a lot of love for skateboarding going on. Friends having fun playing on these skateboards, and even when it is as serious as a 20 stair, it’s still a ton of fun. Fun doesn’t have to confined to a red curb or Instagram, fun can be had in a full length off a room too.