Welcome back to Tom’s Echo Chamber! If you aren’t already aware, my Echo Chamber is a small collection of stand-out videos/edits from the past few weeks that have really struck a chord with me. I like to imagine you sitting down with a coffee reading this, and gradually becoming increasingly hyped to get out and skate. But no matter where you are right now, I highly recommend you take a scroll through. This edition of the Echo Chamber is oozing unbelievable skating, so put the kettle on and get that massage gun charged up, because there is no way you’re going to want to do anything else but skate by the time you have watched all of this.
Franky Villani’s “417” New Balance Numeric Part
My list of top 5 (current) skaters probably consists of around 50/100 skaters, if you were to believe my claims over the past 12 months. So much so, it has now become a joke in the office here. Franky Villani, however, truly is 100% in my top 5 skaters. Maybe one day I will release my solid list of top 5 skaters, but that is going to take a lot of hair-pulling whilst whittling it down, so today is not the day. Just know that Franky is in it, for sure. My guy can skate pretty much whatever he wants, I’m honestly not sure what he is unable to do. On top of that, he is doing all of this whilst riding a 9.125” egg shape from Primitive Skateboards. Now, I love skating my egg, but there is no way I’m hucking it down gaps.
Franky’s newest part for New Balance Numeric celebrates his new pro-model for NB named the 417. This classic part is everything we have come to expect from Franky. A mix of crazy-tech, untouchable creativity, gnarly rails and huge gaps. Oh, and a bit of transition just for good measure too.
Max Peterson’s ‘Karma’ Part for OJ Wheels
I’ll be honest, I’ve never skated OJ Wheels. Nothing against them at all, I actually really like their vibe and aesthetic. The thing is, I’m a Spitfire or Loophole man, personally. I’ve just been burnt by other wheels flat spotting so often that I just don’t risk it any more. However, after watching Max Peterson’s new part for them, I’m very tempted. The dude is skating some serious crust in this part and the wheels look like they’re holding up really well. Ahhh the power of marketing ay… Anyway, this part is full of crazy-looking spots getting torn up by Max and there is even a Ben Raybourn (potentially another top 5 skater) clip thrown into the mix!
Joey O’Brien’s “Alien Workshop” Part
When I was a kid, Alien Workshop was one of the brands in the scene. So big in fact, that it had managed to subtly slip into the mainstream world. I will never forget seeing Simon Pegg in ‘Spaced’ wearing an Alien Workshop beanie and being super hyped. Lol. Nowadays, they are slightly more slept on by the younger generations and I’m not entirely sure why. Especially if you watch Joey O’Brien’s newest part for them! His trick selection combined with his hypnotising style is so so so so good. I’m an absolute sucker for skaters filming clips in shell-toe Adidas too, so there may be a slight bias here. You can thank Drake Jones for that… Being heavily east-coast based and masterfully shot by Chris Mulhern, this exudes heavy OG-era Workshop vibes. Exalt the new Alien Workshop!
Gustav Tønnesen Tiny Bumps
Another strong contender for my legit top 5 would have to be Gustav Tønnesen, which I think already takes us to 3 skaters mentioned within this blog holding a strong chance of being lucky enough to be on such a prestigious list.
This edit is a perfect example of why he has to be considered. Jed Pruett has done God’s work here, curating all of the clips of Gustav skating tiny bumps and mashed them all together. Who else on earth could film 1:49 minutes worth of skating on miniature spots? Louie Barletta, Colin Provost or Aaron Yant could potentially do a pretty good job, but there is just something about Gustav that makes it special. Perhaps it’s the fact that he towers over the spots with his tall frame, or perhaps it’s his effortless technical ability. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but whatever it is, I’m sure Gustav could probably skate it.
GROM: Jérôme Sossou for Ace Trucks
I love Ace trucks, I proudly refer to myself as an Ace man. Jérôme Sossou is also an Ace man, and his newest part for them is exactly what I would expect from a fellow ‘Pilot’. Great fits, even better style and the trick selection throughout were really sick. A few clips from this edit found themselves doing the rounds on Instagram and honestly, you could take pretty much any clip from this edit and I think it would do just as well. I hate to say it (no I don’t) but I think Jérôme could also qualify for my top 5 list too if he continues to skate like this.
Jameel Douglas in Magenta’s ‘Just Cruise 2’
I was skating the other day and someone near me started to say that Magenta was past it. Now, not only did that make me feel super old as I remember when they first came out, I also totally disagreed. In fact, it may have been one of the worst shouts I’ve heard in a long time. Although saying that, I am older now so perhaps I am now that grumpy generation that loves their era and anything new is superfluous to me.
Either way, Magenta Skateboards are one of the best brands out at the moment and Jameel’s newest part for them surely solidifies this for all those questioning Magenta’s place within the scene. Jameel has one of the best styles on a skateboard, potentially ever. He makes everything look painfully easy and he fits the Magenta vibe so well. He literally is just cruising around and shredding at the same time. I remember when they gave him a guest pro board last year (or the year before) and at the time I thought, “Damn, it would be so sick if he was just straight-up pro for them”. Obviously, I must have manifested this all into reality… It also goes without saying that Jameel is in the top 5 with Franky, no questions asked.
Caravan by Acid Mammoth
The album choice for this edition of the Echo Chamber has got to be Caravan by Acid Mammoth. I’ve gone for this album purely because I was at Desert Fest at the beginning of this month and I cannot get these riffs out of my head. Dudes rip!