April has been a great month for Dutch skateboard videography. Besides Essay/I relaunching the Quick Boys series, ahum, a few other, and mostly bigger videos were released this month. With the 100% Skateshop video by Jonas Sars still on the agenda and the knowledge that the second instalment of the Killahtapes videos starts premiering online on Monday, Essay/I figured it’s time for a few reviews on what we have seen so far.
Valuta Brand | IF YOU HAPPY WITH IT, IT'S OKAY
Valuta Brand is the brainchild of unofficial DSOTY Tjerk Oosting and Federico da Fies. Currently, they are one of the most productive outfits as their previous video was released only seven months ago. Seven months is a lifetime in this social media age, but if you want to release a new ten minute video after seven months, hard work is the way to go.
IF YOU HAPPY WITH IT, IT’S OKAY is divided into three parts and starts with a metro/public transport section. It’s dark and gritty, a perfect match to Tjerk’s hunched style, doing tricks in impossible corners, either through a metrocarriage or on banks that require checking in to be skated. This section looks dark and cold, and feels like the result of a winter long debate of “where are we going to skate today?”. Only the real ones would want to go skate a train station at the risk of their board getting thrown on the tracks, when really, you could just take the M52 to skatepark Noord, order a fresh mint tea and stay warm and safe.
The second part is a garage section, a proven formula with Ziggy Schaap’s No Service as the absolute masterpiece. This specific garage section is a little shorter but a good watch nonetheless. Accompanied by a lighter soundtrack than the metro section, we’re suddenly reminded that skating in winter is dark but can still be fun, instead of dark and dangerous. A big part of this section takes place inside a garage with a low manual pad/slappy curb/flat bar combination. This gives everyone ample opportunities to skate and thus we see Zak Gold slappying all corners, Aaron Tiekink backside smithing like no other, manual moves from Tjerk and King van den Ban before we see Matt Hay skating walls with holes in them. All the holes. Finally, Allard van der Veen does a noseblunt while going Mach 10 speed. Beautiful.
The last section is a King van den Ban part. Really, with a name like this you know you’re going to be good at something, but this guy really has it. Usually, when young skaters suddenly grow tall and big, their mind is not used to this new condition of heavy limbs and slower muscles, and it shows in the skaters style. This is not the case for King, who is clearly in the know of his body; he is the judge of his muscles while skating around the new courthouse spot, with power many teens can only dream of. Despite being partly filmed in winter, this is the first section of the video that feels nice and warm, we see a blue Valuta T-shirt being worn in a lot of clips, and that’s alright. In King, we can see the ultimate Noord-Holland-style skater emerge: a mix of the simple but high-speed tricks like Allard does them (like the crooked at 7:20) and the manual combinations like we’re used to seeing of Tjerk (8:29). If this is King’s only part ever, we’re okay with it. And if not, the capitol may soon be his.
Robbin de Wit – Form Follows Function
This is the shortest of the bunch, which is only logical as it is the only solo part. Robbin de Wit has been one of the most prolific Dutch skaters for a while now, and combined with Sneep, one of the most prolific Dutch filmers (ever?), you get this masterpiece. Even for a solo part it’s a bit short at 2 minutes 43, but the tricks don’t ly. We start at the courthouse, surely a wet dream spot for Robbin, with smooth and long curbs, enough material to do endless frontside crookeds, noseslides, grinds to revert, anything we know he can do is instantly enhanced by the eye-blinding marble of the courthouse. Followed by a nollie flip nosebluntslide while making it look like he’s going out for groceries, this part has already hit all of the right buttons. The part is combined with some of Robbin’s photography, making it feel like a thing that is completely his own, something that is here only because Robbin and Sneep want it to be; not because someone else wanted this part to exist. Personal highlight of the part is the bluntslide on a brick ledge that looks unskatable and impossible, but with enough wax, even this can be added to the endless list of objects Robbin has left his marks on. Is this the crustiest one? It could be, but does it matter when the bluntslide is so good?
This is the weirdest one of them all. Weird because it was all shot on an iPhone 7, which, to me, could be the newest version of the iPhone, but it could also be the oldest. All I know is that my Huawei doesn’t make films like this, and that’s all due to the Guiljam brothers being great filmmakers besides being great skateboarders. The video is all in black and white, and most of it is filmed in Rotterdam, the perfect city for a black and white video with all those high rise buildings around.
The Guiljam brothers don’t wear Big Boy pants or any other trendy stuff; everything about their style screams “I am a skaterat and I will do it like I want to”. This means adding a manual after an ollie into a bank, where most would have been content with simply riding away, or skating the big down ledge next to the Erasmus bridge not with simply one, long trick, but with two tricks, using the platform of the double set to pop on and off from.
The video is supplied with dates and thus we see time move from November to December, rain falling and sun shining, we're moving indoors and outdoor again. The whole video feels like we’re the onlooker, like maybe we shouldn’t be here because Marthyn or Reyndert are just trying to enjoy their lunch break skateboard session. The music is magical and tense, and I’m pretty sure finding the perfect song was a harder task than what they make some of these tricks look like. And if I’m really being metaphorical, the whole video feels like that one long ride-on 5-0 grind: it’s long but finished way too soon, I am the couple walking the last part of the stairs. Where did he come from? They don’t know, and neither do I, but I do know that I really want to log into the photo roll of the iPhone 7, there must be so much good stuff in there.
A video by Paul Mogwitz, who found it fitting to break his ankle straight after releasing this video. It is a gritty and grimey VX video, one of those edits that won’t make it onto the SLAP forum but will still pop up inside the YouTube VX algorithm. Just like the video above and beneath this one, it is filmed primarily in Rotterdam, still the most productive skate city in the country.
The video opens with Bjorn Barendse, a skater who was not on my radar, but if you skate a waxed curb in light pink trousers, you will find yourself on the radar. Actually, he wears these trousers almost all the time, judging by the amount of clips he has wearing them. A lengthy curb boardslide closes the part before we see one of Paul’s sculptures enter the scene. Paul is more than just a filmer and adds another layer with these sculptural animals, it makes this video more than just a homie vid. Woetoe enters with a nod from Sven Bezem Pluijmers, before Kim Butter pops up wearing a very Tom Karangelov-ish outfit. She redoes a trick she filmed for the Essay video, and that’s okay. Fucking one trick pony! Paul comes in with a haircut so heavy I didn’t see the trick. There are weird fisheye vigs and definitely some optical stabilisers doing their work when they shouldn’t.
Jules Winants gives himself the hype and motivation we should all give ourselves sometimes, before dropping in on a very red bike parking building. We make trips to the Hague and other places, a new video/lens combo is introduced, which would normally annoy me and now just makes me feel content. Paul is a man of many things and this filming technique is entirely his own. More creatures/sculptures show up, before we find ourselves in a Jannes Baar part.
I’ve been aware of Jannes for a while now, but was he always this good? Did he always hardflip over thrash cans or skate bump to bars? Maybe it’s the Panic boards that make him fly or the fact that filming with Paul is probably so much fun, but this really is a part that makes we want to go skate, and that’s a rare thing when you realise I wrote this whole review while it’s sunny and a weekend.
The last video is made by the legends that are Jimmy de Kok and Rachid Addou. This pairing is somewhat unexpected but still not so much, just like the filming: a TRV-900 with baby death lens. Not standard, but not weird. Rachid is the ultimate shorts-wearing skater in my book, maybe his Deventer roots prevent him from going 100% Lucas Puig but he is surely halfway there.
When the shorts party is over, an Emerica wearing Rob Maatman shows up, showing us that it really is not the new Vans deal, he’s really been this good since forever. D-Mac has clips, cool. This is the friends section, with a bunch of famous and legendary sideliners that would spicen up any sideline session. Tim Zom skates a curb before falling and probably breaking the ground, the same pavement these poor bystanders just walked on. And then, we move on to Laurens van Gurp and Pils, repeating the somewhat unexpected combinations of this video, but when you think about it, it’s really not that weird. Pils takes a Pils fall, and then Sjors Huybregts gets a bit of screen time, with a rollercoaster nose manual and a fast, one-two curb combination. Joey Verberkt! All the underground skaters get a clip, just like Tobias van Rooij, with his switch nose wheelie drop wheelie fakie flip out. He may or may not have bragged about this one to me. We move on to Tycho Henskens, Remco Stolze, Lars de Weerd, it doesn’t rime but it surely works out in the video.
We’re 8 minutes in and this is the feel good video of the year, at least of this article. All the people you wouldn’t expect but still expected had clips, the music is nice, the filming is good and somewhat different than usual because of the TRV-900, it’s all so nice. What am I forgetting?
Jimmy! Jimmy de Kok! The moustached, Chuck Taylor wearing rockstar really came through, as they/we/I say. The soundtrack turns into some kind of foreign, semi- epic, but still happy anthem. Wearing an all white outfit in Amsterdam is only a thing for real stars, Amsterdam is dirty and you really don’t want any tourist piss on your shirt. Mees has a clip to continue the general theme of this video, before Jimmy returns to finish it off with a heavy (but happy) rainbow rail and hippy jump. Maybe this is not the video that makes you go “woah, that is fucked” but more like “woah, that is unexpected but still cool”. And if the rumours are true and this really is Jimmy’s last part, well, salute to you.