December 7, 2016 2:41 PM   Subscribe

The Bones Brigade’s The Search for Animal Chin — the most successful skateboarding video of all time — turns 30 next year. YouTube. Previously.

Under the guidance of Tim Payne, the original Animal Chin ramp builder, a new Chin Ramp has been erected at Woodward West Skatepark in Tehachapi, California. The outcome was a near-identical ramp complete with extensions, channels, mini ramp on top of the deck and a full vert spine – a feature that hasn't been attempted again since its original creation. posted by porn in the woods (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
God I hope we can get some epic lists of fantastic skate videos in here. This one is legendary, but I'm still partial to things like Toy Machine's Welcome to Hell, Girl Yeah Right, Baker 3, Sorry and Really Sorry, and so many more. Time to go down a hole.
posted by gucci mane at 3:08 PM on December 7, 2016

Man, this has been a crappy day at the office...but this brings a smile to my face. Chin is, in fact, legendary, but Public Domain was always my jam back in the day. H-Street's Shackle Me Not, too. Yeah Right reins supreme. I do love watching fortysomething year old skaters shred...maybe Carl Jung was right about midlife being the shiz-nit.
posted by Bob Regular at 3:25 PM on December 7, 2016

That second video in the list is great - I had the biggest grin on my face watching the Bones Brigade tear it up all over again.
posted by awfurby at 3:42 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

I vividly remember the day the Chin video made it to my sleepy little market town in South Bucks. We were skating in the supermarket car park when our American friend rolled up all excited to tell us that his friend had got him a copy of the tape. We practically melted our wheels getting back to his house to watch it.

It totally blew our minds.

I found these films via /r/skateboarding a month or so ago and sent them to my old skating friends. Warm fuzzies all round. We all enjoyed the way Tommy G totally nopes out of skating the recreated ramp. Sensible chap. I hadn't realised how insanely gnarly the vert spine was.

So good to see the old Bones Brigade again, garish t-shirts and all.
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:09 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

I do love watching fortysomething year old skaters shred.

I think it's fiftysomething for the most part. My knees hurt watching the video.
posted by bongo_x at 4:30 PM on December 7, 2016

A good friend of mine got to skate the new chin ramp and will be featured in an upcoming vol. He said seeing the ramp on video doesn't do justice to how gnarly it is and the things Buckey was doing over the roll in and up the extension was bananas. All of these guys are in their late 30's to pushing 50 and it's mind-blowing they're still able to walk much less skate.
posted by photoslob at 4:33 PM on December 7, 2016

Nice post! I just introduced my son to Animal Chin--he's going to love this!

(I want to show him "Shackle me not," too, because the H Street team so completely blew the wheels off street skating as an art form with that video... "Animal Chin" has some great skating and was important for being so influential and helping establish skate videos as a format, but I remember how mind blowing and game changing that H Street video was at the time--that video all by itself completely revolutionized street skating; I think of "Animal Chin" as being more like skating's counterpart to "Endless Summer": it's as much about the camaraderie and lifestyle of skating and the romance of searching out new, hot skate spots as it is about the art of skating, which is part of what makes it such a classic to me, but also what sets it apart from "Shackle Me Not," although it's been so long since I've seen it, my impression might be wrong).
posted by saulgoodman at 4:55 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

"My name's Lance Mountain and I'm gearing up to get down"

I love that skate vid
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:59 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Schackle me not was a pivotal moment in skate history. I remember seeing it when it came out just thinking "fuck, the game has changed"
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

(I'm 42, I still shred)
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:02 PM on December 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

45 years old here, and I think about Animal Chin daily - how can I not - I've got a "Have you seen him sticker front and center on my fridge! :)
(First "real job in NYC was managing a skate shop... piles of vintage Powell and other decks in my photo studio. Always a talking point for my clients.)
One of my fav art acquisitions a couple years ago was a J Grant Brittain (who shot stills for Animal Chin among many others) print of Mullen.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:28 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ah, the summer of '87. The first time I ever got arrested was before the Animal Chin world premiere. We were skating the school and got jacked up by the university cops. I had a minor warrant for some shenanigans in the dorms the year before. "Ripping style, Holmes!"

So when the video was finally available to rent and I was then able to see it, it was incredible. Chin is such a unique video in the amount of navel-gazing involved, and yet we stole so many lines from it. "Yapple dapple!"

We built a ramp almost exactly like the one at the Richmond Playground, and our neighborhood elementary school had those same kickball walls. We did all the things. The "launchramps and streetplants" era was vital! "I'M talking TO you."

Other big videos for us in this era:
Public Domain (There is a taqueria near me called "La Cumbre," so I always sing that song when I walk by or go there)
Streets of Fire (particularly Natas)
Big Brother - Shit (a little later)
Blind - Video Days

And those with an interest should watch the Steve Rocco documentary. It's good!
posted by rhizome at 7:07 PM on December 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I got to meet Rodney Mullen this fall and I have never met anyone so genuine and charming in my life. He stuck around for at least an hour after his talk, taking questions and signing things for every single person who waited. He was incredible with the younger skaters who stayed to talk to him. They would start off shy and awkward in front of their hero, but Mullen would ask them questions about themselves and what they liked about skating until they were chatting away like old friends. It was wonderful!
posted by atropos at 7:25 PM on December 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

Speed Freaks from Santa Cruz Skateboards was always a big favorite of mine. Great soundtrack from SST Records, with Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and fIREHOSE.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:37 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

The original Chin Ramp was near the office of Transworld Skateboarding Magazine, where I worked at the time. I used to walk over and check it out but never got to skate it, other than a few quick padless kickturns.
posted by perhapses at 11:50 AM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved Animal Chin, and Lance Mountain, for some reason, always stuck out to me, and was as close as I got to idolizing a skater. I myself was a horrible skater, too chicken shit to really do anything, and could never figure out how to oliie, as sad as that is, but I loved my Lance Mountain board, and skated all over town on it.

(seriously, I don't know if I've ever loved something so much yet been so horrible at it)
posted by Ghidorah at 3:48 PM on December 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Gerrit Graham, of Phantom of the Paradise fame? Well, I'm sold!
posted by lumensimus at 5:11 PM on December 8, 2016

I was 14 years old in 1987 was about to start my freshman year of high school. I had just ended my first year on a skateboard and was comfortable with some basics. I could ride off of curbs and was learning how to kick turn on launch ramps. I was beginning to learn ollies and streetplants. I was getting my first grinds on the old railroad tracks on Boston Street. Essentially, I was a beginner but having a lot of fun with my friends. It was one of those friends, Jason, who had us all over to his house to watch a video he got at the local tape rental store. It was called The Search for Animal Chin.

I remember it was late July and it was hot and raining. My buddy was super excited to show us this tape he just rented. He pressed start and we saw the now famous fake news interview between Bob Burbanks and Allen Winners of Slash Skates. We were totally confused until Allen Winners told us what skaters really wanted:

“This gore type of blood and bullets and you know death and being crushed and brains coming out of the ear and that skull with the dagger through and that snot you know what I’m saying I mean It’s that death gore dismemberment ahh whole type of go for it type of thing and that’s ahh after all that is what skateboarding is all about”

Little did he know that it was EXACTLY what we wanted. We were hooked.

The rest of the video just smashed our skater brains. Wallows, Jim Thiebaud’s wall ride in San Francisco, Lance’s clowning, Johnny Rad, the Pink Motel and, of course, the Chin Ramp. We were Baltimore city street rats and vert was very hard to come by. Hell Ramp aside, the closest very ramp we knew of was 150 miles away in Ocean City. It didn’t stop us from trying to replicate every move we saw on a curb, on a bank or with a fingerboard. We build a cardboard replica of the ramp and made boards out of cut out deck graphics from Thrasher, hot wheels axels, paper and hot glue and skated that ramp like it was the real deal.

It may not be punk or core or hash to say it but I owe so much to the Bones Brigade. They inspired. They flew and the thrashed harder than anyone we had ever seen. In later years, to be a fan of the squeaky-clean Powell team was mocked. Many, including myself, had to keep that on the down low because we were peer pressured idiots. Now, behind closed doors, it was all Bones Brigade all the time with some Streets of Fire or Hocus Pokus mixed in.

So here we are, thirty years later. I still skate. I still am inspired all of the time by the Bones Brigade and I can now happily and proudly admit that they are the best ever. It comes as no surprise then that I shed tears of total joy when I watched Mike McGill, Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero and Tommy Guerrero reunite at the newly built replica of the Chin Ramp. I am so proud to be part of skateboarding and this shows what we are all capable of and what we all search for. It isn’t Animal Chin. It is the fun and energy that wooden toy gives us. Don’t take it for granted.
posted by extraheavymarcellus at 8:48 PM on December 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

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