Anyway, to conclude, this part is a true return to form with an ender reminiscent of his first AHM part.
We are not going to lie, we LOVE!!! John Motta footage and his AHM1 part is his best part.
We could actually write a full essay about why we love John BUT… we already did that a while ago! Read our “Love Letter” to John Motta by clicking HERE but press play on the video above first to get inspired!
This is not just a post featuring John Motta, it is also part three of the new “A Happy Medium 4” series and it is our favorite part so far.
before we get into Motta’s part we have to tell you that both John Rob Moore’s part and the airplane graveyard section are absolutely packed with great stuff! Watch that and you will slowly get to our favorite part so far.
It is no secret that “We love John Motta’s skating“, from early on he showed us new ways to maneuver our board. Here are three reasons that make John’s “A Happy Medium 4” part a must watch.
Number 1: Even though it was a great concept we are glad he has finally come out of the tunnels.
Number 2: He is skating to a song by the same band he skated to in “A Happy Medium”
Number 3: He still is able to bring new tricks to the table.
Skateboarding is about many things, mostly it is about the skateboarder and his skateboard interacting together. This interaction begins with you learning to stand on the board, pushing, ollieing, shoving the board, nollie, fakie, switch or normal stance. Some learn faster, some slower, but the objective is the same; “Stay on the board.” This article is not about that, this is about getting off the board (and getting back on afterwards), walking or running with or without, maybe even away from the board.
Today we offer you a step by step analysis (lmao) of some of the most influential skaters who got off the board.
A Different Route.
Right off the bat, we start with two of the most classic walks caught on tape! At the same time, both Jason Dill and Louie Barletta use walking to get somewhere or to walk over something they could not get to by staying on the board. Louie’s might be a little more eccentric because not many people skate terraces like he did, but still, both these guys made a lot of people get off the board.
John Motta uses the same principle but instead of picking his board up and taking it with him, he chooses to leave it and jump on the next one. A technique, mostly used by filmers, while filming long lines, with a lot of ups and downs like stairs. Normally I’d go for the pickup but doing it John’s way creates a little more suspense about what is about to come next.
Cruising To The Spot.
I am not totally sure if Mike V just got back from an injury here or if he just has that much pent up punk rock Aggression, but Mr. Vallely does deserve his props for this ‘powerful cruise through the city’ style line! He manages to push skateboarding by keeping it true to his style of skating, whilst at the same time doing tricks that every skater would like to do, while going from one to another spot.
Vincent, on the other hand, seems like he just came from the corner store where he bought a soda, and on his way back, he noticed he could flip his board in there. Probably the most relaxed walk of the bunch, which contrasts quite nicely with Mr. V’s spurt.
The Bail To Pick up a.k.a. The Never Give Up.
This is a more recent phenomenon, ever since iPhone filming became an everyday thing, skaters started to worry less about wasting tape and thus happy accidents made it into our collective memory. The reason why we like this style of walking is because it makes everything seem so much more spontaneous, it reminds us of skating around with the homies, instead of the sometimes tedious process of perfecting things in front of the lens.
The Hop Off, Hop On.
The Hop off and Hop On is a method perfected by one of today’s most influential skaters: Mr. Kevin Rodrigues. He has a knack for wall riding, no comply flipping or throwing down his board (to hippy jump) and moving into the next trick. The great thing about this combination is that everybody can join in, just remember: the most important thing is the rhythm of your walk! Hesitation can sneak in and ruin an otherwise great line.
The Mid Trick Walk Along.
To be honest, a lot of these moves seem to come straight from a Louie Barletta, who should be on everybody’s favorite skater list by now. Go watch his parts and you will notice that the only difference is that these tricks are done in a serious manner, instead of with a weird hat and a Rod Stewart track. Anyway, you have to find the right trick and spot (a long slide) to do this but if you do the possibilities are endless.
Walk The Line.
This one doesn’t really need any explaining, does it?
Walking as a mode of skating.
A fancy way to say that walking can be the actual main dish instead of a side order that only add’s to the meal. Case and point CK1’s stroll on these metal arm rests, imagine him replacing that walk with a series of hippy jumps, it wouldn’t be the same right?
The Stop Walk And Roll.
This is the only section that doesn’t involve the board moving before hand, it is the simple idea of placing your board somewhere (very high in this case) and jumping on it. Most skaters use this to test out spots but very few use it as a means to an end, which it can be in the right hands. In our opinion, this is the little brother of the caveman nosegrind that Andrew Allen popularized a while back. We say little because everybody can try this one at almost every spot.
The Walk Home.
For the older skaters amongst us, this is a pretty common thing. You need to wrap up the session because your significant other wants to home and the baby needs to be fed, time to go, leave the board and take a walk home.
Last month marked the 15th birthday of the Nike SB Dunk, writing that story took me back into another zone and, as often happens, an interview pops up with John Motta (by Ripped Laces), an avid skater of the Dunk High. Now truth be told I had a big Arizona phase, a phase that consisted of me buying and friends gifting me local AZ videos, a nostalgic feeling that I was keen on revisiting. So I spent the weekend “researching” read, watching my favorite John Motta parts.
The whole thing started with the Daryl Angel and Ryan Lay’s Filmbot File part. I was already into Daryl’s skating but I did not know Ryan yet. So I started doing my Googles and found this video called “Peter Vlad’s Wonderful Horrible Life” in which a Ryan Lay had a part. P.V.W.H.L. is an underrated project, there were some amazing parts combined with people who skated like me, and it showed me, that people with lesser abilities could have parts that would made you want to go out and skate (weird right!?). That is not the case for John Motta though, his part was just great in all aspects, the songs, the spots, the trick selection and the editing, it all worked.
My first introduction to Mr.Motta’s skating came with this video part in “Peter Vlad’s Wonderful Horrible Life”.
That video sparked my interest, but as with many things: you are only as good as the last thing you put out. Luckily the next AZ video I saw was “A Happy Medium” and it was an instant classic. John’s part was my favorite right from the start. I watched the video almost every day, sometimes even multiple times a day and, truth be told, it never really dawned on me what made the part so appealing to me, looking back on it now it didn’t really influence my skating that much. I couldn’t wallie, wallride or do any of the hammer type stuff back then (I still can’t skate drops to this day). But maybe it just showed me a direction of skating I liked. It had a certain spot based approach, instead of just a trick based one. For instance, the wallride nollie to Banana slide at 3:05 or the pole jam wallride to pole jam at the 3:40 mark, those were things you couldn’t just do, you had to find or build those obstacles. It led me to find my “own” spots and come up with ideas for tricks to do there.
John’s “A Happy Medium” part.
After his “A Happy Medium” part came out, multiple other Motta parts got releaed. For instance, John’s parts in Skate Mental’s Am Chowder , and A Happy Medium 2 both parts were alright but they did not have the vibe that the two other parts had.
Almost at the same time as “A Happy Medium 2” came out, there where these rumors of something else dropping. And then all of a sudden some footage got dropped online via a secret “leak” which a guy on the infamous SLAP Forum found and used to create his own Motta part. On the forum the guy explains what happened:
“A while back I found an easter egg hidden on the Skate Mental website. I was on Motta’s team page and noticed a bolder font on one of his answers. I clicked on it and it brought me to a file hosting web page, I downloaded the file and it was exactly what the file name said, it was all of Motta’s raw unedited footage, also in the folder with the footage was a letter written and signed by Johns mom, basically saying John didn’t like his footage and wanted it hid on the site cuz while filming it the year before he had a bad bipolar episode causing him to be in and out of the hospital on meds for about half the year and that the doctor told him not to do anything physical, so he just wanted to hide the footage on the Skate Mental site and if someone found it that they could leak it or edit it, and I was that person so Here is what I did with it…let the leaking begin!!!”
Skate Mental Easter Egg Part
So basically this part is fan-made but the whole thing works so well that I ended up rewatching it for about a 100 times. It features some of John’s best and most innovative skating. It was the start of his current tunnel exploration phase and it features the elusive 360 flip FS Wallride, which to my knowledge had not been done before and has not really been done afterwards.
John has not been standing still and has put out multiple parts since then, but he has not been able to truly show the vibe of his current day skating in a way that correctly represents the vibe around the tunnels. But A “Happy Medium 4” is coming out this year, so maybe that will mark another new phase in an already interesting skate career. I know I am waiting to see it.
Photos by Matt Price.
Thanks to Ripped Laces for inspiring me to write this.
Text By Roland Hoogwater