Thursday, December 29, 2011
Speed Freaks was the first of two all encompassing videos released by Santa Cruz that showcased their entire wheel team. The other was Risk It, which is noted for Danny Way's almost successful 900 attempt as the ender. Given the sheer number of team riders, each video is long and full of lots of skating, sometimes great, sometimes not so hot and sometimes just a guy bombing a hill for twenty seconds. There were several notable individual parts, as well as shared parts and montages.
It's interesting to consider that Santa Cruz was a wheel sponsor to skaters who didn't ride for one of their board companies. Nowadays that doesn't seem strange, but in comparison to Powell Peralta, the other major wheel manufacturer, it was different. If you were sponsored by Powell, it was the complete package. Today they do sponsor separately for wheels and bearings, which makes better business sense, but back then, they did not.
As for Speed Freaks, the video followed the classic Santa Cruz format with lots of raw shredding and a soundtrack heavy on SST bands. There were not a lot of special effects or arty filler. Since the wheel team was so large, you were more than likely to find footage of pros that you only had sort of heard of or your favorite obscure skater alongside the bigger names of the day. It felt like you got to watch an everyday session. (From a production standpoint, a good number of the parts probably were filmed in a day or two since there were a lot of people.) I think this is part of the appeal of the video to me, in much the same way as the Neil Blender, Lance Mountain and O section from Ban This.
Speed Freaks included strong parts from Tom Knox, Eric Dressen, GSD, Mike Vallely and the ever quotable Jeff Grosso. There was footage from a SMA tour with Natas, Jim Thiebaud, Mickey Reyes and Julien Stranger in the mix as well. Finally there was also the classic antics of Neil Blender and Steve Claar goofing around at a thrift store. I'm leaving out a ton of stuff, but you can search it out on internet.
Note: One thing in the video was that the title graphic that introduced each rider included what size and type of wheel they rode.
Transworld - January 1990 Volume 8 Number 1