Chris Hall and his skateboarding career may have thrived in a time when skateboarding was at one of its low points-the early 90s-but the innovation that came from him and those he looked up to (Ocean Howell, Pepe Martinez, Mark Gonzales, among others) during the time was crucial to street skating’s evolution. It’s their shoveting, reverting, manualing, and shuffling that has lessened the monotony of simply jumping “down.”
After logging time skating for Venture, Dogtown, New Deal, Underworld Element, Vision Street Wear, and Airwalk, Chris fell out of love with skateboarding and moved on to other things. He always kept a slight foot in the skateboarding door, residing between DC, NYC, and Toronto, and keeping good friends like Reese Forbes, but it wasn’t until he started hanging around with up-and-comer Darren Harper that he got the itch again. “He needed help in getting sponsors,” says Chris. People were fronting on him, so I took it upon myself to help him go where I already went. I know he has what it takes, and I needed to show the skate world what was up with him.”
To help his buddy out, Chris liquidated nearly his entire vintage sneaker collection, purchased a VX, and got back on his board. He’s currently in the middle of assembling Get Familiar, an East Coast-based video featuring Darren along with other friends and favorites Reese, Gino Iannucci, Quim Cardona, Zach Lyons, Mark Appleyard, and many more.
Since Top Five and Last Words didn’t exist in Chris’ pro times, we figured we’d give him minis of each. We’re thinking of it as due justice considering he didn’t get much recognition in the mag back then. And the last photo we ran of him-a frontside five-0 in a pool ten years ago-wasn’t exactly representative of what he really brought to skateboarding’s table. So now he owes us … a fresh video in the least.
Mini Top Fives
1. Sean Sheffey.
2. Pepe Martinez.
3. Matt Hensley.
4. Jeremy Klein-please believe it. He was sick!
5. Brian Lotti.
Spots Outside DC
1. OG Embarcadero.
2. Beasly Park in Hamilton, Ontario.
3. Witch’s Brew coffee house in Long Island, New York.
4. OG Huntington High.
5. Flushing Meadow Park.
Sneakers You’re Going To Regret Selling
1. Nike Dynasty.
2. OG Nike AJ 1s.
3. OG adidas Americanas.
4. OG adidas Rod Lavers.
5. OG Nike AF1 snakeskin.
Skaters From DC
1. Sean Sheffey.
2. Pepe Martinez.
3. Jimmy Pelletier.
4. John Igei.
5. Brian Tucci.
1. All Indian food.
2. Pho soup.
3. Vietnamese sandwiches.
4. Mongolian barbecue.
5. Moma T’s in Long Island.
Skaters To Film
1. Darren Harper.
2. Zach Lyons-if he has any tricks.
3. Brian Tucci.
4. Justin Bokma.
5. Mark Appleyard.
1. Rob Sonic.
2. Chuck D.
3. Pete Nice.
4. Kool G Rap.
5. Lord Finesse.
Mini Last Words
Last loss: Pepe Martinez.
Last sneakers you were hyped on: I can’t remember.
Last free skateboard product: A box from Reese Forbes.
Last trick: Ollie to tail on a bank.
Last bad move: Trying to film Mike Tyson in Harlem.
Last acquisition: Mac G4.
Last gift you got your girl: A book.
Last person you filmed: Rob Sonic.
Last skateboarding check: I still get them daily, son.
Last photo in a mag: This one.
Last unfinished project: My sneaker book.
Last time you had hair: 1997.
Last thing that motivated you: Watching Darren Harper switch front shove over a Jersey barrier.
Last good rap single: They still have singles? What’s the point? All rappers today suck.
Last home away from home: My girl’s apartment in the Bronx.
Last order: I ordered Zach Lyons to do a trick at Flushing.
Last resolution: To make a dope skate video.