You know those National Geographic tribe videos? The ones where they show a foreign society’s customs and survival techniques? A Happy Medium III can be catalogued with that collection. Sure, you’ve seen your favorite pros venture to their spots and ditches, but how the Arizonians go about interacting with these environments is incomparable. It’s like a seeing a local tribe leader sprint through his jungle after watching a scientist in a beige safari hat tip toeing along a trail. A Happy Medium III is a must have in any skate aficionado’s collection (order it). Without spoiling any of the heavier NBDs in this video, here are 12 choice frames from Buster O’Shea’s and Hunter O’Shea’s display of the AHM tribe. – Luke Callahan
1. The level of unorthodox aggression in Kody Kohlman‘s opening part could be summed with a still from either his boneless off of a plane, the insane drop-in from the top ledge at Lizard’s cover spot, or this massive backside 180 at a BMX track. To get the full AHM effect of this dusty floater, layer it with the synth of To The Happy Few.
2. Plenty of other “holy shit!” clips in this video. Another one that really stood out was Ted Schmitz‘s gap to wall ride. Clocking in at around two minutes, short and sweet, this was one of my favorite parts in the video. A lot of good skating in here, but I’m sure the John Maus track and golden hour lighting had something to do this being a personal favorite.
3. Tons of unusual approaches on this DVD. Jeff Stevens‘ latest collection of clips make up a big portion the video’s collective strangeness. There are many variations of hippie jumps, foot plants, and death defying two-wheel-slide drop-ins in this part, but he backs all of this up with a couple traditional handrail tricks as well. Always a treat to see what the hell this guy is coming up with.
4. Another stand out clip from this video is this boneless from Ray Nguyen. Really would have liked to have seen a photo of this one. Maybe we can make it happen when we’re all out there for the Pheonix C.U.T. stop. Ray, are you going to be around May 3rd?
5. Ryan Reyes‘ long list of other unique angles including his unmatched pole bonk game is another highlight of this video. One in particular was his six-stair ollie from power slide. Naturally, this left me thinking how far this one could go. 10, 12? To rail?
6. The “friends” section is an essential component of the fun-factor in this video. Cardboard-topped pole jams, a few more hippy jumps, and a fakie beni for good measure. These friendlier moves are peppered in between some heavy tricks through out this montage though. There is definitely a wide range of readings on the gnar scale, from nonchalant sunglass lines to Miles Canevello’s closing lipslide (easily amongst the gnarliest of all-time). I was especially hyped to see this section cut to Twin Shadow too. Does that make me a hipster? Maybe. Fuck it.
6. Derek Tracy‘s big-dude-beast-mode could be boiled down to a number of single frames from his part, but I think the baby Simba moment he recreated with teenager boils down the power perfectly. I was also digging the song selection in this part, even though Swayze already used it.
7. There is an Eric Thomas switch roll-in and the slam that stuck with me for a while after watching this video. It’s a weird spot to even try that on. There are a couple switch drop-ins in this part. He puts the backwards descent speciality to further use for his ender (another stand out clip) involving a roof, a loosely framed dog house, and a frontside 180. So much entertainment on this disc, even on the spot selection alone.
8. Speaking of entertaining spot selection, Aaron Homoki came through with dozens of them (as he usually does). Plenty of bone-crunching high to low in this part, which you expect to see from Jaws, but it’s also his park footage continues to take people by surprise. There was a lot of noise after his backside 360 flip melon during the premiere at TWS. Definitely one of my favorite tricks from his part.
9. I never knew I had claustrophobia until I saw John Motta‘s part in this video. Straight up Ninja Turtles. Some of the most memorable clips from this video are in this John’s. If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only bring one clip from this video with me, it would be Motta’s ender. I dropped a full beer after it at the premier. Youth Lagoon’s “Dropla” tied the above ground footage together nicely too.
10. A lot of stand out clips in Marshall Winter‘s part too. With his second-to-last trick being one of my favorite’s from this vid, this fast plant is up there as well. Look at that extension. I don’t even think he’s grabbed his board yet.
12. A Happy Medium III closes with the now-board-brand’s first pro, Johnrob Moore. This part is extremely loud with character, from to the all-over-the-map outfits, to the unusual trick combinations. There are tricks in this two-song closer that are equally as wild as his double plaid, sick day kit. This part definitely hits a 10 on the originality scale.
There are are over 90,000 other frames on this disc that you need to see on top of the 12 shown here. Josh Hawkins has an amazing part in this video and Nick Fiorini has some heavy tricks in here as well. Another essential component this video nails it on… Memorable/quotable lines: “Chicken dick, now it’s thick, Chicken dick, now it’s thick!” Get a copy.