We’ve reached the point in skateboarding where a Shane O’Neill video part drop is a cultural milestone. It’s teased, anticipated, and ultimately adored. He’s the technical messiah; he always ends up giving us more than we expect, and he’s always got some catchy indie/emo song that you end up adding to your playlist and get the warm fuzzies when it comes on. Levels, Shane’s latest, that was bestowed as the best video part of 2017, dropped on August 24, 2017, as the curtain-drop for his Nike SB Zoom Janoski High Tape. There’s a thing now in video parts, perhaps the ADD/social media addicted generation is to blame, where you start off with one of your biggest bangers. In this part, Shane flings his Ginsu-sharp switch kickflip across the Heath gap, and he certainly had our attention.
Assorted ramblings as we relive the part:
-Maybe Shane’s superpowers are in that hat?
-He’ll still get up on a Smith down an eighteen-stair handrail!
-No rail is too tall for his go-to bigspin front boardslide.
-The crooked grind, nollie flip to backside five-0 had us tripping.
-Switch 360 flip noseslide, heelflip to fakie out?!
-He just stands up casually on a beast of a five-0 down a round rail.
-Gives a nod to teammate P-Rod with the NAC at 1:32.
-Up in Seattle at Jim Hendrix’s high school, a bigflip front board on the crusty banister wasn’t enough, so he did it switch too.
-How is he always skating with his shoes untied?
-The tempo in the song picks up and Shane unleashes the backside 180 nosegrind to switch inward heel bigspin out. Did his board go in the river at that spot?!
-Then the savage handrail assault: switch heelflip feeble, switch flip front crooked grind, a huge switch flip back lip in Sacto and finally a bigspin back tail bigspin out. And the ender? Switch 360 flip noseblunt-slide, kickflip out. Take a deep breath.
Exactly three minutes that propelled technically clean skateboarding to the next level (get in), and further solidifies Shane’s name in the book of skateboarding’s most gifted.
Now, it’s important to look at who Shane was stacked up against—the other insane video parts of 2017. Because to be the best, you gotta beat the best:
-Cyrus in Call Me 917: Gnar eye candy, won our Best Rookie.
-PJ Ladd, Tricolor: The legend returns, and didn’t disappoint.
-Tiago Lemos, DC Promo: Otherworldly pop packaged in 90s style with Brazilian aggression.
-Riley Hawk, The Flare: Basically a seven-minute heavy metal solo of a part.
-Bobby De Keyzer, Riddles in Mathematics: Effortless board control, always doing it the hard way.
-Lucien Clarke, Palasonic: The toast of London, closing out Palace’s long awaited full-length.
-Bobby Worrest, LSD: Never ever puts out a mediocre part.
-Mike Anderson, LSD: Skills of a veteran and can really do anything on a board.
-Cole Wilson, Oddity: Just when we thought rail skating couldn’t get any crazier.
-Louie Lopez, West End: 2017’s golden child, our Readers’ Choice winner, probably the first runner up in this category.
-Jamie Foy, The Flat Earth: Big Boy Foy done good, first try front crooks down The Bull and other assorted stunts.
There were more, many more parts, but look at this list. Levels just had the total package. Thank you, Shane. Thanks for putting the work in that you do for these parts. They are much appreciated.