There has been a steady resurgence of nineties style in skateboarding recently. The VHS edits, the pale blue jeans, and the dad cap have all made their grand return to skateboarding. There’s no definite proof, but I’m going to credit Jesse Alba with the revival of nineties steeze, just take a look at how he’s been dressing for the past couple of years. People have been dressing like nineties kids for a minute, but now even big names are getting on the band wagon, most notably Supreme. Which brings me to the point of this article, “Boys of Summer” by Jeff Kutter.
First, if you haven’t gotten a chance to watch the video, go ahead and throw it on the ol’ film reel, it really is worth the watch. Even if you’re not a fan of the filming or skating, the extra clips and the rock/pop megahit soundtrack are not to be missed. But why is this hour long montage of skateboarding being heralded as the most important skate video of 2015? Secondly, why has skateboarding been flooded with so much nineties nostalgia recently? Jeff Kutter’s video and the neo-ninteites obsession are really one in the same. No one really misses the stiff, baggy style of the nineties (even though I have seen a few Tom Penny impersonators creeping around recently). What skateboarders miss about the nineties is the way people went about skating/filming and “Boys of Summer” captures the nature of the old skate video perfectly.
The skateboarding industry has been trending in two very different directions recently. On the one hand, there’s Nyjah and his cracker sponsor, and on the other, there’s Genesis and his shoves. From what I’ve been hearing from people, there is more hype surroundingGenesis’s skating. Why? Probably because the tricks that Genesis does are more relatable to the average skateboarder than most stunts at Street League. Boys of Summer and crews like the one Genesis is a part of, are echoing the lived experience of the skateboarder.
Most skateboarders aren’t going on three day filming missions with a red camera like The Berrics would have you believe. The average skateboarder isn’t trying to put out an image of themselves as a skateboarder, they are a skateboarder because they like the experience of skateboarding. Boys of Summer is the perfect video of 2015 because it captures some of the biggest names in skateboarding (as well as plenty of behind the scenes guys) skateboarding as normal skateboarders. No pressure, no hype, no cinematic production, just a video that captures what it’s like to go out skating with your friends and film a couple of go-to tricks. Unlike a major film production, Boys of Summer makes such heavy hitters as Anthony Van Engelen and Andrew Reynolds look like a couple of your closest homies going out for a skate, which is something that the skate community is craving right now.
Ostensibly, people skateboard because they like to, not because they want people to see them doing it. If there happens to be a camera out while everyone is skating then rad; the skate homies will have something to look back at in a couple of years. But, the point of skating is not to make a video. Boys of Summer literally captures what living as a skateboarder is like, which is something that started with nineties videos, but has been lost as skating has become more commercial. Every trend, no matter what, has a gestation period where everyone hates on it. However, with the backing of Supreme, I think what could be called “the nineties” edit is here to stay. Of course, a sketchy iphone line will never replace the standard of a well edited video part – because there is money in a well packaged product – but now, more than ever, there is a place in skateboarding for the average skateboarder’s video part.
The “film whatever happens” video, embodied by Boys of Summer, will probably continue to influence skate culture long after pale blue jeans have lost their appeal. Hopefully that means that people will still care about skateboarding for skateboarding’s sake in the future. I don’t think the skateboarding industry could become anymore commercial at this point, but then again, nobody thought a single skateboarder would have an entire website dedicated to himself. So maybe it’s inevitable that the heart of skateboarding will be lost to financial greed, in which case, everyone send in your sponsor-me tapes to Ritz Crackers before it’s too late.