February 3, 2023

In 2022, Tony Hawk turned a family identify, skateboarding turned an Olympic sport, and digital laser somersaults might be mastered in any variety of video video games on tv. Nonetheless, this was not all the time the case. Early skateboard media consisted principally of skeptical documentaries or weird chronicles within the type of California daydreams. That every one modified when, in 1983, Stacey Peralta, who ran a ragtag skate workforce of which Tony Hawk was a member, just about invented the fashionable skate video. Attributable to its performative nature, skateboarding quickly shaped a symbiotic relationship with the know-how that showcased it.

VHS Invasion

Peralta says he hoped a number of hundred copies of his first video would find yourself within the new VHS gamers that had been taking the US by storm. “From the very starting, the movies had been extra worthwhile than they thought: that is such a well-known factor that Stacy [Peralta] says that within the first Bones Brigade video, they thought they had been simply writing off the price of advertising bills, however actually they made some huge cash from it. Author, professor and skateboarder Ian Borden advised Engadget about this. Success Bone Brigade video presentand subsequent titles opened skateboarding to many extra new eyes, in addition to an entire new income stream for the struggling “sport”.

Al Seib by way of Getty Photographs

Within the 80s, Peralta and his Bones Brigade dominated on-screen skateboarding, often on vertical ramps, together with a number of film cameos. However Peralta’s polished type and impeccable workforce weren’t for everybody. On the very finish of the 80s, H-Avenue was launched – extra mainstream skateboarding tools. Do not shackle me in addition to Hokus Pokus with a give attention to avenue skating. Not everybody had entry to a ramp, however everybody lived outdoors, which meant that this new type was way more accessible, with the video nearly serving as an instruction.

In response to Borden, H-Avenue gave the skaters cameras to movie one another, and the change in tempo and dynamics within the video departed from Peralta’s extra conventional method. This new format – skaters capturing skate boarders – full with slams, skits, music and indignant safety guards would be the template for the subsequent decade. Not least thanks to a different new know-how that was about to land.


In 1995, Sony launched a digicam that outlined how skate video appears (and sounds) to this present day. About $3,000; The DCR-VX1000 was the primary digital video digicam in Sony’s shopper line. The comparatively reasonably priced value mixed with the small kind issue and the brand new digital tapes – MiniDV – has made it the right digicam for gonzo filmmakers searching for skilled outcomes. The truth that footage might be simply transferred to a PC utilizing the nascent i.Hyperlink know-how (which you will know as “FireWire”) meant that anybody with a pc may now shoot video solely at dwelling.

The VX1000 solely actually cemented its legendary standing amongst skaters when paired with a Century Optics fisheye lens. “The fisheye was superb. The sound was unbelievable. The colours look nice. It had a deal with constructed into it so you might observe somebody whereas skateboarding,” videographer Chris Ray advised Engadget. “There has by no means been such a powerful digicam in skateboarding. I do not suppose it ever will.”

Sony's first consumer digital camcorder, the VX1000, is featured in a promotional image.


Ray says he nonetheless makes use of the sound of the VX1000 in his present initiatives. “I extract the VX audio library and add them to the pictures, grounds, grinds and issues like that in my skate motion pictures, as a result of nobody has made a digicam with sound that’s even near this good.” Ray is clearly not the one one who thinks so, as evidenced by this contemporary $300 skateboard-only VX1000 microphone reproduction.

Along with the sound, the colours of the VX1000 have additionally change into one thing of an indicator of a great skate video. The digicam’s vivid, punchy hues had been an ideal match for the blue Californian skies, contrasting with the beiges and tarmac present in mall parking tons and different city skateboarding spots. Quickly footage shot with the rest turned stale. “Folks had been nonetheless filming skateboard movies with different cameras,” Ray stated, “however you took this one way more severely.”

Ask any skater what the golden period of skate video is and you will get a distinct reply, however objectively 2000 was the 12 months that among the most spectacular and large finances skateboarding motion pictures had been made, and most of them had been shot with the trusty VX1000 digicam.

A man with a tattoo of a Sony VX1000 video camera on his head.

Chris Ray

Menikmatifrom shoe firm éS and Working strategies from Transworld set the tone. Each got here out in 2000 and showcased the distinctive look and sound of the VX1000. Each are additionally highly regarded releases within the skate scene, which solely serves to completely solidify the digicam’s standing because the de facto software of selection. To not point out the badge of coolness itself. “I imply, it is on skateboards. I’ve digicam skateboards on my wall. Folks make key chains, there are tattoos.” Ray stated. “It stays iconic to this present day.”

Redefining the usual

After all, an issue looms on the horizon. To be exact, the issue is with the excessive decision of 16:9.

Regardless of all of the strengths of the VX, your entire TV trade has gone via the most important change in requirements maybe ever. Widescreen TVs had been steadily changing 4:3 CRTs, and new “HD” resolutions made SD content material look horribly dated. Not everybody was a fan of the brand new facet ratio. “I could not deliver myself to go all the best way to HD as a result of it was a lot harder. You might be speaking a couple of 16:9 picture. You do not wish to reduce off the wheels and you do not wish to reduce off their heads while you’re filming skateboarding.” Ray stated.

Worse, in 1999 Sony did launched a sequel to the much-loved VX2000 digicam, however it failed with skate boarders. Not solely was the brand new facet ratio tougher to work with, the VX2000 had a foul microphone and, most significantly, it wasn’t appropriate with the Century Optics lens (or particularly the “Mk1” lens everybody needed). Skateboard renters wanted to discover a new sweetheart.

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