We tend to think of pole jams as a relatively simple thing: a 50-50 bash up and over a bent pole. This is my experience with the pole jam, but there are some out there who are testing the limits of how and what, one can pole jam. Grinding up a pole that isn’t even bent, flipping out of the pole jam, even spinning on top of the pole only to go back in like sketchy transition. Yes, in true skateboarding fashion we are testing new variations of an old concept proving time and time again that there will never be limits in skateboarding. I have gathered here some of the more unique pole jams done over the years with the hope to inspire a new pole jam not yet seen or done.
1. Wes Kremer, Stee Outtakes (2013)
Following in the footsteps of Ricky Oyola, Wes fuses the wallie and the pole jam to make skateboarding magic. I’ve watched this a couple times and I’m still having a hard time understanding it: where most do a trick from the stairs going over the rail, Wes uses the pole at the end of a fence behind the rail to jam his way into a crusty bank. Where there’s a will, Wes always finds a way.
2. Patrick Melcher, Better Than Life (2007)
Patrick Melcher is responsible for some of the most creative, fun-to-watch skateboarding there is and on top of that, he hurricane grinded the Wilshire 15. So just in case you thought he wasn’t capable of doing it all on a skateboard, you’re wrong. Melcher thrives in uncharted territory and this clip shows it: powerslide into two parallel pole jams and then noseslide/tailslide up both. Kids, don’t try this one at home…or ever.
3. John Motta, A Happy Medium (2008)
The Arizona sun has these dudes fried. So fried, in fact, that John Motta had the idea to bend two pole’s into a wall facing each other, where he would then jam up one pole, ride onto the wall, and then exit going down the second pole. Well kiddos, dreams do come true, because that is precisely what John Motta did in this here clip. How many tries did this take? Give me a year and I couldn’t do it. Amazing.
4. David Gravette, And Now (2008)
His ability to balance on any rail gives him an incredible advantage when it comes to gnarly pole jams. Despite handling two head high pole jams earlier in this part, the pole jam to Natas Spin is the highlight. Gravette doesn’t even have anything push off of to do the spin, yet he somehow manages a full 540 on the top of the obstacle before grinding down the other side.
5. Anthony Pappalardo, Fully Flared (2007)
I don’t want to downplay his ender in Fully Flared, but do I have a slight bias towards Pops’ pole jam out and over the Brooklyn Banks set. Just how Jake took an old concept and made it new with the bump to bar, Pops was able to breathe life into an old spot, while still contributing something both original and yet super dangerous. Beyond being a favorite pole jam of mine, it’s definitely high on my list of favorite tricks down the nine stair too.
6. Jason Park, Friendship (2014)
Keeping skateboarding fun and unique, Jason Park doesn’t seem to give a shit about what’s cool or trending, he does whatever the hell he wants. His Friendship part demonstrates his incredible skill as well as his outstanding creativity. There’s a whole slew of crazy pole jams (would love to hear a name for that no-comply shove pole jam) my favorite being the pole jam rock n roll with a shove-it on top of the pole then goes back in fakie. Wow. Just typing that all out was hard.
7. Zach Wallin, Oververt (2014)
Enjoi’s newest pro, Zack Wallin, had a standout part in their latest video offering, Oververt. His mach-10 speed and massive pop are all on display in this part, but among hopping up and over nearly everything in his path, Zack manages an unfathomable switch pole jam big spin heelflip out. The bar for flip tricks out of pole jams has been officially raised…or maybe just thrown out the window, I really don’t know. Either way, bravo Mr. Wallin.
8. Caswell Berry, Digital Skateboarding (2013)
Despite Caswell Berry’s long running career in skateboarding I still feel like he hasn’t got the credit he fully deserves. Part after part he continues to push himself and seems to have no interest in slowing down anytime soon. A classic example of Caswell’s ability to skate literally anything, he uses a small bank to jam is way all the way over a fence only to add a late frontside shove, for good measure. If you’re still thinking there’s something this dude can’t skate, you are sorely mistaken.
9. Jake Johnson, Converse Cons Presents Jake Johnson… (2014)
A list about wallies, wallrides, and pole jams could not be complete without Jake Johnson. During a recent trip to Malmo, Sweden, Jake jammed his way up, over, and onto just about every obstacle imaginable, with the help of Pontus Alv’s “crack pipe” (mobile pole jam). The best of these was Jake’s ender: a pole jam over a bump to bar, the very first of it’s kind.
10. Richie Jackson, And Now (2008)
Let’s ignore the outfits and the fact that he might have waxed the ground to make this one work. Richie pole jams into a powerslide and then pole jam lipslides out of that powerslide. Having the mind to draw this one up and having the board control to make it a reality is something to respect. Whatever your thoughts on this dude may be, you gotta admit, this clip is insane.