Every so often, a body of work comes along that people classify as “an instant classic.” Think of albums like Biggie’s Ready to Die or a movie like Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather. It can happen with skate videos, too. Videos like Video Days, Mindfield, or Baker 3 come to mind.
One that may not always be in the conversation, but deserves a big shout-out, is Etnies’ High 5.
It was important in more ways than one. It was the first full-length skate video released by a shoe brand, and given today’s video landscape, it’s hard to believe that up until 1995 only board brands and magazines were releasing videos. So many classic videos we think of today, like Stay Gold or Fully Flared, come from shoe brands, and High 5 helped pave the way for these videos to do so well.
But maybe the most groundbreaking aspect of High 5 was Tom Penny’s short but ever-so-sweet part. It showcased the magic of the Cult of Tom to the masses, and skateboarding would never be the same again.
To give the video it’s proper shine, we gave video essay extraordinaire Alex Coles a ring to get him to talk to some people behind the project. Together they break it down and see where 25 years of legacy puts this video today.