Static. What can we say about this legendary, long-standing independent video series that hasn’t already been mumbled during some sweaty parking lot session?
What started with Josh Stewart, current Theories of Atlantis helmsman and OG lensman, around the turn of the century now represents twenty-plus odd years of East Coast classics, helping launch the careers of many people we’ve come to hold admiration for out of Florida and beyond.
With the release of Static 6, we thought it would be a good time to take a walk down memory lane with the skaters that have made these videos worth celebrating. From quick stories on the road, Soy Panday’s hysterical memories, Bobby Puleo’s hot take, and the untold gold in between, we are happy to bring you this Static memory round-up.
To hear it straight from the horse’s mouth go ahead and take a scroll down, and join us in both reminiscing about and appreciating the videos that continue to put the East Coast on its back.
“I was living a different lifestyle in Miami, having fun, wilding out and skating. MIAMI WAS THE WILD WEST BACK THEN. Anything goes and went. Spots, we got them. Nightlife, we got it. Skating, let’s fucking get it. The stories are endless.
As for Static, I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I was just hyped to have more people to skate with. Josh Stewart would bring around Ed Selego and the Tampa Crew, Mike Rosa and the Orlando Crew and whoever else that was around at the time. We had all met back in the day at contests and trade shows but Josh was a beast for bringing us all together. He took me on some of my first real filming trips and introduced me to a whole new world of skating. It just now occured to me, that whenever he would reload his tapes I would try and land my tricks. Thanks Josh for putting up with me for all these years.”
Watch Joel’s part HERE
“I’m trying to remember how I even got involved with Static, but I’m pretty sure it was through our mutual friend Tom from Myspace. It all started with me cold messaging Josh on there asking if he wanted any clips for Static 2. Josh was psyched about the footage and actually used a few things. I couldn’t believe it. I had made it into a Static video next to all the guys I looked up to. Eventually, I became good friends with Steve Brandi, and he and Josh were super tight. We became a little crew and ended up filming a lot which slowly turned into me having a part in Static 3.
With my part filmed, there was only one thing missing, a song. I remember scouring old music blogs trying to find something obscure yet still skatable. Around that same time, MySpace Music had launched and one day I got a message from Josh saying he thought he found something. I opened the link to this weird shirtless hippy who went by the name of “White Flight.” The song is automatically playing on his MySpace page, and immediately I’m like this might be it. We send this guy a message as a shot in the dark, just like “Hey, this is random but can we use this song for a skate video?” I don’t even think it took him a day to reply, ‘Yeah I would be stoked!’ Myspace saved the day again.”
Watch Pat’s part HERE
“I briefly met Josh Stewart for the first time at the London premiere of Static 2, shook his hand, got shy and disappeared in the crowd. Then I wrote him an email to thank him for making these videos. I was surprised not only that he replied, but also that he knew who I was, that he had tried to get a clip of me for Static 2, and that he thought we should work on a part for Static 3. I was so blown away that, out of joy, I instantly decided to break my ankle.
OK, maybe not instantly, perhaps we first had the time to go on a trip to India with Guru Khalsa and Ed Selego. My chronology might be off, I’m old. Anyway, we got a couple of 16mm portrait shots in front of the Taj Mahal, and then Josh fell so in love with India that he tried to never leave the place alive, and nearly died during a week straight in his hotel room, expelling bodily fluids from all ends and in all directions. Had it not been for a terrorist bomb attack at the foot of our very hotel on our last day in Delhi, he might have never left that room. So far that was no clip in London and no clip in India. I was well on my way to stardom.
As soon as I got back on my feet after my injury, I went to film with him in Florida, where I mostly sat at the back of a car for 2 weeks straight, occasionally getting out to watch our local spot guide, 19-year-old extraordinaire Ben Gore, destroy every spot before I could put my board down. Needless to say, no clips in Florida. Thanks, Ben. The part proposal was now a good 6 months old, 2 trips in, and still not a single clip. Being the nice guy that he is, Josh drove me back to the airport, and I thought I’d spare him the burden of having to tell a hoping French kid that this was that. As I was about to pull out my best “It’s not you, it’s me,” he suggested he come visit me in France, which is when I happily realized that Josh may be deranged.
Freshly off the plane in Paris, Josh took a train to my place, and, not wanting to wait any longer to fully experience the Parisian art de vivre, decided to get robbed of all his money then and there. Well, the pickpockets may have unwillingly left him with 50€, because that’s how much he then paid for the cab ride from the train station to my house across the street. Any normal human being would have naturally thought that this whole part idea was doomed from the start, but instead, Josh followed me and Vivien across Paris for 10 hours a day every day for a week, wrapping up 90% of the part. By far the most productive week of my skate life. All in all an amazing rollercoaster ride. Merci Josh, t’es l’chef.”
Watch Soy’s part HERE
“I was fifteen when the first Static came out, which is arguably the most influential time in a skater’s life. Coming from the middle of nowhere in Central Florida where the terrain and backdrop for skating are mostly black asphalt parking lots and orange groves, I was captured by the North Eastern sections of Static 1 on just how much more aesthetically pleasing the region looked compared to where I was living.
I’m certain at some point Josh himself had this realization about his skateboardings future and answered that architectural voice calling us away from our Florida homes. Jake Rupp’s part will forever be burned into my brain, I was so blown away by how cool he looked on a board skating to an Indian sitar song.
I definitely went through a wannabe Rupp stage when I was a teenager. I had long hair in a ponytail tucked up into a baseball cap and wearing IPaths doing frontside noseslides to fakie. I am honored to be a part of the Static alumni. I’ve been lucky enough to sneak at least a trick or two in every video in the series I believe. Hats off to Josh on Static 6 and looking forward to many more.”
Watch Danny’s part HERE
“My friend put me on to Static 1 at his parent’s house. It completely changed my perception of skating. I started skating in 2001, right around the time handrail chomping and big gaps were the majority of skateboarding that was put out, so it was like a breath of fresh air. The focus on creativity, spots and aesthetics was refreshing. The realization that it is not just about the danger and difficulty of tricks was very eye-opening and broadened my understanding and appreciation for skateboarding as a whole. To be included in a Static video was a huge honor. My Static part is probably still my favorite part to date thus far. Josh really blessed me with that song.”
Watch Dustin’s part HERE
“I can’t recall exactly when I first heard of Static, but I was definitely in high school, as I had all these Kenny Reed interview photos on my bedroom walls, and most of those tricks were in Static. I got involved with Josh Stewart and Static through meeting and filming with Jeremy Elkin. He introduced me to Josh and the rest is history. Josh made my career what it is today.
I remember once we were in St. Louis, Myself, Brett Weinstein, Steve Brandi, Josh, Pat, etc. and we were just driving around killing time and looking for spots. I look out the window and notice a woman putting a sloth into her minivan… literally a fucking SLOTH.”
Watch Aaron’s part HERE
“Josh, Ed Selego, Steve Brandi, and Mindbender drove up from Florida and scooped me and Sean Mullendore up in Washington DC. We skated the city that night, even hitting Goldrail. Selego was skating it like a curb, just casually ripping it. That was cool. We drove to California, Josh at the controls like a boss. We met up with his distant uncle in Nevada, and his uncle had a very successful business in ammunition reloading devices or something like that, but he had a fucking Huey helicopter as a toy. He took us up in the Huey with no doors yo, just out in the desert. We shot machine guns and flew around.
I was stoked just to be included with some bad mother jammers with a history of stuff I was well aware of, like “Cigar City.” At the time skating and filming were very easy, and we had fun. I didn’t realize the impact it had within our little skate unit at that time, but to see Josh go on his life trip and make super sick videos makes sense. He has a good eye and he knows what he likes. I liked my low-key Static/credit/ender part, that was the homie Jonah Owings jumping his dirt bike where my part glitches in.”
Watch Jake’s part HERE
“While living in Tampa I originally met Josh at the Skatepark of Tampa where I spent a lot of time skating. I’d grown up viewing some of his local videos on my parents’ VHS player. I remember seeing “Cigar City” and then “Rising,” when I was about 13 or 14 years old. When I was about 16 years old he approached me at the skatepark to go street skating and film with him. He was working on a Florida section for the Transworld “Transmission 7” video. We went out on two filming sessions in Tampa and filmed one thing each day. He had told me if we filmed anything there wasn’t any guarantee that it would end up in the video because they were doing the editing, and he was just submitting the footage. I remember the video arriving at the Skatepark of Tampa and all of us watching to see if anything we filmed was used. To my surprise, both of my tricks ended up in that video. It was the first video I ever had tricks in.
Josh and I became friends, he told me he was working on another video around that same time, which turned out to be “Static 1”. It wasn’t like filming is now for me at 41 years old – I liked jumping down things in those days. Then Josh invited me on a cross-country trip with Joel Meinholtz, Jake Rupp and Ed Selego. It seemed weird to me because those guys were so beyond my skill level. All I was doing was hucking down stairs and gapping out to rails, etc. That trip represented a big growth for me personally and also for my skating. My skating evolved by being around those guys and seeing their approach to skating. Rupp still probably has my favorite part out of all the Static series to this day. Seeing his approach to spots and how adaptable his skating was inspired me so much. Moreover, he was and still is an incredibly humble person off the board too.
Once Static 1 came out, I believe I was around 17 years old, in my senior year of high school, I went down to Miami to skate. Kenny Anderson was down there filming for a Converse trip with the rest of his crew. He approached me about skating for Planet Earth Skateboards because he had seen my footage in Static 1. Planet Earth became my first board sponsor, so I give a lot of credit to Static 1 for getting me on my first board brand.”
Watch Steve’s part HERE
“Being a part of Static 5 definitely opened the doors to working with Josh on other projects that he was working on afterwards. I remember he came to my area to work on something in LA and we skated this spot right down the street from my house that I always thought would look rad. It was a little ledge, then right after a curb cut to pole to ollie over. I had to go so fast to avoid pushing in between that Josh fell over and hit his head so hard on the ground. I felt so bad I wanted to call it quits, but Josh was down and we got the line. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he grabbed his head while being on the ground. I was like “Oh no, I hurt the dude who made the videos I grew up on,” [laughs].
I never would’ve thought that where I grew up at would be on a big screen in a theater, let alone be a part of something so special that seemed so out of reach when I was younger. I remember I got a projector specifically for Static 5 to have a premiere in my backyard for all my friends who weren’t able to attend. That was such a special feeling. We had a great time.”
Watch Vincent’s part HERE
“Personally, I started to diverge or break away from the Static series after Static 2. Obviously I have my own reasons why, as well as my own perception of the Static series, just as everyone has their own perception of it. I’m a bit hypercritical of it because it’s part of my own personal experience and/or story.
In terms of what it is, it’s great. It’s a longstanding and continuing project, which is what everybody hopes for when they start a project. I’m honored to have been a part of it.
But, in my opinion, it started as one thing, and then I feel like it morphed into something else. But that’s just my perception. Others may not have this same opinion.
I’ve told Josh this many times, and I almost feel like he still may not get it or see it this way, but when you go from Static 2 to Static 3, and then to the rest of the videos, it seems to look like, especially looking back, that my part was sort of this archetype for what the rest of the Static videos would look like from then on. Especially in terms of the “NY” element to the series from then on out.
So here I am watching this guy come from Florida to New York post Static 2, and all of a sudden, by Static 3, he’s adopting all of this New York iconography and visuals to his new video. I get it. It’s an incredibly rich aesthetic. Watch the opening of Static 3. From 2 to 3, he’s taken Static into a very New York-centric space in terms of aesthetics. Industrial/skyscraper type shit, alley ways, the roll down doors, very “Brooklyn-esque”/downtown type shit. Now go back and watch my Static 2 part. Not saying it’s the be all end all, but I was there for the beginnings of Static 3. I personally showed Josh some of the locations for his opening shots. He had just moved from Florida to NY. He asked me to show him places to film those openers. I chaperoned him into spaces he probably wasn’t going on his own. Then, you move to Static 4, 5, 6, and now you’re talking about a full blown NY-centric takeover of the aesthetic. Almost Zoo York. Adopting the NYC transit system to promote a guy from Florida’s video series? You think they have 4/5/6 trains in Tampa? It was just the way I saw it all go down. It was cringey. Again, my personal perception of it.
Josh and I were friends, so I was cool with it at first. But then I started to see, instead of going to film solo, he’s bringing his Florida guys with him to film on shit that I showed him. Maybe it’s all my fault. I didn’t see what was on the horizon. When he and I were working on the Static 2 part, it wasn’t like Josh hit me up and then came up to New York to film with me. I remember him telling me that during the filming of Static 1, that he actually skipped NY cause he was sketched out by it. The majority of the NY stuff in my Static 2 was filmed by Alex Muccilli, a Philly area guy who moved to NY to film. We gave Josh all the NY footage in my part. I don’t think I linked with Josh to film for Static 2 until we went to London or that Southwest trip together. But again, I don’t want to come off as unappreciative or bitter. It’s water under the bridge. It’s just what I was experiencing at the time. I feel like he brushed me off on Static 3. I almost felt used.
Now, I’m a Jersey guy. I grew up commuting into Manhattan to skate. I know how this shit goes. I moved to Manhattan in ‘95 to eliminate train rides. So post Static 2, from my perspective, I’m watching this guy who had asked me to do a part for his previous video, move to NY for his next video, and then start dipping into spots and an aesthetic that I had been practicing for a very long time. I’m not trying to say I invented it. But from that point on, Static 3, I severed my personal relationship with Josh. The experience hurt and offended me. I felt disrespected. I basically wrote off everything Static off from that point on.
I look at Josh and the Static series as a person and project that almost used an underground railroad type system to traffic people into New York to feed off the aesthetic of New York for his video project. Again, I get it. Nature of the beast. Im not blaming him. I just think it’s blatantly apparent and personally a bit repugnant. But this is how it goes. Static is truly great cinema.
People may disagree with this and I may be out of line for thinking like this. I don’t want to sound vitriolic, but it’s my perception. My personal experience. Maybe I’m wrong. But I will say making anything, especially a video “series”, is a great feat and Static obviously has it’s place. But personally I think after Static 2, Josh was simply following a template. That said, I’m not saying I’m not grateful for being a part of it.”
Watch Bobby’s part HERE
“Sometime in the early 2000s my friend’s family took me with them to Europe on vacation. It was my first time out of the country and his parents were cool enough to let us skate the whole time. I have a very distinct memory of being in Barcelona hanging on the sidelines and watching Josh film Nick Jensen do a line that ended up in Static 2. That was an insane celebrity citing for us and the first time I saw “pros” doing their thing in the wild filming with a VX and all that. I was probably 13-14 at the time. 20 years later, I’m on a trip with Josh in a crusty church parking lot in Philadelphia telling him this story (neither of us could remember exactly what the line was).
When Josh started doing the series the whole point was to document ‘underground skateboarding’, specifically East Coast skateboarding, and really showcase the characters around it. This is a bold claim, but I feel like these videos did such a good job showcasing this style that they ultimately ended up contributing to popularizing what people used to think of as “East Coast” skating (along with a select few – I’m thinking IPath promo 2005, early Habitat/Workshop, Zoo York, Dan Wolfe, Eastern Exposure, etc). At least that’s how I saw it play out.
Anyway, I think it’s good to occasionally trace the origins of this thing we’re all obsessed with and give the people who got us here a little nod. Josh is one of those people. It’s hard to make one decent video. It’s even harder to be decades in and still pull it off, somehow making something which feels current and ties into the legacy of the whole series.”
Watch Trevor’s part HERE
“The first time I met Josh was in 2006. I was back in London right after graduating high school and was skating around solo when I met Joey Pressey outside of Slam City Skates and he invited me, a random ass kid, to go skate. He ended up meeting with Josh and I was too scared even to be a fly on the wall so I hung back. Those sessions ended up being filmed for Static 3. It’s funny to think that maybe if I had gone out that day and skated with them I would’ve possibly been part of Static 15/20 years earlier than I ended up.
“Now I walk around in my Static 6 hat like it’s my Vietnam Veterans hat or something like that. I’m just so proud to be in something that meant so much to me as a skater, and to have any alumni connection to the likes of [Ricky] Oyola, [Danny] Renaud, [Tony] Manfre, [Paul] Shier, Jj, Steve Brandi, Broussard, Olly, Sabback and the stacked list of some of my favorite skaters checks the accomplishment box for me.”
Watch Christian’s part soon ;)
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