6.16.2009

chrome ball incident #291: flat foot hustlin'






"Meat - plain up. Meat only. No cheese or lettuce or anything, thank you very much."

While Stacey Peralta was busy tanking his amateurs' street parts in order to not make his veteran pros look so bad, H-Street came out of absolutely nowhere and shook the Earth... demonstrating that a small company with a dirt-cheap video showcasing incredible skating could make any brand a major player. The 90's began here and Hensley led the charge.

I think Matt's importance is slightly underestimated these days as he (along with a few others) represent the real link from Natas and Gonz to everybody else. Shackle Me Not was the wake-up call... but by the time Hocus Pokus came out, Hens was straight-up THAT dude. On some superhero-with-a-chain-wallet steez.

And I realize I'm in the minority here but I always liked the Hensley feet graphics (both the regular and especially kingsize) more than his stained glass joint. Sorry.

stoked on this pic.

13 comments:

tp said...

is that picture of him from the harlem banks the only picture of anyone skating that spot?

Keith said...

fuck yeah. Hensley was my first favourite skater ever. I used to pause his slow-moed melonchollie in shackle me not all the time (1:16 in the linked video)... the one where's he's doing lines down that path in the park.

I agree that the first shoe sole graphic was the best one. By the time the stain glass one was released, I was on my way to being over H-Street and moving on to Rocco companies.

When Hensley started slowing down in terms of coverage (around Not the New), the rumour that I had heard back them was he was drinking too much. Just a rumour though.

To me, Hensley had a greater impact on my skating than either Gonz or Natas.

Keith said...

footage of Hensley skating the Harlem bank is in Gullwing Full Power Trip.

chops said...

tp, there's a few other photos of that spot but not nearly as much as there should've been... i remember that spot being popular when street skating was still fighting for coverage (let alone east coast street skating).

besides that gullwing vid (thanks keith), i know there's another photo of hensley doing a layback grind there that's really sick, there's a photo of some other cat skating there in this nyc article tws ran in '89 that I've been meaning to run, and also a Jeremy Henderson photo there... can't remember the trick but he's definitely rocking some knee gaskets, which i always found kinda weird... even that dude is strictly legend.

Anonymous said...

Agreed about the graphics.

Hated the stained glass graphie b/c of the cross in the window, I felt it was too christian.

DWay's career is so amazing because he rode for every major company in its heyday.

bobjohn said...

While I think Stacy really dropped the ball by trying to capture the "essence" of skateboarding (upper body shots, Vallely's video disaster, Daniel Gesmer, et al) rather than focusing on the revolutionary new tricks emerging, I think the am-snubbing didn't start until Ban This. Remember, Public Domain was released at roughly the same time as Shackle Me Not. The Rubber Boys part in Public Domain, especially Barbie, helped mark the turning point in the shift to technical-oriented street skating. Shit, even Saiz looked good. I think it also set the standard in skate cinematography for years to come--low shots concentrating on the board and feet, street lines with camera in tow (actually look at those Animal Chin SF lines), and slow-mo "hammers". The Chapman/Bradley/Hill part in PD also showed some unheard of gap/rail skating at the time.

Back to the subject though, Hensley was indeed the archetype for modern skateboarding. I just think that his subdued return to skateboarding (and subsequent likewise video parts) makes some kids surprised that he was so influential.

Anonymous said...

I kind of have to agree with you about the feet graphic over the Stained Glass. I had a feet board and a Kingsize and loved both of them. So, I bought the stained glass when it came out. It totally sucked it was really heavy feeling and the concave wasn't all that great. The shape was really ahead of its time though.

Royce said...
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Royce said...
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JRog said...

Hens man...dude always had new angles on things...

I have a homeboy magazine with a two pager of Kepper skating that bank...

Nobjockey said...

I've been looking for that Mexican hat frontside ollie pic for ages. Thank you man. another fantastic post.
Always loved Hensley, all the way up to the backside noseblunt in the Plan B intro at least. Jam soundtrack too. Goosebumps.

mikebythesun said...

Word, folks. The sneaker sole and Kingsize graphics were way cooler than the stained glass. Those earlier graphics really defined the era.

Hensley was the man. Aside from Natas, he inspired my skating like none other. I remember staring at those pics of him doing melans thinking that I had to learn them. When I finally learned them well, it was like having a little piece of that Hensley magic.

I have to say though, I'm glad he stopped skating when he did. He got to the top of his game and then retired. I was bummed at the time but he's a legend forever now. We can all wonder what would've happened had he stayed in the game. Much respect to Matt.

Stiles said...

back in 87-88 i'd seen the older santa cruz vids and savannah slamma and such but coming from the north east of england i'd never really seen such a vid documenting a more relaxed session like lo-fi approach as shackle me not. to me it seemed HOT (temperature wise) almost mexican! hensley had some super loose beach bum steez to him, ive NEVER seen such a style and i don't think i ever will. i think greco had a slight touch of it with the flailing hands but no fucker pulls it off in the same way and i think thats the real importance of him.