Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The End

If there's anything I've learned from Seinfeld, which, I assure you, I have learned plenty, good showmanship is going out on a high note. With our fourth video having just come out and being the huge hit that it is, I can't think of a higher note to end on. That's right, boys and girls, the Bolts of Thunder blogging saga is coming to an end. You've been seeing it come for some time now. You've sensed that I've been a little distant, not writing all that often and what not. And when I am with you on this blog, my mind is somewhere else. It's not right for me to keep you up at night, wondering if I'm going to write that day or not, and it's not right for me to not dedicate everything I have to you. So if I can't give you my whole self, then I'm going to do the hard, but proper thing to do, and call off this whole operation. As of this post, I am officially turning in my resignation as Bolts of Thunder blog writer. Having survived the birth of my first born, the wrapping up of Bolts of Thunder 4, moving out of Provo to Brigham City then a week later making the trek across the entire country to Vermont and now being full swing into classes at a highly esteemed law school (I'm not becoming a lawyer. I'm getting my master's degree in energy regulation. I make that known for reputation purposes. If it's unclear as to what I mean, then call me. We'll talk. My lawyer is advising me against saying anything about lawyers on this blog. I'm moving on...), I really don't have time or energy to write on this blog. I think I just ate an ant that was trapped in my crepe... it was surprisingly crunchy... Anyway, I don't have it in me anymore to write on the blog every day, and if I'm not going to give it all I've got, I consider it a disservice to my fellow Thunder Bolts to lead you on.

I'm sorry if you actually did come to the blog looking for entertainment. If so, I advise you to go to the first post of the first blog and reread the entire saga. You're in for some great stories if you do, and you'll still have plenty of reading ahead of you. I will miss writing, and I hope that you can find something positive to fill the void my absence has created in your life...

I would like to end my Bolts of Thunder blog writing days by saying that there are so many problems in the world, and there are a lot of people making them worse. Don't be the guy that makes them worse, but be the guy that makes them better. Be nice to people. Be a real friend and a good friend, and try to help others in any way possible. If you're genuine in how you treat others, you'll be a lot happier, and you'll make others happier to. I hope people remember me as a good friend and a good person, not because I want others to look up to me, but because I sincerely want to be a good influence in other people's lives. With that said, be a good person, be good to others, and try to make solutions to problems rather than being their cause. I shall write no more forever...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Zak, Credits

Tonight I have the honor of talking about Zak and his amazing part. I've known Zak a couple years, but before I knew him, I knew he was a ripper. The first time I saw him my brother pointed him out to me and told me that the kid with glasses was really good and could do frontside crooked grinds and back smiths on the tall boxes at the teen center. I think Matt had seen him there when I was on my mission. So I saw him there a couple times and he even showed me how to do front blunts down this box, which I never landed. I'd run into him maybe once a year at a skatepark somewhere and just be blown away by how good he was. Then Matt showed me this video of Zak on youtube where he hardflipped this big set of stairs and all this other crazy stuff. So I always had this image of Zak in my head as this mega ripper with a little red afro and glasses. So when I officially met Zak and got to know him, I was surprised to hear him tell me that he was getting too old to be pushing himself and was slowing down on his board. I think it's safe to say by the end result of Zak's part that he definitely sped things up rather than slowed them down, and he went all out for this part.

What I love about Zak's part is that he filmed quite a few tricks for this one that he wanted to get for past videos but never did. Like the switch frontside and backside flips over the rebar gap. He tried those last year when AJ did the full cab flip but never got them. But this year he practiced for a while on flat ground and got both tricks in not too many tries. He did the switch backside flip 4 times, three of them in a row, just to show us all what's up. So it was really cool to see him try really hard and come out with the part and tricks that he had wanted to get.

I will say it, Zak definitely deserved to have last part. I think he has the most diverse tricks in the video, and he makes everything he does look so good. With a healthy combo of style, trick selection (switch and regular), topped with a serving of steez (the doctor recommended DV of steez is at least half a serving a day. Zak's at 3, keeping himself healthy and limber as a cat), he has what I see as the most well-rounded part in the video. He landed quite a few really hard tricks and did them over again because he wasn't completely satisfied with the first one he got. Some examples of these include, but are not limited to: 360 flip and switch flip over the flat gap, switch backside flip over the rebar gap and grass gap at the end of his part, 360 over that rock gap, the line with the smith grind on the flat bar ended with the front blunt down the bench, the line with the nose grind up the ledge and nollie frontside nose slide, the line with the tailslide bigspin out at the end, a 360 over the euro gap which we didn't end up even using in his part, the hurricane and nollie boardslide down the rail, nollie noseslide bigspin out, and the nollie 360 to end his part. I know there are others that I missed, but those were a couple off the top of my head. With a bunch of those, I thought he did it just fine the first time. I can't do most of those tricks anyway, so I would be happy to land any of them with toes dragging and hands touching the ground, so I couldn't imagine trying to get them so many times just to get it perfect. So he'd try it a few more times until he got it perfect then pull it off again, and sometimes 3 or 4 times until it felt just right. I couldn't tell a difference, they all looked the same to me, but when I'd go home and watch the different lands on my computer, I'd see what Zak was talking about. The other times he landed it were not quite as good looking as the one he was happy with, and I'd always be glad in the end that he put forth a few more tries to get the one he really wanted. So because of that, his part ended up being one of the cleanest, smoothest parts we've ever put together.

I had a hard time picking a song for Zak. It was Matt's idea to have the song we ended up using, and I am really happy with it. I think it's a perfect way to end the video, and I think it goes really well with his skating. I like most of our music choices (especially this video, I really like the music in this one), but I think this was an especially appropriate song choice for Zak.

Zak did a really good job of filming for his part over the 5 or so months that we filmed, but he really picked it up at the end. He had filmed quite a bit of stuff up until the last couple weeks of filming, really the bulk of his part, but he didn't have any obvious ender tricks. Even up until the last week I was hoping he'd film something that would really end his part well. So then the last week he filmed pretty much all of the last tricks in his part. It was in the 100s every day, and we were all out filming, so it was pretty intense, and the last day I filmed Zak and Coleman for like 8 hours straight, and that was the time that Zak got all of his best tricks. He got the nollie 360, frontside 360 and switch backside flip over the grass gap, nollie backside flip up the euro gap, and frontside hurricane grind on the out rail all in the last week and even last day of filming. It was like he realized we had no time left and just went out and filmed all these crazy tricks he'd been wanting to get with relative ease compared to how hard the tricks are, and he finished his part off perfectly. I loved seeing everyone's reaction to his part during the premier, especially his last tricks, because that seemed to blow everyone's minds. Especially the frontside hurricane on the rail, because it's such a crazy and unexpected trick to get on that thing. Watching his part (and the video in general) at the premier was definitely one of the highlights for me of the Bolts of Thunder video franchise. I wasn't expecting as big of a response to his part as we got, so I was really happy with that.

I'm so proud of Zak, because he really got in the zone for this video, and he totally made Bolts of Thunder 4 the awesome that it is. Not that everyone else didn't do that, but I think his part was the perfect ender for the video, and it really gets me pumped up to go out and skate. I want to tell Zak that his part is inspiring and fun to watch, and that it was one of the funnest projects/parts I've ever been able to work on. The way that he did his tricks made filming them a lot of fun, and the huge variety made putting his part together even more fun.

As a final note, Zak is a rad person in general. Skating with him always gets me pumped up and makes me try to skate harder, and I seriously was able to film more tricks just because he was out there and trying so hard. He really pushed me and motivated me to try and get stuff, and I wouldn't have gotten a lot of stuff that I did if he hadn't been out there killing it and motivating me. But off his skateboard, Zak is one of the coolest and nicest people you'll ever hang out with. He can quote Seinfeld episodes word for word and tell the funniest getting jumped by crack head stories that you'll ever hear, and I always get a really good laugh hanging out with him. Along with the entire Bolts of Thunder crew, I definitely miss hanging out with Zak, and I hope to see him again soon. So Zak, keep killing it, and good job on your part!!!!!!!!

For the credits, I liked the credits in our first video so much that I just decided to do the exact same thing. It's a way of honoring Bolts of Thunder's accomplishments, ending the video saga right where it started with some good old fashioned fun and laughs.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Seeing as I moved in to my apartment in Vermont and got my internet set up today (thanks Rachel!), it's time for me to write on the blog again. Kenzo is our next stop in our epic journey through Bolts of Thunder 4!!!

Kenzo has balls. Big ones, made of steel, which steel is actually an alloy, a mixture, if you will, of several different elements, including, but not limited to: iron, aluminum, carbon, and nickel (that sentence has more appropriately used commas I've ever used at one time. Proud of myself). Yeah, that's right, nickel. It's an element, not just a monetary coin, and if you don't believe me, pull out that little periodic chart you carry in your back pocket and do some fact checking. 

You've already got me off topic. I met Kenzo in December last year right when I got back from Italy. AJ had told me about him one time when we were chatting on gmail, and he said that this Asian kid moved to Provo and he skated really fast. I imagined a little Chinese kid pushing as fast as he could through a Smiths parking lot and didn't find that image too impressive. Then I got back from Italy and met up with AJ and a bunch of other kids at that treacherous rebar flat gap that chews up your skateboard. I saw Kenzo ride around and do a flat ground nollie flip, and it was one of the most impressive nollie flips I've ever seen in person. Then he did a bunch of tricks over the gap and ended the session by tweaking his ankle, which is usually how Kenzo ended his sessions. I liked him after that, and we became good friends immediately.

Kenzo's super funny because he says the most random but truly honest things. Like the time he told me that he saw my old videos and thought that I was a ripper. Then he saw me skate in person, and no longer thought I was a ripper. Or when he said that he was impressed I still get out and make skate videos, even if I'm getting old. Or when he introduced me to other people by saying, "this is Jon... He's like 30 years old! He's a dad!" All that made me appreciate Kenzo and try not to disappoint him when we went skating and filming. Hearing him talk about me like an old man actually really motivated me to try and film stuff, just to spite my age, I guess. Anyway, Kenzo is a unique friend in that he is completely honest with you, fun to hang out and talk with, and way fun to skate with.

I think his part does a really good job of showing how good and diverse he is. Also, it shows how fast he skates, because, like AJ said, he really does skate fast. All the time. Every trick he does is popped 4 feet in the air while traveling at speeds that could create sonic booms, and he doesn't bail. Ok, I've seen him bail a few times, but he's definitely stuck his tricks more often than he's bailed, which is always inspiring to be around. 

What really impressed me with Kenzo's part was how much he was able to film while being hurt. He messed up his ankles way back when and never had the patience to let them heal. So he kept skating, then jacked up some other parts of his body. He'd always come out with us under the oath that he wasn't going to do anything hard, just watch. A couple tries later he'd pull off some crazy trick or line, and he'd be one step closer to finishing his part. So he literally filmed his entire part while being perpetually hurt.

The 360 flip down the rock gap at the first of his part, the back lip on lion's park ledge, and the crooked grind on the out rail at the village apartment complex are some of my favorite tricks of his. The 360 flip was maybe 3rd try, and he told me not to film, but I wasn't going to pass that up. That was the first trick I filmed of him, and it blew my mind. Oh yeah, that super tall nose slide he did at the the end of his part as well, that was the same day as the 360 flip. That was insane because I seriously thought that rail was unskateable. He looked at it, got really excited and said, "yeah... yeah, I got this!" Then without hesitating or bailing once he started jumping straight onto that rail. 

I really like Kenzo's song. We were thinking of using it for AJ in the last video, but it didn't possess that kind of anger that AJ needs while skating (he's a very angry individual...), so it didn't work. But I think it fits Kenzo's style perfectly, and it makes his part one of my favorite of any of our videos we've made.

Kenzo ended his filming a week before the rest of us because he seriously hurt his foot and ankle trying to 360 a super huge drop in heavy wind, then he tore his ACL 2 days after the premier. But even then, it takes the controlled efforts of everyone to convince him to stay off his board until after his surgery and it's all healed up. I'm excited to see what he is doing in a couple months from now when his knee, ankles, and feet are all good, and he's at 100%, seeing what he did when he was hurt. 

With that being said, Kenzo is definitely one of the most talented, gutsy, inspiring people I've ever skated with, and I'm so glad I got to know him and film with him the last couple months. To end this blog post, I want to give a very honest and sincere thanks to Kenzo. Making this video was so much fun, but it was still pretty hard a lot of times because I was super busy with school, my wife having a baby, and getting ready to move across the country. But Kenzo very often would tell me how grateful he was that I was taking the time to film and make this video, and that always boosted my spirits to know that my efforts were appreciated. A couple days after the premier, after he had already busted his knee and could have been really bummed out, Kenzo sent me a text that said, "Thanks so much for all the time you put into Bolts of Thunder 4. I will treasure that movie forever! Thank you for being a fun mentor, filming with everyone was really enjoyable! I'll buy you a subway if I ever see you again." Of all the complements or thank yous I've gotten from the video, this one for some reason means a little more than the rest, mostly because I know that it's straight from the heart and as sincere as they come. And because he promised me food. You're welcome Kenzo, it was one of the funnest things I've done in my life! And the next time I'm in Utah, Kenzo, I'm taking you up on your offer! Awesome job on your part, Kenzo!!!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

OGs: Dave, Nick, Matt, Brandon, and Dan

The next section of the video is actually an ode to the original members of Bolts of Thunder. They have their own little mini video within the entire big video. Technically I'm an OG. I'll say it proudly. And I'll say it again. I'm an OG. But all the other ones have moved away, so they weren't able to film full parts with us. But I'm so happy that everyone got to film at least something and get it in the video, so being who they are, I will count even one trick as a full part. Anything after one trick is bonus footage, so they provided us with the most bonus footage of anyone. Thank you, OGs.

First up is Dave. Dave is Dave, and if you don't know Dave then go back and watch his parts from the first two videos. They sum up his skating in a nutshell: commitment and guts combined into an epic mix of hair, beard, and style. When Dave decides he's going to do something, he gives it 200% and he does it. That's how his skating is, and he's the most inspiring person I've ever skated with. He lives in Paris now with his wife, and they constantly battle disease, metro security, and world-class skate spots on a daily basis. Rachel and I made it to Paris for a couple days when we were in Italy, and we hung out with Dave the entire time. It rained 4.5 days out of the 5 that we were there, so that half an afternoon of dry weather is when we were able to film his tricks. We also went to a covered skate park and filmed a couple tricks there one night. The rest of the time in Paris was spent hanging out with Dave and seeing the city, and it was an awesome trip. I fully intend to make another trip over there within the next couple of years, and Dave and I will skate once again. Dave has the ability to film a lot of tricks in a short amount of time, and even if they are basic tricks he's been doing for years, he's makes them look good and helps you see why skating is so much fun. I'm not sure when the next session with Dave will be, but there will be more. If there's anything I've ever said in my life that will be true, it is this.

A single clip of Nick is worth its weight in gold. In fact, it is solid gold. Nick is the heart and soul of Bolts of Thunder. He was in Provo a couple weekends ago, and I got to skate with him for the first time in two years. The session was full of some harsh tranny skating performed flawlessly by Nick and a lot of laughs. It brought me back to the start up days of Bolts of Thunder when it was no more than a twinkle in my eye, and we shared some good memories with each other. I even filmed him skating so that he has the most footage so far out of anyone for our next video. That's right, next video. Get on it, reader, because we're planning a secret video for the future. AJ, get filming... Nick's one trick in the video is him dropping in on a slide and sticking at the bottom, only to fall into a bush. He sent it to me a couple months back, and I've been hiding it up my sleeves ever since. Because he only had one trick in the video, I found other ways to pay tribute to my friend, including the title of the video. Billy Wayne Michael Duff was a guy that he knew on his mission in the back woods of the deep South. For some reason I've never been able to forget the guys name even though it's the longest name I've ever seen, so I felt it appropriate to put it as the title of the video. I also inserted Nick's helmet picture into the video twice during Steve and Chad's tricks. Nick is super busy doing research on the brain, and he doesn't have a ton of time to skate. So thanks, Nick, for sending us that clip! We, too, shall skate again on some future day.

Matt is my brother and co founder if Bolts of Thinder. He may have even founded more than me. It's a little fuzzy in my mind. Matt filmed the majority of the first three videos and scrutinized over every frame during the editing process. But he now lives in Omaha and couldn't be as involved in the filming or editing of this video. But don't get me wrong, this video carries Matt's mark as much as any of them. Every time I talked to Matt over the past 6 months, he wanted full updates of who filmed what, how it was filmed, how the trick looked, if anyone had asked and/or commented on the next video we were making, and all other items of Bolts of Thunder business. He always referred to the video as "my video", which was funny considering he didn't even get involved in any of the filming or editing until 4 weeks before the premier. But hear me now, reader, and take note on good parenting skills, because this kind of love, attention, and devotion is characteristic of any good father taking care of his baby. If you want your baby to carry on your legacy, you get your hands off the X-Box controller and your eyes off your smart phone screen, and you roll around in the mud! You get yourself out there, and you put your mark on the world. Nuff said. The Bullfrog Yay section is Matt's brain child, and he edited the part. I sent him the footage of Dan and Brandon, and Matt filmed his tricks then put the part together. Hannah, his at the time 8 month-pregnant wife, filmed all of Matt's tricks, and did a very admirable job in doing so. Being heavy with child, she still bent down better than most people I know and got that fish eye moving. Sadly enough, having had no filming experience and not being all that mobile, she still filmed the tricks better than the average trick you see on youtube. Good job, Hannah, and thanks for filming Matt. Matt's ender trick, the bullfrog belly ride, is definitely a game changer, and has opened eyes and hearts globally. It is starting its own, new style of skating that was inspired by Matt chipping his tooth as a 7 year old on Morning Glory, and it will live on as others strap up and follow suit. Every one of Matt's parts has a game changing trick, so you shouldn't have been so shocked when you saw this one.

Brandon isn't physically in the first Bolts of Thunder video, but he is emotionally. Maybe even spiritually, but I won't speculate. Let's stick to what we know. We know that my boy's got moves combined with style and a touch of Dan family genes that give him super powers to push through tranny and fly through the air. Him and Dan went out and filmed all of there tricks during a couple of sessions on Brandon's go pro camera, then he sent me everything. Going through their footage was so much fun, because they sent me all the raw footage of them hanging out between tricks. It made me feel like I was in on the session with them because I got to see what it was like between takes and what not. Brandon is an inspiration to me because he keeps on top of his game while still becoming a lawyer and being a good family man. He hasn't lost his skills, nor his love for the game, which is important for me to see as I gear up to get my Masters this next year. Let Brandon be an example to all of us.

Daniel R Shaw. I could end this paragraph with those words, and you would know exactly what I am talking about. Actually, I will make this paragraph about Dan short, sweet, and to the point because if I get started on talking about Dan and his super powers, I will never stop. Dan is hands down the most interesting person I have ever met. He his indestructible, afraid of nothing, and stunningly handsome all combined into a ball of passion, skills, and shirtlessness. Several different stories just went through my mind of Dan running a marathon without training, stretching, or even eating a decent dinner the day before, or the time that he rode 100 a day on his bike for 2 weeks without training, or the time that he free climbed that 200 foot cliff on Catalina island and almost fell to a watery shark grave but of course didn't because he's Dan Shaw, or all the other times that he performed amazing feets while other people would have died. Dan is as close to being my brother without legally being related to me, and I wish he was around more often to skate and hang out with. But the one day that he was skating in Provo and the couple sessions he had with Brandon were plenty to get him the ending section of the OGs with some crazy launches in pools that nobody else in the video would dare skate in. I was going to say more about his super powers, but I will stop there. It's a trap that I won't get sucked into again right now...

I haven't been writing much because I'm in the middle of driving across the country with my wife, baby, and trailer full of all my possessions. It's been a super busy month, and I will finish my analyses of the video as soon as I can. But until then, watch the video again. We're over 1,000 views on youtube!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


That's right. I'm next in the line up. First off, to answer Zak's question, I head out of town on Wednesday, July 31. I've got one week left. We need to skate more before I leave... So my part. I'm going to say it at the very beginning, just to get it off my chest. I'm very happy with my part. I haven't been this pleased with my own video part since the first Bolts of Thunder video. Not that I don't like my other parts or wasn't happy with them, but I feel that I pushed myself for this part harder than I pushed myself for the other videos. Bolts of Thunder Gone Wild has a few tricks that I really wanted to get, like the 5050 on the hospital hubba. And I really like the Paris and Geneva footage. But I kind of got tired of filming for the second and third videos and didn't push myself too hard. Especially the third video. So this video was my comeback part in my mind. That's kind of how I felt about it, at least.

I'm not sure what it was. It could have been the massive amounts of olive oil I consumed in Italy. Or... well, no, there was nothing else. Yeah, It must have been the olive oil. So the olive oil breathed new life into me, and I caught a second wind. It's actually more like a 3rd wind, because I had given up on making videos even before Bolts of Thunder was on its way, but I decided to make the video as a final hurrah to filming and ended up making three more videos after. So for this video I really wanted to go out and film tricks. I didn't have a lot of tricks that I really wanted to get, but I just wanted to get stuff. So most of my part is full of tricks that I wasn't planning on getting, but I ended up getting on the fly when we were at the spot. Other people had spots they wanted to skate, an I got a trick while we happened to be there. That's the bulk of my part.

There is one  trick that I've been wanting to film for the last 6 years, and I finally got it. It's the grind down the hubba at the end of my part. That hubba is perfect size to skate, but it has no runway, landing, and is made of stucco. It has never been skated before, so the thing doesn't grind. I've gone there for every video we've made and have made feeble threats of skating it, none of which ever materialized. It is the one trick that I have always wanted to get and has eluded me until now. My Moby Dick, if you will. The white whale, the white devil, the one that bit my hand off and has consumed my life. All those would be suitable titles for the ledge. So what was different about this year? Motivation plus creativity. The first two videos I had the motivation, just not the creativity. The third video I had creativity, not motivation. This year I added them all together and got the trick. I had to open the door to this office building, run through the hall, jump on my board and ollie onto the ledge a split second later then land on a piece of wood before I slid into the grass. It was a quick trick. It honestly is one of the hardest obstacles I've ever skated because of its set up and because I had to wax it over and over in order to make it grind. I wanted to give up after a little bit, but I knew it was my final chance to get it. It took me over an hour of jumping down it to finally get it to grind and to ride away from it. But I got it, and I haven't been that happy about a trick in a really long time.

That was the only trick I can think of that I really wanted to get and got. All the others I didn't get, and I really don't mind all that much. I could have just had the 5050 on the hubba, and I would have been happy.

It's kind of strange when I think that I'm going to be 29 in a couple of months, and I was still able to go out and film a part of tricks that I haven't done before or that I've really wanted to get. I'm glad that I can still flip my board around and that I've got it in my legs. Seeing as this might be the last video we do for a little while, I really put all I had into it, which might not be a ton compared to other people, but it was a personal triumph on my part, and I'm really proud of my part.

I like my songs, too. Pink Floyd, Blonde Redhead, and Ennio Morricone. You can't go wrong with either one, and especially not when you combine them.

Thanks, AJ, Zak, Kenzo, and Rachel for filming my part!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Steve Roushar. His name is Czech, and that's where he served his mission. Fun fact number one for the post, and it's only been two sentences. Just think of the other treasures this post will hold. Shall we continue?

Steve is the embodiment of Bolts of Thunder. The incarnation of our principles, if you will. He is actually the perfect blend of every Bolts of Thunder team rider to come before him: the double wrist guards, going to grad school to be a doctor, musical talent, married and has a brand new baby, and skills on a board after not having skated for a couple years. I met Steve at the old teen center's skate park, and he divulged his abridged life story to me in 15 minutes. It was at that moment that I saw everything Bolts of Thunder has ever believed in radiating from his presence. I offered him a 6 month Bolts of Thunder contract on the spot, and he signed it. He's been with us ever since, and in standard Bolts of Thunder fashion, he's leaving in a couple weeks to go to grad school in another part of the country.

Although Steve doesn't have as many tricks as the others with full parts, he was still with us during the entire filming. He didn't just show up for a couple sessions and film his tricks then, but he was there for practically every filming session and got stuff when he wanted to. That's how Steve works, no pushing him around.

Steve's first trick in his part, the blunt shuv it out on the bank to curb is my favorite trick of his. He did it so casually and fast that it seemed like we should all be able to do that trick. But we can't. Only Steve can. Ok, I'll speak for myself, at least, when I say I can't do that trick, but Steve made it look way too easy. I also appreciated his grass ride at the end. Steve was way down for grass rides, and that's something I can deeply appreciate. So thanks, Steve, for getting the grass ride.

In Steve's part is also where you'll find the first subliminal message of the video. It comes in the form of Nick's glaring eyes and very faded words. I'm not going to tell you what it says, but I'll let you try and figure it out. I put that there for two reasons, the first being that Steve specially requested subliminal messages in the video, so I felt it appropriate to put the first in his part. Yes, there are others. I'll let you find them on your own. The second reason I put it there is because Steve didn't actually ride away from that line he did. He landed on his board and fell off. But I wanted to use it, so I just cut it off right when he landed and put in him riding away from a completely different line. That's right, I cheated. and I'm not ashamed to say it either. Because neither Steve, nor Bolts of Thunder, which could be considered synonyms, has to prove anything to anyone. We make our own rules, and we tell you all what's up. That's right. What's up?

I'm going to miss skating with Steve as both he and I are leaving this month to grad schools, but Steve, it was so fun skating and hanging out with you!!! Congratulations on your new girl, and good luck with everything! Bolts of Thunder hall of famer, no questions asked...

The rest of the part is the friends that didn't film full parts for various reasons. I like the song and the way it's edited to the skating, and it's a fun part to watch. If you want a full part, film one. And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Coleman represents the innocence and purity that used to be alive and well in all of us but was put out long ago by the reality of life. Coleman has managed to go 20ish years and keep his innocence intact, which is a greater accomplishment than any of of have ever done. His part is a visual representation of what I am talking about.

Filming Coleman was fun and scary. He charges everything without a second thought of consequences, pedestrians, cars, or fellow skaters that might roll in his way, and this enthusiasm can sometimes result in Coleman slamming into objects, other people, or the filmer. Being the filmer, and caring deeply for my camera and my own well-being, I had to constantly be on guard while filming Coleman. When you're shuving a fisheye lens in someone's grill, you should always be light on your toes and quick on your feet, but filming Coleman I was even more on my guard. So considering that I was so cautious while filming him, we were able to get a lot of really fast tricks filmed up close and personal. With that little intro, I will now tell you about Coleman's part.

First off, I'm super proud of Coleman and all the tricks he got! Everyone else in the video had little spurts where they would film a lot in a couple week period then kind of take it easy for a couple of weeks, but Coleman constantly came out and filmed every single week. He had some really good weeks where he got a couple really good tricks all at once, but even in the slow times, he was always filming stuff. It was when he filmed that first line where he front boards the 2 stair rail that I knew he was going to get a part in the video. Before that he had just filmed a couple single tricks, so I wasn't sure if he was going to pull through with a full part or if he was going to just have a cameo in the video. I was rooting for him, so I was super happy when he got that line. Then after he filmed it, pretty much every time we went out skating he would get something or slam trying.

I especially love Coleman's part after the song picks up and it's just a bunch of single tricks filmed really fast and close together. It keeps a good pace, and I think of all the parts in the video his gives you a taste of what Coleman skates like on a daily basis. He skates really fast, charges the obstacle, and pulls it off holding on by the toes on his feet and in good fashion. He's super fun to watch in person, and I think his part does a good job of showing that.

Coleman also picked up the torch right where Nick left it by finding a roof that never should have been skated, using local supplies to make the roof skateable, then riding off that thing. Nick first pulled this off 3 years ago by making Bolts of Thunder history, then Coleman decided to get Nick's back and ollie of an old roof in the rain. He tried it 11 times and never rode away, but that counts as a solid roof drop in my book. That was the craziest thing I've ever seen Coleman do, and I'm super proud of him for doing it.

Besides his last roof ollie and the line with the 2 stair front board, some of my favorite tricks of Coleman include his back tail at the baseball diamonds, which was so beautiful and inspiring that I since have learned that trick, his board slide on the village rail at the end of his part because he almost rode into joggers when he landed, and instead of pulling away from them he kept riding at them to get closer. That reminds me of when a bear stole Dan's backpack while hiking and Dan chased the bear. He got so close that he reached out and I think touched the fur of the bear before it doubled its speed and left Dan behind. When asking Dan why he would try his luck with a bear, he said he just wanted to see how close he could get... Anyway, Coleman's early grab at the very end was also nuts.

I've been writing this entire post while talking to the comcast sales people about my internet bill. They keep trying to rip me off every month by charging me for all this extra stuff, so I have to call them every month. At the end of today's phone call, I will get refunded most of my internet bill for the month. And I will pay more attention to what I'm writing now...

I read what I wrote at first, and I don't think I did a good job of saying what I wanted to say. Instead of rewriting it, I'm just going to say it again. Coleman is awesome, and he's one of the most inspiring people you could ever skate with. Every time I was nervous to try a trick, I seriously kept thinking of Coleman's courage and "if he can go for it, so can I." Literally, if it weren't for Coleman, there would have been some tricks in my part I would not have skated. Coleman is Bolts of Thunder in its purest form with makeshift roof drops, no specific genre of skating or clothing choices, and a drive to go faster. I love his part, and it makes me smile and want to skate really fast every time I watch it. You should watch it again right now then think of what you'll be capable of if you man up like Coleman and charge your trick with pure confidence and speed.

Now, to end this post, I will say something about Coleman the man, not Coleman the skater. He is a true friend, and a good friend. Those are hard to come by in this world, but he's got your back and down for whatever. Even though I'm quite a bit older than he is, hanging out and skating with him is always fun because he's such a nice, genuine guy. This is his first part he's ever filmed, and I'm honored to say that his debut is in a Bolts of Thunder video. Good job on your part, Coleman, and good luck with your mission!!!!