Photo: Tjeerd Derkink

How Mental is the Am Chowder?

California, USA, 3/12/2009
The best skate videos are either: 1) Epic productions with a huge budget and four executive producers (e.g. Fully Flared or Mind Field), or 2) Super quick flicks where the skating is the only thing in focus
Medium-sized productions that try to be bigger than their skating really justifies are rarely successful. Nothing is worse than trying to cover up mediocre skateboarding with dramatic music and too many press releases pre-release. "Am Chowder", on the other hand, definitely fits in to the second category.

Featuring the Skate Mental amateur team, consisting of Daryl Angel, Shane O'Neill and John Motta (pictured above), "Am Chowder" is just over ten minutes long and focuses 100% on the skateboarding. Only a few silly Skate Mental-style visual effects are included, adding a bit of humour to the film and keeping the whole thing light-hearted.

The promo opens with Daryl Angel, the trio's gap and rail champ. Partnered with his effortless style and tendency to include lines with his hammers, his two-song part (one low-fi, one gangster rap) is very enjoyable to watch.

The second part belongs to Melbourne, Australia's Shane O'Neill. After this part Shane can finally throw away his "Nugget" nickname, because there are plenty of man sized tech-hammers in his part. Back smith big-spin flip out, frontside shuv backside boardslide down a hand rail and a picture perfect hardflip over another are some of the, always perfectly landed, tricks in his section.

John Motta is the last skater out in the troika. With (some of) the tricks Motta does there's a fine line between looking like that weird dude at the park you're trying to avoid and one of the most creative and awesome dudes in skateboarding. Luckily Motta fits the latter category. What about a kickflip back lip to backside 5-0 shuv it out sex change? Or a 50-50 to wall ride revert out to duck down under a bridge? You'll find them in his amazing part. His part ends with Lykke Li who also gets the honour of being the only thing playing in the non-existing credits.

All-in-all a great promo that will get you stoked before going skating. Two Skate Mentals up.
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