Last night Chris Haslam changed my life. Globe, BPM Magazine, and Vapors Magazine came together to sponsor the premiere of Episode 2 of “United By Fate”, starring Chris Haslam. Let this be said right now: Chris Haslam is the best skateboarder in the universe. I showed up at the Jensen's Recreation Center in Echo Park around 10pm with Banquet's fearless Content Director Cody Whitman and a couple of homies from college. Right off the bat, the spot was jumping off. Big gallery space, two open bars, full wall projections, and a whole host of characters there to enjoy the show. Personally, living just a few blocks from the party, I was thrilled there was actually something fun to do in my neighborhood, for once(or at least one that doesn't require a torn t-shirt and a shitty haircut to attend). The crowd was a veritable who's who of the skateboarding industry, Greg Lutzka, Paul Shier, Greg Lutzka, Paul Machnau, Pharmacy ams Josh Grossguth and Keelan Dadd(fresh off 2nd and 3rd places finishes respectively at the DC King of LA contest), and Chico Brenes, not to mention a bunch of people I'm sure I just didn't recognize. And then there was Haslam. Quiet and relatively unassuming, with tons of hair, he roamed around the party shaking hands with wellwishers and admirers.
After a brief while standing around, suddenly the music cut off and the show began. First up was Machnau's Episode (the first in the series), which I've seen about a hundred times and it gets better every time, particularly the third section, which I call the shred section (watch it and you'll understand). Then after much anticipation, Episode 2 begins. Since none of you will get a chance to see it until August 17th (though you can watch the trailer), I'll give you a brief taste of what you have to look forward to. It starts off with some ill black and white film footage of Haslam wandering around in the woods and then the desert and then the woods again, and all of a sudden he's in some weird, darkened warehouse skating this way and that in what starts to feel like a maze. What's amazing is the camera follows him the entire way, no cuts (well, there was one, but I must have blinked and missed it-not at all sad about this). I could go on but I won't. Next up is a group section featuring the Globe team, dedicated to Shane Cross. Personal highlights were Mark Appleyard's 360 flip tail grab across a huge gap, Shane Cross, and David Gonzalez killing absolutely everything. Finally, it was time for the big moment. I'm not going to get into what tricks he did, or anything like that, because frankly, I can't even remember most of them. I was so awestruck the entire time I could barely process what I was seeing. The free Colt 45 didn't help this situation much either. Suffice it to say, this was the best skate part I've ever seen. Granted, I was saying the same thing earlier in the day about Jerry Hsu's party in “Bag of Suck”, but seriously, I've just never seen anything like what Haslam brought to the dance last night. Truly the most balls to the wall, inventive, and insanely difficult part in recent memory. It eats his Almost Round 3 part for breakfast. Not even breakfast, but a snack before breakfast is even ready. So keep your eyes on the internet, set your calendars, because if you have even a passing interest in skateboarding, you absolutly can't miss this. Next up is Mark Appleyard, then Matt Mumford, Rodney Mullen, David Gonzalez and on down the line. United by Fate. If you don't know now you know. Recognize.