In case you weren’t keeping track, Lakai’s Fully Flared premiered eight years ago today. No one knew it at the time, but in the explosions behind Mike Mo’s switch flip signaled the beginning of the ‘Everyone is Good’ era of skateboarding in which we are currently living. This was the video that made regular ledge tricks not good enough, skateboarders now had to incorporate flip tricks in and out of their grinds and slides in order to be considered technically proficient. This approach to skateboarding had been tried before, but this time it was done with style. Fully Flared changed skateboarding.
Although tech heavy ledge combos and Guy Mariano’s career relaunch were likely the most discussed aspect of Fully Flared when it premiered in 2007, this video also brought a lot of eyes to one of New York’s most promising sons, Anthony Pappalardo.
In case you haven’t seen it in a while, Pappalardo’s part was quite different from the rest of the parts in the video. And as crazy as it sounds, we think it’s fair to say that for as much influence as Mike Mo Capaldi, Brandon Biebel and Guy Mariano exerted on skateboarding’s youth through this video, Anthony Pappalardo’s part remains just as, if not more, influential.
Anthony Pappalardo made the move to New York City during the post 9/11 era, and maintained a successful career out of a then still slightly off the map Brooklyn for several years. He produced a steady stream of ads shot around the city and, of course, his cult classic offering from Mosaic. (Full disclosure, we here at Village Psychic are part of the cult.)
Pops himself gave us a clue as to what was different about this part in his Epicly Later’d episode from 2008. “I think skating is so fucked,” he said, “Everyone’s good at skateboarding now and it’s hard to break apart from that.”
No one can say for certain what happened except Pappalardo himself, but he must have clearly seen the writing on the wall and took a new approach to filming his part for Fully Flared. The spot selection that made his part in Mosaic unique was further refined into a part made of simple tricks that flaunted technically difficult spots — gapping out to a frontside wallride on a narrow bank above a set of stairs and pole jamming straight over stairs at the Brooklyn Banks. Most controversially, he frontside boardslid across an uneven woven iron fence designed to prevent people from stepping in a sidewalk tree well with a pop out before hitting the far fence. Skatepark sized bumpy flatbars aside, figuring out how to skate a spot was the hard work in a clip. The trick was just to prove that he had solved the puzzle.
It’s interesting to us that the overall vibe of this part, which was due to it being shot in black and white (as was it’s filmer Bill Strobeck’s style at the time, see the above clip for reference ) with a low fidelity Charles Manson song for backing music and whole lot of lo-fi tricks, is very often emulated in 2015. It’s fair to say that much of what comes out of New York City today looks and feels a lot more like Pops’ part than any other heavily influential part we’ve seen in recent memory.
Pappalardo said as well in his Epicly Later’d episode that he wanted to make a part that he would be psyched on in ten years. He recalled the release of Menikmati, a precursor to Fully Flared in terms of hype: “People were like ‘Oh my God’, and then a month later that video sucked.” Some of the most technical tricks in Fully Flared would look obsolete in today’s standards, but his part looks like a window into the future of a whole sect of New York skaters.
His professional career may have not gone in the same direction as those of his Fully Flared co-stars, but his Instagram page is full of documentation of solo missions through empty industrial neighborhoods. Based on that it’s safe to assume he probably isn’t too unhappy with the way the part looks eight years later.