Jim Greco shredding in the latest Baker Skateboards DVD.
Skateboarding is rapidly becoming a living, breathing Xbox game. Elbow- and kneepads and a helmet covered in stickers from the energy drink that sponsors you? Way cool! Thank God for professional skateboarders Steve Berra and Jim Greco, two renegades on the front lines of urban terrain liberation. Skateboarding’s foremost guerrilla warriors, armed with only their skateboards and a manifesto of hardcore street skating, Jim and Steve have scoured the gritty and desolate back alleys of North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Van Nuys to find the most raw and real spots. Often spending hours stealthily waiting for the security-guard shifts to change just to session an Allstate insurance sign for five minutes, these outlaws are in it for the love and nothing but the love. And since Jim and Steve rarely bother to call a filmer or photographer, these pure sessions almost always go undocumented. These are street-skateboarding purists, hoisting a big “Fuck you!” to the Tony Hawk version of the “sport” where the “street course” is actually just a bunch of prefabricated spots with small stairs, perfect run ups, and low rails. Jim Greco and Steve Berra, in fact, have never, ever been associated with Tony Hawk in any way, having turned down sponsorships and promotional money from the fabled Birdman for decades now. Instead of cashing royalty checks and battling agents for endorsement deals, Jim and Steve would rather spend their time battling the harsh rough ground, imperfect landings, and cracked ledges of the real city environment. Both pros have recently released video clips showcasing their mastery of such spots, and let me tell you, if you’re lucky enough to find these underground gems (I’m talking about the videos, don’t even think about finding the spots), you will see that the proof is in the pudding. These spots are unreal, bro. I shit myself when I saw Steve, with his characteristic loose and unpredictable style, glide through a flawless manual where—get this—you could actually see the grime and dust floating in the air. And don’t think Jim’s any stranger to the obscure, imperfect spot either. He had back-to-back lines on a handicap-bump-to-flat-rail combo that made my heart stop with the sheer gnarliness that it must have taken to even step up to that thing. It’s like, where the fuck did you find it, and how the hell could you pull your shit together to rip it, and what filmer had big enough balls to go there with you and film it? Shit like that. CLYDE BONNIE