Music and skateboarding have always shared a strong connection, and the overlap of the two cultures is most prevalent in skateboarding videos. While skating is clearly the most significant aspect, a great soundtrack can take an average skate video and make it extraordinary. So many incredible bands have been featured in high-profile skate videos through the years, and in honor of National Go Skateboarding Day, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite songs used in skate videos.
10. Band of Horses – “Funeral” and “Is There a Ghost”
After a drug-habit induced hiatus from skateboarding, veteran Guy Mariano was ready to make a comeback. Everyone was excited to see his return in Fully Flared, but few expected Mariano to put together one of the greatest parts in recent history. That’s exactly what he did, and the Band of Horses sound track said a lot about his state of mind. “Funeral” starts slow and the part feels like an homage to the legendary skater’s past and comeback. But then the song kicks into gear and so does Mariano, as if to say “enough reminiscing, let’s get to work.”
If Jaime Thomas hadn’t already solidified his title as “The Chief”, his part in Zero’s Dying To Live etched it in stone. Thomas’ part is epic from start to finish and perfectly edited to the dynamic “2112 Overture”.
8. Santo and Johnny – “Sleepwalk”
Nick Trapasso was relatively unknown before the release of Toy Machine’s Suffer the Joy, but his debut was one of the most talked about parts from the video. Trapasso has one of the most relaxed styles in skateboarding (it doesn’t hurt that he skates in pajama pants half the time). Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” is one of the most apt song choices ever.
7. Metallica – “Orion”
A video that begins with a helicopter shot of Danny Way introducing the MegaRamp to the world requires a big song, and Metallica knows big. “Orion” sets the tempo for The DC Video perfectly.
6. Notorious B.I.G. – “Let’s Get It On”
Antwuan Dixon has had some problems as of late but his part in Baker 3 will always be remembered as a classic. Dixon is considered by many to be one of the most stylish skaters of all time. The big man effortlessly floats before stomping his tricks with conviction. Dixon flows through his part just as Biggie flows through “Let’s Get It On”.
5. The Killers – “All These Things That I’ve Done”
Daewon Song is one of the technical geniuses of skateboarding. Song put together an amalgamation of ridiculous manuals, grinds, and roof gaps deserving of The Killers’ anthem. His part in Almost Round 3 is also an instant classic.
4. Arcade Fire – “No Cars Go”
Lakai’s Fully Flared had a lot of hype to live up to after a nearly two-year delay of its release. The video exceeded expectations and after one of the most intense and expensive intros of all time, young Mike Mo Capaldi took the first spot of the video. Capaldi was only 16 for most of the filming and represented a new crop of young talent. Arcade Fire’s fresh sound and prominent percussion provides a perfect soundtrack for Capaldi’s technically absurd part.
3. Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
Girl’s Yeah Right! raised the bar for skate videos. The project was a massive undertaking and is known for its soundtrack. Marc Johnson’s part is a constant barrage of technical manuals, grinds, and gaps and the Joy Division soundtrack serves as a means to mellow out the part and make it flow perfectly. Ian Curtis’ haunting baritone voice is a great match to Johnson’s smooth style.
2. Dinosaur Jr. – “Kracked”
Starting off a Toy Machine video entitled Good & Evil with a Dinosaur Jr. song seems like a no-brainer. “Kracked” is a spot-on compliment to the illustrations of boss man Ed Templeton and the huge gaps, rails, and slams that kick off the video.
No place better to end than the most influential skater of all time. Mark Gonzales has shaped modern street skating and his part in Blind’s Video Days (arguably the most influential skate video of all time) is legendary. The Gonz has a style that can best be likened to Jazz music, riffing and improvising every chance he gets. John Coltrane couldn’t be a better fit for this part.