Saturday, May 3, 2008

Matt Hensley Re-Revisited

Matt Hensley's influence on skateboarding still stands strong today. Matt was an early mover and shaker in the early 1990's and the effects of his style on modern day street skating is still apparent. Hensley, along with his contemporaries such as Ray Barbee, Mike Vallely, Natas, and Mark Gonzales took skateboarding to new levels of street tech with step hop tricks. Step hop, or the no comply, if you will, is the brainchild of Neil Blender. It is a no hands boneless. Now that credit has been given where credit is due we can get retrospective. H Street Skateboards was home to Danny Way, Ron Allen, Matt Hensley, and others. Founded by Tony Magnusson the company was synonymous with progressive skateboarding. Their early videos included Shackle Me Not and Hocus Pocus. Perhaps dated by today's stair set and railing standards these productions still warrant regular viewing. Remember how high Kien Lieu (the Donger) could ollie? Ron Allen's ollie airwalks? And then there was Hensley. Cargo shorts. Biker Wallets. Mid top skate shoes. Ska. 180 no complies on flatground. We owe these things to the influence of Matt Hensley. OK. He did not invent ska. But with the mod style crew cut and the Doc Martens...I mean come on. When Matt skates he skates from the soul. This soulful love of skating is what has kept skaters such as Matt and Mike Vallely still kicking and rolling to this day. Hard Core from the soul skateboarding. If you were a skater back in the late '80's to early 1990's you can remember at least one of your friends sporting the biker wallet. You may have even had one your damned self. Mid top skate shoes were unheard of. Airwalk high tops and Etnies high tops were often cut down to mid top or low cut shoes with the same hobby knife you would cut grip tape with. The first skater I can recall sporting some home cut mid tops was... Matt Hensley.


Marc's Board Shop said...

Where is this park? What year?

Jeff said...

This was SunSports in Columbus Ohio circa 1990.