Skateboarding Reviews - Videos & DVDs

Sanitation factor:
Display profanity
Remove all profanity

Skateboarding DVD Video Review:Skate Maps - Season One, Vol. 2 (Episodes 3 & 4)

Skate Maps - Season One Skateboarding Snowboarding skateboard snowboard DVD Video Review Two Stars

Released: 2004
Rating: 2 Stars

The Zoo York Sk8 Team: Harold Hunter, Zered Basset, Jefferson Pang, Forrest Kirby, Brian Brown, Robert Lopez Mont, Aquil Brathwaite.

Lets begin by stating that Zoo York is a cool brand, laden with talented skaters and a dominant force on the East coast and the global sk8 industry, but...

Skate Maps is billed as "the first and only skateboard reality show" which makes me hope that someone else will make a sk8 reality show cause this one sucks. There's a shortage of skateboarding (most of it occurs in the opening segment during the credits) and the "reality" portions seem weak and staged. These guys should be able to stir up a better time than evidenced on this disc.

The whole season should have been jammed onto one DVD. It's hard to imagine why anyone would buy one and then decide they needed more of this crappy collection. (OK, I bought them all out of morbid curiosity)

However, there is one redeeming facet (and the only reason I bought this DVD): Harold Hunter. He is a true showman and loves the camera's attention. His antics are priceless and will give you a glimpse into the chaotic charm that surrounded him. Skate Maps details his charisma, making his passing all the more tragic. For those who never met Harold, this is a cool look at a guy who lived and skated in center-stage.

Episode 3

We open with the team flying from Cologne Germany to Prague Czechoslovakia for the Mystic Cup Contest. Sounds exciting - a 3 day contest with skaters from around the world. But this is a reality series about the reality of the Zoo York Team. At the airport they do a check to make sure everyone has a passport - great idea - and they are coached on how to speak to the Customs Agents.

Q: "Why are you going to Prague?"
A: "To skate in a contest."

Q: "When are you leaving?"
A: "In three days."

Sounds simple enough, but they have to all repeat their answers mixed in with un-funny retorts that make one think a German detention facility might have a favorable effect on some of them. They successfully get to Prague and start bitching about the hotel accommodations. Being first-class world travelers, I'm sure they are accustomed to the finest Holiday Inns and Best Westerns. It's Prague - see the sights - have some fun. Were you planning on sitting in a hotel room all day?

Getting over that, they head to Stalin Square, one of Czechoslovakia's premiere skate spots. High up, surrounded by long stairs, sits a marble skate plaza. Smooth surfaces abound and the team sessions the whole place. This is where some good video editing is needed. Someone stitched together the most boring mix of events. From the Square itself to awesome skating and scenic views... why are we seeing so many "crowd shots" of cheerful onlookers?

Episode 3 closes with the team chilling for the night before the contest. Aquil, being a recent Zoo York addition, has to be initiated. Think of all the fraternity initiations you've witnessed or heard about. Shouldn't a sk8 team have a deviously clever initiation ritual? You'd think so, but no. All new members get a bucket of water dumped on them as they sleep - getting "wet-up" as they call it. How lame. To top that, they also doused Robert Lopez. No one really had a good explanation for this other than they probably needed one more antic to round out the "reality" boredom. These guys need to chill with Bam and the CKY crew for a few lessons in ritual degradation.

On the positive side, as Aquil was wet-up, he freaked out and slammed his head into the bunk bed above him. That was pretty funny. Not as funny as Bam, but that's what sets him apart.

Episode 4

The team shows up at the Mystic Cup contest and instantly recognize sk8 buddies who've shown up from all corners of the Earth. They reveal that this contest is quite different from American contests that finish up in an afternoon. Mystic Cup is 3 days with Qualifying, Semi, and final rounds - a real contest. The course is impressively well built and the team digs it - a little something for everyone.

The Zoo York crew sets up at a picnic table and establishes it as their turf for the duration of the contest. Harold freestyle raps with some guy and then proceeds to interview everyone he comes in contact with - male and female. Gotta say again... awesome guy, that Harold. The team enters the Qualifying round.

For a 30 minute show, you start to wonder why they're showing so much footage from practice and Qualifying rounds. It's because only Zered makes it to the Semi Final. Doh! Once he's out of the running the team heads off to party. I'm not a huge party person, but I know the signs of a lame party and this one had em all. The true mark of a bad party is finding 3 Camaros parked out front. I'm sure there were at least 5 or 6 at this shindig. So we teeter through dark footage of Zered slutting it up with some chick and the rest of the team hob-nobbing around. The only interesting thing was Harold's downing of absinthe.

DVD Bonus Extras

Nothing to justify the $9 price tag of the DVD. Just some random interviews, more with Harold and highlights. Tune in next week!

The Bottom Line

Rent it to see Harold and his awesome antics.

Return to REVIEWS


Skate The Planet Factoid: