Essentials - The Sour Solution II

by Dan Bunn

We believe there are some skate videos that everybody should be familiar with. 'The Sour Solution II' is one of those videos.

It’s difficult to know where to start when trying to explain the sheer magnificence of ‘The Sour Solution II’, a video so well-crafted that it would take me all year to even begin to expand on the various aspects which make the video so profoundly enjoyable. But I guess the start of the video is as good a place as any. Those well-versed in their skateboard history should instantly recognise the opening song as Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’, the song used in Guy Mariano’s groundbreaking part in Girl Skateboards second full-length video, ‘Mouse’. The fact that the Sour boys - who are known for being generally chaotic - were able to pull off their rendition of this fairly complex song using various beer bottles and household objects while they were, presumably, half-cut is testament to the level of effort and coordination that went into filming this masterful video.

Gustav Tønnesen kick flip shot by Gerard Riera

Photo: Gustav Tønnesen floats a kickflip in a Barcelona playground, shot by Gerard Riera.

Almost all the parts in the video seem to perfectly capture the essence of each skater, from the exquisitely French music accompanying Oscar Candon’s powerful first part, to the hectic drum and bass backing to Josef Scott Jatta’s high-speed assault, ‘The Sour Solution II’ avoids the musical clichés which plague many modern skate videos and instead offers a soundtrack as unique and compelling as each of the brand’s skaters. The video even features, ‘Books of War’, a legendary fan-made track featuring bars from MF DOOM and RZA, which should be enough to get any obscure hip-hop fan hyped.

Martin Sandberg backside 180 nosegrind pop-over shot by Gerard Riera

Photo: Martin Sandberg gets technical with a backside 180 nosegrind pop-over, shot by Gerard Riera.

It’d be foolish to talk about this video without discussing the role of Gustav Tønnesen, who filmed and edited the video as well as delivering one of the most enjoyable parts. Gustav comes through with a ludicrous two-song part that could easily have been the ender to any video if Gustav wasn’t so humble - although Simon definitely earned the last part in this video. Both songs do well to encapsulate Gustav’s effortlessly graceful yet highly technical style, which blends unfathomable tech - think switch hardflip switch frontside noseslide - with playful and creative manoeuvres that demonstrate the unparalleled level of control he possesses, like kickflipping up a curb straight into a nollie backside kickflip down some stairs, without moving his feet even a millimeter. There’s a reason people call him a magician.

Gustav Tønnesen frontside nosegrind pop-out shot by Sem Rubio

Photo: Gustav with a lofty frontside nosegrind pop-out, shot by Sem Rubio.

Not only is the video filled with some of the best skateboarding you’re ever likely to see, it also has rich lore behind it with some legendary stories and hijinks. One of the most notable sources of these hilarious tales was the trip to Guatemala, which saw Barney Page injuring his neck after front-flipping into a shallow swimming pool which resulted in him wearing a neck brace for the rest of the trip, as well as Oscar falling into a sewer, Simon stepping on a poisonous blowfish, and the boys nearly sending the tour van off the edge of a cliff after leaving the handbrake off. Sounds like a successful trip to me.

Koffe Hallgren kickflip shot by Nikwen

Photo: Koffe Hallgren kickflips over the stairs in Guatemala, shot by Nikwen.

Of course we also have to talk about Simon's incredible last part, which features some of the most creative street skating ever performed. The word 'creative' gets thrown around a lot in skateboarding today, often used in clickbait videos and articles to describe people doing tricks that could be better understood as 'unusual', 'unnecessary', or just straight-up 'wack'. A quick Google search for 'creative skateboarding' throws up results dominated by videos of Andy Anderson posted by Braille or other heinous YouTube channels, alongside the occasional Richie Jackson video. While we're partial to a bit of Andy Anderson, and it's hard to deny that these guys are creative, in a lot of these cases 'creative' doesn't necessarily mean 'good'. In contrast, Simon delivers creative skating that passes all relevant legitimacy checks from even the most rigorous street skating purist, hunting out all manner of weird and wonderful spots and skating them in ways that few others would be able to think of, let alone pull off. Simon proves himself as a bona fide ATV, skating rocks, boats, walls, bins, and even water in ways that are stylish, as well as creative. Did we forget to mention he also pulled off the world's first ever street loop? Yeah, you should probably hurry up and watch the video.

Simon Isaksson street loop, shot by Gerard Riera

Photo: Simon Isaksson does the impossible with this tight street loop, shot by Gerard Riera.

That's enough chit-chat though. Head to the shop now to buy the full range of Sour Solution skateboard decks and clothing available at Cardiff Skateboard Club. Safe.

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