Jeremy Wray – The Color Video (1993)
It’s all about the ollie.
Jeremy Wray will forever be my favourite skater and it all boils down to his ollie that opens his part in the Color Video.
The ollie is the benchmark, the gate keeper, the trick that dictates how far you are going to get with your skateboard. Without the ollie, there are limitations and as a grom who can push around, tic tac and drop in, the ollie is the one trick you need to learn if you aren’t going to stop skating.
Jeremy opens his part skating at speed towards a curb cut and then proceeds to propel himself over a 19 foot gap. He clears a vast expanse of concrete paving that ends with a decent sized dirt gap. The curb cut is a regulation size driveway bump. The neighbourhood is non-descript and residential. The trick is simply an ollie. The sheer dumbfounded shock voiced by a child who witnessed the event was echoed around the world by anyone else who watched the clip.
Almost all the other tricks in Jeremy’s part fade into insignificance yet there are still a few things that need mentioning. The Color Video from the short-lived Color Skateboards was released in 1993 at the tail-end of the infamous Goofy Boy era where the hottest trends were seriously detrimental to the aesthetic of skateboarding. Excessively large clothing matched with excessively small wheels and excessively technical trickery meant footage from that era was the sight that gave sore eyes.
Jeremy Wray was a big breath of fresh air.
While most people crept up to 6 inch curbs, Jeremy was skating at full speed towards ledges and gaps that the 99 percent didn’t even consider skating. There were a few other skaters cramming extra pushes into their approach, John Cardiel and Color team mate Kris Markovich spring to mind, but no-one had the incredibly clean snap, catch that defines Jeremy Wray’s style. Again, this video part came out at the tail-end of a technical era that saw New Deal’s Da Deal Is Dead try and sell knock-kneed pressure flip under flips to the masses. The tide had turned.
Jeremy kept it simple but with immense power. His penchant for the fakie heelflip – notably firing one straight into a fakie nose manual and celebrating with one after a 180 fakie nose grind on a bellybutton high hubba – demonstrated an openminded approach to flip tricks.
There are several lines of Jeremy bombing down the corridor of the Earl Warren High School where he clears entire lengths of the gradual incline, powersliding gracefully before clearing the final set of stairs and then some.
The first time I saw this video part was at Northampton’s Radlands Skatepark on the little TV screen above the skateshop counter. The skateshop shed had a perspex window that looked out onto the hallowed ground where the spirit of Tom Penny rode. I had no eyes for the pyramid, driveways or quarterpipes. My eyes were glued to the screen. While my family spent the afternoon at a local cobblers fair, I spent mine watching Jeremy Wray pave a way towards level of skateboarding that has taken decades for others to reach.