Janne Saario – Element Rise Up (2005)
Give a man two trucks and he will skate. Give him one and he will manual.
Before Instagram bombarded us with closet freestylers and circus freaks polluting the flow of footage with their insane and unnecessary combos filmed alone in the garage or at the local skatepark, manual wizards like Daewon Song and Joey Brezinski were respected. You see, there’s a difference between spending hours to land that double flip nose manual revert casper flip with no one but yourself and your phone to celebrate, and rotating 360 degrees mid manual but also backside nosebluntsliding rough granite blocks. Janne Saario loves a good manual but he can back it up with some sick ledge skills too.
Janne got the last part in Element’s Rise Up video. Rise Up showcased the Element Europe team and how they shut down spots across the old continent. Unfortunately, the dream of rivalling US teams with European ones was a tough battle that only handful of companies managed to win and even their success was short lived N.B. Cliche and Blueprint both lost their entire teams and Seek barely got off the ground before crashing to a halt.
Growing up in Finland, I’m guessing the poor weather and rough spots (I have skated in Finland and there are some great spots but it’s nop Barcelona) pushed Janne to practice his manuals in small patches of dry car parks. Nonetheless, Janne had undeniable talent and he carried this forward by designing a handful of modern skate plazas to help the next generation mix their bluntslides with their fakie manuals.