Mad Beef came out right after the Hoax. After rewatching it, it is clear that Mad Beef had the biggest impact on the skating community, even more than the Hoax.
While the Hoax was the instruction manual, Mad Beef made skating a thing anyone could do. The tricks were familiar but performed by a cast of future skating idols on obstacles we've never seen before. There was less vert skating and more grinding and gaps on street. This was skating for everyone.
The intro took everything we learned in the Hoax and pushed it up another level. Again, you have to take the time to watch the first section. It sets the tone and the skating style for the rest of the video.
Starting out with Dave Kollasch front siding the 244ft rail, we knew this video was something different. First of all, who the hell was Dave Kollasch? Secondly, where did they find this rail? I'm so confused.
A few seconds later Brian Smith (I think) frontsides a steep kinked rail. The same familiar tricks as we saw in the Hoax but the obstacles were insane with skaters we've never met. You shouldn't be able to frontside a kinked rail that steep!
Then we see an alley oop soul for the first time. A few seconds later there’s another. Then another. It went from a trick we’d seen as photos in magazines to something everyone was doing. Time to learn them I guess, now that it's possible.
Then Tom Fry (classic) does a farside soul to backside on this rail. What? This was the first switchup, first farside, and a dude that we’ve never seen skate before. The game had changed.
Eventually we see Arlo, our champion. He does a 540 over a box at a skate park, then changes into his street clothes and does a hand frontside on this rail taller than he is. A few seconds later he’s at the Tom Fry rail coming up fakie, outspin to frontside to fakie off. Never misses a beat.
The rest of the intro is more of the same, lots of soul grinds on rails and some switch ups. Lots of new faces though, not just Arlo and Brooke and Mike anymore. Skating wasn’t just a thing people in Southern California were doing. We were clearly all over the country.
One of the things the T-Bone guys did really well was introduce the skaters. These guys became the stars of rollerblading. They were everywhere in the next few years, in all the videos and magazines, sponsored products, you name it. They were a select group of a dozen or so skaters selected to represent the sport.
Mad Beef moved the sport forward not just in trick vocabulary but in making skating a global activity anyone could do no matter where you lived. It created the idols we needed and promoted the community better than anyone expected.
It's worth a full watch, but here are a few clips in case you're limited on time.
4:45 Arlo’s intro starts with a backside to soul on a rail. Switch ups were a thing. Then we see him skating vert, which he’s clearly been doing a lot of. Finally a far side soul on a stair ledge. Still got it.
5:19 Tom Fry gets introduced. We’d seen him in Daily Bread but never in a video. Very different style but clearly he could skate vert and street with the best of them.
5:29 Brooke is back! We loved Brooke from the Hoax so seeing him in Mad Beef was great. He was doing the farside souls and switch ups too.
5:45 Finally we get introduced to Mike Opalek. He was in the Hoax but didn’t get the introduction that Arlo or Chris got. Lots of solid tricks but the soul to backside on a ledge was what did it for us. We were still pretty scared of rails but seeing that you could do switch ups on a ledge made us want to go try them immediately.
6:12 Angie Walton gets her introduction. We also got to see these new Roces vert skates in action.
6:20 Someone does the first Acid Soul we’d seen. This was mind blowing. At the time, tricks were tricks. I never considered them “soul tricks” or “groove tricks”, they were their trick. Seeing someone do a variation on the soul grind was confusing.
6:50 Manuel Billiris gets introduced and he’s another one of those guys that can skate vert and street equally. All these new skaters was a bit overwhelming.
7:09 Dave Ortega gets introduced. One of the first New York skaters we ever knew by name. This was back in the fr days.
7:19 We meet Rawlinson Rivera and he frontsides the longest rail we’d seen so far. Rawlinson goes on to represent New York better than anyone.
7:30 Matt Mantz, this “kid” who is just killing it. 540 over a gap, frontside on this old Hoax location. Souls on down ledges.
7:50 B Hardin’s intro was one that we rematched over and over. Starting with a frontside on a long rail from a ledge, then does a soul to soul on the hedge rail. Soul to soul? Like, the guy can do a soul grind with either foot? Damn. Then a disaster soul on a rail, with the infamous “Out the way, B coming at cha” line at the end.
8:10 Dave Kollasch frontside to frontside on a kinked rail. Then a frontside on the longest rail ever, but wait, it’s not even the longest rail from the intro. Then he does a jump, grab, miszou to fakie down this ledge. Who is this guy?
8:30 We meet Brian Smith, another New York skater, but a very different style than Rawlinson and Dave. He pulls this frontside, quick switch to backside, that we tried to emulate.
9:10 Quick candid with a guy handing out leaflets. We finally get to see more of Arlo’s personality, hilarious guy.
10:46 Hidekazi Ito is the first non-english speaking skater who’s just killing it. Soul to 360, then a few seconds later a frontside on this fast kinked rail. Skating was global.
11:26 Arlo fake to Soul to fake on a rail. He’ll do the same trick on a ledge seconds later.
12:20 Brian Smith skit doing a rail while reading the instructional manual on how to do a rail. Why was he so ripped?
13:10 Two sick tricks from Arlo. Alleyoop soul on the stair ledge, and a frontside to backside switch on a flat ledge.
13:30 B does a frontside on the top of a bike rack, then switches to a backside on the next bike rack. So many new skaters just killing it.
13:40 We get to see Ani, who happened to be a DJ for the group Deee-Lite, walk up to soul, then a weird grab while on the rail, to fakie. Not sure we loved the style, but it was something new.
13:49 Rawlinson soul grinds a long curved rail. Probably the longest soul grind we’d seen.
14:19 Brian Smith frontside this little rail next to these bikers and scares the shit out of them. Not sure it was staged or what.
15:48 Brian Smith frontside a rail, loses his landing and falls into the lake. I have to assume this was staged knowing Brian, but it was still hilarious.
16:30 Girls section. Angie starts out with a few other women who don’t get introduced.
18:04 More Arlo. Backside to Soul on the flat ledge. Then a switch soul on the stair ledge. We were just trying to master souls and here he is doing them switch. Then there’s what would be known as a “shifty” grind, turning your body while you’re on the rail.
19:45 The first crash section. Lots of skaters hitting themselves in the nuts. This was less of a problem with frontside, but when soul grinds started you’d end up splitting the rail. Also Brian Smith takes over for Brooke as the most falls.
29:15 Arlo does a frontside on a rail with a turn, gets to the end and does this stalled spin off.
29:56 Hidekazi Ito does this crazy soul to miszou to soul thing. Keeps the soul foot there and just goes back and forth. Not a fan, but it’s pretty interesting.
31:10 A peek into the Nebraska section. These guys were probably the most influential section of Mad Beef. Not only were these skaters we’d never heard of, but they were doing insane rails we could only dream of finding. (not sure why Rene Hulgrecn was mixed in there, but whatever)
32:35 Awesome hand up to frontside on a curved rail by B. This was what a hand up should have looked like and we watched it over and over trying to figure it out.
34:36 The full Nebraska section. It’s as if the teaser a few minutes ago was just some home video, and this is when they crew went out there to visit with the big cameras. Dave Kollasch was the leader with 5 other skaters who just killed it. New spots, new grinds, just incredible. We later see these guys in their own video, Harvesting the Crust.
36:10 Brian Smith does a frontside across a fountain ledge, then a backside to backflip. The camera loved Brian, not Brian loves the camera.
36:48 Dave Kollasch finishes the 244ft rail. This was an incredible circus stunt we couldn’t imagine being possible. Where do you find a rail this long? How do you balance on it the whole time? Metal grind plates? Are you mad?
37:50 Arlo with three tricks on three separate rails. What a line!
44:29 An ad for a clothing company called eurofunk. If you wanted to know what the 90's style was like, here you go.
44:57 An ad for Hoax 2. Hoax 2?!? Traveling across the US? We couldn't wait.
45:17 An ad for the Hoax. The style is very infomercial like. Maybe they advertised on late night TV? I never saw it.