WORDS: STUART GOMEZ
“Start with something gnarly and also end with something gnarly. You gotta come out swingin’!” So goes a nugget of video postproduction wisdom passed down to Andrew Reynolds by Jamie Thomas. Reynolds, whose previous solo part in Stay Gold ended with a barrage of perfectly executed NBDs, has taken this advice to heart. Partly driven by the visceral thrills of epic parts past—Thomas’s untouchable daredevilry; Jeremy Wray’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am Second Hand Smoke part—Reynolds aimed to replicate a high level of inspirational showmanship. The kind of part that makes you want to go skate; the kind of part that makes you say, “How is that even possible?”
Cab, Carlsbad, CA. 2005
After Baker2G, Reynolds began to take filming more seriously, a byproduct of getting sober. Reynolds’s road to sobriety (eleven years and counting) is well documented. But while most figures of his stature may prefer to sweep their youthful indiscretions under the stair set and never speak of them again, Reynolds welcomes investigation into his past. A 38-year-old father, he is game for a bit of self-analysis, if only so the younger generation might be able to learn from his mistakes. By getting clean and channeling his energy into his skating, he achieved a level of precision that is still unreal. His Stay Gold masterpiece was the manifestation of a dedicated lifestyle hack that seemed novel at the time, but now is embraced as the mark of an elite athlete. The term “the madness” entered the lexicon with obsessive clarity: this is what it means to reach perfection. Reynolds went a little crazy trying to please us.
Reviewing these remarkable photos that Atiba shot during the past two decades of Reynolds’s ascendance, it becomes clear that The Boss has always had a certain aura of greatness even when he could have been potentially derailed by addiction. With a superhero’s dimpled chin and artful flight, Reynolds has become our Superman. He is and always will be someone to look up to.
Noseslide. L Cañada, California. 2010
Los Angeles, CA. 2012
BAKER'S DUBAI VIDEO, "TO THE EAST," IS LIVE ON THE SKATEBOARD MAG NOW!