You may be aware of Mother Collective, the mysterious new board company that Tyler Bledsoe, Gilbert Crockett and Jake Johnson are now calling home. If not, here's some backstory.
Shortly after Alien Workshop's closure last May the previous Workshop Team Manager, Chad Bowers, proposed the idea to start a new board outfit with the riders that stuck it out to the company's end. Taking the summer off resulted in a ten month long guessing game of where the once members of The Sovereign Sect would call home with the answer now evident. Along with close friends, artists and photographers of each individual, the Ohio based company definitely looks like it'll be worth keeping tabs on, if the small yet stacked team didn't already make that obvious.
With Mother Collective landing in store today, it seemed appropriate to recollect some of Bledsoe, Crockett and Johnson's finest moments throughout their careers so far. All of us at Welcome are big fans and hold each rider in high regards and as Chad Bowers was heavily involved in the visual production and art of AWS' last video Mind Field; we're looking forward to what the future brings for Mother Collective.
Starting out with perhaps the most low key of the team, Tyler Bledsoe. Insane tech trick selection aside, Bledsoe's style is his most endearing quality and few others of this generation could pull of the 'asleep on four wheels' look without receiving a barrage of 'trying too hard' remarks. Though only an Am at the time of Mind Field's release, Bledsoe's part is definitely up to Pro standard and the musical choice of Thom Yorke's eerie vocals and Modeselektor's electronic methods works nicely alongside his nonchalant ways and iconic Workshop cinematography. Trademark Bigspins and Backside Lipslides are in abundance along with a few Bluntside variations and Boardslide pop overs early on. Grinds are always held lengthy and the casual Bigspin flip down Carlsbad at the end? Absolute joke.
Tyler's pro model 'dose' available in 8.125" and 8.375".
Next up is our favourite no-nonsense cowboy, Gilbert Crockett. When looking back at Gilbert in Fallen Footwear's Ride The Sky, it's quite strange to see the transformation from baggy pants, ledge skating country boy to the boot cut, pristine pop, shape thrower we know him better as today. While definitely more technical than any of his other output, the 'less is more' approach we'd see in following years definitely emerges with the last three tricks being prime examples.
Although he's filming for Propeller, Crockett's output has still been productive, even more so throughout 2014. Starting with a short promo for his Vans shoe (which has gained a reputation in as much regard as his skating) the Conway Twitty accompanied Darlin' Please for Venue Skateboards and a selection of raw/unseen footage in the form of a 'sponsor me' (speculating was his way of sneakily silencing any F.A. rumours). But it's his part from Venue Skateboards 2013 video 'Old Dominion' that we've found ourselves playing on repeat the most. Power and finesse aside, it's the little things that really make it. The slight shifty on the opening line's Nollie Flip, post 360 Flip swerve to foot readjustment before blasting a Heelflip over a bench, riding down the stairs in that first night footage clip rather than popping off the ledge, the lean back from a Switch 5050 Frontside 180 Out that conveys a sense of surprise in Gilbert echoed in the viewer; while the night footage is complimented by the calm soundtrack. You get the idea, style is everything...
Gilbert's pro model 'shitkicker' available in 8" and 8.125".
Finally, we have the enigma wrapped in a riddle doing a wallride that is Jake Johnson. Simply, I fucking love Jake Johnson's skateboarding, it is a wonderful thing... Few other video parts have built the same level of anticipation that Jake's Static IV part did for us at Welcome (with the exception of PJ in True which Josh is still deeply hurt about...). Anyway, by no means was I disappointed, the only thing I yearned for in the part was more flip tricks and it's fairly hard for anyone to follow up from something as ground-breaking as his Mind Field section. Regardless, I still found myself glued to this section. While I aren't the biggest Wallie enthusiast, preferring the company of his big brother the Wallride, the sheer amount of wall based feats in this part are to be marvelled at and likely down to Jake's affinity of the trick, it never feels over done. Despite about 60% of the footage (rough guesstimate based on about one hundred viewings...) involving four wheels traversing a vertical surface in some way. Bankride, wallride, whatever - the ender is next level.
Jake's pro model 'Catharine' available in 8.125" and 8.5".
Again, this I'm guilty of previously hyping up but it's definitive jkjhnsn. While most would consider this his breakout part, it's would be slightly incorrect to say so it's his part from Chapman Skateboards Short Ends (2007) that brought Jake into the spotlight and subsequently landed him a place on Alien Workshop, Quiksilver and later Gravis. I've little left to say about this part aside from it's an all time favourite of mine and one I'm sure will be regarded as a modern classic.
This seems like the most fitting way to round this off is as it's the last time all three of Mother Collective's riders were featured together. Benny Maglinao's tribute to the Sovereign Sect of Alien Workshop from Transworld's Cinematographer project. Though Bledsoe is fairly lesser seen, the Manual to Revert Fakie Flip out is outstanding. As is him placing a Backtail with the most awkward run up, ride out imaginable. The part was also essentially Crockett and Johnson's welcoming to the pro ranks of the Sect with them going all out as the soundtrack peaks. Jake's Nollie wallride, bump to bar Switch Ollie and near waist height Kickflip Tailslide being prime examples along with Gilbert's bump to Flip Backtail and Flip Nosegrind (shapes!), powerful road gap switch Ollie and curb cut to curb cut Switch Flip.
[no more corporate blues]
Mother Collective decks and clothing available in store now!
Follow Mother Collective @mothercollective.
Follow Tyler Bledsoe @the_madcap.
Follow Gilbert Crockett @ceeblues.
Follow Jake Johnson @jkjhnsn (yup, Jake got Instagram...).
Words by Farran Golding.