The "Vans Video by Flech" Article

Sherb EGagne Noseslide ColumbusCircle NY DZLong-distance noseslide in NYC, Etienne keeps the big bosses happy

Being the TM for a major company has its advantages and disadvantages, and although the perks usually outweigh the challenges, there’s always fires to put out. A huge upside—the one that helps me sleep at night—is that I get to travel the world with some of my favorite people in skateboarding. The biggest headache is that I’m a 29-year-old skater trying to keep a bunch of other skaters on track for success—whatever the hell that means. I’m new to the team manager gig and this video was the first big project assigned to me. I had to keep telling myself the entire time: Kevin, there’s a lot riding on this.

Words by Kevin Shealy
Photos by Jared Sherbert

Handling business from LA to New York, the crew comes through for their friend and TM

Sherb VANS NY 5 22 11 DZ
Etienne Gagne Backside Noseblunt 750All finesse on the backside NBS, would you expect anything else from ET?

Sherb NMichel 5oh ElectricalBox Austin DZHe flew in late and saved us from a clip drought. Nick Michel, frontside 5-0 at a South Austin BMX haunt

This endeavor started in the beginning of 2022, when everyone felt comfortable enough to hop back in the van and start cracking away in the streets again. Vans green lit Johnathan Flechas to work on a video focusing on a small crew who organically skate together, with Diego Todd and Aidan Mackey serving as the linchpins. I’m not gonna lie—I had my doubts about this thing reaching the finish line. But despite some sweaty hangovers and long, anxious drives, the star-studded cast prevailed and my worrying was all for naught.

Sherb VANS AUSTIN 4 22 21 DZ
Sherb VANS NY 5 22 25 DZ
Our first trip was to Austin in the springtime. Aidan called me up and told me he wanted to spend some time outside of LA (for once!). Before he could change his mind, I immediately booked us rooms for ten days in TX and we flew out to get to work. And by work, I mean we skated Austin High ditch every single day, then clocked in at the Yellow Jacket Social Club every single night. It was our routine—we had to get a trick at the ditch, take a dip in the river, then Bird scooter ourselves to the YJ to meet up with our new Texan friends to sip the night away. We learned a lot about each other on that first mission. For instance, Jared Sherbert isn’t much of a drinker, even though he still tries to slam frozen margaritas like he did in his 20s. Nick Michel will arrive six days late on a trip and still get more clips than anyone else. Etienne and Diego are the two worst people to put together in a room—I had to keep one of their spare keys on me to wake them up every morning. And lastly, Aidan didn’t actually enjoy spending time outside of LA after all. But hey, it was still a hell of a time and we came home with a grip of footage to show Vans that this half-baked plan might just actually work!

Sherb AMackey SWallie1805oh Austin DZAidan, switch 180 wallie to 5-0 a block away from No-Comply

DIego Todd Noseslide Kickflip Austin 750This Austin bank still bears fruit, Diego indulges with a noseslide nollie flip

Sherb VANS AUSTIN 4 22 57 DZ
AndrewAllen Ollie MontebelloCa 2022 Acosta DZAA skipped the trips and kept it local—ollie in East LA. What more could you want?    photo: Acosta

aiden mackey boardslide feeble 1 stitch brook DZAidan, boardslide to feeble over a double rainbow. It’s so beautiful    photo: Brook

Our next trip was to NYC. We rented a van to drive around the Upstate region to gather some footage. This time we had Ben Kadow, Rowan Zorilla, Sully Cormier and a wildcard named Franco hop aboard to add some extra pizzazz to the timeline. With the van packed and the squad hungry for adventure, we said goodbye to Henry at the FA store and headed north for 11 days. Our first stop was The Egg in Albany, which is an incredible plaza filled with ledges and rails. I was ecstatic when both Rowan and Diego got hammers on one of the rails on the first day. Unfortunately, this feeling was short lived. While we were hanging out after the session, the Tum Yeto van rolled up. We said our hellos and watched nervously as Braden Hoban walked up and utterly destroyed the same rail with no warm up. Our bangers suddenly felt kinda soft. It was insane how easily he flipped into the rail with such grace. With our souls crushed and dreams shattered, we decided it was time to keep rolling down the highway.

Sherb SCormier FingerFlip Syracuse NY DZSully finger flips in Chi-town. When tricks are illegal, only outlaws will do them

Sherb VANS NY 5 22 04 DZ
Stu Vans Video 750Stu’s a masochist. He never bails—it’s either eat shit or get away clean. Gap to 50-50 in two tries

Sherb SCormier Wallie50 RochesterNY DZIs that Aidan’s hair on the lens or is Sherbert just getting artsy? Either way, Sully can slappy 50-50 half his height

aiden mackey hospital 1 10 2022 brook DZOh, snap!

As days passed and the van gobbled up miles, the boys’ pep was restored with some very productive sessions in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. With those cities in the rear-view mirror, our final destination was Ithaca—where it rained the entire time we were in town. The drizzle kept us from stacking clips, but it couldn’t prevent us from having fun. Aidan shaved his head sometime in the night while I was sleeping and woke me up screaming, “I’m the new TM!” Ben jumped off a pillar into a bush, mistakenly thinking it might cushion his fall. Wait ‘til you see how fucked it looks in the footage. Etienne obtained his US citizenship; Sully aged five years in ten days; Rowan went full Skate-Rock-tour mode and our good ol’ friend Franco serenaded us with classic rock melodies in the hotel lobby as the front-desk lady joined us for some old-fashioned sing-alongs.

Sherb VANS NY 5 22 27 DZ
Sherb RZorilla Ollie KinkHubba Rochester NY 2 DZRowan may rage like he’s on a Skate Rock trip, but his skating always looks like smooth jazz. Ollie into the ribbon ride

Rowan Zorilla Nollie Flip 750A rare maneuver on the launchers, Rowan works his magic with a nollie flip worthy of a few repeats

Throughout this year of filming with my friends—some old, some new—I learned how to navigate through most of the obstacles the road put in front of me. It’s not easy to corral a bunch of self-titled misfits and expect them to be productive every day. However, I really appreciated all of the time we got to spend together and the ups absolutely outweighed the downs. I hope you like watching this video as much as we liked making it. There’s kinda a lot riding on this…

ROWAN ZORILLA SW FS FLIP BURKHARDT HI DZRow-Zo frontside flips down the street from his house and gets back in time to have dinner with Alex    photo: Burkhardt
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