Paul Sharpe – Tilt Mode Man Down (2001)
Power and grace.
Paul Sharpe had the task of opening the second Tilt Mode video Man Down. The first self-titled Titl Mode video (released by NC Clothing) was an underground hit that pegged the San Jose skate scene as a bunch of jokers looking to get rad and have fun with their boards. Man Down was still just as fun except a select few members of the merry band of brothers got full parts and with the climate of skateboarding focussed on bigger and better tricks, the level had risen considerably.
Straight from the get go, Paul places himself amongst the elite with some serious pop and unfaltering balance yet his first trick is a homage to a famous photo of Eric Koston ollieing a stack of boards during the Goofy Boy era. Paul’s contemporary take on the trick takes a slight dig at the heightened popularity of skateboarding in 2001 by ollieing a huge stack of Tech Decks instead. The indie rhythm of Ladytron sets the tone for this independent video and things set off impeccably. There is humour but there is dead serious skill on skateboards displayed too.
For a 6 foot plus skater, Paul has great style with no stiffness to his gait. Paul shared a space on the Supernaut team but never pierced the glass ceiling to super stardom. His straight forward approach to hopping over tall obstacles and steering lipslides and the such meant that his skating was always appreciated by even the most stubborn skaters. His final backside nollie 180 over the once very popular San Francisco bump to bar is huge. His frame dwarves the rail making it seem like he could done without the bump.