Skateboarder Kilian Martin, Stripped Down


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Normally, Kilian Martin's skateboarding videos feature tightly edited footage of spins, headstands, and ollies set to lilting or brooding music. The 25-year-old Spaniard's choreographed freestyle moves play like a ballet, with his board flying gracefully over concrete, off brick walls, and down metal rails. In Stationpark, filmmaker Juan Rayos stripped all that away to offer a more intimate and gritty view of what Martin does. He abandoned the music, and accentuated the sounds made by Martin's board in an abandoned building. He also ditched the tight edits and focused on Martin's full, repeated attempts to get a move just right. He showed Martin failing, with heavy breathing and grunts of frustration to boot.

The end result is noisy, yet spare. There is the banging of a board slammed on a wooden floor after jumps, the rolling and screetching of wheels over concrete, the scratch of dust under spinning wood, and all of the other knocking and hammering that comes from slamming, riding, and jumping a skateboard over and over and over again in an empty place. It's all a simple testament to the strength, determination, and practice that allows Martin to make something so difficult look so easy.

—Joe Spring