Adam Davies' 11 Favourite Tricks — Monster Children (2023)


Written By Josh Sabini

Adam Davies' 11 Favourite Tricks — Monster Children (1)

The segment continues! Up this week we have Adam Davies, who you may know from his part in Mobbn Deep where he does a hard flip backtail bigflip on a ledge and a back tail backside flip on a handrail, or from the Taser S.K.A.T.E. video on YouTube, where he whitewashes some guy in S.K.A.T.E, so he didn’t get tased. (Why were people so obsessed with tasers in 2013?) More recently, he had the last part in James Thompson’s SODA video—a part full of tasteful tech. He’s currently working on a part for his board sponsor, 4 Skate Co, which should be out sometime in the near future.

I first met Davies when he moved back to Melbourne from Canada after living there for two years. He was skating dipped Mystery logo boards with Filmbot griptape and Huf shoes with the H on the side. Even then, as an annoying 12-year-old, Davies was always cool to me. Here we are now, ten years later, and I’m still asking him basically the same questions, but this time I think he wants to answer them. So, Davies, what are your 11 favourite tricks?

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Arto Saari: Fakie Flip – Flip Sorry [2002]

It’s just sick. The all-black fit. The way that the music stops. The way he rolls in a big circle when he lands it and is just chilling. He looks so calm. Fakie flipping down a big set of stairs seems so simple, but it is so scary. The Bowie song cuts out and he just rolls up perfectly and does a simple, big fakie flip and just cruises. It’s like a casual glory ride, he gets the time. There aren’t people there cheering, he’s just like, ‘Yeah, of course, I did it’. That’s the attitude that it seems like he had when he rolls away.

To edit it like that so it shows the whole rollaway is like mature restraint. It’s like, ‘Yep, take the time, show the clip, that’s him and that’s his style, that’s his fakie flip’. As opposed to now, it’s like show the B-roll or show his face really tight when he’s rolling up. The whole clip is the epitome of clean. I don’t like the word clean to describe stuff but that’s what it is.

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Eric Koston: Backtail Backside Flip – Girl Yeah Right! [2003]

I think Heath Kirchart’s one was first, but Koston’s one was the first one I saw. It was so sick, to slide and flip out down a handrail, just seemed so insane to me. The fact he lands it so well and takes the curb so quickly after is incredible. It’s a double angle too. I love a double angle to showcase the trick.

Yeah Right! was the first video I ever watched, my friend at school who was already drifting away from skating, gave me a bunch of videos, and it was one of them. It was just when I started understanding what tricks were and how hard they were, so I was blown away. That trick didn’t inspire me directly at the time, as I was so young, but it obviously influenced the way I skate over time.

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Mark Appleyard: Kickflip – Flip Really Sorry [2003]

I was trying to think of tricks that when I watch a video, I always rewind and rewatch. This is one of them. When the second song kicks in and it's quiet, he’s watching for traffic, and you hear him go, ‘Here we go.’ It’s one of the things that in skating has stood the test of time, it’s quotable like, ‘We’re getting fucked up tonight’. Then on top of that, it’s a simple trick down a big set of stairs done well.

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Daewon Song: Fakie Tre Fakie Manual – Almost Round 3 [2005]

He pops out quickly over a garden gap; he does a few tricks at the spot, too. But the fakie tre fakie manny is insane. He just does it so perfectly. I remember wanting to skate a spot like that because it's low to get onto, there’s a bit of a drop and there is kind of a gap out.

I remember hearing that while he was filming with Colin Kennedy for that video, they were also filming for Skate More at the same time, and Colin wanted him to film more chill, tasteful stuff for Skate More, and whatever tech Daewon wanted to do was for Round 3. But this was the mix of the two, it’s a cool spot and it’s a crazy trick, but he does it really clean and well.

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Marc Johnson: Martin Place Line – Girl Yeah Right! [2003]

It’s such a deceptive line as it goes past in the video. I remember as a kid being like, ‘I could do that—it’s just three stairs.’ Then you go there, and you realise how hard it actually is. To do the cab flip like that, he would’ve had to be going so fast on the nollie flip, but it just looks so relaxed. I think it was a great choice to put that clip in the video. I think these days, a line on a string of three stairs probably wouldn’t make it into the video. But it’s the perfect mix of something that allows people to look at and think, ‘I could do that or try something like that’, but it is not easy at all. I tried to replicate it while I was in Sydney, and it was so hard. Everybody who goes to that spot wants to recreate that line or at least try to do tricks down the three sets.

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Stefan Janoski: Line – Transworld Subtleties [2004]

I feel like everyone knows this line; it’s a string of amazing tricks. The switch nosegrind revert, nollie flip on flat, nollie back 180 switch front crook and nollie frontside flip, then switch front heel; he barely moves his feet between the last two tricks and they could be the gif alone. It’s the Nollie back 180 switch front crook that seals the deal, though. It’s in slo-mo to be like, ‘This is a pretty fucked up trick—you should pay attention to this.’

People still don’t do that trick that well, it’s pretty much just Tiago [Lemos] and LC [Ben Lawrie] who do them, and of course, Charlie Munro, who just did the most ruthless one of all time in Milan. And to follow it up with the flat ground tricks after is perfect. It’s just a whole bunch of good tricks done real well but real casually. The spot looks so uninteresting, too: it’s a bench off a jersey barrier. Like why is it even there? That adds to it in a way.

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Kenny Anderson: Backside 180 Fakie 5-0 Half Cab Flip – Chocolate Hot Chocolate [2004]

There are so many tricks that could be listed on that spot. I love that video, and being a backside guy myself, that trick spoke to me. I’ve always wanted to skate a spot like that. He locks into it so well, and he rolls away so chill.

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Bobby Dekeyzer: Switch Nose Manual Half Cab Flip – Welcome to Converse Cons [2016]

The fact he switch heels up it is impressive. A lot of people just go up and do a trick on the pad. It’s a spot that I have always wanted to go to, and he did the absolute shit out of it. Switch nose manual half cab flip is a great trick, especially when you don’t 180 into it. He boned the half cab flip to the perfect angle of the bank; it was bolts on the steep incline. He couldn’t have done it any better.

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Eric Koston: Fakie Frontside Flip Manual 180 Switch Manual – Lakai Fully Flared [2007]

When we were talking about doing this list, we toyed around with the idea of if it could be all manuals. And when I thought about the manuals I would choose, this was one of them. Of course, the backtail backside flip had to be on the list, that was a big one for me, but I thought it would make sense to have this one too. Fakie frontside flip to manual is already a hard trick—you’re going in blind, and you’re all twisted. Then to hold it on a skinny pad for a long time and then to 180 down into a switch manual and hold that for a long time seems ridiculous.

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Bob Burnquist: Fakie 5-0 Fakie Flip – X Games Vert Best Trick [2000]

Can’t fuck with it. It was first try in a best trick contest. Fly out off the top of a half pipe, which is already so ridiculous that people skate half pipes. Then skate a suspended flat bar above the coping and do a fakie 5-0 fakie flip going back into the ramp is nuts. Everything is nuts. The other thing about vert clips is the amount of people around. The hype and energy seem insane, it makes sense how they land this stuff when that’s the energy of the session.

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Tully West: Switch Front Shuv – The Spothunter's Guide to Zhengzhou [2016]

Our beloved Tully, switch front shuv. It’s in a tour video that Neihana [Tonkin] made of our trip to Zhengzhou. We have back-to-back tricks on that same set of stairs. It’s such a good switch front shuv. There were so many people around; it was like the vert energy. It was a city in China that not many people had been to for skating, so people were shocked to see skating and a whole bunch of guys. It was also the Dorksquad era, and people were going a bit crazy with the crowd and the energy that built off that, with Tully bonelessing the stairs and us all going crazy.

He did so many good tricks, but switch front shuv was always one of his super clean tricks. The way it’s filmed from the top, Nei filmed it so sick, and he just stomps the shit out of it. Watching that clip, all of the memories from behind the scenes of that session come back. That’s what we’ve got of Tully, all those videos. So, it’s good to watch them.

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Josh Sabini


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