FLASHBACK: CHAD BARTIE

Trick: Gap to backside 50/50
Location: San Diego, California.
Photos: Atiba
Published in: 1998 Transworld Photo Issue.
Words: Morgan Campbell

These days Chad Bartie is probably known more for his mastery of transition than his raw street skating. But be assured, he can skate it all. Proof of his street legs is right here in this sequence that graced that very last page of the 1998 Transworld Photo Annual. This Atiba-shot sequence of a gap to backside 50/50 on the final section of a triple kink rail is relevant and gnarly to this very day.

It was a long time ago so let’s see if the old brain can recall just what happened on that day in So Cal. I was staying at Jon Holland’s, just around the corner from Matt Mumford’s house in Encinitas. Pretty sure Chad was staying at Matt’s at this point in time. We met up for breakfast at a popular spot called Swami’s. I am pretty sure it was just Matt, Chad and myself at breaky. Chad and I were nervous, as we had made some claims. I had planned to film a trick I had already shot with (Dave) Swift. Of all people I was going to be filming it with: Jamie Thomas at his and Matt’s “warm up” – the San Diegueto ten-stair rail. Jamie was then going to go and try and backside 180 the Rincon rail gap (as seen in his Mislead Youth section). Chad was dealing with a whole new chunk of gnar as he had spied this triple set near the Tum Yeto offices and he had the hair-brained idea of gapping to back 50/50 the bottom rail. After I inhaled my scrambled tofu and the boys had grappled with their bacon burgers we went off on our respective missions. Matt being the good man that he is drove me to San Dieguito where we were to meet Jamie. Chad went off with the still up and coming, yet already wildly talented photographer known as Atiba Jefferson. After an hour or so Jamie, Matt and I got what we needed at San Dieguito. Jamie and Matt split and I went to watch Sluggo try 900’s at the Encinitas YMCA!

Meanwhile, Chad and Atiba were over at the aforementioned triple set in Sorrento Valley. Being next to a major industry hub such as Tum Yeto meant that pretty much every pro of the era had driven by the spot. But had anyone stepped to it? No. The gap to the rail was that large. But what really made it a difficult hit was the fact that he only had a wheelbase-long kink to engage with before dropping onto the path. Then he had to navigate the curb! This was at a time when people were just starting to enjoy serious airtime before landing in grinds or slides. Shooting sequences was one of he most unnerving things to do back in the days of film. This was the pre-digital era; meaning if you were shooting a sequence on a roll of 36 you would only get three or four attempts per roll. You would have to pause ever few attempts and wait for the photographer to reload. And you were looking at ten to fifteen dollars a roll. Photographers only got paid (and in most cases still do) a hundred bucks or so for a full page so after a few rolls they were losing money… even if it was run! I guess the pressure was slightly off in this instance as Atiba was already TWS staff and he would have had all the film he needed. But still… it is good to remember that pre 2000’s there was this added level of pressure in getting sequence. Nothing like the infinite attempts available to today’s masters of the shred. Now I am not positive… but after a copping solid hipper on the curb I am pretty sure that Chad got this on the last roll that Atiba had with him. Not only that, it was on the last 8 frames of the roll! What a gun! Look at the loft involved in his Ollie before contact! After Chad’s victorious roll away, Atiba and him jumped in their whip and headed off to Rincon to meet Jamie where after a massive battle Jamie rolled away from one of the gnarliest backside 180’s that had been done to date.

We met up a Jamie’s later on and everyone was pretty damn tender, happy but sore. So there you have it… a move still gnarly sixteen years on. Respect to the Bart-man.

The trick can be seen here at 4:11 in Transworld’s Sixth Sense Video.

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