(photo screenshot from Grade film)

Arbor Skateboards & Caliber Truck Co. dropped “Grade” over a month ago on Vimeo. I put it into my brain as a “Check Out this video ASAP” kind of thing, and then the Holidays hit. And food, and beer, and brain coma, until today.

Today I watched Grade. And. It. Was. AWESOME. Pretty fucking awesome. I grabbed a Lagunitas IPA, a notepad, a pen and the dog and I curled up to watch it on the couch. I hit play and 25 minutes later when it ended the only thing on my notepad was the name of the movie and the following: “These guys are fucking psychos…Suicidal.” True story.

The movie is split up into song length chapters following James Kelly, Liam Morgan, Taylor Howell, Brandon Tissen and Jordan Riachi around the world as they freeride curvy, insane downhill roads. The following is a short list of the things that could have made the ending of this film much sadder:

  • Cliffs
  • Cars & Trucks
  • Deer, Kangaroo, Cow or Sheep
  • Pebbles or Rocks

But none of those things happened. My only negative was some of the voiceovers between songs were a little violent on the ear after I had been lost in about three minutes of mesmerizing downhill. Based on the Lightning Bolt Scale of Awesomeness (based on beer but still) this gets 5 out of 6 lightning bolts. Well done.

GRADE from Arbor Collective on Vimeo.

“Caliber Truck Co. and Arbor Skateboards, in association with Blood Orange, present GRADE; a downhill/freeride full-length film chronicling a year of travel with our top team riders. Tag along with James Kelly, Liam Morgan, Tyler Howell, Brandon Tissen, and Jordan Riachi as they travel to some of the most critical and challenging roads in the world. GRADE was filmed on location in Mexico, Hawaii, Northern Sierras, Laguna Beach, Australia, and Switzerland.”