Tengu: God of Mischief Skates Again

Remember when we told you about that skater who was crazy enough to jump New York City subway tracks? Well, not only was Allen Ying snapping shots of the insanity, but Colin Read was recording the entire crew and the video footage is now out in Tengu: God of Mischief.

“Tengu” captures more than that epic moment; it follows the guys from San Francisco to New York to Bordeaux to Tokyo over a two and a half to three year span.

“Everybody that I filmed shares the same theories about what skateboarding should be, the way it should be seen and the way you should go about it,” Read says. “Chaos is just the natural order of things.”

When it came to filming in San Francisco, Read really didn’t know what to expect, but he fell in love after just two weeks. So he went back two more times to grab more footage.

“There seems like there is a lot of untouched ground in San Francisco. Of course there are still unfound spots in New York, but in San Francisco, even if you’re not finding a spot to skate just skating down hill is such a different experience,” Read explains. “I think the first bit of filming, I was doing it terribly. I was not used to how it has to be done going down the hills; to film really close to someone while going as fast as you can down a hill. It was pretty intimidating.”

All the chaos they caused aside (tearing across front porches and what not), Read found people in San Fransisco to be a lot more allowing to let you skate, whereas in New York, specifically spots in SoHo they had experienced the pleasure of people throwing beer bottles at their heads from fourth story windows.

“If people in San Francisco are really nice and generous then people in Japan… it’s just unbelievable,” he says. “Random strangers will go out of their way to help you find where you’re trying to go, with nothing expected in return.”

Read and a friend had been skating a spot in Japan, just the two of them, no one else in sight and out of nowhere a guy in flip flops walks up and sits down. He watches them shred for about an hour. As they’re about to leave the guy comes up, shakes their hands and in broken English says “Spot. Skate spot’ and they nod. The guy makes a follow me motion and Read and his friend walk with him for about 15 minutes through the dark night.

“We walk into this housing complex and there was this amazing, colorful, tile dome in the middle of a playground area,” Read recalls. “Being that it was at night, there was no chance we were going to find that. I don’t know if the guy even skated, he didn’t look like he skated, but he knew the spot. We got a beer with him and went on our way. I don’t think we ever even exchanged names.”

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