Skateboarding’s funniest fails: the coffee slam

coffee slam
Easy does it; screen grab from video

Skateboarding has been evolving and progressing at an amazing pace since the very first days of the world’s favorite four-wheeled action sport. Every day, skaters push the limits of progression with technical flip tricks, grind variations, and insane gravity-defying airs. With the epic evolution of skateboarding and the constant influx of new tricks, one aspect of the sport has been the same since day one: the slams. Slams have been a part of skateboarding since the very beginning, and just like a car crash, it’s impossible to turn your eyes when you know a good slam is about to happen. Some slams are brutal, bone-breaking affairs, while others are just plain hilarious. The latest (and one of the greatest) skate slams to go viral on the net is “The Coffee Slam,” and it’s funny as hell.

Skater Garrett Hill, who is known for his heavy-hitting rail assault and technical wizardry on the streets, was just trying to help hype up his homies during a mid-morning session when disaster struck. Thankfully, the cameras were rolling and even though Hill wasn’t trying a gnarly trick, he still managed to provide the peanut gallery one of the best slams ever caught on video. “The Coffee Slam” has been making the rounds online, so we figured it was time to get the lowdown on Hill’s coffee-spilling throw-down.

For better or for worse, the coffee slam has become pretty famous. Explain how this whole thing happened.
Garrett Hill: It was just one of those things where literally everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. My brother and my friend Che were skating a spot in Valencia [California] and I was trying to do a good deed for the crew and went and got coffee and waters for everybody. My friend Che was battling a trick for a while, so I thought it would be cool to get the crew hyped with some coffee and stuff; it was seriously feeling like a great day. And then it happened. On my way back to where everybody was skating, I rolled in front of the camera, and as I was yelling something like, “Time to f–king kill it!” to my friends to get them hyped, I hit a rock and it was like a plane crash.

My sunglasses and headband go flying off my head as I fall. I was holding onto the coffee ’til the bitter end. I swear I was thinking in slow motion as I went down, “Just hold onto the cover—save the coffee!” As you can see, I didn’t. I hit the ground pretty hard. The coffee was super hot and sprayed all over my hands and face. I got a crazy hipper; it just sucked so bad.

After you slammed, you yelled, cursed, smashed your board, and walked off. Why were you so mad?

I had so many reasons to be mad. I was so pissed on so many different levels. I spilled all the coffee on the run-up, where the guys needed to roll through to get to the spot. I was mad ’cause I wasted all that money on coffee—sounds funny, but it was four big coffees, like 20 bucks or something. I actually hurt my hip, knocked the wind out of myself, got hot coffee on my hands and face—everything sucked. I was legitimately angry, as you can probably see in the video.

coffee slam
Garrett Hill shredding, not slamming; photo courtesy TransWorld SKATEboarding

Usually when people slam, their friends either laugh or run up and say, “Are you OK?!”, but in this video, all you hear when you slam is silence, save for one quiet expletive.
[Laughs.] Yeah, the crew was pretty much in shock. I actually walked off and went around the block to calm down. By the time I got back, we watched the footage a few more times and we all pretty much laughed our asses off for the rest of the day. We must have watched that slam a hundred times; it became really, really funny after the initial pain went away.

So at the end of the day, sometimes slamming is a good thing?
Yeah, for sure. But if no one’s filming and you take a hard slam, it sucks. At least if you slam and have it on film, you’ve got something to show for it. If you slam trying a trick, and then get the trick, now you’ve got two things. So yeah, a slam can be good. I’m actually lucky that this particular slam was caught on tape, ‘cause it was in between a friend actually doing his trick. I just happened to slam in the right spot at the right time. If this slam wasn’t on film, no one would have believed it.

coffee slam
Garrett Hill’s got enough footage logged for two full parts, so be on the lookout.

It’s almost so good that it looks like a really good Hollywood stunt. Have you had people ask you if you faked the coffee slam?
Not really. Maybe one or two people, but seriously, I would never slam that hard on purpose, let alone waste a good cup of coffee.

So of all the gnarly skate footage you’ve put out in your life as a pro, this is the thing that goes viral.
[Laughs.] Yeah—crazy, right? It’s been everywhere; the coffee slam is the most famous thing I’ve ever done. All kinds of blogs, websites, Instagrams, people’s Facebook pages—it’s everywhere. Millions of people have probably seen it by now. It came at the end of a web-video drop for Threat Skateboards, so I guess it’s a good thing that so many people have seen it.

Well, congrats, I guess. Beyond the slam, where can we see some new Garrett Hill footage that doesn’t involve hot coffee being sprayed onto your face?
Well, I have a ton of new footage saved up, so it will be dropping soon. Not sure where yet, but I have two full parts pretty much ready to go. Hopefully people will be as stoked to watch the actual skate footage as they are the coffee slam.

New footage of Hill drops soon. For now, check out this cool little edit from Primitive.

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