Saturday, December 9, 2017

Skateboard Fashion

  I was driving my car recently, and I saw a skateboarder on the sidewalk. And he was wearing current skateboarder clothes- high water pants, little slip-on shoes, and a beanie rolled up over his ears (Gilbert Crockett was the first person I saw do this. But knowing Richmond, VA, it was probably an NYC thing first).
  My thought was not, "Cool! A skateboarder!" Or, "I'm glad to see skateboarding is alive and well". It was, "Ugh, this is why I hate skateboarding."
  I know, Cue the, "It's just clothes, man! It's the skateboarding that counts!", bullshit. But if someone is dressed like a clown, I can't help but see it.
  Don't get me wrong, I say, Whatever floats your boat. People can wear whatever they want, and it's fine with me. I just don't like the Monkey See, Monkey Do mentality. "Oh, this is cool now! I'm going to do it, too!"
  There's this myth that skateboarders are so unique and creative and don't follow the rules. We're all maverick non-conformists! I call bullshit on that. Skateboarders are more like 14 year old girls, just doing whatever the latest trend is.
  Confession time: In the 90s, I wore big pants. That were cut off at the bottom. And Fuct shorts. And Pumas. In short, I was just like every other dipshit. Now I look back at that stuff and cringe. It wasn't until I got older that I realized, You don't have to dress like that. You can wear whatever you want. You can even wear something different, that isn't acceptable skateboard fashion.
  Anybody who says, "Kids today are all the same!", doesn't have a very good memory. The 90s Goofy Boy look was followed by "the uniform"- plain white t shirt, jeans, Airwalks. It's not some new development.
  I went out with this chick once, and this topic came up. Not exactly the same thing, but similar. She thought your clothes let people know what tribe you were in. I thought that was stupid, it reminded me of high school. "What are you? A skater? A jock? A stoner? A nerd?" I thought, Damn, I'm not a 15 year old anymore, following the rules of the kids I sit in the cafeteria with.
  I get it, Most skateboarders are teenagers who are still finding themselves. They're probably not going to have a fully developed self and sense of style. What trips me out are old dudes doing it. Well known pros. Look how their kit has changed over the years. I wonder, Do they do it consciously? Like, "Man, I gotta throw out all my clothes, and get some highwater Dickies pants?" I guess you have to do those things when your income is based on kids buying shit with your name on it (one of the many reasons I'm glad I'm not a professional skateboarder).
  I just wish there were more people doing their own thing. Maybe then kids could see, You can do what you want. You don't have to just follow everyone else.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

  I think that's what old vert guys don't understand- when street skating blew up in the late 80s, it was organic and grassroots. Who killed vert? Rocco? The magazines? Skateboard companies? For me, it was Natas Kaupas, albeit unintentionally.
  I think Natas had the first modern street part. I know Tommy Guerrero in Future Primitive had the first ever street part. And for the time, it was really sick. But I think he does two ollies in the whole part.
  Back then, you really didn't see street skating that much. Photos in magazines. Or contest videos, like Streetstyle in Tempe, or Oceanside Street Attack (I love the names of old skateboard contests, they're so dramatic- Rampage in Kansas!, Toledo Vert Attack!, etc.). Those contests were so bad. Three fourths of them were vert guys going off launch ramps and doing g-turns and shit like that.
  The Santa Cruz video Wheels of Fire was the first time kids really saw actual, modern street skating. I can remember being at my friend's house and watching that video... and being blown the fuck away. That guy ollied a trash can! He does method airs out of driveways! He did a frontside 360 ollie! And so on. I think kids saw that, and forgot all about vert skating. I know I did.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

  When I started skateboarding in the mid-to-late 80s, there was a lot of traveling involved. It was, "This kid on the other side of town has a ramp in his backyard", and then travelling to it. Or, "This guy five blocks away has a jump ramp", and then travelling to that. A lot of covering great distance to skateboard on some wooden contraption. 
  Once street skating became a thing... it wasn't like that anymore. It became about walking out the front door and finding a bench, or a wall, or a parking block, or even just flat ground to try kickflips. 
  I don't think skateboarders today can appreciate what a revelation that was. I don't have to travel miles to skateboard?! I can skate my neighborhood, and my surroundings? Holy shit!