What’s Right With Skateboarding?

What’s Right With Skateboarding?
Words By Rory Parker

Words By Rory Parker

If you didn’t know better you’d think that I hate skateboarding. I rarely have anything positive to say about it.  But, I really, really love it, and I think there are a million great things about it.  So, let’s start 2007 on a positive note.  Here’s what’s right with skating these days.  -Rory Parker

WOMEN
Girls can skate now.  That’s not surprising, of course, after all skating is much more reliant on balance and grace than brute strength.  But, in years past female skaters have been very rare, and the smaller talent pool means there are far less gifted skaters to draw from.  That’s not to say there haven’t always been ladies who can kill it (Cara Beth Burnside has been ripping since the eighties), but in the past they have been mainly confined to tranny.  That’s no longer true.  Female street skating, once embodied by Elissa Steamer, has exploded, and nowadays there is no shortage of vagina bearing street shralpers.  Amy Caron, Alexis Sablone, and Jamie Reyes spring to mind, but there are many many others.  As far as tranny skating goes, the level is rising dramatically too.  Thanks to girls like Apryl Woodcock and Lindsey Adams Hawkins backside 50- 50’s and early grab airs aren’t enough to win a contest anymore, and that’s a good thing because Skateboarding is better because of them.

Girls are what’s right with skateboarding. Evelien Bouiliart. Feeble Grind. PHOTO: Huey

Girls are what’s right with skateboarding. Evelien Bouiliart. Feeble Grind. PHOTO: Huey

AGING PROS
As skateboarding’s top pros creep ever closer to infirmity they’re giving people like me a new lease on life.  Just because you’ve got a family, or are a bit more sore in the morning than you used to be doesn’t mean you have to give up the old shred sled.  In fact, it’s even possible to keep progressing after that dreaded 30th birthday.  Of course, jumping down stairs does lose some of its allure with age, but closing the book on your “extremeness” doesn’t mean you can’t keep doing what you love.  Just slap on some softer wheels and give your trucks a few counter clockwise twists and then go out and get your shred on.  Getting older can be a blessing, once you’ve given up on the competitiveness of youth whole new doors open.  You may not look as cool anymore, but the stoke wll always be the same.

DOOGOOD CONSERVATORY
What started as a free swag give away day at Ari Gold’s Trinity Boardshop has grown into an international charity with twenty programs in nine states and Mexico.  The Doogood Conservatory  provides free skateboards for kids to ride, as well as surfboards and snowboards in its fledgling surf/ snow offshoots.   Help bring the joy of skating into the lives of kids who can’t afford a new setup, go to doogood.org and donate via paypal.  Just a buck a year from every skater would be enough.

Ari Gold of DooGood Conservatory. Photo: Rodent

Ari Gold of DooGood Conservatory. Photo: Rodent

MONEY
Yeah, the commercialization of our beloved pastime can get a little ridiculous at times, but at least dudes are finally getting paid.  And, with so much money invested in skateboarding  it’s unlikely we’ll see another die off like we did in the early nineties.  Corporations finally have a vested interest in keeping our sport healthy, they can see there’s much more money to be made if they sustain interest in skateboarding, rather than trying to profit off quick slash and burn capitalism, like they have before.

SPoT CONTESTS
I wrote a little about this last month, but it bears repeating.  Skateboarding contests are increasingly being blown up into the monstrous corporate affairs I find excruciating. But, it’s fucking awesome that Brian Schaeffer and Ryan Clemens over at the Skatepark Of Tampa (SPoT). WIth every event they host, they  manage to retain a grassroots feeling  that made us all fall in love with skateboarding in the first place. (skateparkoftampa.com)

Brian Shaefer and Ryan Clements of SPoT.

Brian Shaefer and Ryan Clements of SPoT.

PROGRESSION
True, skateboarding has always been about progression, and today’s crop of up and comers are even more unbelievably good than the last.  Skateboarding’s popularity means that the talent pool is deeper than ever, and the tricks that are lurking around the corner are going to blow your mind. Tricks we could only dream about 10 years ago are going down today like it’s nothin’. Just wait ‘till kids start throwing front side 540 ollies down stairs.  It’ll happen, believe me.

Adam Alfaro Enjoying some public tranny.‑Adam Alfaro Nosegrab transfer to fakie from one bowl to another.

Adam Alfaro Enjoying some public tranny. Nosegrab transfer to fakie from one bowl to another.

 

 

 

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