I normally try to avoid making sweeping generalizations about skateboarders, ("we're like individuals who all do the same thing, man") but when we're not gabbing about what AVE's upcoming part will be like or quizzing each other on what Gang Starr song Koston skated to in "Falling Down", we're usually telling stories about chicks and sex, some of which are true, most of which are totally embellished and or completely made up. Maybe it's our lack of skill on a skateboard that forces us to overcompensate with our tall tales: "Nah I didn't end up trying that handrail, but I TOTALLY had a foursome last night...nah I mean I watched a threesome on a porn site but like, you know, I was there..."
So much of this ridiculous banter goes on throughout a day of skateboarding, I began to do some soul searching about where my love for skateboarding, and my animalistic curiosity for the opposite sex, first crossed. This search brought me all the way back to nine year old me, a me that had several imaginary friends and wrote the damn book on how to rock a chill bowl cut. Yes before the Hubba girls, the Duffs girls, before Erica Yary or Leanne Tweeden, and long before any hot chick would be caught dead in a Thrasher shirt, there was Rosa. Shorty’s Rosa.
Skate magazines felt less filtered back then, every page was a titillating surprise, introducing me to subject matter that Mom would normally disapprove of. How was she to know? It’s a skateboard magazine: just skateboarding in there. Boom, waddya know, fuck you Mom, there’s people smoking weed, somebody using words starting with "C" and ending in "T",(that's "CAT" for our younger readers) and sweet chicks like Rosa baring it all. Now I was a relatively mature 9 year old, I had been lucky enough to see Titanic in theaters (boom again, fuck you Mom!) so I had some understanding of what a woman with no clothes on was like, though it took me some time to figure out why Leo Dicaprio was so sweaty and if he was indeed the winner of the wrestling match they had inside that car below deck.
But something was different about Rosa’s nakedness...it was something much more profound; her nudity was criss-crossing with something that was already very close to my heart. Dude, do I wanna fuck my skateboard? I knew I loved skateboarding and post-Titanic viewing, I knew I loved a nice set of tits...how did they know to combine the two? Here’s an ad with no skateboarding in it, just a beautiful woman covered in hardware, and all I know is that I NEED Shorty’s hardware. It made me feel like a chick like Rosa only fucked with dudes who rocked Shorty's...I never saw hot chicks in Monkey hardware ads.
"What does this all mean?!?" cried my nine year old self, the matter being well beyond the expertise of even the smartest of my imaginary friends.
“Ya, duh bro. Sex sells, bro. The advertising industry uses sex as a means of tapping into the biological and emotional aspects of our sexuality to convince us that buying their product will fulfill any messages they may be trying to convey, bro. Like we’re all just slaves, bro..”
Yeah cool, you were a freshman in college once (or graduated college and checked out the wiki page on sex/advertising ;) ). It’s a tired cliche, sex is an obviously effective advertising technique. However, Rosa and Kate Winslett were my first introductions to sex and they stirred something in me I had never felt before. They’re less like objectified sex pawns of the film/advertising industries and more like an old neighbor who I caught changing in the window. Nostalgic memories of a very pervy and curious time in my life.
So what's the point you ask? Why have we revisited skateboarding's long lost vixen? You're probably a little bummed you know so much about my sexual development. The point is this: we must celebrate this beautiful icon the same way we would have if she had been a professional skateboarder. Her impact on the psyche on this once 9 year old boy will never cease to be significant, she will always remain my first and only love.
Rosa, if you're reading this, thank you for your time in skateboarding. Had it not been for you or The Muska I don't know who I'd be today. You may have saved me from myself.
Special thanks to Kate Winslett's titty and Rosa if you do read this, that number still good to call? Any chance for an interview? Get lunch? Pen pals? Anything?