Skateboarding After 30 - Why We Do It To Ourselves

We can't get enough of it can we? No matter how embarrassing it is to be on the subway receiving confused looks as commuters search for a younger brother, cousin, or child who you're holding it for. I mean - that's definitely not YOUR skateboard is it? I mean dude, look at you - your hair is thinning / gray, you're about 10 (probably 20) lbs overweight, and man - you just look fucking terrible.  

Even with all of the dread of coworkers finding out, explaining to family members why our wrists and knees are shit, why we're limping, or worse yet - what we did last weekend.  Even with all of this, we continue to ostracize ourselves and live our pathetic, Peter Pan lifestyle - emulating the fashion of children and damaging ourselves physically all the while. Continuing to keep up with new skate videos if only for the sole purpose of talking trash on them with our friends and reflecting on how the internet has diminished the craft of real skate videos - how there's no personality left, and how everything just got 'easier'. I mean - these kids have these PERFECT skateparks, we didn't have that shit, ya know??

But we love it, don't we? The whole reason we got into skateboarding is because it was a subculture, so it only makes sense that we hate on anything that even has a hint of mainstream popularity. I was actually talking with Bobby the other day about that Tyshawn quote where he's talking about the olympics.

 via Jenkem

via Jenkem

My immediate thought straight off the bat was - nah, fuck the olympics, this dude is just young and doesn't really know what he's saying. Then I was like - wait, maybe he's actually going against the grain and thinking how a true skateboarder should. Maybe he's being fully punk.

Then I thought about it a little bit more, and was like - nah, fuck the olympics - skateboarding isn't about winning some medal. It's about an undying attempt to win the acceptance of the generation that came before you - a generation of skaters who were meaner, and less appreciative than you could ever pretend to be. 

 @442rab

@442rab

So I guess this is sort of a stream of consciousness article - but I really do think it's amazing that even as our bodies begin to recess, our skill levels (rapidly) fade, and it becomes an achievement to retain tricks, and nothing more than a dream to actually progress...even with these circumstances (on top of aforementioned social issues), we do our best to maintain. 

Was talking the other week with Dave about how we spend more time at the gym trying to get into 'skate shape' than we do actually skating. How we're "only at the gym because we have to be".

But how quickly can it spiral? How long before I'm "only at this yoga class because I have to be", or "only going vegan because I heard Kenny Anderson is, and I mean come on, look at his beautiful face..." 

We even find ourselves spending more time wandering the streets of downtown looking for new spots, than we do actually skating the spots. But who knows - maybe this is our odd way of contributing to the community when we can't add any value physically. Perhaps this is the next stage in the lifecycle - doing our best to keep up appearances, keeping the younger generation in check, and giving them the intel on great spots to skate. I mean it's either that, or run a skate blog. Ha - but what 30 year old would run a skate blog, unpaid, for absolutely no reason. That would be humiliating, lol. 

 @frozenincarbonite

@frozenincarbonite

I do, however, think it's a lot simpler than all of this. All jokes aside I think what it really comes down to is that 99% of skateboarders who would read an article like this are incredibly fortunate (myself included). We're lucky to have been just good enough at skateboarding to continue doing it - usually good enough to go to any park and be able to skate it and have fun. Good enough to avoid falling most of the time. But we're also bad enough where there isn't a lot of pressure on us to do anything with skateboarding. We're not using skateboarding to pay the bills. We don't view it as a job or obligation. We continue to skate because it's ours - because we can laugh with our friends, drink some beers, and bullshit. We can win a game of skate, we can land a back tail, we can make an iPhone edit. We can have a clip in the friends section. We can go to an art show and know everybody there. We continue to do it because it's what we know, and what knows us. And no matter what kind of suffering we have to endure, it's all pretty much worthwhile to remain a part of it. 

-Staff