I know. Kind of a weird way to kick this segment off, but Rojo brought it up to me the other day and he makes a good point. What really happened to rasta skateboarders? I know like at least half of you fools own the infamous Ipath Summer Preview promo (not knocking it at all, best video), which came out in '05. That one was pretty heavy with the vibes mon, so what the fuck happened? I mean, you still see these dudes here and there, but there certainly isn't the over-abundance of dreaded, green-yellow-and-red toned dudes doing front board pop-outs for a living that there used to be.
Hear me out. When I think about first starting to skateboard around the turn of the millennium, picking up a CCS or even going to Coliseum to buy shoes, that irie vibe was EVERYWHERE. Companies were BASED OFF OF this shit. Like that was their entire company message. What a ballsy move. Hemp. Earthy tones. Bob Marley. Stash Pockets. Think about it. We got Rasa Libre. We got Ipath. We got Organika. Element even went through its own phase having Nyjah, Tosh Townend, Jake Rupp, and Brent Atchley (actually that dude deserves his own feature for this segment, don't let me forget about that shit) on the team.
If you didn't look at a pair of Ipath Cats as a preteen/teenager/grown-ass-man and NOT want to get a pair, then...you probably, um...actually I guess you probably had decent taste in early 2000's skateboard footwear, so fuck you, cuz I didn't. I still own a pair of Cats, and it amazes me how my mom didn't notice the insanely obvious intention of that clever little pouch underneath the tongue. We all know what was going on there.
Anyways, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that these dudes just don't exist the way they used to, and it's kind of a bummer. Their whole subculture was honestly rad as fuck. Look at the entire Ipath roster anywhere between 2000-2005 for example. Kenny Reed, Matt Field, Freddy Fucking Gall. There was a clear identity, which a lot of companies struggle with nowadays.
I think that's a big reason why myself and a lot of my friends will look back at the early 2000's so nostalgically. Back then, the best companies in skateboarding were the best companies in skateboarding because of their identities. They each brought something unique to the table, that, as an impressionable kid, you could sample and figure out what you liked best - Where you identified, or, as corny as it sounds, where you "belonged". Zero has maintained its hard-ass, "go-for-broke" image since its inception, which a lot of young huckers can relate to and strive for. Girl and Chocolate have experienced all sorts of changes with team members throughout its 20-year history, but you know what? They bring it back to the same schoolyards and picnic tables in every fucking video. I love that shit. Consistency is hard to find these days in a brand, and unfortunately I feel that the Rasta demographic just wasn't large enough to carry that type of skateboarder through another decade.
Now not to sound like an old man here, but I also feel that skateboarding has become a bit too fast-paced for the Rasta to survive on the professional level in 2014. Dudes are doing gnarly shit in every aspect of skateboarding these days. We've even got hipster dudes doing tricks that Rasta skateboarders made popular, and, dare I say it, they're doing it better than them. This is all completely opinion based of course, but I just don't think they were able to survive in such a fast-paced industry.
We need the new Thrasher part every Friday. We need Hellaclips, which is checked multiple times daily, maybe more so than Pornhub. If all else fails, you know we can always go on a Youtube binge and watch guilty pleasures such as "Best Carlsbad Gap Montage Ever Made", all 7 minutes of it, for the thousandth time (I know I'm not the only one watching this shit)...And isn't it fucked up that soon enough people will look back at Bob Gnarly's Youtube channel with that strange, twinkle-in-your-eye nostalgia your parents likely view record stores with. Like on some "back in my day" shit. Isn't that insane?! Its a Youtube channel god dammit, not the record store your dad bought a first pressing of Led Zeppelin II from in 1969.
Oh my god did this turn into a rant. How the fuck? I totally get why people post shit on blogs now. The point is this, Rasta skateboarders may not have even disappeared, we might have just stopped paying attention to them. This all goes hand-in-hand with the concept of trends, and who knows, maybe there will be a resurgence for these dudes years from now. Its a shame and definitely a sign of the times, and I suppose for now the best thing to do is accept it. Yup. RIP Rasta Skateboarders, thanks for the chill vibes. All I know is that nothing could ever be as authentic and sincere as Adelmo Jr. unapologetically roasting a varial flip on flat in his "It's Official" part... Come to think of it, did this just turn into a "What Ever Happened to: Adelmo Jr.?"