It embraces progression, creates better art and doesn't give a fuck about contests…
It’s kind of shameful to admit, but I pretty much quit skating when I moved to Hawaii. It’s just too damn hot all the time, and the constant series of rolled ankles and sprained/broken wrists that are my skateboarding reality made it almost impossible to surf. I’ve never been a very good skater, I fall down a lot.
But, prior to moving out here, I lived and breathed skating for almost a decade. I was writing for Automatic Magazine, a sick little indy rag out of Encinitas which was the only place that would publish my garbage.
While I still surfed whenever it looked fun, I wasn’t very interested in surf culture. Because, by and large, “surf culture” is boring. It’s too polished, too concerned with being marketable, too tied up in contest results, forever striving to find a way to sell itself to the unhip.
And you can’t call bullshit in the surf world without people taking it personally and getting their panties in a twist.
Other than the whole slamming-face-first-onto-concrete side of the sport, skating is pretty much better than surfing in every way. It embraces progression, no bullshit airs-aren’t-real-surfing type arguments that hold back progression for years and years.
It creates far better art, and thank god for that because I could go the rest of my life without seeing another painting of a fucking wave, turtle, palm tree, or some combination of the three.
It doesn’t give a fuck who won the latest contest.
And it’s friendlier.
As hard as people try to sell the notion that surfers are just one tribe, we all pretty much hate each other. But skating is welcoming, at least, it is if you stick around beyond your teenage, heckle everyone for everything, years.
Surfing will land you a better looking class of woman though. Being tanned and muscular does that. But the type of girl who’s into guys that spend all day falling in the gutter is generally a lot more fun to be around. They’ll do dirtier stuff in the sack as well.
Even though my current skateboard adventures consist almost solely of pushing around in the street in front of my house and trying to remember how to do frontside no-complys, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the the fun you can have zipping around the streets on a little wheeled plank.
And I’ll keep watching skate videos when I’m trying to find a little bit of pre-surf-session stoke.
Chet Childress and Jason Adams. Black Out.
I once saw Ol’ Dirty Crooks himself strolling through the Honolulu airport while I was waiting to pick up a friend. Without thinking I yelled, “Childress!” then realized that I’m way too old to be playing fan boy, and pretended it wasn’t me. He looked around for a second, then cruised on to wherever he was headed.I then realized that yelling his name and hiding is way more lame than yelling his name and fanning out.
Mark Gonzalez. Video Days.
The fucking Gonz, man. Was any other skateboarder ever as gifted when it came to filming fun, shralp your way down the street, parts? His art kills it, his poems… I don’t really get poetry so I’ll pass on passing judgment. Mark Gonzales built a life around being weird and creative and making life look so damn fun.
Louie Barletta. Man Down.
Following the Gonz in making it all look so damn fun, Barletta is one of those guys I still look up every so often to see if there’s any new footage floating around.
Natas Kaupas. Streets of Fire.
I’ve still got scars in my shins from trying those damn fire hydrant spins.
Tony Trujillo. In Bloom.
Something worrisome happened the other day while I was surfing super fun, super shallow, head-high semi-closed out sandbar barrels down the street from my house. I dodged a slightly overhead set because I was scared, then watched the thing suck dry and grind all the way to the beach. Fucking pathetic.
Trying to wrap my head around committing and taking my beatings has been slow coming over my last few paddle outs. The idea that I might get bounced off the bottom and re-ruin my shoulder makes my balls crawl up inside me and my hands shake. And that ain’t good. Winter’s just around the corner and I really don’t want to be that guy who’s always driving around looking for a sheltered spot to puss away the day.
TNT’s old TWS part always did a good job of amping me up, and it turns out it still does. Trujillo’s got a sick surfy style, goes balls to the walls fast, and makes me want to do the same.
Andrew “Jaws” Homoki. True Blue.
This kid is fucking nuts. That’s all.