Is it about clout and popularity? Is it about the drip and looking the coolest? Is it about how many tricks you can do or is it about how you do them? Is it about who you know and how cool you are? Is it about reliving your high school years and gossiping like little school girls?
What is skateboarding really all about? We’d take the bold position it’s about skateboarding. You know, like the act of actually doing it. As we highlighted in our previous article, “Is Skateboarding a Sport or an Art?” skateboarding is ultimately about fun. It was initially designed as a toy, a plank of wood with four wheels for the sake of enjoyment. There’s a certain feeling that comes with doing a simple slash grind in the shallow end of a pool or bashing a slappy onto a red curb. Or the adrenaline that follows after barging a massive stair set or the deep end of a pool.
“Skateboarding has nothing to do with being sponsored. Skating is the more you skate, the more you’re into it, and the better you get. Eventually, you’ll get sponsored or whatever. I hope kids aren’t just out there skating to get sponsored. It seems like if you already had that in you, to go skate as much as possible, if that happens if you get sponsored, you still won’t lose touch with what you’re really doing it for—to have fun. Why have the goal of getting sponsored and going pro? Who cares? There’s no goal, it’s like skating, and that’s what’s cool, there’s so many people out there skating who aren’t pro and aren’t like that and those are the people you’re hanging out with.” – John Cardiel
Skateboarding is about “doing”… not dressing the part, not acting the part, not doing it for popularity, clout, or followers. If you’re in skateboarding to be cool or popular, you’re doing it wrong and you should probably find the exit door. Skateboarding’s always been for the raw and the realist. Not some kook solely doing it for sponsorships, money, and popularity. If this sounds like you, and you’re offended, good. You should be. Just means you know nothing about what skateboarding truly is about. Does that sound harsh? Well, this article is going to be as harsh as skateboarding is. So buckle up!
“I am skateboarding. Skateboarding is me. The little wooden toy is a kiss and a curse. It’s everything. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me and the worst thing that ever happened to me, all rolled up into one.” – Jeff Grosso
Skateboarding’s been a part of my life since I could walk. I grew up with two older brothers who built ramps in my backyard and would take me street skating around the neighborhood. Learning how to boardslide curbs, bombing hills, eating shit then doing it until you make it to the end. Taking slam after slam until finally, you get the balls to drop in on a ramp by yourself with no one watching, just to satisfy yourself. Skateboarding is about perseverance, determination, discipline, and grit. It isn’t for the faint of heart or the prima donna. If you can’t take slams and get back up, skateboarding probably isn’t for you.
It definitely isn’t about the money or glamour, simply put there isn’t much money in skateboarding. Unless you land a major shoe deal and it becomes a hot seller or you put out a video game with your name on it. Put it this way, if you’re solely skating for the money you’re going to be pretty disappointed. Most “Pros” live a pretty mediocre life and once the contest circuits and sponsorships dry up they’re forced to get a real job.
“You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.” – Tony Hawk
There are very few guys who make significant amounts of consistent money from skateboarding and most of the money comes from the businesses they started out of skateboarding. Tony Hawk is a prime example, contests and sponsors aren’t paying the majority of his bills. The video game with his name on it and his multiple businesses are. In short, skateboarding is a fickle industry and most don’t have a long career from solely skateboarding.
“There are endorsements I regret taking when I was younger and didn’t know any better. But I didn’t have options then. People weren’t knocking on my door.” – Tony Hawk
So if you’re skating for the money, maybe check yo self, before ya wreck yo self, because it’s short-lived for most. Skateboarding has always been about the feeling that comes from “doing”, the act of skateboarding is what skateboarding truly is all about. Not about how many Instagram followers and likes you get. Or how many friends you think you have because you’re sponsored and they just want to ride your coattails because they think it makes them cool too. All that stuff is superficial and it doesn’t last. What does last is the feeling of landing a trick you lost and relearning it again. What does last is pushing yourself to do something that scares the absolute shit out of you and riding away from it.
“It’s a strange phenomenon how this piece of wood, wheels and a turning system has made so many people so happy.”
– Chris Cole
So is skateboarding about being a gossiping little school girl, Instagram followers, the money, the sponsors, or popularity. Fuck no, skateboarding has always been about doing it. Being about it, not giving a fuck about what someone else is doing, and doing it in your own way. It’s about freedom, having no limitations or boundaries, and turning your brain off and just flowing. Letting your board take over and charging at whatever is in your path. It ain’t about the “he said/she said” bullshit either. You want that, go hang out with a bunch of 8th graders, you pansy drama-seeking weirdo. A famous skateboard slogan, SHUT UP AND SKATE.
With that said, it’s time to go skate.
If this article hurt your feelings, message us at, firstname.lastname@example.org get over yourself and just skate. Stop caring about the other irrelevant bullshit. Stack some clips and have fun while you’re doing it.