Tag Archives: Thrasher

Food 4 Thought: What is Skateboarding Really All About?

Source: Pexels

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. 

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“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

Source: X-Games.com

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 

Source: Pexels

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.

Vans Grosso Loveletters – Slams

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. 

Source: Pinterest

If this article hurt your feelings, message us at, wedonotgiveafuck@gmail.com get over yourself and just skate. Stop caring about the other irrelevant bullshit. Stack some clips and have fun while you’re doing it.  

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cardiel

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/tony-hawk-quotes

Food 4 Thought: Is Skateboarding a Sport or an Art?

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A question that brings much debate; is skateboarding a sport or an art? Many would argue it’s a sport, pointing to the fact there’s a competitive aspect to it making skateboarders athletes. Others see it as more of art, a form of expression in live-action. With the city or the skate park as a blank canvas, and the board as your paintbrush.  

I consider skateboarding an art form, a lifestyle and a sport.” – Tony Hawk 

Or could it be a mesh of both? Let’s take a brief look at skateboarding’s origins. Skateboarding stemmed from surfing in the 1950s, referring to skateboarders at the time as “asphalt surfers”. It was an alternative to surfing when the waves weren’t good. An outlet for freedom, mimicking tricks and motions from surfing. As it evolved into an industry in the 1960s, contests began to surface. As businesses got involved, skateboarding became a bit more organized, and like anything with business, it was looked at from the perspective of how can a profit be generated.

The original idea of just “cruising” for enjoyment was transformed into how can this be made competitive? How can we generate a profit? As a result, competitive skateboarding was born. During the 1970s and 1980s, competitive skateboarding peeked with pool and vert competitions. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, street skateboarding became predominant. Competitive vert skating died off until the emergence of the X-Games in 1995.

Source: Logopedia

After landing “The 900”, Tony Hawk became one of the most well-known names in vert skateboarding. Helping launch the X-Games into the mainstream. With the mainstream comes advertisers and sponsors seeking to make a profit off the participants and the event. There’s no doubt that competitive skateboarding has provided careers for many of the most well-known skateboarders across the globe. Most participants who reach the podium at the pro level receive a significant cash payout. Pros often rely on the contest circuit as a source of income. They also rely on their sponsorships, however, in many cases the income from just endorsements isn’t adequate enough to make a living. Unless the opportunity for a signature shoe deal lands in your lap.

“I think that things are poetic when they don’t have a boundary. Without rules. My life is poetic.” – Mark Gonzales

Competitive skateboarding has its benefits. But is it everything? Is being the best and only caring about winning what skateboarding is all about? We say no, from its start skateboarding has always been about enjoying the freedom that comes with cruising on a plank with four wheels. It’s about having no boundaries and most importantly having fun while you’re doing it. It’s about the endless creativity involved with linking lines together. It’s about the endless possibilities that come with learning and creating new tricks. It’s about pushing oneself and improving. At the end of the day, skateboarding has always been about individuality, freedom, and creativity.

We can’t fail to mention the other ways skateboarders make an income. Photo incentives from predominate magazines for ads and interviews land skateboarders a pretty nice check. The art of skateboard photography and videography plays a significant role in skateboarding. Publication companies like Thrasher, TransWorld, and even 411 Video Magazine back in the day offered a creative outlet to showcase skateboarding in a more artistic and cinematic way. Often times skateboard photography and videography is more organic, boundary-free, and sporadic. There are no rules, there’s no competition, it’s just you, the environment, and what you can produce and display. All for the sake of documentation for others to enjoy and consume. This element truly makes skateboarding an art.

Now, who’s to say if skateboarding is completely an art or a sport. Suppose it’s completely up to one’s interpretation. One’s choice, that’s the best part. Skateboarding is whatever you want it to be. No one should be making that choice other than you. No one should be forcing you to compete and no one should be forcing you to produce a video part. Unless that’s what you want… there’s that personal freedom again we’ve been talking about. For example, the guy who likes to stack photos/clips doesn’t have to skate contests, and the guy who likes the organized competitive jock aspect of skateboarding doesn’t have to take part in the more creative or artsy aspect. Some skaters prefer both, this is how they make ends meet as a professional.

Guess the point is you don’t have to choose one or the other and you definitely don’t have to be pushed to compete or produce clips unless that’s your goal or you signed a contract. Skateboarding always has and always will be about having fun. When it stops becoming fun, it’s no longer what skateboarding is really all about. Individuality, creativity, freedom, and most importantly fun have always been at skateboarding’s core since its inception.

Source: Pixabay

One thing is certain though, skateboarding is a unique lifestyle and subculture that few truly understand or appreciate. That makes it special and in comparison to other more mainstream activities, skateboarding’s roots have always stemmed from the outcasts, unpopular, and misunderstood. That’s what makes it different, that’s what makes it what it is. A culture full of individuals who take a different approach to life and see things through a different lens. Those who think outside the box and never really sought to just “fit in”.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments. This a hub for respectful discussion. Thanks for reading.

Sources:

https://www.xgamesmediakit.com/read-me

https://www.azquotes.com/author/29996-Mark_Gonzales