Who Will Subsidize The 22nd Century’s Switch Hardflips?

July 29, 2018

Early in this new KOTR season, one of the key storylines already has emerged: Mike ‘Big Pink’ Sinclair, Tum Yeto darkman and pizza puff coinesseur, declares that after futilely exerting his commandership and wise strategems to their fullest in Toy Machine’s previous and unsuccessful outing, this time around he’s decided to “let the dudes run it,” determining which challenges to attempt when. It’s clear this runs against every fiber of his barrelchested being, and that his large, pink resolve will be tested with each twist of those great American byways pointing the way to the depths of the human soul that are some of, yet not the only, crannies probed by this, mankind’s greatest and most depraved scavenger hunt game show.

King of the Road’s glossified antithesis, the Olympic Game, lies just two years away, its own mark on various souls and bank accounts yet to be revealed. Unlike the basketball and blackjack dynasties and sweetened beverage manufacturers that bankrolled prior big-money contests, the tens of thousands being ponied up by sovereign states to retain and train four-wheeled talent are invested with precious metals in mind; the presidents, prime ministers and moneyed despots involved expect a return. If not this go-round, then subsequent clashes at the foot of the mount of the gods will certainly raise the question of whether ‘the dudes’ so beloved by Mike Sinclair can be entrusted to not only perform, but also plan out their runs and decide upon their own trick offerings.

Like so many of life’s conundrums, one inevitably is left pondering the fate of the switch hardflip. With a golden doubloon and certain immortality on the line, will the pride of nations be content to risk all on a late teen rolling up to the pyramid backward, popping off his or her less-inclined foot, and landing in the counterintuitive direction? Before very long, wealthy nations’ underpaid bot slaves will be scouring years’ worth of Exteme Games, Streets League, Tampa Pros and Ams, determining ratios and percentages to answer the question of how often switchstance tricks yield a plump purse and champagne shower, versus a groaning crowd, credit card, ER trip or some other negative outcome.

Solace isn’t to be found within the snowboarding realm, which continues to treasure ambidexterity — as a discipline it’s a mere few decades in. In the statistics-saturated multiverse of baseball, nearly two centuries old, the art of switch hitting is on the decline, representing just 13% of plate appearances this year, down from 20% in 1992. Further erosion is expected as a steadily elevating level of play and intensifying training regimes from Little League on up require the maximization of every innate advantage, rather than trying to cultivate new ones with a built-in disadvantage. In a pasttime where extra points are not awarded for difficulty, switch’s biggest onstacle in baseball simply is that it’s “too hard,” in the telling of Nationals hitting coach Kevin ‘Not Spanky’ Long.

Were a badly coveted KOTR win within the grasp of Mike Sinclair’s steering wheel-fatigued fingers, would he stick with his inclination to let the dudes run it, or might he forbid the Foundation boys from charging switch at a ‘Phelper’s Delight’-flavored gap or handrail in favor of any added certainty offered by a regs alternative? If contest overlords of the future continue to rate switch tricks at a premium, will more questionably footed Sammy Baptistas and Ali Boulalas become drawn into Olympic training regimens? Do BMXers or rollerbladers deal with similar conundrums? Will news headline-writing algorithms of the future destroy the switchstance discipline forevermore by lambasting Olympic losers for entrusting their countries’ hopes and dreams to the ‘wrong foot’?

Boxcar Sled Dogs In The Mood

July 22, 2018

With Oedipal vibes, Quasi’s inaugural full-length at long last arrived last week, spiced with temptation. As ever, messageboard banditos probed and hunted for stray links ahead of the official online release. Shortly after it finally hit, an electronic threat from former Throbbing Gristle frontperson Genesis P’Orridge of all people torpedoed the original Youtube link. This forced resourceful computer-rippers to seek out alternate hosting capacity via sites specializing in sophisticated adult entertainment of a different stripe, and left the rest of the world pondering what air cover their web caches and private-browser settings might provide in their pursuit of ‘Mother.’

For those ponderous unfortunates cursed to read between life’s lines and leave no Magic Eye poster unstared upon, it has been tougher still. DNA analysis obligates any video historian to place Quasi’s first full-length within the same creative lineage as ‘Photosynthesis’ and ‘Mosaic,’ citing teamrider and darkman resumes, Ohio geospatial data and the winking juiciness of the Pappalardo hamburger.* It is easy, upon the seventh or eighth watch of this excellently put-together video, to speculate idly as to any nods or winks involved with soundtracking an intro to ‘Band on the Run,’ hailing the heady freedom and risk of escape and liberation — this from the company that announced its emergence from the Alien Workshop/Pacific Vector meltdown with the declarative “no more corporate blues,” and wind up this vid with some oldster stating that he’s “looking just to get away.” The rorshach-test qualities of many Quasi graphics invite similar ponderings: Do all the race cars, motorcycles and fast-running dogs similarly speak to themes of speed and escape? What about the Dale Earnhardt tributes and those drippy sculptures? How much of this is designed mainly to befuddle deck consumers who may feel on sturdier ground with pizza-themed art or endless iterations of a stylized letter B?

Whatever cipher is to be found in Quasi’s graphics, on maple or judiciously sprinkled amongst the footage in ‘Mother,’ probably serves best as a vehicle or backdrop to the team and its skills – all of which ‘go,’ in the parlance of our times. What really merits those mysterious VHS tapes’ positioning alongside the earlier yellow, gray, orange and white cassette ancestors is the video’s careful crafting and exquisite tricks. Forestalling much of the talented flow squad gets ‘Mother’ under the critical 30-minute bar, even with timeless-feeling intro and credits sections. There’s a parallel universe somewhere with full Jake Johnson and Al Davis sections, sure, but their material here is presented in the most resourceful fashion possible, and the efforts of the other bros and ams — especially the ams – more than get the video over besides.

Justin Henry, latest of the Ohio torchbearers, delivers on years’ worth of early promise, gliding and jamming his way over spots on both coasts, fusing otherwise disparate moves into weirdly smooth alloys like the bigspin backside lipslide to firecracker out, or the wallie leap to noseblunt slide. The Grant’s Tomb backside noseblunt is there. Beltholder for greatest hair in the industry, Josh Wilson, blasts multisyllabic flip tricks over various bars and dangerously dings some other ones, along with an intense ollie out of a tall wallride. There is Tyler Bledsoe’s most recent addition to the backside tailslide canon, an almost painfully good Jake Johnson flowerpot backside kickflip, Al Davis thundering switchstance down a cascade of mountain peaks.

Gilbert Crockett, who seems yet to let up from a string of heavy parts following 2015’s ‘Propeller,’ constructs a throbbingly manual-heavy closer that includes an unhinged fakie flip switch manual to switch frontside shove-it out and the rather intense kickflip nosemanual over the guardrail and down the embankment, plus other crazy shit like a scary fence jump and a switch backside nosegrind at the JFK bank to ledge. But it is Dick Rizzo with the most pumping, vital section, cracking over bars and banging down on fire-engine red cellar doors with a weirdly fluid grace, or jumping catlike over the boulevard after half-spinning switch into some griping grayhairs’ beloved banister. There are lovely dips on the backside smith grind and switch backside 5-0, the sounds of the under-bridge wall blast deeply satisfy, and the backside nosegrind revert to GT rollercoaster makes good on the pain and leaf-diving required to reel it in.

Does Quasi have the bench-depth and belly fire to come back in six months’ time with another vid showcasing Drake Johnson, Justin Drysen, Dane Barker and all those Justin Henry tricks that didn’t make it into this one? Is Bobbito back to reclaim his spot after being displaced by Shadoe Haze? Will this year reunite the Dayton diaspora in video releases if Fat Bill completes the new Supreme/FuckingAwesome one and the now three-years revived AWS brings the Joe Castrucci-helmed release described by now deservedly-pro Frankie Spears?

*Note: Boil a Ocean Weblog briefly considered registering @PappalardoBurger on Instagram, and using this to make several humorous posts relating to various video parts in the voice of the burger itself, but ultimately chose instead to leave it to parties who could do more justice to such a concept, rather than linking back to a meandering and partially thought out internet screed

Scott Johnston, The ‘Aja’ Pill and The Reality of Our Surroundings

July 6, 2018

Have you felt it? Only recently it was Madonna’s ex-boyfriend Dennis Rodman, the former WCW wrestler, providing a septum-pierced window into the mind of Kim Jong Un, heir to the legendary North Korean golf dynasty, ahead of talks toward a nuclear disarmament. Beyonce and her formerly drug-dealing spouse Jay-Z rented out the Louvre for a recent music video featuring Jay’s golden Indiana Jones medallion, while DJ Khaled plugs Weight Watchers. Onetime baseball tycoon Jose Canseco later begged former casino magnate and current U.S. President Donald Trump if he could please join the emerging U.S. space battle force, an interplanetary armed squadron geared toward asserting American values to space’s infinity — and beyond, if duty, honour and extraplanetary riches require. Ours truly is a bold age of discipline and strength, forged in courage and rare-earth minerals, impossible to dilute.

Could it all be a simulation? Scientists have begun to seriously contemplate the question, which if nothing else seems a natural for a non-retrograde Alien Workshop board graphic. The rigidity of mathematical and physics principals hints toward rules for some ‘Big Game’, but really it’s the seams that sometimes show. One worldwide famed instance involved the mass memory glitch that occurred when the ‘Berenstein Bears’ series was erroneously replaced with the misspelled ‘Berenstain Bears’ version in our current when, igniting fury and hair-tearing confusion among readers.

There’s plenty more. In ‘Deathwish Part Two,’ published to the Thrasher.dotcom video engine weeks ago, one of Beagle’s HD VX-replacers briefly captures a splash of skatepark graffiti that includes a spray-painted ‘Nike SB’, some mistaken cut-and-paste job from a reality in which the Greek goddess of victory’s namesake company is some scrappy bro brand hawking t-shirts off BigCartel. Elsewhere, Erik Ellington sells loafers with golden tassels. Andy Roy, freed from jail, a famous TV game show host.

Scott Johnston, in a recent Chrome Ball interview, alludes to an alternate timeline in which his indelible Mad Circle part was soundtracked not to the perky, radio-friendly unit shifter ‘Peg’ but to an entirely different Steely Dan song, widely assumed to be ‘Any Major Dude Will Tell You.’

Justin already had a Steely Dan song picked out but it was a different one. I ended up going through the CD and finding another one that I liked better, which was the one we used. I guess I just kinda took it and did it. (laughs)

Scott Johnston’s ‘Horns’ part, with its tightly controlled switch 360 flips, is known across this land’s towns and botanical gardens as a classic of the form to be copied to the best of anyone’s abilities, mammal and invertebrate alike. If one accepts/assumes this existence to be a simulation, one also must accept and, ultimately, celebrate the certitude of multiple versions of this same simulation playing out simultaneously, with slight variations, infinitely. It’s easy to envision dozens of editions of our current reality, multitudes of laptop and plasmoid TV and smartphone screens playing Scott Johnston’s ‘Horns’ section, each one soundtracked to a different Steely Dan track plucked with wild abandon as Scott Johnston sifts through a bottomless sack of Steely Dan CDs in Justin Girard’s apartment lo those many years ago, his hand casting and reaching further and deeper into a black night staring back with an eyeless, blank reflection on our artificial existence.

As the trumpets and infrastructure spending of another Olympic Season fade, can we find solace and hope in technology growing closer to reviving the body of the too-soon-gone Walter Becker, if not his Jose Cuervo-bathed soul? In a post-all era, is tagging the names, let alone logos, of multibillion-dollar sportswear conglomerates the height of subversivity? Does Khaled really swallow those Weight Watchers foods? If all this is just one of an infinite number of simulations playing out, are your odds of being in a good one versus a wack one roughly even, or would an advanced civilization prefer to study only ones where shit goes wrong, Love Park gets demolished, Prince ODs, Danny Way’s ‘Tru, B’ part never comes out, Max Geronzi switches over to skating exclusively novelty old-school setups, and Kyle Nicholson never gets a full shoe deal?

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Nate Broussard, ‘Static III’

June 28, 2018

In an era of loud arms and storked rollaways, Nate Broussard’s velvet-soft way with ledges and flip tricks seems a warm, calm ocean away. It is too lazy to say lazy —- gentle or patient maybe, not making the hoard or the feet or the knees work any harder than needed, just the right amount of pop to get up onto the block or over the rail, absorbing enough impact to mellowishly surf toward the next one. Even on tricks as abrupt or jarring as the switch 360 flip revert or the street gap to nose manual or the opening volcano boost to nose pivot, there’s improbably smooth resolution. His kickflip over the bar and past the grate must be remembered in song, his lines at the UK ledge spot should be enshrined. At a time when skating seems to have room for so many hangers-on and backward-looking career retconning, you hope this dude’s fade from the scene has been deliberate.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Donovon Piscopo, ‘Hockey Promo’

June 27, 2018

At some point, under the tutelage of dockworker-period Jason Dill and Pomade-packing AVE, yung Donovon Piscopo cast off his slim denim cuffs and went in for the hazy and vaguely violent beach-scuzz vibe of the California underbelly that roots the Hockey project. He’d already been refining his tricks away from the no-comply tailslide flip-outs, and for this no-tunes intro clip him and big John Fitzgerald soundtracked to their scrapes, impacts and background yelps —- Donovon Piscopo with a lower-key hand in the high-pop movement that emerged as a refreshed progression venue as handrails and stair counts took a breather. His bank to front blunt is huge in this vid, the backside smith grind to backside tailslide held to a crazy degree, the backside flip over the barrier caught in the 90-degree neighborhood and steered firmly the rest of the way around.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Kris Markovich, ‘Fight Fire with Fire’

June 26, 2018

Similar to the Wu and the Simpsons, both early-90s contemporaries, Kris Markovich’s questionable late-career moves have had the unfortunate effect of clouding a massive legacy for kids who weren’t around to catch a convincing decade-long run, and requiring oldsters who do to talk like annoyed oldsters. Nevertheless, his catalogue stands, and the somewhat fairly maligned Prime captured Kris Markovich during his angsty and nomadic World period for what’s surely among the company’s better-aging contributions to ‘the culture’: for the period, one of the top inward heelflips on offer, into shit even; Markovich staples like the backside 180 nosegrind, some big jumps, the speed; and not too deep yet into the white tees/blue jeans/white shoes era to dispense with the noseslides to fakie and fakie ollies that could merit fresh Instagram burn today. The closing 360 flip’s audible catch is a triumph of Steve Albini-style open-room sound engineering.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Lindsey Robertson, ‘Dying to Live’

June 25, 2018


A jaunty reggae tune for a one-man stress section introed at the time a singular figure — a glasses-wearing Florida kid enamored of heelflips, frontside noseslides and off-kilter tricks such as the (probably correctly) rarely spotted street stalefish. Lindsey Robertson’s part arrived at a time when a major board company still could uncork unknown talents in big videos, and Zero got somewhat questionable moves like the heelflip indy grab over with some help from the murky Jefferson Airplane single and a structure that sort of inverted the Zero template, opening with repeated slow-mo knockouts. Would that your summer is carefree enough to launch massive ollies, throw a shaka and then casually observe your own hand motions.

Summertime Mixtape Vol. 6 – Girl ‘Road Trip,’ 411VM Issue 39

June 24, 2018

Arriving shortly after Rick Howard and Mike Carroll joined forces with Ty Evans, this entry closed out 411VM’s midperiod and set the stage for the bloated, high-concept video escapades of the 2000s that would help sink 411 itself and eventually become an albatross for nearly all companies possessing the dollars to still attempt them. This clip also marked a historical juncture for Girl itself, featuring the handrail-heavy pickup Rick McCrank in his absolute prime and Eric Koston still ascending toward the height of his Sparkles-era powers. All the Ty-isms are there too: an intro that spans a third of the clip, stridently emotive techno-pop, high-fives and camera mugs, slow-mo. Rick McCrank whipping a switch ghetto bird on a battered QP, Mike Carroll refurbishing some of his ‘Modus’ moves like the nollie flip to backside 5-0, Rick Howard shove-iting into and out of a backside nosegrind, Eric Koston going the distance on a wiggly bar, everybody in Es shoes, launch ramps and an ostrich — nobody in 2O00 could touch it.

Midwestern Exposure: Rust, Rubble and Rural Decay in ‘Grains’

June 10, 2018

Since fisheyes first were directed toward emptied swimming facilities, skate videos have possessed a flavour of the cultural tourist and voyeur, maybe: initially exporting southern California’s sunbleached concrete and asphalt-sculpted schoolyards, later letting couchbound pipe-packers tag along on late-night Manhattan missions, Europe’s summertime tour circuit and SPoT’s debauched drainage ditch runs. Rocketing board and shoe sales — fuel’d by THPS, Extreme Games and bulk-buying mall stores — bankrolled weekslong filming trips and demo tours to steadily more exotic locales: Watch enough vids from the 2000-2005 period and you’ll swear you know your way around Barcelona; earlier, Brazil got its own full-length and 411 eventually dedicated a series to various other Kenny Reedisms.

The skate industry’s subsequent economic ACL blowout and chronic fiscal pain since then bit deeply into travel budgets and placed a fresh focus on mining domestic urban crust and freshly combing flyover country. The widely shared misery of global economic upheaval and longterm decay have proven fertile, as Alien Workshop’s rekindled squad repeatedly probes Detroit’s sprawling grit and Rick McCrank centers an entire TV show around the concept. “Rural America is the new inner city,” the Wall Street Journal declared last year, pointing up employment scarcity, more people dying than being born, and a deepening pill epidemic. Bucolic visions of pitchforks and ice cream cones and golden-hour little league victories where losers walk away raring for the rematch are fading to the tune of dimestore murals on main street, exposing chipped brick and maybe a coupla shitty tags.

It is this graying canvass that Kevin DelGrosso and Chad Matthews stretch further into the Midwest’s lesser-traveled underbelly. Their video ‘Grains,’ filmed across the soybean belt of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio, veers far off interstate arteries and urban sprawls to extract tricks from crumbling loading docks in Joliet, dilapidated stadiums in Gary, polished-stone plaza ledges in downtown Peoria. In between years-dead narrators relaying factoids on corn production and Farm Belt infrastructure, ‘Grains’ picks through abandoned small-town storefronts, creaking trainyards and literal rubble for an hour’s worth of wallies, backside bigspins and rusted-rail boardslides to fakie.

Early on Riley Vaughn boosts a massive no-comply over a barrier and guides some drop-down manuals into an empty fountain, later Patty Barnas flicks a lovely backside flip into a different one; Seth Neetz gets down on some electric boxes and Brian Mangerson whips manual spins onto a pyramid spot that could’ve been ported from the greater NY area. One of the burlier parts goes to Eric Thomas, who brings a Muska-level noseslide and ollies out over a rail to a nervy nose manual to drop. There’s a kind of thrift-store grab bag of spots — plenty of ditches and under-bridge banks to walls but some real gems, like a brick wave in Gary and the dreamy wallride spot in Michigan City. Also some backroad artifacts and anachronisms: a Destructo trucks tee, multiple instances of the heelflip body varial, Blues Brothers graffiti, a pop-shove it to frontside smith grind, Zubaz shorts. The vid’s makers cop to a preference for the old-fashioned and antiquated, from the VX-1000 to the opening recommendation to watch on a TV screen, versus laptop or phone.

Could an influx of summertime spot-seeking pro tours inject a meaningful boost into groaning rust-belt economies, or would all out-of-town funds inevitably pad already-fattened pockets of liquor store tycoons? Will emptying-out rural towns eventually give way to village-sized DIYs, expanding upon the urban foundation spot concept? Will the threat of catching stray bullets at Lockwood come to be replaced by the possibility of a ‘Children of the Corn’ scenario in which bloothirsty tweens in old-school attire capture and gruesomely sacrifice unknowing passers-through to a nameless being that roams the fields?

‘Grains’ can be ordered here.

Rogue Wave

May 25, 2018

Here’s the sequence of events: Just as Jason Jessee’s after-credits part in Converse Shoes’ debut full-length ‘Purple’ rolled on Thrasher and various other internet video portals, links, photos and Instagram posts began to be traded among skateboarders who’d begun connecting a few decades’ worth of dots: A biker magazine interview from 20-some years ago, in which Jason Jessee throws around racial epithets, photos before and since then of him rocking swastikas, and some signature products with the same, some of this seemingly recent. The Slap Magazine message board thread quickly burned into double-digits and accusatory comments popped onto Jason Jessee’s Instagram account, along with Converse’s and those of his various other sponsors. Jason Jessee soon issued a brief video and handwritten apology in the event anyone took offense, non-specific in its nature aside from an apparent reference to the biker mag interview from way back when.

At that point, the matter seemed settled in the minds of many fans, photographers, and other pros — whatever was in Jason Jessee’s past was atoned for and indeed, an outpouring of praise and loving emoticons followed upon his social-media channel. Santa Cruz reposted his video, and backed him. Those who responded with lingering questions — why pull on swastika gloves for a video clip? Why sew a swastika patch onto a jacket? Did anybody ever question all this? Is that it, and everything’s supposed to be good now? — were left to wonder. Some who pressed the issue on Instagram were branded haters fixated upon the past by others who deemed it water under the bridge, or no big deal in the first place.

After nearly a week, NHS/Independent/Santa Cruz/OJ posted an anti-racism graphic and disavowed hatred — and a day later, Andrew Murrell laid out the whole episode at Vice. In that article, Jason Jessee apologized further and said in the past he’d used Nazi imagery to provoke reactions, and because of drugs; NHS and Converse said they had no knowledge of any of it, and both ‘indefinitely suspended’ him from their teams. Gentle Jones, the author of the Slap board thread, claimed vindication.

Jason Jessee, whose frontside ollies up to this point had formed a foundation for his recent revival as a sort of crazy-uncle persona built around vintage motorcycles and wacky quotables, now can show whether or not he’ll continue to use these images, or sell them. He said in his initial statement that he has evolved, though the Slap message board dates some of this to the recent past. Some of his teammates have professed faith in his character, and publicly rallied around him. There’s some incongruity. It’s been noted elsewhere that Jason Jessee has been the only white member of a Latino lowrider car club and recently recommended listening to Kendrick Lamar. Going forward, he will be under a microscope.

Elsewhere, there have been attempts to defend the swastika as a derivation of the ‘Surf Nazi’ era, geared toward freaking out the squares. It seems a fairly safe bet that there are creative juices enough within skating to figure some method for achieving this without symbols that directly link back to a state-orchestrated campaign that murdered millions of children, moms, dads, and grandparents. And remain tied to violence that’s on the rise again.

A bigger question remains for the skateboard industry generally, which up until the past 36 hours mostly looked as though it would move along and bury the matter beneath a pile of fresh Instagram clips, capsule collections and good times with the homies. The skateboard magazines by and large have had nothing to say, neither have the loquacious podcasts. Between Dave Mayhew’s post-retirement video part and a boardslide to darkslide to boardslide driveway clip, Skateline NBD — which one could imagine going in on a topic like this — skipped it.

Ryan Lay, fresh off an Etnies part and knee-deep in charity work, addressed it early on. A few days later, Deluxe impresario and industry leader Jim Thiebaud came with an introspective post over the weekend: “Any form of racism doesn’t belong in our community of skating and I have long worked to support that belief. …I should have been more responsible to my convictions, my core beliefs and acted on those. I regret that.” Mackenzie Eisenhouer and Josh Kalis posted messages.

As skateboarding tries to hold to a rebellious stance and outlaw bearing, there’s perhaps some tribal instinct to circle wagons when a longstanding and celebrated member comes under any type of fire, and a reflex to thumb noses at authority. Nobly intentioned maybe, if increasingly quixotic, as sanctioned skateparks take market share from street spots in Instagram clips, and skaters begin jockeying to enlist for national Olympic rosters. But what is it that’s being protected? The bottle-lightning Teddy Barrow captured via @Feedback_TS is skateboarding’s schizophrenic relationship with criticism. Everyone’s got opinions, and nobody wants to put the homies on blast. It’s always easier to focus on the positive. Did Jason Jessee’s sponsors or teammates pick up on any of this over the years? Did anybody speak up? Would others back someone who did? Would a weblog site larded with run-on sentences have done a post? Would you?

Those questions will be relevant beyond this week. In two years’ time, the Olympics promises international media attention and scrutiny for the contest’s newest broadcast event, the likes of which the skateboard business hasn’t seen before. If some skeleton rattled out of an Olympian’s closet just ahead of the torchlighting, would the organizers, secular media and international public look for accountability among sponsors, teammates, and skateboarders generally? And would they find it? For better or worse, skateboarding’s reliance on the qualitative versus quantitative has deeply entwined pros with companies, particularly given the commoditization of decks, wheels, the vulcanized suede shoe. Pros are the brand and the brand is its pros. The brands and the pros and the skateboarders are the culture.

There is another audience. Kids who’ve been intimidated or bummed by sideways racial comments, prejudice, or outright violence, and who maybe responded to the idea of a more open-minded, self-reliant pasttime free of rules and teammates and coaches and winners and losers, anytime, anywhere. They have been watching a lot of other skateboarders, companies, pros, magazines and maybe their friends for the past week, apparently carrying on business as usual. Kids have long memories. Ask Corey Duffel, whose own youthful off-color remarks still get brought up 15 years later, despite having not been quoted saying anything remotely similar since. In another 15 years it’s going to be these kids doing the interviews, hosting the podcasts and writing the stories. What will they remember?