Some Thoughts

Each time I skate or watch clips, I’m reminded that skateboard culture is so varied it actually requires individuality, freedom, and heart.

Heart—We’ve all seen people come and go in the arena of our passions. Even in small ways: there was that kid who skated for a summer, a couple weeks, then never again, no itch; there was the guy down the street who mastered kickflips but gave it up for music or a girl or because of controlling parents; there was also the one who wore all the brand label clothes but never rode his board for anything other than transportation. Of course, there’s the opposite type of skater: the one who keeps a constant discipline and love for skateboarding—they’ve had the heart to keep skateboarding at the forefront of their lives and are happier for it.

Then there’s the average skater. Like me, we come and go—some go off to college, some have kids, and some join the military, but the itch never leaves. Skateboarding for us is about more than how extreme a trick we can accomplish, but, still, we spend time mastering our tricks, as low to the ground and mediocre as they may seem.

That I’ve found the heart to return to skateboarding after years away makes my riding unique, my experience individual and strange. I think that a personalized approach to skating is part of what makes it so fun. From my setup and deck art to the tricks I attempt, how I skate and the reasons I skate are all my own. While there is a community and a loosely affiliated milieu of like minded people in skateboarding, I enjoy that it isn’t like other sports. I can be social or ride solo. It doesn’t matter. I like that I do not fit into the thing but that I fit the thing to me, my lifestyle, my needs.

I can watch skate videos or not. I can buy blank decks or scour the internet’s small business skate companies for the perfect art. I can wear “skater” clothes or just whatever I want.

There is a freedom and an individuality here that’s hard to find anywhere else—and I can’t be happier that I’ve come around to seeing that again.

2 responses to “Some Thoughts”

  1. Hey Dan:

    Speaking of watching skateboarding videos when the weather isn’t skateable, here’s a YT vid that isn’t as well known as, say, the zillions of Braille Skateboarding tutorials:

    Actually, this isn’t even a skateboarding video, even though it has a lot of skateboarding footage in it.

    I’m not sure if I agree with Dr. Tae’s ultimate thesis, but he does make several valid (imho) points along the way.

    Take a look at it when you get a chance and let me know what you think. I’m especially interested in your opinion because you’ve been involved in education in a variety of ways for quite a while.

    Meanwhile, Happy Groundhog Day. Let’s see if Punxatawny Phil has some good news for us.



    • Thanks for the comment, Renny. And I really appreciate the linked video–I enjoyed Dr. Tae’s insights about skateboarding and learning and no doubt will respond to some of them in the blog. I mean, of course, it’s a physics professor who has a sort of philosophy of skateboarding. Awesome.


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