The life of skating
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In the 1950s the modern skateboard was invented as a way for surfers to ride the concrete, according to Scholastic News: Skateboarding. Since then, the sport of skateboarding has created a popular and distinct worldwide culture through videos, clothing, music, and entertainment. Skateboarding has become the life of many people, such as pros Tony Hawk and San Francisco native, Omar Salazar. Through competitive tournaments, showcases, and brand sponsorships these skaters have been able to skate for a living. Skateboard culture is visible throughout almost every city from San Francisco with six skateparks, to Munich, Germany with 7 according to Skate Maps.
Skate culture is broadly defined with many different elements and interpretations, but the fashion of skaters is often consistent. Currently popular skate brands, according to Complex, such as Thrasher, HUF, and FTC have spread through the skate community as well as the fashion industry across the world.
Skater and Urban student Quinn Lockwood (‘18) represents skate culture through his fashion and brands. “I only support my local skateshop… I don’t wear Nike, they’re not real skate brand. A lot of skaters don’t ‘cause like Nike doesn’t care about skateboarding, they’re just in it for the money,” Lockwood said.
Skatewear generally comes down to what is the most comfortable and efficient when using a skateboard. ”Loose, baggy pants,” said Fiona O’Connor (’18) and “Cargo pants… toe caps on your shoes,” said Lockwood.
With skateboard style becoming more popular outside of the skateboarding community, some skateboarders have become more protective over the culture and style of their sport, including Thrasher Magazine, a world famous skateboarding magazine and clothing company. Thrasher is a popular brand among skaters, but is also worn by celebrities including Justin Bieber and Rihanna. Jake Phelps, editor of Thrasher Magazine, explained his stance in an interview with HYPEBEAST, a magazine dedicated to “the leading online destination for men’s contemporary fashion and streetwear.” “We don’t send boxes to Justin Bieber or Rihanna or those f*cking clowns. The pavement is where the real sh*t is. Blood and scabs, does it get realer than that?” Phelps said.
Some of the Urban skaters were protective even over skateboarding techniques: “f*ck people who ride mongo,” said Lockwood. “Mongo” is a foot stance, often used by newbies, pushing with their front foot.
Others are protective over the image of skateboarders to an outside eye, like O’Connor, who said “Respect skateboarders, don’t assume they’re dangerous.” “A lot of people see skaters as criminals and vandalism,” said Lockwood.
San Francisco resident, Ellen Bruno said, “I don’t dislike skateboarding but they can be rowdy and kind of careless when it comes to the neighborhood with how loud they are coming down the street … and it upsets the dogs.”
Tommy Civik (‘17) Urban student and skater, described skateboarders as “[a] whole bunch of people that don’t give a f*ck.” Similarly, O’Connor said, “skateboarding can be seen as a cool thing to do, but to adults, a lot of the time skateboarders are seen as rebellious and dangerous … personally I don’t look very threatening, so I haven’t had as many encounters like I see in many videos where skaters are called out by security or cops.”
Skateboarding has expanded beyond the skateboarding community to become a popular and apparent culture around the globe. ith young skaters like Lockwood, O’Connor, and Civik, it will continue to evolve and thrive.