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Skateboard Manifesto - Skateboarding gives, but it never owes

When you're passionate about something, someone will always ask you why. Some random dolt is always hanging around craving such info from skaters.
"Hey d00d, why do you skateboard?"

It doesn't seem as though they really need or want an answer. More often than not, they want to start an argument in which they will happily (and unnecessarily) tell you why skateboarding is a waste of time. As if they have something really important going on in their sad existence.

I won't tell you how to conduct yourself in such a situation, but I usually tell people I like to skate cuz it makes my dick hard. Then, before they can react, I ask them if they have a sister (this ploy works better on guys... btw). Usually the conversation draws to a quick close - I can continue to skate.

This Is Skateboarding

You're not a skater because you own a skateboard any more than owning a football makes you a football player. Just because you push up and down the street doesn't make you a skateboarder. Even if you live next door to Tony Hawk or are sponsored by a local shop, that doesn't make you a skateboarder.

Maybe you can do a 900 or maybe you're really stoked doing 180's below the coping. Maybe you're a professional skateboarder or maybe you're just happy to find the latest issue of Concrete Wave on the newsstand. Maybe you have full-sleeves tattooed or maybe you like to draw in your spare time. Maybe you love the wind in your face on a steep hill or maybe you love cracking a beer at a pool sesh. Maybe you're the coolest person alive or maybe you dig being yourself.

That doesn't make you a skater.

Skateboarding doesn't surround you. It emanates from within you. Skateboarding doesn't owe you because you learned five new tricks. Skateboarding won't reward you because you learned to kickflip. Skateboarding doesn't exist - you do. Through your actions skateboarding is defined.

Skateboarding Gives

Jamie Thomas isn't a skater because he started Zero and owns his own distribution company. Birdo isn't a skater cuz he brought out a shoe division under Consolidated or from his dedication to supporting indy sk8 shops. Hosoi isn't a skater cuz we remember his massive airs and day-glo apparel. Elissa Steamer isn't a skater cuz she rides for Zero.

Each of these people are skaters because they all gave (and continue giving) something to skateboarding. Not because they had to or thought they'd get something out of it. They do it because skateboarding has given to them. Each of them has been able to achieve great things all because of skateboarding. In turn they give back and the gritty grubby sub-culture we call skating carries on despite invasions by big business, posers and greedy wonks who don't even get it.

Think of it this way...
How many kids have risen in the skate world because of Jamie Thomas? How many of us would have the balls to take on big business the way Birdo has? How many kids have learned from Hosoi's drug-daze and are inspired by his resurgence in skateboarding? How many girls said, “'Screw it!" and decided to go skate while their friends were buying trendy crap at the mall?

Give Back to Skateboarding

Giving is harder than getting or taking, but it's reward is ten-fold. And you don't have to start your own sk8 company or spend a lot of time at it. Simplicity rules. Next time you see some helpless dork trying to nail a trick, give him a tip rather than gloating about how accomplished you are. If you see an elderly woman buying a skateboard at Walmart, tell her about a local skate shop and how much better their products are. Get involved with local organizations who can help get a park built in your town. Take the time to educate your town council about the rewards a skate park will have on the community.

As you do things like this you'll start to see that skateboarding isn't all about that wooden plank under your feet. There's a reason there is a thing called, skate culture. You add to it, I add to it and so does that old lady who departed Walmart for an indy shop.

Wouldn't it be cool if that tip you gave to some gangly kid, trying to learn Ollies, was the impetus for him to continue skateboarding and turn it into a career for himself? How cool would it be if the girls next door threw away their Barbie dolls and asked their Dad to build them a ramp? Wouldn't it be nice if the cops didn't routinely show up at the skate park, cuz all the druggies decided to hang out elsewhere?

What if an engineer at a town council meeting heard your argument for building a skate park and got his company to sponsor half the cash?

These are the sorts of things that happen EVERY day. Maybe you haven't heard because you're too busy sitting on your ass complaining about stuff.

  • Get involved.
  • Give some of your time.
  • Help someone out - even a stranger
  • Volunteer.
  • Build a ramp (big or small).
  • Be a leader, not a whiner or follower.

Every time I see a positive occurrence in skateboarding, I know it came from someone who gave back and that propels skating. As a matter of fact... it makes my dick hard.
Hey, do you have a sister?

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