As skateboarders we have a rich and diverse history that I believe is more important than ever before. I’m not talking about longing for the past or the perpetuation of nostalgia, I’m talking about a growing need for skateboarding culture to remember that we as skaters are a living history ourselves and our views of that history shapes the way we perceive the present, and therefore dictates what answers we propose for existing problems. The truth is, most of us ride boards, trucks, wheels, terrain, and use techniques created, pioneered, and handed down to us from skaters of the past. This is also true for the vibe of skateboarding. Throughout skateboarding’s history, the vibe put out has been diverse and in constant flux—falling anywhere between open-armed aloha vibes, anti-establishment, flashy, sports hero, sensitive artist, and back again through a gamut of varying interpretations.
I guess what I’m getting at is that I believe it is critical for us as skaters to take pause now and again from the constant demands of change and the forward progression dictated by our modern culture, and then redirect that focus to our rich history so as to make sure that our current momentum is respectful and an honest reflection of why we are even involved with skateboarding in the first place.
Looking back on these 2 pics of skaters bombing hills in Manhattan Beach’s Marine Street back in the 1970’s and via an article published in the Harvard Advocate, the oldest continuously published collegiate literary magazine in the country, I can’t help but be reminded of and re-invigorated by the initial reasons I started skateboarding and publishing this magazine in the first place—because skateboarding is fun and the possibilities are endless. Also, these pics remind me in some ways of various slide jams I’ve been involved with over the years.
Honestly though, I want to hear from you. Why do you think skate history is important, or not important? Let me also—so as to spark further conversation for my live broadcast discussion tonight at 5PM PST via Periscope—leave you with a rad quote from a famous writer regarding his thoughts on the importance of history:
The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. – George Orwell
Also, please make sure to spread the word about this and add any comments ya have below in the comment section so that we can discuss them on-air tonight once we go live. Shredlove and thanks for checking out Wheelbase Magazine and my column!
I just want to reiterate that the comments and ideas presented above are published with the sole purpose to create dialogue, not as instruction. If any of these ideas get your panties in a bunch please first: relax, and then pluck and place said undergarments in a more comfortable position and let’s have a heathy skater-to-skater chat. The live streaming Periscope discussion for this week’s Action Now column begins at 5PM PST tonight (1/28/2016).