WORDS & PHOTOS Marcus Bandy
The way I see it, the term DIY has lost much of it’s original fire over the years. Not because everyday people aren’t circumventing the normal paths of hierarchy and creating rad shit on their own—many people are doing just that, and more than ever before—but more so because it seems like the term DIY itself is being diverted from it’s original intent due of that “Y” part—that “yourself” part. “Yourself” doesn’t really paint an honest picture of how things actually get done on this planet—the big things for certain. And thus, I feel like the marketing machine (Youth Culture Hypefest 3030) has latched on to the “Y” with an egotism that feels distorted and deformed. Don’t get me wrong though, I strongly believe in individuals making shit happen for themselves in the face of naysaying, adversity, and downright suppression. Shit, Wheelbase would not be here today if I did not believe strongly, and act resolutely, on the original DIY ethos of having a magazine owned and operated by actual skaters. What you are reading here is the epitome of Do It Yourself, but it’s also so much more than that. Wheelbase is DIT now. Wheelbase is Do It Together, and I am so grateful for that. In order to better explicate my thoughts on this whole Do It Yourself dealio, let’s turn attention to our local ditch spot here in Long Beach, and to a recent session we had within its scum-encrusted walls.
I have no idea how long this ditch has been on our beach, and I haven’t heard from anyone who knows its full history either. The ditch is here now though and has sat here for as long as I can remember. It’s been labeled “The Hole”, “Beach Spot”, “Beach Ditch”, but “Scumhole” seems to be the name that’ll stick. Anyway, When Seth Brown was in town recently to help finish up our new Wheelbase Print Edition: Issue Three (coming hella soon, yo!), we gathered a posse of homies with brooms and buckets and we headed over to the ditch for a clean-up and session. It must be noted that this ditch is an active spillway for runoff water from the neaborhood above it, which is channels through its banked walls, and ultimately drains directly onto the beach at it’s mouth. Mucho crusto!
Basically, if you want to skate this badboy you have to clean it first: water, algae, moss, crack pipes, condoms, Styro cups, Strawbeerita cans, and a whole lot of pigeon shit. So we did just that—we cleaned her up—and this is where we get to the whole DIT part of the story. In order to make last week’s session happen we had to work together and clear out all the water and debris. Only then were we able to have a rip. Seth, David Ruano, Devyn Roseman, and myself did this cleaning, together, and afterwards we had a super fun session. Everybody got a trick or two and smiles were landed bolts. Other dudes showed up too and sessioned with us for a bit as well.
“Cool story bro! Ya cleaned out your local ditch and skated it. Big whoop, guy!” True, but after this recent clean-up and session with friends, I sat pondering the stoke of the day of working and skating with my #wheelbasefam. It got me to thinking about how shit gets done in the world—how there is very little that happendes in life that is not a direct or indirect response to what other people around us are doing. DIY (Do It Yourself) is simply the important first-step, but DIT (DO It Together) is the true path to realizing long-term potential. Great ideas begin with a passionate individual, but only through working together as a team, and a community to inspire and build, can we ever expect to achieve the longterm successes we strive for. Action together now. Ride wit’ me, homies!