All Hail the Losers! Yep, I said it and I’m stickin’ to it. Why would I profess such a thing? The answer’s simple: I’ve been considered a “loser” for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was what they called a “troubled child”. I got bad grades in high school, I had a twice-broken family, I could never be trained properly in religion; and although I fell in love with skateboarding at an early age and dedicated my life to it, I’ve still never won a single first place trophy. This lack of “winning” hurt my feelings (and ego) quite a bit and followed me well into adulthood. Nowadays though, I am perfectly happy with that big “L” (thumb out—pointer up) on the forehead.
I actually embrace the title of “Loser” these days. This may seem a bit strange, but let me clarify what it is that I’m actually embracing here—it’s extremely important and the crux of why I’m even writing this in the first place. See, I have a passion and a zest for skateboarding (and life) to the degree that I will continue to pursue and explore as my conscience dictates regardless of how the herd perceives or judges me. It’s actually pretty fucking liberating when you think about it; when you break it all down we’re all (spoiler alert!) “losers” in one way or another, it’s just that some of us are better at hiding and ignoring that fact. It all comes down to perspective.
Think about downhill skateboard racing for example; a majority of skateboarders that enter races never even have a chance at winning in the traditional sense, but they participate regardless—they are passionate, and to many like myself, the reward is in the doing, not the podium results. Such skaters actually make up a large percentage of all who participate in racing. What would happen if all of us “losers” didn’t show up on race-day? What if all the nerdy dudes with the shit-pushes, janky setups, poor tucks, too fat, too skinny, flailing arms, and sketchy lines simply didn’t show up and participate? Again, the answer is simple: There would be no more racing—at least not anything worth mentioning. All that grease-and-grissle badassery that makes for a good race would be completely lost. Not cool! All that would remain would be lonely shuttle vehicles, a quiet hill, and a handful of really, really talented skaters with picture-perfect tucks, white teeth, beautifully bright logoed leathers, and shining helmets congratulating themselves with formal curtseys and flaccid handshakes. Now that would really fuckin’ blow!
Call me lame (or a loser), but I want all sorts of people everywhere to show up on race day. I want hundreds of skaters bombing the hill, sketchy styles of riding in the mix, dirty and unkempt riders in attendance that try harder that everyone because they barely know what they are doing, yet they love riding their skateboards down hills more than anyone else there. I want rowdy spectators all-up-in-there cheering for their homies, tents with food, cheers, beers, and crowds of skaters laughing and having general good times. Now that’s some quality skateboard racing right dar! And guess what? It takes all of us “Losers” to make that happen—all of us who never win, but still do it for the love, passion, and personal experience.
Basically, what I’m saying is that winning and losing are extremely subjective concepts. Skateboarding, like life itself, is dynamic and the approaches to engagement and enjoyment are endless. The best thing about skateboarding to me is that the lines are gray at best, and on many occasions just a figment of the imagination. My suggestion is to explore and tackle life and the pursuit of ripping as you see fit—think about winning differently. Tackle your fear and do something you are unsure you may ever fully master. That’s scary as hell, but it’s also Winning in the best possible way. The biggest hurdle in life is Fear. Beat it and win. You can call me a loser all you want—fire away—but I believe that being a true winner lies within, and not without. As I see it, what really matters in skateboarding is your own personal exploration, how much you are challenging yourself, and what you learn from your explorations into the Realms of Shred. It’s also about how you affect those around you—what you put out there as a human and as an ambassador of skateboarding. Shit, most of the time I fail at all of what I just mentioned above (Looooserrrr!)—Regardless, I keep the focus. I may have never won a race or a contest, Wheelbase Magazine may never be rated as the “Best Skateboard Magazine in the World”, but the facts remain: I will forever be a passionate and dedicated ambassador of skateboarding, I will continue riding my board downhills and beyond, and Wheelbase will always be a Submarine fully submersed in the depths of Stoke! Win or lose, my goal is to spread the tales of this tasty thing we call rollerboarding, and for as long as I can possibly get away with it. All Hail the Losers!