As I see it, the Greek philosopher dude Heraclitus said it best back in 475 BCE when he stated that, “Everything flows and nothing stays”. I can’t help but imagine that if there were skateboards back in those days that Heraclitus would have been that dude in the sweet billowing robe, with a picture perfect Caesar-cut and dope-ass Jesus sandals, bombing the chunderous hills leading to the School of Athens where he’d travel each day to philosophize with the bros. Today, the times are undeniably changing still and for skateboarding this is doubly true. It seems like the older skateboarding gets the more diversity there is within it and the faster that diversity manifests itself. Downhill, Sidewalk Surfing, Middleboarding, Longdonking, and Pennylane-ing are all here and growing everyday. The change is crystal clear.
The best part about all this change in skateplanking is that it has allowed so many refreshing ideas (some bat-shit crazy stuff as well) to gain root and propagate, thus sparking further creativity and exploration. These days, there are countless brands making skateboards ranging from 45” to 20”, including a range of new componentry and constructions designed for all sorts of riding styles. I remember 20 years ago when 95% of the skateboards being manufactured were 8” wide with a 14” wheelbase. Boy how the tides have turned since then! Today it’s a free-for-all in construction, design, and application; and it seems that the biggest winners to come out of all this change has definitely been the skaters themselves (and of course the people who understood exactly what that crazy Greek guy, Heraclitus, was rapping about all those many years ago). Currently, skaters have more options than ever to find the perfect board that best suits their individual needs. Who the hell can complain about that?!? Well . . .
Unfortunately, there is clear opposition to all the changes going on in skateboarding these days. Nine times out of ten I’ve encountered that the most ardent opposition to the growing movement for diversity in skateboarding are those who have heavily invested in a narrower view of what skateboarding is “supposed” to be. Now that there are a large number of new skaters and businesses in the skate game, viewing skateboarding from a much broader perspective, it is definitely bumming out some of the old crusty crew. I’ve been watching it all go down for the past years and have been taking notes all the while. At first, the opposition ignored the changes that were happening in skateboarding, next they laughed at the changes, then when none of that worked they just started trying to copy it. When I think about it all I can’t help revisiting the famous words of Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.” When ya look at it like that it seems like diversity within skateboarding will prevail soon enough. We shall see.
Ultimately, I have no clue what the hell is going to happen with skateboarding in the long run—nobody does—but when I started Wheelbase Magazine back in 2011 I decided to swim laterally from tide to tide rather than exhaust myself paddling directly against the currents of change. Actually, going with the flow is kinda a life philosophy of mine these days and partly inspired by that Grecian homie I mentioned above: “Everything flows and nothing stays”. It’s been almost three years since launching Wheelbase Magazine and I couldn’t be more hyped with the experiences and friendships it has fostered so far. Although we’ve come up against ignorance, mockery, and imitation, we just roll with it, and Wheelbase Magazine continues to thrive and expand regardless. We do our best to learn new shit everyday, we continue to explore and adventure, most of all we just continue to have quality times riding all types of skateboards with all types of radical skaters. Here’s to change, the flow, and rolling onward. Here’s to Skateboarding. Shredlove!