Everyday, skaters set goals to explore new moves, equipment, techniques, and terrain; and you can bet that the majority of those who accomplish such goals have at least some sort of roadmap and general plan for accomplishing them. That being said, we must all take into account the very real and tangible power of unforeseen happenstance. No matter how much you preemptively plan, organize, and compartmentalize, life has a way of flipping whatever it is you had in your mind upside-the-fuck-down. Working as the editor of Wheelbase, I find myself perpetually out on various skate excursions of one kind or another. Unexpected opportunities present themselves regularly—unplanned detours arise—and such detours change everything. The accompanying pictures stand as proof and testiment of the power of such unforeseen forks—what I like to call Nonstandard Deviations in skateboarding, and life in general. These photos feature a recent and unexpected Nonstandard Deviation I found myself on which brought some fellow skaters and myself to Cachagua Land, our friend Zarosh’s unbeleivable skate-compound, far along winding backroads, way-way back in the oak forested hills of Central California. As I see it, the concept of Nonstandard Deviation represents the path less traveled—the path we do not plan to follow, but yet when we do choose to venture down it’s length it offers us unforgettable and priceless experiences. For me, Nonstandard Deviations represent the universal phenomenon of unforeseen happenstance that offer up rich exploration while challenging cowardice, vanity, and expediency.
Cowardice asks: “Is it safe?”
Expediency asks: “is it politically correct?”
Vanity asks: “is it pleasing to the masses?”
My response is a resounding: “No.”
Don’t get me wrong; a skater can play it safe, follow the herd, choose the comfortable path—shit, too many do just that—but that is not the skateboarding we most cherish here at Wheelbase. I believe the best skating and skaters do not follow what everyone else is doing, but rather they seek to mold the direction of skateboarding and it’s culture themselves—they walk the fresh paths, they dig deeper when opposition strikes, they chart the uncharted, and they continually explore the unexplored. Think about some of your favorite skateboarders, musicians, writers, and artists of all-time—I’m pretty sure each and every one of them made a conscious effort to live with a pioneering spirit and did not shutter in the face of divergences arising in their path.
What started out for me as a day-trip up to Monterey, California to report on a downhill race, turned into a divergent shred adventure that was wholly unexpected and major good times. A huge thanks to Zarosh Eggleston and his pops for the hospitality, thanks to Andrew Mercado and Connor Getzlaff for the invite, and a thumbs-up/double-brodown to all the other skaters I met during this most recent shradventure into the unforeseen beauty of Nonstandard Deviation. We shall proceed, and continue, to get rad!