The idea behind the Road Agents article is a simple one: It is designed to showcase thriving scenes & regions from across the globe—straight from the mouth and lenses of the actual riders themselves. This first installment hails from Texas, the words are from my main man Chubbs, and the images are from a talented group of photographers from the Lone Star State. I’d like to thank all the Texans that helped put this together, and for sharing their killer skate scene with us all. Shredlove!
I say “Texas Skateboarding” because I don’t make the distinction. If it has four wheels, a set of trucks, and a deck; I call it a skateboard. Even though I think that statement might piss off about half the people who may read this (or maybe it’s just the kids on the ‘fish that give me that vibe?). Anyway, this leads me to talking about what I love most about the Texas scene.
The diversity. The same crew you went and bombed hills with at 10 in the morning, will be down to go skate ditches at rush hour when the hills have bumper-to-bumper traffic, then will go skate some of the world class concrete parks we’re so fortunate to have, and will top it off by skating garages with you later that night. It’s a rare experience I don’t think many people get to have. It’s a melting pot that has produced some amazing skaters the world doesn’t even know about. For some reason it’s a hidden gem, yet it’s one of the biggest states in the country.
The second characteristic the will always make me call Texas home, is the size. Everything really is bigger in Texas, including the community. You have TXBaked and Bombsquad from Fort Worth and Arlington, S.L.A.B. from San Antonio, Waco Longboard Club in Waco, Austin Longboard Club (ALC) in Austin, Houston Garage Riders from Houston, Impact Longboard Club in Conroe and Huntsville, and the unorganized scenes that are still quite large. If you go to the southwest/texas thread on the ‘fish, you will see constant activity from El Paso, San Marcos, Dallas, Nacadoches, Tyler, and several small towns in between.
What really pulls it all together is the willingness of each rider to commute to the different cities. There are people constantly traveling, communicating, holding events, organizing, and gathering in one form or another. The past two years we had an event for every month. Some of them not to well spaced I might add. I think it was October that we had three races in three weekends. By the end of it all I was tired, but just super stoked to see all three events have a 40-50 rider turnouts. This year is only looking to get bigger. The best part is, there’s never a lack of couches to crash on (or tent space to cram into). Even for out-of-towners, we won’t hesitate to offer you sleeping arrangements even though you could be an axe murderer. That might be because most people in Texas are packing, or because Texans are really just that friendly.
Where most people have a hard time finding stores in their entire state that carry Longboard gear, Texas doesn’t have that issue. There is a large enough scene of devoted riders at the core of it all to justify Longboard specific shops. Carve Skateshop has two store fronts in Houston and Austin, S.L.A.B. is looking to open SLAB City Skates (best of luck to you guys!), and there is another store that recently opened a little bit west of Austin called Austin Longboards. It’s really nice to support you’re local scene and not ordering your gear from online stores. I hope no one takes that as me knocking on Motion or Daddies. They both have brick and mortar shops and are very much local, I’m just spoiled to have so many shops here in my home state.
I can type pages about Texas and the skating done here, but it won’t do it any justice. Many people probably hate the scene here for the reasons I love it, and get off to it in some other way. You just have to come experience it for yourself. I’ve got a couch to loan out to anyone who wants to swing on through. There’re plenty of people who can vouch for our hospitality. Don’t listen to any kooks who tell you this place is flat either. Texas is home to 9 mountain ranges, and is only a two hour drive from Talimena, where you can hit 70 in the straights on a couple runs.
-Brian “Chubbs” Cortright