Style is critical! And I’m not talking about some fashionista bullshit, nor am I speaking of any other showy display of Vanity. What I’m interested in is the particular way an individual does a thing that reflects Flow, Finesse, and Liquidity—and more specifically, how that fits into the act of skateboarding. Let’s just say that I believe style and skateboarding are best in bed, with each other.
There are many different types and varying degrees of style, some people have it naturally and some must work for it, but ultimately, any skater can achieve a solid level of style if he or she is willing to work on building it. When you see rad style you immediately recognize it—it is as if it’s something universally understood. In skateboarding—be it downhill, pool, street, freestyle, or whatever else tickles your kadoodles—how you do something is just as important as what you do. Once again, I’m not saying that there is one single way that epitomizes stylishness—such a claim would be utter D-baggery— but the fact remains: to become stylish you have to consider it’s importance and pay attention to it in your own skating. I don’t want to come off as if I am the all-knowing authority on style—I’m definitely not—but I think we can all agree that a solid starting point for defining style in skateboarding might look something like this:
Style: (noun) Flowing, natural movements; agility, vigor, and passion.
When I see a skater shredding with speed and confidence, arms out, all the while displaying agility and a natural fluidity of movement; I get hyped! On the other hand, when I see a skater looking awkward, wobbling erratically, and with a squatted, stinkybug-death-gripper clamped to his rail; I don’t get as hyped. Again, this is in no way meant as disrespect to those learning, nor to dissuade any skaters that may be starting out or dealing with learning curves—no matter how big the breeches may get, every one of us started somewhere—that is just a fact. All I’m saying is that, as you grow in skill and confidence, your skating can benefit by paying particular attention to the way you do things.
Some say ‘style is everything’, but to be honest, I am not of that particular school of thought. I believe style is very important, but when it’s all said and done, if you are having fun riding your skateboard, you get my head nod. That said, many of us do profit from looking at how we do things—be it skating or otherwise. The other day I was all stoked because I finally learned toeside speed checks—and I’m still stoked even days later—but now I’m fired up and excited to do them even faster, smoother, and with more flow.
Get stylee, enjoy the doing, and thanks for reading. Shredlove!