Thus far, via this The Four Pillars of Shred series, we have pondered aspects of riding that are foundational to proper skateboarding activity. Without such cornerstones we would be lost somewhere deep in the cosmos, bumping into stars and making friends with super nebulas in the fourth dimension (doesn’t sound too shabby, actually!). But I digress; back to the lecture at hand. In discussing the first pillar we managed to investigate Style—A very important pillar indeed. When you focus on your style all other portions of shredding seem to fall into place smoothly. Next we explored Speed—an essential component of shredding. When you have a trick locked-down at speed you know that all is well with the cosmic dust and with universal equilibrium. And the last time we spoke the topic was on that of Safety—something you need to maintain so you can live to shred another day. Fundamental for sure! Furthermore—and as we begin to wrap up and come full-circle with our journey into the ever-critical Pillars of Shred—let’s finish up with that tried and true anchor of skateboarding: FUN. Fun reflects the reason that skaters skate in the first place and why they keep on skating till they’re dusted, crusted, and all covered in wrinkles.
Measuring up how finite life can be, It seems safe to postulate the query that “if you’re not having fun, then what the hell are you doing here?” Fun is a basic and foundational concept in skateboarding, and life itself. It’s the platform for your individual Pursuit of Happiness. Most of us spend a great deal of our days and nights being little worker-ants so that in our free-time we can pursue the stuff that we consider fun. Good times may not be what some of you believe we are put on this planet for, but that’s how I see it—at least for the most part. Anyway, I ride my skateboard for fun!
We’re not guaranteed wealth; we’re not even entitled to sleep in every morning, but if you skate down hills you’re guaranteed to fall and bite the pavement, and somewhat often for most of us. One of the only things that is guaranteed in this world is suffering, and this goes without question in skateboarding. The whole discipline of learning how to ride a skateboard with style and grace comes with the pretext that you will eat shit at some point in time. Biting the pavement is all a part of the learning process and it makes landing that next maneuver so much better. You might be thinking to yourself, “That aint no fun, Pete—I thought this thing was about fun, dude!?!” And you’d be right to think that, but through this continuous suffering I mention above we skaters seek our personal fun and happiness—the trick to it all is in perspective. For us skateboarders, fun lies buried and commingled in the pain, the task itself, and discipline of mastering the shred. Like life itself, skateboarding is extremely complex and varied; there are so many disciplines and styles and techniques to learn along the way; there will always be another trick to master and another discipline to pursue, each offering up a unique challenge for the rider to conquer, thus manifesting a beautiful process of learning! It seems as if there is always more to do on a skateboard. Therein lies all that fun!
Which brings me around full-circle to my original point. As I see it, fun in skateboarding is found in that moment of achievement after landing the maneuver you’ve been struggling to master for days, it’s in the serotonin-kick as you ride away safely and with style, it’s found somewhere in that strange addiction that keeps you coming back for more. I believe that fun lives in the good times you have shredding with friends—it follows community, sessions, and radical events. Fun is a mixture of doing crazy maneuvers, in some insane spots, keeping it dangerous & safe all at once, and making it all look so easy—riding away clean! This makes you feel like a crispy million dollar bill, and in that way it is so, very, much fun. Yeehaw!