A nicely used board sits on the ground catawampus, slivers of wood poke and jot out on the edges; the graphic is covered with stickers, grime, and a large area has been scrapped off from boardsliders and bails. The griptape has dried mud spots all over it. You go to pick up this skateboard and get a whiff of somethin’ horrendous. It stinks from that one time you ran over an opossum which subsequently sent that furry vermin into the hereafter; or maybe the pungency is due to that time you carelessly left it outside in the rain for three days. Who know why it’s so darn smelly? But it’s your board, the roads are dry, and it’s time to ride.
In my humble opinion, a well-used skateboard is the most beautiful skateboard there is. When it has been shredded to the brink of destruction it knows its duty and has proved its worth. Your shred-wagon-of-doom, like all of us, is always in a state of decay anyway—it’s been that way ever since it was birthed somewheres in a far off warehouse. Each well-shredded skateboard holds a tale, an epoch of the skater, or skaters, who have ridden her. The tattered board offers a graphic history of the expression created by the rider and can be read within her particular scars and customizations.
Let it be told, the life of a summer-sled does not end when she is shelved for a newer, fresher model. I’m sure many of you out there in the interwebs have old well-salted boards lyin’ around in plain site. I definitely have a few myself—boards that I’ve hung up or leaned conspicuously against a wall so as to let them continue to tell their stories of sessions past. I’ve also placed a number of well-loved skateboards under the feet of the next generation of riders. This next generation is like a second life for the board. In an instant, the board passes to the next rider and is given a whole new set of experiences, a second chance to shred. And there are still other times when people use old skateboards to make new things like tables, shelves, chairs, clocks, or whatever other furniture one might need around our human pig pens.
Looking at the life, adventure, and storytelling our wiggle-machines provide for us on their journey down the Road Of Shred; one begins to see a distinct quality—within the skateboard—a quality reminiscent of an ancient totem or history book.
Your skateboard has been with you through your harshest slams, tasted first-blood, slashed up-and-down & side-to-side; and she’s seen all the same close-calls with vehicles, coping-gaps, and homeless brohams. So, if you call yourself a true skateboarder, I ask that you treat your faithful friend with the respect and dignity she deserves. Ride her till the wheels fall off, let her be born-again under the feet of the next generation of rippers, and when nothing else can be done to keep her rollin’, place her on the wall for all to see, or take what’s left of her broken back and build something new entirely. Yeehaw!