Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Monkey 99

A big Thank You to Kill-Joy for sending the two skateboarding DVDs, Roll Forever and Boston Massascre. The former featured the usual ruffians, flipping down huge sets of stairs and sliding impossible handrails. It was simultaneously impressive and tedious. Someone could write an essay about landscapes being the true protagonists of most skateboarding videos; after you watch enough of them you get to know various elements of California architecture better than your own neighbourhood.

But I really enjoyed the Boston Massacre. There are some sequences in that video that take street skating back to its Natas and Mike Vallely roots. I especially liked that very tall, skinny Colin Fiske, but wondered why it was the other, shorter, fellow who had the nick-name "daddy long legs." I enjoyed watching him ollie onto, and ride right over a car; it's a move I've often thought about but never seen performed. The Montreal connection was nice too.

Just about every crazy trick I dreamed about as a kid but never thought would be possible has been performed by the latest generation of skaters. Riding over a car was one of the last feats on my list of things to see, and it only took a guy with exceptionally long legs to do it. There is some kind of hundredth monkey effect going on with skateboarders. Tricks that took me and my friends ages to perfect are now being learned in days and weeks by the younger skaters, and they take these moves to new levels by doing them down stairs, and in new, outlandish combinations and variations.

I like to think that without us oldsters breaking the ground, putting in the hours learning 180 ollies and kickflips, the current generation wouldn't be able to learn the tricks as fast and furiously as they do. I posit that there is a kind of collective skateboarding unconscious, a transpersonal repository for skateboard prowess to which we all contribute in the countless solitary hours spent in parking lots and laneways, and that this fount of energy is drawn upon by subsequent waves of skateboarders. But then, I like to think of all kinds of crazy things after a few dozen 360s on the old stuntwood.


em said...

Time doesn't work that way.
It is we that stand on the shoulders of these giants, without which we could never have performed an acid drop or power slide.

It's all a big mix with no goofy foot or regular dominating.

The Mad Arab said...

Standing on the shoulders of the Great Old Ones is fine, just don't look at their faces...or you'll surely loose your mind!