There’s still an unspoken set of rules, but they’re more lenient and easily broken if the right dude comes along. What’s ‘cool’ changes all the time. And what’s funny is when you see groups that publicly hate on something or someone, only to jump on the bandwagon once a certain faction has given that person or thing the green light. From hater to dick-rider overnight. Shows you what those people are made of. There’s a lot of that in skateboarding – going along with the herd. Herd mentality. Groups of half-wits that have to unite like Voltron in order to form a single thought. Those people are a fucking joke. They go along with whatever is hot at the moment because they have to maintain a foothold and hang onto their little spot in skateboarding because they personally have nothing to offer skateboarding whatsoever. They just take up space and agree with whatever the majority says. They’ll go from loving to hating overnight, or from hating to loving something overnight. I love when that shit just blows up in their faces, like an exploding turd.
The average pro career lasts 5 years, and most pros walk away from skateboarding with nothing except two video parts and a room full of old pro models. They walk away with nothing practical or useable in the world outside of skateboarding, least of all, money. Do you think skateboarding companies give a fuck about skaters once they’re no longer useable or marketable? NOPE. The skater is on his own. No company is going to look out for your favorite Pro’s future. That’s just the way it is. I’ve seen it for 23 years.
No one really made a big deal about ‘skater-owned’ before Big Company Footwear threatened to take away the Core companies’ place at the top of the skateboarding heap. And for damn sure, no one was looking at the business practices and rider-relations policies of Core companies before Big Company came in and started treating skaters like the honest-to-god professional athletes that they are. It was pizza and cokes on Skateshop Bob’s living room floor while Core Owner was at home in his Beach house sipping Pina Coladas and talking about the next sales meeting.
Big Companies may be killing skateshops and killing other brands simply out of greed, but they take care of their riders and help their riders get what they need to get done. They actually go the extra mile for their guys. It’s a really weird situation to be in as a professional skateboarder. Do you look out for yourself at the expense of a huge portion of the lifeline of skateboarding? Or do you support the lifeline, the skateshops, and the healthier relationships between the companies and the retailer and make way less money doing what you’d be doing anyway?
I’ve shared Motel 6 rooms with them, ate Bojangle’s with them, given them grip tape and bolts and wheels and bearings and shoelaces and socks while we’re stuck in a town 3 hours away from anywhere remotely considered civilized, filming our hearts out for what we love. They supported me through a very rough period of active alcoholism, and hung onto me after countless episodes of assholishness and wild, shameful behavior. I ride for a shoe company created by people who know what I’m going through and go through what I’m going through. That’s what I support.
I apologize for the haphazard format of this answer. I struggled with whether or not to say all of this. I am a skateboarder. And I’m so grateful to be where I am.
I’m running out of quotation marks. Go and read the full interview by *click on the picture. This man knows how to put one strange world into understanding.