Skatboarding is the only culture with no culture. Skaters seem to take whatever the latest trend is and adopt it on mass. Skatboarding companies see what skaters are wearing and then manufacture it under their label. That’s why companies like DC are making oversized, multi-coloured hip-hop hoodies and skinny jeans.
I was a skateboarder from about 1989 to 1991. After that I got into riding bikes. I still managed to catch the tail end of that whole 80s Skater-Punk culture. Skull & Crossbones (later replaced by the infamous Rat-bones), anarchy symbols, Sk8 or Die, these were all part of my psyche and wardrobe. I basically dressed like one of the Daggers from Thrashin but with way more brightly coloured Life’s a Beach clothes, a Vision Street Wear hip pack and tie dyed Skate Ragz pants. I looked like an idiot.
That pretty much sums it up for me. “Flow Or Go Home”.
Right after I quit skating everything changed for skaters. The Beastie Boys released Check Your Head and it did the same thing for skateboarders that Farrah Fawcett’s hair-do did for mall chicks. Skaters everywhere shaved their heads, bought tight t-shirts and started wearing big pants.
This was the look.
The pants did reach ridicules proportions during skateboarding’s brief romance with rave culture but they settled down to a manageable size 40 or so and it’s a look that can still be seen today.
What I’ve never understood about skating is the fact that it’s a sport that people use to define themselves. People go around saying , “I’m a skater”. No one goes around saying , “I’m a basketballer or I’m a Soccerer”. It makes no sense. Skateboarding is no longer a hobby. It’s like being gay. It’s a lifestyle. It won’t be long before they start taking on animal names to define sub-genres of skating. The Grizzly skater, the Otter skater and the infamous Tony Chicken-Hawk.
Seeing that this is the direction that skateboarding is going in and everything old is becoming new again. I’m going to assume that this is the future of skateboarding.