Skateboarding Culture and Adversity
I don’t know why, but there’s always going to be people that hate skateboarding and the skateboarding culture that comes along with it. Same with other things I love like graffiti, punk rock, hip hop, urban exploration, etc. There’s this weird thing that happens when you become part of a community of people that are socially stigmatized… it creates close bonds between those within the community, but then there’s also a tendency towards “gatekeeping”.
Inevitably these fringe cultures will make an impact on mainstream culture. People long for authenticity. They get co-opted by corporations and then become part of mainstream culture (in a limited consumer-friendly way). Skateboarding culture is starting to look more like this every day.
Skateboarding Culture isn’t what it used to be
When you started skating in ’90, had a mohawk, listened to punk, and got beat up for all those things… I think it’s natural to get upset when it becomes the trendy thing to do. All of the sudden the kids that beat you up are copying your style. It’s frustrating.
The natural reaction to this is to want to be a gatekeeper. You want to say, “Hey, I was doing this before it was on TV, and you used to bully me because of it! How dare you try to subvert my culture – skateboarding culture”
Thing is, the fakesters will eventually move onto the new trend, and those devoted to the culture will remain. We need to mentor the next generation of skate talent, and not be gatekeepers, but be bridge builders to the next generation.
I lost a friendship with someone because of a stupid argument over street skating vs vert. I’ve lost friendships with people because I sometimes like to longboard (OMG). I’ve been made fun of for wearing a helmet. This stuff needs to change.
There are a ton of haters out there. Most of them are people outside of the skateboarding community, and just have some weird irrational fear of skateboard culture.
We’re always going to have to deal with that, and it sucks, but one thing we could do to make it a little better is to not have that same type of irrational judgment within our own community. If you got a board under your feet you’re my brother/sister.
Skateboarding Culture can Overcome Anything
There are enough people out there that hate us for being who we are, let’s aim to build up the community and not tear it down. I got into skating because as a misfit the culture was accepting.
Above anything else, what I want to see is acceptance of misfits of all types. Let’s build each other up. Unless they are actually just an asshole, or Nazis, or people that snake you at the park, or people that kick puppies in the face. If that’s the case then fuck ’em.