Shut Up and Train?

Toby Riley & Dean Christopher caught in the act of skating.- ERL photo

“What can I do to get sponsored?”, “How do I go about getting my kid sponsored?”, “Do you know any filmers?”, “Can you give my footage to so and so?”, all these are pretty common questions I hear all the time out skating. Especially since parents see the big bucks Pros are raking in now. It’s almost like a given that you can get a sponsor as long as you keep the camera rolling. There’s enough companies now that if you practice, practice, practice, and train hard enough you might get hooked up. Take your skating more serious, learn as many tricks as you can, and be the best skater ever. Be number one!

That sounds like some jock shit to me. When did skating become something you trained for? I know my friends and I never trained, we skated. We skated everywhere because we loved the feeling it created. Eventually there were cameras involved but, we were too busy having fun skateboarding to film a lot of the things we were doing. The friendly competition we had with one another was spawned by the fun of landing a new trick. There is nothing like trying a new trick and finally making it. It’s a form of personal satisfaction that can’t be compared to catching that winning pass. Even when you are skating with your crew, it’s really between you and your board to figure out the dynamics of skating. Practice? Train? You might as well get a letterman’s jacket because your at the wrong party man.

You have probably seen friends that quit skating when they realized they weren’t getting the golden ticket of sponsorship superstardom. When you are uber competitive at skating and see someone else get hooked up it’s a killer. I like seeing it personally because we all started riding these things because it was fun, individual, and far from a team activity. Want to win? Want to be a real 1st place type winnner guy? Go lace up some cleats and train hard dude, you’ll get that trophy in no time! I love that when my friends and I get together and go skate that we’ve been doing it for almost 30 years. It’s love, pure and simple.

Imagine sitting on the couch watching the Super Bowl with your old High School buddies talking about the glory days, the big game, or the score you made! These guys don’t go and play those sports before or after work. They don’t get out and live the dream, their dream is over. The competitive nature of most sports dwindle with failure or with age. They lost the love for it because it was a love based on winning. That’s what separates us from them. Skateboarding is such an amazing act and is ageless. The best part is there are no rules, do what you want. Train if you want, all day everyday. 

If the pressures of chasing the dream start to get to you, here’s some advice. Just go skating. Forget the cameras, generators, lights, second angles, and if your toe drags. Just go ride your skateboard. Just skate man. Slap a curb, bomb a hill, hippy jump something, power slide, or do a boneless. Take the time to perfect a trick before you move on to the next one, just because you can do a switch heel doesn’t mean it’s done right. People will notice you if you have the talent. Want to get sponsored? Travel to different cities, enter contests, and be cool to everyone you skate with. If you skate around and enjoy the ride there is no need to train, it all comes natural while you are having fun doing the best thing in the world, riding a skateboard. -ERL


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