It’s June 21st 2014 and besides being a Saturday, it’s also “National Go Skateboarding Day”. I also believe it’s the 11th year of “GSD”. Eleven glorious years of a special day just for us skaters. I can honestly say I never saw that one coming. If you told me back in 1986 that one day skaters would have there own holiday, I would have assumed you were snorting old Ripgrip.
In the 80s and early 90s skateboarding was not cool with anyone but skaters. All we had was each other and it was a solid brotherhood. Jocks did not wear skate shoes. Jocks called you “skate fags” and “skater faggots” and tried to ruin your makeshift spots. Skinheads, gangsters, cowboys, and especially parents hated skateboarding. We were “losers” because we didn’t fit a certain mold. We dressed how we dressed, we hung out in the streets and parking lots, and we didn’t give a fuck about anything. The lack of conformity is what made people hate us because they didn’t get us.
The brotherhood was thick. You would hear about a ramp or that someone might have a jump ramp at a spot. Contests were the best because it was all of us at one spot. Strength in numbers was golden. A truck load of Socs might drive by and yell “Skate or Die!” but, they damn well didn’t pull over. Ironically these guys are probably Dads now, wearing DC Courts with their Independent tees.
The acceptance of skateboarding worldwide saw the brotherhood slowly slip away. Family became cliques, certain crews were cooler than others, and soon skaters kept to their own clans. The us against them attitude was white washed away by skate dads and delusions of their kids being the next Flying Tomato. Parents wanted their kids to skate? Yes, and by all means, how can my son get sponsored? Fuck me.
That’s what happens to everything and every pioneer wants it to stay sacred. Fight change! Grand tales of back in the day and so on. It is what it is, skateboarding will always be the best. No rules, just you and the board. While all the contests and skate events are going down today, there are still those kids out there dealing with the torture and keeping the dream alive. GSD is just another day, to me it’s not good or bad. It’s just been a weird ride to get here. Cheers to all the skaters out there that got their asses beat, got shit at school, had no support at home, broke bones, fought back, had kids, and never quit skating. A road traveled to the end is a trip worth taking. -ERL