Last week The New York Times published a detailed fashion guide on how to look like a complete jackass on a skateboard from the helmet all the way down to the longboard. The article was titled “How to Not Look Too Silly on a Skateboard,” and I still halfway think the Times is trolling me (did I use that word correctly, Glen?). The piece was written by a guy named Alex Williams, who wrote an article the next day titled"Skateboarding Past a Midlife Crisis," which features a diagram of ‘the aging skate rebel today’ holding a Bustin longboard and a fucking VitaCoco. The two pieces link back to each other like a hellish, mongo-pushing Ouroboros. I have both articles open right now and the urge to vomit on my computer screen has never been so strong.
The Times is notorious for being mind-bogglingly out of touch when it comes to anything that could be remotely considered “counter culture” (to put it in their lingo), but these two articles are the journalistic equivalent of me attempting to write about the migration habits of the Bar-tailed Godwit in Sanskrit. Let’s examine the undisputed leader in news’ model of a ‘not-silly’ skateboarder.
Ride a Longboard
I wouldn’t say that people who ride longboards should be euthanized, but the culture that longboards have spawned could certainly be wiped off the face of the Earth and no one would care. Right? Blame it on the gloved herd of Bustin riders in Union Square or Sector 9, but longboarding has always been skateboarding’s Peter Criss.
Wear a Helmet
This one starts with: “Don’t forget the helmet. If it’s cool enough for Tony Hawk it’s cool enough for you.” By that line of reasoning, we are also all cool enough to be stuck inside of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and serve as a human spittoon for Duane Peters (Yes, I realize I’m linking to a video on Tony Hawk’s site. The guy is unavoidable.) For better or worse, this is a universally acknowledged truth in skateboarding: Unless you’re skating vert (or transition in general if you’re over 40), you cannot wear a helmet. It just isn’t allowed. Helmets are clunky and hot and they make your head look like the top of a penis. Sorry, thems are just the facts.