As much as I love skateboarding, Chris Troy, kids, and analyzing people's handwriting, this cultural phenomena makes me sad. This past weekend while at Dew Tour in Boston, I sat cheering amongst adults who knew nothing about skateboarding aside from "Ryan Sheckler" and "P Rod". Their children rushing the edges of the stands as soon as a pro skater was in sight. Meanwhile I applauded Vanessa Torres, Amy Caron, Lacey Baker, Eli Reed, Bastian Salabanzo, Greg Lutzka, and Sierra Fellers and contemplated the future of skateboarding from within a giant basketball stadium. After the surprise appearances of Red Bull's Shawn White and Travis Pastrana (this guy doesnt even skateboard), who both recited "stoke" speeches, I became sentimental for the simplicity of skateboarding in a park with people. Started to resent being one of these anxious, non-skateboarding spectators. Conversely, perhaps I am glad to not be one of the skateboarders who is skating for someone/some sponsor!
I've realized how much power skateboarding has lately. It's cultural influence has reached the masses. You can find evidence of legitimate skateboarding culture in photography for Urban Outfitters catalogs, and purchase various "skateboards" at Target. There is even a "teen focused meat snack brand" involved in sponsoring these events along with various sugar-water companies. There's validity in supporting the skateboarding industry, and as a creative person I want to offer some responsibility in that. A more authentic progression of skateboarding is worth fighting for.