29 September 2006

To Wend One's Way

Well it is finally hitting the shelves. Issue #2 of WEND out now. Here in Portland it will be available at Powell's, New Seasons and a few other places. This issue will also be available nationally and at a few select international locales with a circulation of 26,000 apparently.

So I wrote a story about skateboarding. Actually it is two stories. One is a more objective journo piece on skatepark design and the political implications of using urban features that were never intended for skateboarding as obstacles to skate. The other was a first person account of several skate sessions where I, along with a few pals, set out to intentionally skate outside of the confines of the sanctioned environment that are skateparks. It is called Jaded By Perfection. The editors did a good job with intertwining the two stories and the layout looks great. My only qualm would be that given that the article is about the re-interpreting the urban realm, only two of the eight photos are outside of skateparks. That was mainly due to my own incompetence at photography. Much thanks to the Wend team, especially Stiv for his guidance and encouragement.

Also, I have to give props to Dave Fitzpatrick, for the inspiration to get back in the streets. Old men, with beer guts and beards playing skateboards in the streets might not be pretty but it was damn fun.

“To be a street skateboarder is to understand the rhythms of the city as nobody else can; to charge through the urban landscape with wheels screaming and eyes tearing; the mind a microprocessor, free of stress, trained to assess architectural intricacies and urban undulation. It’s an endless equation of rapid-fire sidewalk seams, pedestrian prediction, concrete consistency, stair steepness, curb configuration, and traffic timing.

It’s a constant quest to balance outlaw athleticism with artistic interpretation. It’s grace amid the grime, adventure amid the average, and an urban outcome wholly unforeseen by the original designers.

Street skating is the purest from of four-wheeled freedom ever contrived.”

–Dave Fitzpatrick aka Fitz Of Rage (Writer/trucker/skateboarder)