There are rules in skateboarding
But the great thing is
you do not have to follow them.
There is a fine line between regiment and the absurd, sport and taking the piss,
and it must be walked. Precise technical moves for points or loose juggling in a drainage ditch.
The other day, someone asked me how long it would take me to teach them how to kick flip,
I should have said, “ It does not matter. Take this (hand them a board) and do what you want with it.”
Wasn’t that how rugby was invented? Someone got tired of kicking the ball, said fuck it and picked it up and ran?
Run with it.
Remember as a child, finding a good stick, for a few eternal minutes it is anything you want it to be, anything you can imagine, a sword, a light saber or a giant pen to write poems to your dead dog on the clouds. It was an imagination liberator. The skateboard is the same thing, an imagination liberator, a freedom stick. A time dissolver. Do anything you want with it. Just don’t hit anyone with it.
When I was a teenager, a security guard took my skateboard from under my feet. You’re going to take the most freedom I ever experience? No. I rugby tackled him (that’s sport for you) knocked him over and grabbed my board, ran across four lanes of traffic and skated off into the sunset. I felt bad for him, momentarily and hope I didn’t injure him.
And so to Natas Kaupas, I read somewhere that he didn’t really skate with many people early on or read magazines. He just had a board and his environment and did whatever he felt. The end result? He redefined the whole damn activity. If you know anything about him, it’s worth pausing to ponder what that means. He re-defined what we all do in a vacuum because he took that board and had some fun with it.
In the words of Peter Handke, “When the child was a child,
It threw a stick like a lance against a tree,
And it quivers there still today.”