Some know, but most do not, that freestyle skateboarding still exists. There are still skaters who perfect the art of doing tricks on flat ground, one trick after the other, in contests. There are those who would call this practice a “throwback” or anachronism, or just silly. After all, freestyle declined in popularity in the late 1970s, as vertical riding took over, and then in the late 1980s and forward the technical aspect of freestyle was gobbled up almost whole by street skating.
Almost whole. While street skating took it’s flipping and technicality, and even its ollie, from freestyle, it left the good stuff. Spins, wheelies, upside-down (handstand) tricks. All these were left to the freestylers, but most importantly the flow and the desire to really master your skateboard were left to the nerds of skateboarding.
Today there’s an international community of freestyle skateboarders, glued together by love of freestyle and by the internet. BUT — even with the internet, YouTube, social media, and all the rest, there is no substitute for having a paper publication in your hands to read while you sit on the pot.
So an associate of mine has organized a group of freestylers into a ‘zine crew, and we’re about to publish (in a month or so) our first issue of Broken Fingers, the freestyle skateboarding magazine.
I have contributed the story “Skater: it’s good to be a weirdo”, in slightly edited format, to that publication. It’s not really a story. More of an essay. I will be doing an essay in each issue. I hope my work speaks not just to freestylers, and not just skaters, but to all humanoids who read it.
It think it’s a good short essay. I’m no Christopher Hitchens, but then, well, whatever…