So you’ve decided to do what everyone else is doing and buy a longboard to cruise around town. But why are you not getting respect from real skaters, or what you call, ‘fellow boarders’ you wonder? Well, let me be blunt in saying, we don’t like you. It’s not personal really – well, ok, it kind of is – it’s just we don’t take kindly to your half-cocked pursuit of something we hold so dear to our identity. But you may think, ‘what’s the big difference, we all board?’ Don’t fool yourself, you’re like a tourist in Manhattan – you’re annoying.
Now I’m not going to tell you to stop completely, no matter how much we’d all love you to, as this is America and everyone’s allowed to pursue whatever they please, regardless of how lame it may be. What I am going to do is point out all your faults in hopes that you get self-conscious enough to stop embarrassing yourself, or, ideally, quit.
1. You’re An Outsider
Skateboarding at heart is a sub-culture lifestyle meant for careless creatives with a masochistic touch and a reckless resentment for authority. It’s basically something we can call our own, far removed from people like you, and we’re very very protective of it. So, you can figure it’s a little offensive to see some well-behaved, Johnny-come-lately, dressed for a Montauk beach party, longboard down the street expecting a head nod. It’s like a teenage girl with an instagram telling Annie Leibovitz she takes pictures too. You’re putting in zero effort and expecting full results. Cold, plain and simple, you’re an outsider, and you’re not getting in. Deal with it.
2. Bros Vs. Skaters
Skateboarding wasn’t admittedly cool to do until the past 5-10 years – much to our dismay. Before then we were social pariahs, endlessly picked on for the mere fact that we skated. I endured countless drive-by shoutings of ‘skater fags’ in my youth. And that was them being nice. It wasn’t uncommon to hear about a skater being beaten up just for simply being a skater. But your hate’s made us stronger. So now, 10-15 years later, the tables have turned and, forget it, that hatchet ain’t getting buried in the course of your trend-whore interest in skating, pally. The seeds of resentment have been well sowed. Go hang out at the gym where people will at least pretend to like you.
3. Don’t, For Any Reason Ever, Push Mongo
If you take any of these points into consideration, this is the most important as it’s your worst habit. Pushing ‘Mongo’ is pushing with your front foot rather than the back. It looks absolutely hideous and you’re only embarrassing yourself when you do it. Just, please, do yourself a favor and stop. If you have to teach yourself to push proper, do it, or just burn your board because you don’t belong 50 ft. near one. Skateboarding is an artistic sport judged on style, grace and execution; not points scored. Jason Dill said it best in Feedback, “It’s art. It’s technique, it’s form. It’s what looks good… that’s what you got to go by.” Friends don’t let friends push mongo. You shouldn’t either.
4. Hold The Board Correctly
There are a million correct ways to hold your board and only one wrong, which, for some reason, is how everyone who doesn’t skate figures to hold it. It’s called ‘mall grip’ and it’s spreading like the plague. Mall grip is basically when you carry your board by the trucks. It’s the biggest tell that you don’t skate and we just want to smack the board right out of your hand every time we see it. You can hold your board in any other way: by the tail, the nose, the side, clutch it in your arm, put it in the straps of your backpack; but for no reason should you ever hold it by the trucks. Your aunt doesn’t skate so why are you holding it like she does? Hold it right, goddammit.
5. Wrong Terminology
Yes, it comes down to niggling little points such as using the wrong words because, like an old married couple who just loath each other, we pick on every little fault of yours. The worst of this is calling skateboarding, ‘boarding’, like in the annoyingly used sentence, ‘Dudes, want to go boarding today?’ I can’t be any clearer about this one. Don’t call it boarding! Ok, I get it, in the general lexicon ‘skating’ refers to either ice skating or (vomit) roller skating/ blading; but for the last time, it is not called ‘boarding’. We don’t call longboarding ‘douching’ – although we should – so don’t call skateboarding ‘boarding’. Treat it like a colloquial homonym, such as ‘suck’ or ‘cock’.
6. Ugly Board
A traditional skateboard only has one shape and appearance whereas longboards have a seemingly endless variety; and some look like Dr. Frankenstein’s greatest mistake. When picking out a board, for the love of god, take aesthetics into consideration. Having an ugly board is pretty offensive to us because that generally means you bought it from a company that’s trying to cash in while skateboarding’s hot. If you bought it from a department store, you’re an idiot; some goes for those ridiculous, wacky shapes – just keep it simple. And whatever you do, don’t put large cruiser wheels on a trick board. It looks like you’re riding a monster truck; and nobody over the age of 6 with taste likes monster trucks.
7. Never, Never in the Rain
Water is a skateboard’s moral enemy. It ruins both the bearings and the deck itself. Whenever mine gets even remotely near a puddle, I worry. Your board’s like your bottom bitch: you can beat it up, break it, toss it around, even share it and it will still love you back as long as you keep a roof over its head. But getting it wet is equal to murder. So someone cruising down the street in the middle of a rain storm, to me, looks like a complete asshole. You’d think I was an idiot too if I drove a car through the rain with the top down. Same difference.
8. Don’t Use Your Hands
If the board you bought strictly requires you to pick it up using your hands when confronted with any obstacle, throw it in the river and buy a new one, or just let us kick it into on-coming traffic for you. Never do you ever do this. Skateboarding’s all about flow and grace – like I’ve pounded in – so it’s such an offense against the essence of skateboarding to have to dead stop to pick up your flat lying board. Every time we witness this, our eyes roll so far back into our heads you’d think we were dead. Skateboarding’s like soccer, no-hands, ever, unless you’re doing a grab trick or carrying it – and only the latter applies to you. Dancers don’t have to stop mid performance to tie their laces because they have the proper footwear; so should a skateboard be.
Ultimately, if you follow these rules, bide your time, show a believable interest and try to get better riding the board so you have a bit of style and grace, we’ll merely ignore you, which is far better than us throwing rocks at your wheels. Or just be a cute girl, then you get a free pass.