1. When you’re skating towards something new.
Intro – The XX
This is an excellent song for when you’re about to go on an adventure, and do something that you’ve never done before. Ideally, you’ll be riding up a slope for the first 22 seconds. When the bass drum hits, stop for a breather and feel the blood pumping to your fingertips. Take your first two pushes on the beats at 00:35 and 00:37, and then ride across the footpath from side to side because who knows where the fuck you’re going or what the fuck is going to happen.
2. When you’re skating down a hill.
Juicy – Notorious B.I.G
With any luck, this song will come on without you expecting it too. You would have just come to the apex of the hill, and began the run top the bottom when out of nowhere, Yeah, this album is dedicated… to the all the teachers who told me I’d never amount to nothing. Dancing with your feet is hard when you’re riding a skateboard, so it’s probably safest to just bounce your shoulders in time up and down with the beat. When that first chorus hits, people might be looking at you riding down the hill, but it doesn’t matter because you’re the one watching the bitumen speed past.
3. When you’re riding home after all the public transport has finished.
Visiting Statue – Grimes
This is a good song for when it’s just you and the orange streetlights. Streets where there were once cars and busy people are now filled with empty space. There’s probably not too much wind in the air but the way you’re riding means there’s a gentle breeze against your face and you’re having an indulgent thought about what it all means, and how you haven’t thought about what it all means in a while. If possible, ride past a collection of shop front windows, timing the appearance of yourself in their reflection with the beats between 00:00 and 00:13. That way, when she starts singing, you can just look out and see the space.
4. When you’re skating through traffic.
Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
This song is really good if you like to skate around and pretend you really live in New York, or somewhere that steam comes out from the underground and people hang out on the street a lot and braid one another’s hair on the stairs of their apartment blocks. Use the opening of the song, between 00:00 and 00:28, where it’s just harmonies and guitar strings to survey the street you’re going to ride down. No one on it will be as sassy as you are. None of the cars know what’s going on inside your headphones. The bridge, for example, the one between 2:06 and 2:19, makes for a great weave through traffic, zoom in and out between the cars and don’t be too worried if they beep their horns because you snuck up on them. You are a child of destiny.
5. When you’re painfully hungover and going somewhere you don’t really want to be going but if fuck it you’re going anyway because you’re a rockstar.
Teenage Icon – The Vaccines
Pedestrians, cars, all forms of public transport, groups of Chinese tourists and the righteous elderly on gophers are all the skateboarders’ worst friends. Particularly when you’ve had 12 too many of “that drink you’d never normally drink” , snorted an unnamed white powder off a house key and had amel from that one gay guy who brings it to every shindig. Particularly when you’ve done all those things and now have to be somewhere (most probably your shitty Sunday job) 15 minutes ago. Lucky for you: The Vaccines. This song is best enjoyed with your oldest pair of sneakers on, the one with the most number of holes in them, the ones where the soles are no longer intact.
6. When you’ve just kissed the love of your life and ridden away and well would you look at that it’s the first day of spring.
Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac
The first 16 seconds of this song is all rainbows and sunflowers. It’s hard to imagine what is tingling more, the residue of your loved one still lingering on the skin of your lips, or your feet, as coarse ride of the bitumen underneath you bumps along cheerfully. Make sure you play air drums and air dreams at 17 seconds do long, ‘take it all in’, panning head movements when Stevie Knicks starts singing. There’s actually not much of a guide to this song, as long as you’re smiling.