Creativity and Skateboarding

It’s a long held belief of mine that the best skateboarders are the creative ones. The few who dare to be expressive and blaze their own trail. Dare to add their own unique flair to everything they do. It goes beyond mere style, it’s a different form of sight. A different way of seeing an obstacle, a trick, or performing a rhythm. A fantastic variation in a sea of repetition. It’s an innate drive that inspires the individual to go that extra mile in order to achieve something beyond the status quo.

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Far too often we see our sport fall prey to the foibles of repetition and stagnation; the slide jam with slides you’ve seen from everyone and their mother, the skate video with the filthy dub-step sound track, the spot (or road) that’s been skated to death, an overall lack of creativity in skateboarding across the board (pun intended). Since when has skateboarding become such a homogenized sport? Since when have we been curtailed to skate only a certain way, or risk “blowing it”? Despite all of this, the important thing to remember is that skateboarding’s allure blossomed out of its wonderful characteristics of creativity and self expression. A complete and total departure from all that is set in stone. A whole new form of interaction in a world bristling with ups, downs, and flats, waiting for an opportunity to lend itself to the creative process. Ultimately, skateboarding doesn’t, and hasn’t ever given a shit about you, them, or anyone else. It’s doesn’t care that you push mongo or how long your stand up slide was. It has never been about what you can do, but how you do it. What little extra you put in to make that trick stand out, what it took to make it all your own.

It has never been about what you can do, but how you do it.

The illusion that we need to adhere to some unwritten skateboarding lexicon has always puzzled me. Some sort of grandiose leather bound tome of tricks that we’re expected to know that ultimately dictates mastery and skill. And while I believe there is some truth to it, I also believe there needs to be a departure from it. Like taking the training wheels off of your bike, there needs to be a point of separation, a divergence from the norm. It’s then, and only then, that true creativity is born.

Thanks for reading, now go explore and get creative.

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