And the clock rolls over – An open letter to the Longboarding Community

I’ll warn you, this isn’t a review this is just an open letter to longboarding companies out there, share it, push it, post it on company Facebook pages if you agree argue if you don’t, discussion is healthy.

I am hardly an expert in the field of anything, basically I am a over opinionated uni student with a chip on his shoulder and a strong feeling of self entitlement. Hence the blog, but even in my own negative way, sometimes, I have something worth while to say.

Longboarding has become my life, my passion, I dream about it, I don’t buy nutella because of it. I don’t own a car or a bike, I push everywhere, I breath and live for Longboarding. So you can imagine how much of me dies when I see whats happening to it. Just this last year has brought so much change to the community especially here in Australia. We have seen an exponential growth in Longboarding as it begins to pierce into mainstream consumer goods. This marks on of the most exciting and dangerous times for Longboarding and i fear we have already failed. How you ask? Longboarding isn’t about tricks, it never has been. This is from Stoked Skateboards Facebook, big thumbs up to Chris Rempel who wrote it… It describes exactly how Longboarding was and should be

Its an Attitude, its not about a board, its not about RKP trucks, bigger wheels, sliding, speed or anything like that. The separating factor between Longboarding and everything else is (was) Attitude.

We have lost it.

As the community has grown the attitude has changed, It started slipping some time ago, you can see the change in the media major companies were putting out, Original is a classic example. Longboarding was never about flip tricks and grinds and as that stuff started sneaking into Longboarding promotional material the attitude started changing. Instead of holding our own and remaining true to what Longboarding is many companies bailed on that ethos, you can see it in the way videos are filmed, trick after trick cropped together rather than flowing runs, Longboarding Let go (Kyle Chen on a Voodoo Doll ripping it) is one of the best Longboarding videos ever, Abec 11′s video of James Kelly and K-rimes shredding together at a stupidly high speed is another great Longboarding video, Landyachtz are yet to produce a video I don’t like as are Rayne and comet, Thumbs up to you!  Loaded began slipping some time ago and for a time lead the charge with Adam colton popping stairs and doing a lot of old school skating, the Original blew it up with the Apex and since then every child wants an Apex 37 to do silly little foot tucking varials on. Now ALL of this I would be ok with but a side effect if this new breed of Hybrid Longboarding is attitude, the thing that defined us in the first place. Once we have lost the separating factor we have nothing, nothing new or different people on boards doing tricks, that’s all it is now. Every thing I learn I learn for a reason, I learn’t to slide so I could bomb bigger hills, learnt to stand up cause it was more fun and gave me more options in places where putting a puck down was a bit sketchy (like campus walkway). I learn’t to boneless to get up curbs and early grab to hop down the only place I would need to walk to get to my morning lecture (a humble 4 stair). Now i’m learning some dancing stuff, cause its amazingly fun, and I’m working on slide shov-its for the same reason. FUN,

I love street skating too, recently I’ve been getting back into it, to me all skating is the same but the reason i love Longboarding so specifically was the attitude, street skating has a real thrash yourself until you land it once for the video/sponsor attitude and I hate that, there is no flow no fluidity, some videos like this here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=77H2EY-M8TI : are legendary street skating the way it should be getting from A-B but living it, living in the journey!
But this is a minority. Longboarding has adopted the street skating attitude and it is the death of us. For the camera, for the sponsor, statements that now reflect Longboarding as it is today.

Don’t get me confused with someone who hates change and progression, its not the progression I dislike, its not the specific tricks i have a problem with, its the attitude. And Its not that I hate people making videos, I just hate watching someone roll around one little hill or even one little bit or pavement doing “tricks” and calling it Longboarding. If you a sick rider film it and share it please, It would be great to see every ones progression out there on camera. But remeber to reflect the attitude in your videos, I try too. And Even I think I’m guilty of filming tricks rather than filming Longboarding, but I try. At least try.

If you can’t do it 100% of the time you can’t do it.
This is something I learn’t from Parkour, consistency is everything. Longboarding was all about that, key word was. Practice, practice over and over then take it to a new hill and skate, don’t think. Sometimes I find myself at the bottom of a run, or a car park wondering what exactly I did on my way down, that’s the way it should be. I session slide hills to practice and prepare for the long sweet runs, so I can flow down them with my own style without thinking about each “trick” just watching the camber of the road and living the journey down it. Can you say the same? Or do you session a spot all day for the perfect shot of your switch check?

I guess this was more of a rant that anything else.
I’m tired and my fingers hurt from typing this so I’m going to go skate now, but I will leave you with my final 2 cents.

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”
― Henry Ward Beecher

I wish that to be true in Longboarding as it once was,
Live the journey,

Skate, don’t do tricks, just skate…

Cheers

Jonny