Thursday, June 29, 2023

Skateboarding in the 1990s

NOTE: If you don't have time to read this article, you may prefer listening to it in audio form below.

It was in the year 1990, I believe. I was 8 years old, shopping in the local Walpole Mall (also known as the “Mall at Walpole”) in Walpole, MA. After hitting up Bradlees, Radio Shack and Record Town (or Record Town may have still been called “Good Vibrations” at this time), I inevitably paid a visit to the KB Toys store, saw a Bart Simpson skateboard called “Vehicle of Destruction,” the back of the deck had Bart Simpson, flames and crossbones on it—damn, dude, the artwork looked so siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick (see pic below)—and I knew I wanted to have it.


The "Vehicle of Destruction"

The deck artwork on "Vehicle of Destruction"


That Christmas of 1990, Santa Claus was kind and he gifted me with the Vehicle of Destruction. I was a very lucky boy. 

Me on Christmas morning 1990, holding my new "Vehicle of Destruction"

I used the skateboard here and there around my driveway, but, for the most part, I didn’t end up using it that much until the next spring or summer. In fact, it’s possible I didn’t even use it that much for another year or so. But I do know that I think in the summer of 1991 or maybe even 1992, my neighbors built a quarter pipe ramp in a little skate park they made behind their house. There used to be a one-car garage in this area. The garage was razed long ago, but the cement flooring was still present and perfect for a homemade skate park to be built. 


The quarter pipe was constructed out of wood and had PVC pipe for its coping or at least that’s how I remember it. It’s possible it was another ramp from my childhood that had the PVC coping, the one I’m talking about now may have had regular metal coping, but let’s go with PVC pipe. I started skating this ramp with my Bart Simpson skateboard. I mostly went up the ramp and did kickturns over and over again, but eventually my goal was to do a 50-50 grind on the coping. After many tries, I finally nailed the 50-50 and subsequently did several afterwards. However, my toy store skateboard was not exactly built to do any hard-core tricks, not that a 50-50 grind is an overly hardcore trick, but for a toy store skateboard with plastic trucks, it is something a little too heavy duty. Eventually, I nailed a 50-50 grind and heard a snap. The back truck of the skateboard broke on me and that was that. I had no more skateboard.


A few weeks after the destruction of my “Vehicle of Destruction,” I went back to KB Toys and bought another skateboard. This board was a slight upgrade from my Bart Simpson board. It was of a brand called “Concave,” I believe, although I can’t find any evidence via Internet searches of this brand ever existing. The Concave board rode better than the Bart Simpson board and it was also the skateboard I first learned to do an ollie on. Indeed, after much practice and many tries, mainly in my driveway, I nailed my first ollie and that feeling of getting your board airborne, especially those back wheels, even if it’s only an inch or so, is a feeling I will never forget.


After a few months of having the Concave board, I realized that I could replace the generic-brand wheels with better wheels and better bearings. With a trusty ratchet set, I switched out the slow wheels that had sub-par bearings with a set of black Cross Bones wheels with German (or maybe even Swiss) bearings that I either bought from or got handed-down from a neighborhood friend. Then I got my hands on a can of WD-40 and sprayed the living shit out of those bearings until they got a good soaking through and through and spun along their axle for minutes on end with no help except one initial swipe of the hand. To this day, I can’t smell WD-40 without thinking about spraying the bearings of my skateboard wheels. Such a good smell. Like toxic cookie dough or something. With the bearings and wheels in good shape, I then got my hands on a skate key, adjusted the tightness of the board’s trucks here and there, then slapped some stickers on the back of the deck, and, voila, my toy-store-bought Concave was suddenly looking and feeling and riding like a “real” skateboard. 


The Cross Bones Wheels


I must say that there was something rather satisfying about “building your own board” like this. The process went as follows: you take a skateboard deck, you screw the trucks into the deck with a Phillips-Head screwdriver. Then you take the bearings of choice (German, Swiss etc.) and, with a rubber mallet, you hammer the bearings into your wheels of choice (big or small). Then you screw the wheels onto your trucks with the ratchet set. From there, you spray the bearings down with the aforementioned WD-40, you spin the wheels until they get a good coating of WD-40 inside and out. Then you do some final adjustments to your trucks to tighten or loosen them with the trusty skate key. And there you go. You have built your own skateboard with your own bare hands. It’s a board that is customized and unique to your preferences as a skater.


So, yes, my Concave board was all pimped out with Cross Bones wheels, nice fast bearings, stickers and such, but, eventually, when I was in the fifth grade, the deck to the Concave snapped in two or at least I think it did—maybe it never snapped but just got beat up real bad. Either way, it became time to buy a “real” skateboard and by “real” skateboard I mean something from the CCS (i.e. California Cheap Skates) catalogue or Cali4nia Skate Express catalogue and I want to say it was more likely the latter catalogue that I bought my third board from. CCS and Cali4nia Skate Express were catalogs where you could order decks and then choose what kind of trucks you wanted and what kind of wheels you wanted and what kind of bearings you wanted and you could even get risers on your trucks or rail guards on your deck if you wanted those as well. You could either buy the board as a ‘complete’ (with all the parts assembled for you) or buy various parts and assemble the board yourself. What I ended up getting was a complete “Woody Woodpecker” bored, technically called a “Woody Woodpecker Taiki Premium” board (I think) and I don’t know much about this brand of skateboard other than the back of the deck had siiiiiiiiiiiiick artwork of an angry-looking woodpecker smoking a cigar. The deck was extremely fat as far as decks go and I’m not talking ‘phat’; I’m talking literally fat, like, in terms of width. The Fireball-brand wheels, however, were extremely thin and small, especially relative to the fat deck. For trucks, I’m pretty sure they were Independent-brand. As far as bearings went? I know for a fact that they were German, which were extremely fast and good quality bearings, second only to Swiss bearings.


A "Woody Woodpecker" deck similar to mine


Another popular deck at the time: the "Hanging Klansman"


A "Natas" deck was also a hot item in the early-1990s


It was around this time in 5th grade, 1992 or 1993, when I really started catching the skateboarder fever. I skated almost every day during the summer of 1992/1993 and I remember listening to a ton of grunge music during this time, like Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots, but Alice in Chains’ song “Would” sticks out the most, as well as Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow.” I was mostly doing street skating, although I do remember building a couple ramps in our driveway with my brother and our neighbors. The train bridge up the street had been recently renovated and the sidewalks near and around the bridge had some nice curbs to them. My brother and I, along with other neighborhood skaters, would wax these curbs up reeeeeeal nice with candle wax. The wax made the curbs perfect for simple 50-50 grinds, 5-O grinds, board slides and also nose/tail slides. 


Going “downtown” to skate was also a big deal. I had a newspaper rack on the back of my Giant-brand “Attraction” mountain bike (I was a paperboy during this time) and I used to hook my skateboard into this rack and proceed to make the ten-minute bike ride to downtown. As an alternative option, you could also rig your skateboard, wheels-out, into the two straps of your backpack, strap the pack on your back with the grip-tape side of your board flush with your back, and transport your skateboard this way, which sometimes even worked better than using the newspaper rack. 


In downtown Walpole, there were a lot of curbs to skate, much more than there were in my neighborhood, which was basically curb-less except for at the train bridge up the street. Downtown, there was also a parking lot behind a Bay Bank with asphalt embankments that could almost be used as quarter-pipe ramps. Where California seemed to have embankments like these in virtually every parking lot and school grounds (or so it seemed whenever you watched a skate video), finding concrete and/or asphalt embankments in Massachusetts suburbia was rare and a big deal. I believe they eventually posted signs behind the Bay Bank that said, “No Skateboarding,” but it’s not like those signs stopped us skater punkers back then. 


The best and most popular location to skate “downtown,” however, was the post office which had a long curb/wall that was about one foot in height and ran for approximately 10-20 feet or so. The curb acted as a divider between a parking area for mail trucks and a driveway that ran adjacent the post office property. On this curb was years upon years of wax from generations of skateboarders, probably from as far back as the mid-1980s, and it was slick as anything, especially during the summer when the heat of the sun made the wax all the slicker. Skaters loved doing boardslides here, grinds, nose slides/picks, tail slides, you could ollie over the thing, you could kickflip over it, heelflip over it, variflip over it, do a 180-ollie, an ollie impossible—there were all sorts of options. The curb was even wide enough to ollie up and do a manual on top of it for several feet or so, or you could nollie up to it and pull a nasty nose manual. 


The only downside to “skating the post office” was that the cops regularly did drive-bys and would kick skaters out of there, usually not in a nice way, either. Cops were basically the number-one arch-enemy of the skater punk. 


Cops notwithstanding, skating downtown was always a fun time. It wasn’t simply about the skateboarding, either; it was more about the “experience” of skating downtown. Integral to this experience was going to get drinks at the convenience store, or, put another way, doing a drink run. If you were in a group, you would often give your money to a designated gopher and they would go get drinks at the store for everyone. Sometimes they would just get one communal gallon of the cheap blue drink or red drink: you know, that water with the artificial food coloring and flavoring that either tasted like cheap fruit punch or fake blueberries. This gallon of drink that could be shared amongst several skaters was easier and cheaper than getting everyone individual drinks, but more often than not my fellow skaters and I would opt for a higher quality beverage. I don’t drink much soda now, but back then I liked to get either a Sprite, a Surge, a Lipton Ice Tea (“That’s Brisk, baby”), a Barq’s Root Beer (“Barq’s has bite”) or a Pepsi “Big Slam” (remember those?), but there was also a time when my drink of choice was OK Soda. If you’re not familiar, OK was a brand of soda made by Coca Cola that was popular during the early-1990s but was discontinued by 1995. As part of its marketing campaign, there was a toll-free phone number you could call, 1-800-I-FEEL-OK, and you would get a recording that told you a series of true or false statements. This was fun to do on pay phones when you needed a break from skating.

OK soda: discontinued in 1995


Remember the Pepsi Big Slam?


As the 1990s progressed and my time in middle school went forward, there was a point where I officially became a “skater” and this meant that I decided that ‘skater’ would officially be my identity. I was living, breathing and dreaming about skateboarding, and when I wasn’t actually skateboarding I was avidly reading issues of Thrasher magazine (sometimes Transworld magazine) or playing any Nintendo game that had skateboarding in it (720T & C SurfSkate or DieBart vs. The World and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 come to mind). I even went so far as to do an oral report project in my fifth-grade class where I had to show my teacher and classmates how to ollie on a skateboard. I brought my skateboard into school and actually did an ollie front and center in the classroom and I think people may have been impressed but I don’t know for sure if they were. It probably would’ve been more impressive if I did a kickflip or heelflip instead of just a simple ollie, but I don’t even think I knew how to do those fancier tricks at the time.


It was also around this time when I began dressing like a skateboarder. From one of our Cali4nia SkateExpress catalogues, I ordered a green hooded sweatshirt with the Crossbones logo embroidered in white on the chest. In fact, I still wonder to this day whatever happened to that sweatshirt because, at some point, it simply disappeared. Double-in-fact, I’ve had this issue with many articles of clothing over the years. Not to go off on a tangent or anything, but I used to have this awesome Alice in Chains “Jar of Flies” T-shirt, but at some point, it disappeared into thin air and I never knew what happened to it. Same thing happened to a sweet “Mr. Bean” (i.e. Rowan Atkinson) T-shirt that I had for a year or two and then it disappeared into thin air. So weird. I wonder if my brother took them and never told me or perhaps they were abducted by aliens.


Anyway, to go along with the Crossbones sweatshirt, I bought these awesome black high top Vision Streetwear skate shoes that were made out of this almost Velcro-y material that protected your shoes from getting ollie holes. Ollie holes, if you’re not familiar, are holes that you get from doing too many ollies. See, what happens when you do an ollie is you slide the side of your left foot up the grip tape of the board and, if you do this enough times, your shoe gets worn down from all the friction and a hole develops near or around the outer side of your foot. Some skate shoes are better at preventing ollie holes than others, but sometimes you just had to live with an ollie hole or you could also get some duct tape and tape up the ollie hole as best as you could. Eventually, the ollie holes and overall wear and tear from skating would get out of control and you would have to buy a new pair of skate shoes. But, yeah dude, you could always spot a skater out in the wild if you looked down at their shoes and saw an ollie hole. It was a dead giveaway. So, you know, if you were in a mall or someplace like that, you could look down at a dude’s shoes, see that ollie hole and then give him a shout-out, something like, “Hey man, I see you skate. Cool. Later.”


My Vision skate shoes

Another favorite skate shoe of mine was the Vans Half Cab


Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how many hours I spent watching skate videos during this period of time as well. Ok, I think I mostly watched the same two skate videos over and over again. The first one was called Eight, which was a 1991 video done by Stacy Peralta and the Bones Brigade, one of many Powell-Peralta-produced videos featuring such skater greats as Steve Caballero, Adam McNat, Mike Frazier, Colin McKay, Pat Brennan, Lance Mountain and, of course, Tony Hawk. The second video was actually a short 1988 “film” called Tales from the Street featuring such skater greats as Natas Kaupas and Julien Stranger. Yes, I would obsessively watch these two videos and they became so seared into my brain that I would hum the music from the videos in my head whenever I went out to skate. After watching skate videos, you were left with the impression that California was the best place in the world for a skateboarder. It seemed like every school in California, every post office, every parking lot, every industrial park and every recreational park was designed for one thing and one thing only: thrashing. That’s right, it seemed like California was one big giant skate park. I’m not sure if that’s how California really is, I’ve never lived there, only visited the Los Angeles area once, but that’s how it is definitely portrayed in skate videos.

Watch the full video of Eight here:


A sample of Eight


Tales from the Street


If I wasn’t watching Eight or Tales from the Street, I was likely watching the movie Gleaming the Cube. This 1989 feature film, starring Christian Slater, basically married skateboarding with the action film genre and, for me, a fan of action movies and, of course, skateboarding, I thought I had found God in the form of a VHS tape. Both Mike McGill and Rodney Mullen did all of Slater’s stunt-doubling in this movie (i.e. did all his skateboard sequences). It looks absurd at times when you see Mullen wearing a Slater wig pulling all sorts of sick tricks in the middle of an abandoned building. The camera cuts from close shots of Christian Slater’s face bopping around with no skateboard in sight—he was probably just hopping on his feet in reality—and then we cut away to a wide shot, a REALLY wide shot, of Rodney Mullen wearing a moppy Christian Slater wig doing the most insane freestyle skate tricks that you could ever imagine. My favorite trick of his was always that pogo stick move where he would hold his board up vertical to the ground, place one foot on the back truck, then hug the other foot against the grip tape of the opposite side, and he would hop around on the board like it was a pogo stick. Yeah, that move was my favorite. So sick. I tried to do this move on many occasions, but it most absolutely never happened. It was much tougher than how Mullen made it look.


Rodney Mullen in Gleaming the Cube


As I went through the sixth grade and then the seventh grade and especially the eighth grade, skateboarding began getting more and more trendy in pop culture. A lot more kids started skateboarding at my school and I started making a lot more friends who were skateboarders. For the most part, we skated curbs around town, but, once in a while, word would get out that somebody would have a ramp at their house, as was the case one time with a dude named Gilmore. He built this mini-half-pipe in his backyard and it was pretty damn sweet. In fact, I think he may have just taken two quarter pipes and then attached them via a couple flat pieces of plywood. I don’t remember skating it more than a couple of times, but I do remember it being super-fun. I also remember Gilmore had a cookie jar in his house full of Fig Newtons, of which I ate many, even though they were stale.


The next town over (Norfolk) had a much more professionally-built mini-half pipe in the back parking lot of their Town Hall. Seriously, this is one of the smallest, quietest towns on earth and it had one of the coolest mini-half-pipes around and it was randomly located in a parking lot behind their town hall. I loved that half pipe. Once I learned how to pump, I could spend so much time going back and forth on the ramp, almost in a kind of hypnotic rhythm, my wheels sounding like ocean waves as they rolled up and down each side, back and forth, from one set of coping to the other, grinding, stalling and doing rock and rolls.


The only other place that had a better mini-half-pipe than the one behind the Norfolk town hall was a place called “8 Ball” in Bellingham, MA. This was an indoor skate park inside of a warehouse that opened in 1992 and lasted until August 2000. This place was pretty sick, guys. I actually only went to 8 Ball a handful of times, but they had a lot of different ramps there, a street area, a vert half-pipe, which I never dared go on, a bowl, and, yes, even the mini-half-pipe. I skated in the street area quite a bit, and also skated the mini-half-pipe quite a lot, but one time I actually tried dropping into the bowl and wiped out in the gnarliest way. In fact, my drop-in was completely unsuccessful, I couldn’t get the front wheels down all the way, so I basically skidded into the bowl on my tail and then completely wiped out before I even got to the bottom. I bruised my coccyx and got the wind knocked out of me. It hurt. I was all set with the bowl. Never tried it again after that.


I must say that, despite the fact that I wasn’t all that good at skating the ramps at 8 Ball, I did feel like a real skateboarder when I went there. You know, instead of skating a curb down the street from my house I was skating in a real skate park and, thus, felt like a real skater.


I had a similar feeling one time, I think in the seventh grade, the year 1995, when I went into Boston with my friend Josh and we attended this promotional event for the very first X Games ever. This event took place at City Hall in Boston. Josh and I took our skateboards to the event and skated City Hall’s brick plaza, which had some brick embankments that resembled ramps (much like the asphalt embankments behind the aforementioned Bay Bank in downtown Walpole) and in front of these embankments were flat-topped benches about two feet in height that were good for grinds and slides and some other things. You could also skate up the brick embankments, ollie off of them, land on the benches and do a grind/slide/manual or whatever your pleasure was. As a seventh grader, skating in Boston was like hitting the big time. Even though it wasn’t necessarily overly fun and, to be honest, I probably had more fun skating the curb down the street from my house in boring suburbia, just the fact that you were technically “skating Boston” made you feel like you were a real skateboarder. 


The X Games promo, by the way, was really cool, they built a full vert half pipe in the middle of city hall and some professional skateboarders (I don’t remember who) skated it as a demo to attract interest in the first annual X Games, which would take place later that summer in Newport, Rhode Island. I remember they gave away stickers and other merch, T-shirts, fake tattoos, keychains and that kind of thing. Who could have imagined that the X Games would go on to become a super big deal and become an annual event for the next 28 years and counting.


By the time 8th grade came around, several outdoor skate parks were beginning to sprout up around the suburbs. Norfolk had one and I’m talking a brand new one in a different location from where the mini-half-pipe was. Norwood had one, too. Even Medfield had one, which was surprising because Medfield is a small but affluent and generally snooty town (no offense to any Medfield people reading this). One skate park even sprouted up in my town of Walpole, but it wasn’t a professional one, meaning not one of those cookie-cutter-cutout concrete types with the one quarter-pipe, launch ramp, mini-picnic table and fun box that were all made by the same company (you know what I’m talking about). I’m not sure how it even happened, but if I remember correctly, a group of skateboarders wanted to have a place where they could skate and not be harassed by the police, so they proposed a solution to the town and that solution was to build a series of ramps and other skateboarding obstacles at the high school in a vacant fenced-in area right by the tennis courts. The town must’ve thought this was a good idea because they were having a lot of trouble with skate punkers like myself skating the downtown area, especially at the post office, and the punkers were causing a real ruckus. Now, I don’t know if I got all the details right to this story, but I do know that at some point when I was in eighth grade, a little skate park popped up in a fenced-in area, right next to the tennis courts of the Walpole High School.


This mini-skate-park had a nice quarter pipe (made of wood), a launch ramp (also made of wood), a nice fun box (yes, made out of wood), and a concrete parking block (not made out of wood obviously), and maybe some other things but I don’t remember what those other things were. All I know is I spent a lot of time at the skate park during the summer going into eighth grade, all throughout eighth grade, during the summer going into high school and even during the fall of freshman year of high school. I liked the ramps and all, but I think I spent the most time skating the fun box. I enjoyed doing 50-50 grinds and 5-O grinds on the box’s metal coping and I also enjoyed ollying up to it and trying to manual the entire thing. Simple stuff, I know, but that’s what turned me on at the time.


This high school skate park became a popular hangout for all the skaters in town, and I remember many skaters coming there from surrounding towns as well. Some of these skaters were posers who mostly sat on their boards the whole time they were there, often sitting on top of the quarter pipe, which was always annoying. But, overall, the skate park was a fun place to be for the social aspect of it all. I would usually bring a boombox to the park with me and play either mixtapes of punk music (“Punk O Rama: Volume One” or Rancid’s “Let’s Go”) or CD compilations. One CD compilation that I know I played the crap out of was the very first volume of “ESPN Presents the X Games.” This was a kind of soundtrack that was released for the aforementioned first annual X Games featuring cool skateboarder-type music. We’re talking bands like the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Primus, Wu-Tang Clan, Sugar Ray, Dog Eat Dog and many others. Upon doing some Googling, it seems like they only put out three volumes of these soundtracks, one in 1995, one in 1996, and one in 1997. I think the first two were widely successful but the third was a bomb, so maybe they decided to give up on it after Volume 3, even though the X Games continued to take place every year up until the present.


X Games: Volume One

X Games: Volume 2


Now, if you haven’t figured it out already, I wasn’t that great of a skateboarder. I never had the ambition to become super awesome at skateboarding. I mostly just enjoyed doing street skating. I never did skate a vert ramp or any other half pipe except of the mini variety. Over the years, I learned how to do kick-flips and heel-flips and variels, shove-its, vari-flips, manuals, nose manuals, board slides, all sorts of grinds etc. and that was basically enough for me. 


More than anything else, I have this distinct memory of skateboarding at a skate park like the one at the Walpole high school . . . maybe around June or July or even August, in the early evening . . . the sun is at magic-hour status . . . it’s quiet at the park, maybe just me alone or me and a couple of skater buds, or maybe there’s a stranger skater sitting on his board in the corner, taking a rest . . . there is a light breeze in the air . . . I can feel the sweat all down my back . . . I smell like a mixture of my Sure deodorant, laundry detergent and a general musk . . . my skin is all tanned and sun-kissed . . . scabs all over my elbows and knees, bruises up and down my shins, each wound a memento of some trick I didn’t land over the previous few weeks . . . but I’m totally in the zone with my skateboarding . . . I’m at one with the board . . . I’m nailing trick after trick . . . I’m landing trick after trick. And that right there, my friends, is a kind of true happiness that I go to when I need to find my happy place.


I kept skateboarding here and there throughout high school, but it definitely dwindled as I became an upperclassman in the late-1990s, mainly because the high school skate park was dismantled by the end of my freshman year (the high school tennis team supposedly needed more room to practice or some BS like that). In college, especially during the summers, I still skated, mostly at the Norfolk skate park, which was one of the concrete, cookie-cutter deals, but still fun nonetheless. I even skated here and there a few years after college. 


I would likely still be skating today had I not contracted a nasty case of Lyme disease six years ago that, more or less, ravaged my body. I could probably fool around on a skateboard here and there, but trying to pull any kind of a trick would be too tough on my joints, tendons and muscles, all of which are rather weak post-Lyme. However, I’m glad that, as a kid, I took advantage of my young and able body and skated as much as I could. 


I’m also glad that, out of all the decades I could have skateboarded in, my skating days happened to predominantly be in the 1990s. What I’m about to say may be controversial, but, in my humble opinion, the 1990s was the best decade to skate in. I think it was basically the heyday of skateboarding. Think about it: in the 1970s, you had the Dog Town Boys like Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta and Jay Adams who were great, but they mostly rode those thin banana-shaped boards and pulled “Berts” in pools all day. I mean, they obviously did a lot of other tricks, but you could only do so much with a skateboard the size of a banana. 


Skateboarding evolved to another level in the 1980s, skaters were doing cooler stuff for sure, but the shape of the skateboard went to the opposite extreme, becoming so fat and wide skaters might as well have been riding Redwood tree trunks. Oh, and don’t forget about those dorky “rail guards” that were popular in the ‘80s as well. Some boards even had nose and tail guards on them. Ha! What a buncha dorks (admittedly, two of my early skateboards—the Bart Simpson board and ‘Concave’ board—had all of these kinds of guards on them). 


Nope, I don’t think it was until the 1990s that skateboards evolved into the perfect shape, not too thin and not too wide, but juuuuuust right. The ‘90s was also when skaters really discovered everything that could possibly be done with a skateboard and, thus, perfected the skateboarding “art.” 


After the 1990s, however, weed got all mixed up in skater culture and, although there were some sick skaters out there, I think the skating suffered because skater punkers smoked too much herb. Do I sound square in saying that? I speak from experience, folks, because I once took a toke or two of the devil’s oregano several years ago (out of peer pressure, I swear), then skated, and it wasn’t fun at all. Something happened on a spiritual plane, dude, and I was no longer at one with my board. I was feeling too ‘chill’ to skate well, know what I mean? This is just my opinion, man, stop freaking out on me. You like pot? Cool, no judgment here. I was only speaking my opinion, dude. Chill. Wow, really? Ok, fine, forget I said anything.


To close, I would like to say that there is something definitely spiritual about skateboarding, much like there is something spiritual about surfing, or at least that’s what many surfers say about it or maybe I’m just going by what Patrick Swayze’s character (Bodhi) says in the movie Point Break. Skateboarding is almost like dancing or ballet or something like that. There is an art to it. There is a grace to it. It’s like figure skating, even. Maybe I’m reading too far into it, though, and maybe I’m even making it sound less cool. Maybe I need to shut up and stop intellectualizing, making skateboarding out to be more than it needs to be. Perhaps it’s simply a fun thing to do and that’s all. Yes. Skateboarding, especially in the 1990s, was fun as hell! I suppose we can leave it at that.


. . .


MATT BURNS is the author of the hit Kindle singles My Raging Case of Beastie FeverJungle F’ng Fever: My 30-Year Love Affair With Guns N’ RosesI Turned Into A Misfit!I Used To Be A Gamer: The 8-Bit Nintendo Years and I Dream of Dream Machine. He’s also written several novels, including his ‘punk novel’ Supermarket Zombies! as well as Weird MonsterJohnny Cruise and The Woman and the DragonCheck out these books (and many more) on his Amazon author page HERE.


Be sure to check out the book trailer (below) to Matt Burns’ punk novel Supermarket Zombies, a novel that features a TON of skateboarding!



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