Like many kids of my generation, one of my favorite pastimes throughout the 80s and early 90s was skateboarding. We'd skate as much as we possibly could - it wasn't a hobby - it was a way of life. It was like Jimi Hendrix and his guitar - we were never without our decks. We would skate all day and come night (if we weren't skating under some street lamps or parking lot lighting) we'd watch skate videos at our parent's houses. Everyone had their favorite pro skater back then. Our own personal hero we looked up to for style (both skate and fashion) we tried to emulate. But, regardless of who you liked best, there was never a question that Rodney Mullen was one of the best technical trick skateboarders out there. We watched his videos over and over in awe - his montages more like dance routines than street skating. Not only did he master traditional skateboarding - he INVENTED so many tricks. He was truly an innovator and, although we couldn't come close to emulating anything he did, he was certainly an inspiration for us back then. The possibilities of what you COULD do. Thinking outside of the box and pushing the envelope of what's already going on.
This video, backed by my favorite Aerosmith song, was the one we watched the most. Our VHS skateboarding tape called "Second Hand Smoke" grew fuzzy from wear...
Sadly it's been years since I've skateboarded. My excuse is that I'm getting too old and that my body won't be able to keep up with what I'd want it to do with the skateboard - ultimately just hurting myself (we bounced back so quickly in those days...). Regardless, it's a bad excuse and I'm hoping to get back on the skateboard and teach him once my young son Hopper is old enough to push a deck.
Anyways, this missive doesn't come out of the blue. This morning an old friend from high school sent me a Thrasher video of an New Zealand-born skater named Richie Jackson. As I've been out of the skateboarding loop for almost two decades, of course I've never heard of him (when I got the link I was just happy to see that one of my favorite old brands - Thrasher - was still around). This video blew my mind and I immediately realized that it had to be shared. If you're a skateboarder (or were one), then you'll love this. If you've never skated, you'll still appreciate how nuts this is. I haven't seen skill and innovation in skateboarding like this since Rodney Mullen and, quite frankly, Richie Jackson takes it up about 10 notches. The cherry on top is that his style and fashion choices are the best. He's a 70s rocknroll skateboarding pirate. With incredible creativity and the skill to match. At the least, this is highly entertaining. At best, I hope it sparks some creative juices in you or at least reinvigorates something in you as it did in me.