Timbre #61: Secret Success

Skateboarding is contracting, some would argue, and as it does so, its outer beauty is showing exactly how deep “skin deep” really is. This burning exfoliation, however, is not exclusive to the evil, the lame, or the assholes—it’s not just the dead skin flaking away. It’s also your good friends, good pros, good shops, and good companies. Contrary to the contrarians, all of skateboarding is in the midst of discovering that because we are all goofs, we are not goof proof.

I could fly higher than a feeble. Mike Carroll is the wind beneath skateboarding’s wings. Photo: Sam Ashley

But you can fight. Just the same way you fight global warming and saving the fucking whales. (Those whales get so much ass!) Buy up those carbon credits, cut back on blubber oil consumption, and then cross your fingers, hoping (selflessly, of course) that your acts will turn the tide. Oh … and please, talk loudly about what you’re doing.

If none of that works, well, hey, you did your part. There must be some greater forces at work. Your conscience is clear. Thanks for your help.

As for the whole “I can’t wait until the whole industry tanks. Then skateboarding will be like it used to be, just like it’s supposed to be, just like I knew it would be” vibe, consider this: You’re an idiot.

Honey, Zered knows, Zered knows, Zered knows times are changing. Let him guide you through the purple rain. Photo: Giovanni Reda

• Skateboarding is never going to be like it used to be—whichever era, year, or month it is that you’re fantasizing about (personally, it’d have to be ’82–’92 and all of it’s subsets).

• Skateboarding is never going to be like anyone thinks it’s supposed to be. You want it small? It’ll get big. You want it big? It’ll shrink. You zig and skateboarding will zag the fuck out of you. You can bother, sure, but don’t.

• You don’t know anything. Neither does anyone else. If you meet someone who says they can predict the future, and they’re planning accordingly, then you should immediately un-meet them.

Many things in this flat world of ours are bigger than the wills of its opportunists, not to mention bigger than the sum of its hardgoods sales. Alas, skateboarding has been running its own asylum for decades, working on its own behalf to lazily recruit the weirdos, the jokers, the derelicts, the artists, and thankfully, the goofs. And while they (we) are not always the best at running a tight ship, planning ahead, or investing in a diverse portfolio, they (we) are good at being goofs and going skateboarding. Take them away and all we are is a massive trade show dressed in cool T-shirts.


Living in a fisheye lens, caught in the camera eye. Tony Alva has no heart to lie. Photo: Wynn Miller

Waxing or waning, merging or acquisitioning, pitches or production, plastic surgery or skincare, as long as the goofs continue to heed the call of skateboarding sirens, we might still be around in a hundred years—making skateboarding happen for no other reason other than going skateboarding. If not, well, then we have no choice but to follow in the footsteps of professional wrestling, the record industry, and passenger airlines.

Expanding success stories, one and all.