Skateboarding. We see people doing it on streets and sidewalks and in television commercials and movies. Since its humble origins, the sport has become more than a means of transportation. It’s now a heralded symbol of relaxed cool, so pervasive in our modern culture that its most proficient practitioners are seen more as artists than the rambunctious punks they were accused of being thirty years ago. But will the allure of skateboarding ever run out? Will the skills that inspire us now fail to arouse excitement in five or ten years, when we come to a point where we’ve already seen all the best jumps? Will there be a day where we witness one ollie too many?
Not if these innovators have anything to say about it. From the slightly tweaked to the experimental to the totally redefined, we present three video compilations featuring skateboard pioneers who are doing their part to ensure the sport stays fresh and exciting for many many years to come.
This is extreme creative skateboarding.
Hayden Mouton may be a professional boarder, but that’s not why we chose to feature his moves here. We’re celebrating what Mouton’s doing because it’s so raw. Not every trick is perfect or smooth or ingeniously new, but all are part of an authentic effort to reinvigorate that which may some day become stale or passe. Mouton is undoubtedly talented but, more than that, he’s courageous — willing to try and fail so he can ultimately succeed in progressing the sport he loves. For him, it’s about far more than his sponsorships, it’s about giving back to the extreme ethos that launched him, making sure it stays as strong as the day he got bit by the skateboarding bug. As Adrenalists, we should all take a page out of Mouton’s book.
If Hayden Mouton’s tricks are an example of raw inspiration and grass-roots innovation, the stunts on display in this video — featuring footage from William Spencer, Shad Spencer, Richie Jackson, Patrick Melcher, Noel Boyt and Nathan Lambert — show us what a few weeks of practice and some polish will do for the sport’s next wave. You may have seen some of what these guys are doing before, but most of their tricks are incredibly fresh — a testament to the half-life of new material and the argument that continuous creation is key to the sport’s longevity.
Think about it: if most of what we see in this two-year-old video still seems new, then that means it takes a while for cutting-edge style to be widely disseminated and appreciated. Only a constant influx of freshness will stave off prolonged periods of creative stasis. In other words, boarders must always be innovating to keep up with the time lag between conception and widespread popularity.
What does the future of skateboarding look like? We’re looking to Japanese phenom Gou Miyagi to inform our best guesses. He’s past improving and experimenting and on to perfecting. For Miyagi, skateboarding’s new style is no longer a mystery. He’s found what he’s looking for and is now focused on building upon the dynamic physical lexicon he’s developed. We’ve never seen anything like it before. He’s not only a boarder, he’s an acrobat and an obvious connoisseur of turning stagnant cityscapes into dynamic components of his all-original routine. He doesn’t grind, he glides. For Miyagi, fluidity and consistency is much more important than speed.
Even as the sport of skateboarding has evolved and become more widely respected, boarders are still seen by some non-Adrenalists as nuisances — reckless kids in the way of productive society. We know that characterization is not true and stand up tall against the haters and detractors. We know about this art form. We appreciate its trajectory and celebrate its every stage. And so does Miyagi. In fact, he seems to be devising a style that could render skateboarding more of a high class art form than it has ever been considered before.
Cover Photo Credit: reggie b – flickr.com