Skateboarding: Teaching Kids Across America How to Suck
October 20th, 2003

Hey bench, I'm about to rule you.

I tell ya, there aren’t many things for kids that grab my interest anymore. But when it’s something that completely tears down a child and prepares them for the desolate realities of a disappointing life, I’ve gotta pay attention. Have you ever caught a skateboarder attempting a 180 Ollie McBullshit on the local park bench, only to watch their board go flying twelve feet behind them and their legs scramble to catch their balance? I guarantee you have. These kids are trying to perform an act called “skateboarding,” where they attempt "tricks" that are supposed to end with them staying on their board. These ridiculous ideas are put in their head by the few people who can actually accomplish this...and of course, video games.

But as you're watching this kid plant his teeth into the pavement, note the lack of disappointment on his bloody face. He just failed, but doesn’t care. Because he expects to. The ratio of completing a trick to failing must be astounding, and kids have been trained to accept that. This will make it easier when they fall miserably short of their dreams and accept a mindless cubicle job to support themselves. Is it the kids' fault for being brought up to fail? Of course it is! But for the sake of going along with today's trend of blaming everyone else for our own problems, I'll blame Tony Hawk.

Ah, Tony Hawk. The savior. The inventor of the 900, the most difficult, impossible feat in sports. Thank you so much for raising the bar so high for kids, the only thing they can do is fall flat on their face. Literally. Some people might think that's inspirational. Kids all over the world will want to work hard to perform a 900. But we know whoever thinks that has never tried to ride a board. Skateboarding has become a huge "sport" in recent years, thanks largely to Mr. Hawk. It is rooted in teaching kids how to fail. Constantly. And it also teaches them to be really, really happy when they do something that they're simply supposed to do. If someone lands a trick, everyone cheers. But that's the point of skateboarding. To not fall off. No one comes over to me when I wake up in the morning and say, "Hey, nice work with that waking up thing. Didn't think it would happen today!" Which, looking at that analogy, could open a whole other discussion about the fragility and shortness of life. Just another reason why you shouldn't waste it skateboarding.

That was nothing like the video game!

Skateboarding is not an accepted sport. Parents would much rather see their children practicing baseball or basketball, because it gives the parent a chance to relive their failed childhood, and there's always the potential that the kid'll get lucky and have a shot at the pros. In fact, most kids can't join a skateboarding team or take skateboarding classes. It's a very lonely sport, like golf, and I'm surprised some parents are against it so much, seeing as they often take pride in tearing down their child's self esteem. Why not just let Tony Hawk help you out?

Tony has been blessed with the gift of skateboarding. There are many others who can skate, but none possess his cash flow and endorsements. It is very, very difficult to make a living as a skateboarder, because you can't be recognized on talent alone. You need a personality. You need to be Xtreeeeem, and you need to be in a video game.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (the video game, for complete morons or old people reading this) has revolutionized the way we look at skateboarding. It's completely shattered the perception of the hobby. It's completely exaggerated because if it were a simulation, everyone would get frustrated repeatedly falling off their board doing a "simple" railslide. Barely any of the tricks performed in Tony Hawk can be done in real life. They're outrageous, ridiculous, and so much more fun than real skateboarding. Unfortunately, kids are dumb and don't realize this, so they go out, try to become a skater, and immediately are set up for that disappointment. They quickly find that, 'holy shit, this is tough! This requires practice! And I have a better shot of growing a third, stronger leg out of my ass for better balance! Even then, I won't be able to perform half the kickass moves my video game shows me!'

So okay, if you love skateboarding, you’re probably pretty mad right now. I would be too. It’s not everyday you find out the “sport” you’ve been trying to learn for years has no redeeming value. But at least you got to hear it from a super genius such as myself. My advice? Stay off the park benches so the bums have somewhere to sleep, grab your controller, and settle into mediocrity in comfort!

If you like flipkicking to failure, email Guerrs

© 2003 The Decking Crew