Monday, March 28, 2011

Running On The Fringes

"Like most pro skaters, I've always been frustrated that skateboarding's mainstream popularity derives primarily from contests, when that's such a small part of what we do. In fact, most pro skaters shun competition entirely and instead build their reps through video parts and skate-mag coverage. That's what makes the sport and the subculture so hard for outsiders to package: At its core, it's about innovation and improvisation. It's about ignoring the rules."
- Tony Hawk, How Did I Get Here?, p.47

On recommendation of The Nacho, I'm reading Tony's new book. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Hawk, he's an icon and legend of the skateboarding world. We're about the same age and came up in similar subcultures. The Nacho, The Seed and the rest of our crew skated, surfed and snowboarded (I bodyboarded and nearly was killed at Sandy Beach in 1989) and remained solidly on the fringes of mainstream throughout our development years.

Today, while wearing khakis and Polo shirts, I find myself still on the fringes and having a grand time at it. Which is why I found a connection in Tony's writings. We're pursuing the cutting edge through dogged determination, regardless of what the mainstream of specialty coffee has to say about it.

It's also why I respect and admire others in the craft pursing their own vision on the fringes, ignoring "the rules", regardless of what the "popular kids" have to say. People like Deferio, Rue, Piquet, Lewis and even that guy everyone loves to hate: Carmichael.

It's truly what counterculture (the movement not the company) is all about.