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Thursday, July 9, 2009


Skaters with rails, please stand-up.

Written by Xavier Lannes.

I was reading the internet the other day and came up with that guy asking a question: is skateboarding a sport or a lifestyle? My first reaction was, well, you know, who cares? Then I realized that if skaters are still regarded by the mainstream as pariahs, that is because of the lifestyle associated with the sport. Actually, we, skateboarders, not only love being the pariahs but we do take pride in it! We reject the others and we love to be rejected. There is no such thing as being a true, genuine, authentic skater and, do not bother take a look at me, let alone judge me, if you are not in my clan. Skate is an extreme sport, it is more dangerous (trauma ) for your body than, say, golf. We are extreme people. Skate is not a lifestyle; it is several lifestyles at the same time. I do not really relate (and I have never really related) in any way to the skate-and-destroy, punk-skate scene, Thrasher style (so sorry MoFo). That’s too much of a nihilist attitude to me and I am rather skate-and-create. Yet not only I see the skate-&-destroy guys as my bothers but I do respect them a lot for what they have done for the mouv'. So, if I am not thrash, does that mean that I am not a true skater? MoFo said (in another website) that skate is an adventure. I agree with MoFo on the "adventure" point. Skaters are adventurers, pioneers. They are doing things that nobody has done before. They venture to mythical & forbidden places (parking lots & City Halls main entrances), they push hard the possibilities to dangerous edge of the pools. Talking of pools, that’s my way of skating. I was dreaming back then when I was looking at pool pics of Tony or Jay in Skateboarder and I though they were cool and layback (regardless of they punk-skate affiliation) and here I am, 32 years after, still skateboarding in bowls and pools, still with pads and recycled Hang 10 tees, still surfing on wheels and still meeting with the young generation that watch me dropping in pools with respect and I still love to see pics of ol’ pals Jay & Tony on Facebook, still defying gravity at 50. I also see many cool (meaning not thrash) guys in the skate parks that naturally come to me and talk to me because they know we are made of the same wood and that wood is an utmost form of expression. They understand me because I understand them, no matter the age or the style or if you have rails or not (well, I do have rails, so I must be very old).

Skate is not only Suicidal Tendencies & Juice Mag & tatooes, it is also super cool and layback, it is my way of life and it is the last frontier.

Xavier Lannes

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, July 09, 2009 




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