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Skateboarding News

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why do you skate?

The year was around 1976-77. I was riding for Banzai, a French skateboard brand that was not only the biggest of the time (in France), but the first one to break into mainstream. In France, the skate was still into its infancy but so promising that TF1 20h, a TV news channel decided to do a special on our team and they asked me (and the rest of the team, Thierry Dupin and Jose Dematos) the reasons why we were skating. The question sounded so stupid at the time that I could not even find one good reason. I though it was evident: I skated because I loved it, because it was in my blood and because I could not live without it and because, like Bryan Ferry used to sing in the 70’s, “Can’t you see, (skate) is the drug I’m thinking of”. More than ten years after I was asked what I though was a stupid question ; after I set up a skateboard distribution company in France, another TV crew asked me the same stupid question: why do you skate? Because I had been trapped once I had the time to rehearse the answer: because skateboarding meant freedom and F-U. This time, the answer was as stupid as the question because there are obviously hundreds of reasons why I still skate...

Now that the number of skaters swelled from almost nothing in the early 70's to more than 15 million today, I wanted to know why other people choose skateboarding over soccer or basket ball. So, I decided to use Facebook and Pool Rider’s little sister’s page, “I Skate Therefore I Am” and dropped the bomb. Not only I asked on Facebook why do people skate, but the question was openly provocative: “Why do you skate? Well, I hope that the reason you skate is not because everybody is doing it, that would be lame....”

Some did not bother the blatant aggression, other felt it was like a dagger in their heart. True skateboarders are not posers, but unfortunately, a lot of posers skate. Although all the answers were supposed to be published, some of them went by mistake to the inbox and never made the wall, so they were not available to read. Here are the most pertinent posts.

Andrew Bretz
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because the devil sold me his feet.

Gavin Jones
Re: Why do you skate?
"Why.... thought it was only people who DON'T skate who asked that question ; )"

Todd Kalbfeld
Re: Why do you skate?
Are you kidding me? You're asking me if I skate because everyone's doing it? How old are you anyway? How lame is a question like that?
I've been skating since 1975. I skated ramps in the '80s by myself most of the time. Who are you anyway asking questions like that?

Phil Gregory:
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because it is the essence of glide, the communication between the simple idea of waveforms and the complexity of the travels within them becoming anti gravitational for at least one fleeting second bending the rules for one more twist :the satisfaction of the lifting sound of finality when a truck separates from its grind :the fluidity to build momentum after the recovery of taking the unknown chance :creating laughter from a rigid set of ideas created specifically for non usage: freedom and flexibility and the addiction to the marriage of inertia and revolutions.

Mike Coburn
Re: Why do you skate?
Why does it mean so much to you ? And who the hell are you ? I've been skating for 40 years ! Why don’t you tell me you have been doing it that long ! And I skate vert ! I’m 48 years old so kiss my ass !
Mr freakin pool rider !

Brent Shipley
Re: Why do you skate?
I always have since 1976, is the answer, so I have done just about all skateboarding their is to try apart from Mega Ramps which I'm happy to say I never will. I even skated through the early 80's when in my small city there was me & about 2 others doing it. Apart from that I do it because its trendy & its the in thing to do with my grom friends. Doing kickflips to impress is my thing. But really I skate bowls, rails, minis & car parks love to just get that gravity going till I can't stop.
So why the fuck do you do it? To look like your shit that don't smell or what?

Patrick Munz
Re: Why do you skate?
Hey Dude,
For sure I'm not skating because everybody does. 2010 is my 20th year of skateboarding (i turn 32 in september). I skate everything but best i do
miniramp and bowl. although it doesn't matter i tell you that i'm remmember of yama skateboards and vox germany (carhartt quit me last week)
where do you come from?
perhaps we're gonna skate together soon....
see you

Perry Carvello
Re: Why do you skate?
Hey Poolrider,
I Skate Vert, and if your not a Vert Skater like I am. Old School Skater!
Then your like Tony Hawk A FUCKIN' PUNK!!!
I'm just Kidding.
Scary Perry

Roger Thompson
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because I love it and brings me joy. I am 48 years old, Father and
Grandfather. I started skating in the late 1960's. I still do a little vert and love longboarding and carving down hills. I cannot skate like I used to but that is OK, I am just glad I can still skate at all.

John Galac
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because it's a form of freedom... I skate because it's FUN, it's
that simple.

Stuart Shearsby
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate coz its the sensation that u get from landing that new trick and the woahhhh u get from thepeeps when u land it

Robert Gaisek
Re: Why do you skate?
I´m still a skater after all these years. Now only slalom......don´t want to die.

Steve Senko
Re: Why do you skate?
Whaattzzup ! Do I Skate ? am I a poser ? Don't even go there I started skating before Caddilac Wheels ; I freestyle know for the love of sk8ing !
I'be been fortunate to live where the modern sk8 was designed; Road Riders , Independant Trucks, deck variations, NHS, the brains behind it, the H stand's for Haut, Doug is a... good friend, Shapes My Surfboards , He and Rich Novak designed a Haut skate deck about 25 years ago (30 made), I got one ! Skating and Surfing have so many parrallels ! gotta luv it ! I hope You didn't think My scar joke was anything other; A scar is just a body ding to me , Oh the reason I stick to freestyle; Many moons ago I took a gnarly beating downhilling near Big Bear; A run from Forest Falls to the grated bridge about 3 miles below , I wish I'd had My longboard then ! downhilling on a Woody Weaver= a wid ride! Rip On! and Peace Out

Raymond Beltran
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate's the best feeling in the world

Louis Hebb
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate for the feeling... and because i love it :)

Mickael Dasilva
Re: Why do you skate?
Skate and Destroy #

Ulf Haag
Re: Why do you skate?
I sk8 because I must, just like I must breathe, eat and drink. Sk8 or Die!

Jeremie Lamart
Re: Why do you skate?
I have so much reasons to skate as to breathe. I skate, therefore I am.

Badpro Fessor
Re: Why do you skate?
The rush, man. It's like a drug, and I'm addicted That's why I've gone through all kinds of shit just to skate, and often completely alone.
Then you have all the other stuff that comes with it: friends, fun times, new spots, you keep in shape, all the sk8culture, music etc.

Thierry Dupin
Re: Why do you skate?
I skateboard to stay in shape there because the control of the body, the ether and the spirit is essential for my Karma.

Steve Smith
Re: Why do you skate?
 I'll be 50 in April and still love to skate vert - am pushing new tricks harder than ever before. My 10 yr old son, Daniel, has a mischevious side to him. We arrive to skateparks together - then he gets out of the car first. 10 minutes later I show up and just watch. He then tells some young kid to ask that old... guy if he knows how to ride a skateboard. I ask if "them wheelboards" are hard to ride? Then put one foot on and pretend to almost fall. I then say "like this?" Then drop in and shred - my son howls with laughter as the other kids he's never met are confused and stoked :)

Doug Kriezel
Re: Why do you skate?
 I skate because of the rush I get ,like when I surf or ski. The feeling of smooth surfaces and fast speeds..the adrenilin , the next line to hit , the next bowl to clean, the next rail to grind...43 and will never stop skating as long as i can because I Skate Therefore I Am

Christophe Corso
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate since i'm 8 and i'm 35 now... When I was a kid, I was not really happy with "classic sports" (because of the rules i had to respect, like training hours, etc...). I found in skateboarding a free sport, where you make your own rules, you choose your mates, your spots... This is why skateboarding is so different for me... There's no good or bad way in skateboarding, just the way you choose, and make you feel so good :)

Perry Caravello
Re: Why do you skate?
"I Skate AGAIN, cuz after being told about Tony Alva of Alva Skates having his shop on Fairfax in L.A., Ca. He helped me become the young Pro AGAIN. Because back in The late 70's I almost reached it. Took a 28 year break from the sport and now I'm back to PROVE Don't EVER give up on your DREAMS! No matter what age!!!"
Perry Caravello
Re: Why do you skate?
"I SKATE because back in The 70's I was ALMOST PRO when a Car Accident back in December of '79 almost took my life. Driving back home to Palm Springs from Upland, Ca. Pipeline Skatpark."

JT Howard
Re: Why do you skate?
"I skate vert/pools and street. Skating is my life that’s all i think about, and no I dont skate cause everyone is doing it that would be poser. I m apart of the hardcore skate scene in greenville, North carolina. Backdoor skatepark 4 life."

Eric Andressen
Re: Why do you skate?
"Haha I have been skating for 25 years so if I skated because everyone else is doing that would be really lame and a waste of time. Mostly skate street but I skate everything. Many reasons I skate- fun, progression, freedom, take out aggression and just love for it. Skating right now is cool, but all the Mtv shit (Sheckler, Dyrdek, Bam) is bumming me out. I try to distance myself from the corporate crap and just keep skating"

Tony Massie
Re: Why do you skate?
"Why not, I can have a blast bombing hills. Going to the small skatepark here in town, or even midnight street skating, I can even use my board to run up to the corner store. I have been riding boards off and on for the last 40 years, I'm not as good as most, but I love jumping on my board!!

Ricky Lalos
Re: Why do you skate?
"I skate since 1987 ! I skate for myself but really relax now cause I had a lot of surgery on my body , I skate cause that’s fun and you have the freedom feeling !"

Jelena jesica
Re: Why do you skate?
I don't care about other skaters I skate for me and just me and I like street <3 SK8 4 LIFE

Flavien Asse
Re: Why do you skate?
"cause it's make me feel good ! riding vert or bowls it's such a good trip ! better than sex ????"

Tracey Cary- Sempson
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because it represents FREEDOM!!!!

William Bowers
Re: Why do you skate?
Sk8 or die

Matt Kamisnsky
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because of the adrenaline rush

Simone Bregni
Re: Why do you skate?
I skate because it's the most fun I can have, and the freest I can feel, since June 1977, at the end of 8th grade. I loved carving the streets and sidewalks of my hometown, skating to my high-school, riding downhill with my friends. And, now, making new friends my age at the local skateparks. And smiling to myself when...ever I think just how cool it would be to go back and tell my 14 y.o. self "Hey, btw, you will still be skateboarding at age 46!"

Cat Young
Re: Why do you skate?
On October 20 2008, Peter Ramirez lost his life doing what he loved.... skateboarding. Peter was a vivacious 16 year old boy who thought of skateboarding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Peter did it all.... DH, sliding, slalom, pools, vert, street. He was his happiest when he was skating & skating meant everything to him.... I want to share what Peter had written on his myspace page. He wrote:
"Longboarding is more than just a type of riding, its any thing you are willing to push yourself to do on your board and isnt just a sport but a connection between board, body, and mind." That about sums it up. Nothing more needs to be said except, stay safe everyone. PS if you want to read more about Peter, click on the link below:

Feel free to express yourself on this blog or go to

I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Monday, January 18, 2010 

Anonymous Anonymous said...

people if you are being asked a question dont be so rude but answer the question....unless you have anger issues[lol]

November 2, 2011 at 5:31 AM  

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