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Thursday, February 16, 2012


Tribes gathering Down Under

Gold Coast Big Day out, ABC Hurley Australian Bowlriding championship, Wellington Bowl-A-Rama, Hurley Billabong Manly Beach Bowl contest, Bondi Bowl-A-Rama
Hurley Australian Bowl Contest 2012. Photo Nigel Dawes
Skateboarding tribes gather Down Under for the biggest bowl contests of the decade.

Is there a center of the universe? The Jews and the Christians though there was one: in Palestine. When the Romans became powerful, they declared that the real center was more likely to be Rome; only to be shifted again later on to Babylon by the Ottomans. When Ptolemy came, he said the center of the Universe was actually the earth with all other planets and stars circling around it. It was only in 1600 that someone less stupid said that the earth was not flat but round and invented Heliocentrism, an astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolved around a stationary Sun at the center of the universe. Eventually after lots of scientists were burned alive for being heretic, after massive brainstorming
Gold Coast Big Day out, ABC Hurley Australian Bowlriding championship, Wellington Bowl-A-Rama, Hurley Billabong Manly Beach Bowl contest, Bondi Bowl-A-Rama
Hurley Australian Bowl Championships. Photo Kim Andison
and equations and defiance against the church, we found out that the Christian notion of center was absolutely irrelevant, because the center of the universe simply does not exist, making an end to the aforementioned question.

When skateboard came out from surfing, the first skaters, rather amphibian-like, declared that a pool was the natural extension of a surfing wave in land and skateboarding became, rather like surfing, California centric thanks to a terrible drought and thousands of available pools around Los Angeles. But, like natural evolution, the 1st amphibian-like skaters quickly lost their fins and ability to go back to the water and skateboard shifted from Californian trannies to flat. The theory of round became the theory of flat and the skateboarding world started to believe that a flat earth was more likely to suit them…
The Soul Bowl created by Dave Duncan at the turn of the century, now at Manly Beach, Australia
Suddenly skateboarding became available worldwide. California lost its status as the center of skateboarding and any place with ledges, rails and stairs became the new frontier. Localism and tribalism became the norm and thousands of centers blossomed everywhere like flowers in spring. Now, take a look at any map view from Europe and you’ll see the European continent in the middle and Africa, Russia and America on its edges. Same map viewed on American textbooks shows the USA in the middle of it all with Latin America, Asia and Europe on its outskirts. How about China, dubbed the empire of the middle by its inhabitants?

Gold Coast Big Day out, ABC Hurley Australian Bowlriding championship, Wellington Bowl-A-Rama, Hurley Billabong Manly Beach Bowl contest, Bondi Bowl-A-Rama
Hurley Billabong Beach Bowl. Photo AOS
So, let’s think about it, history shows that the center of the Universe is where you stand, where the action is, where other people make stuff happen. No wonder that the center of the universe recently shifted down under: that’s where it’s all happening now starting with Tony Hawk and his Gold Coast Big Day out tour covering NZ and Oz, The ABC Hurley Australian Bowlriding championship, The Wellington Bowl-A-Rama, The Hurley Manly Beach Bowl contest, and The Bondi Bowl-A-Rama, all of this in just one month… What a month! The media frenzy around the Beach Bowl contest in Manly Beach is the perfect example of this infatuation. In less than one week, Manly Beach, already posh by design, became The Place where you had to be if you were someone in skateboarding thanks to Facebook that became the amplifier of the Hurley-Billabong powerful marketing machine. Alas, you can’t fit 50 media officials in the deck of the Soul Bowl, so previously accredited core skateboarding photographers were displaced to give place to more mainstream media.

But that’s OK, core skateboarders will not die. Like mainstream skateboarding has shown, you can still be a skater and make millions of dollars…

Now, regarding the Skateboarding Down Under, all tribes are now gathering, like a melting pot or a magnet and people from different cultures, background, ethnicity, languages and style will show off in the Soul Bowl (at Manly) and in the Bondi Pool. isTia is still there to cover it all with Nigel Dawes and Kim Andison…

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, February 16, 2012 




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