The curious effect of tribalism in gravity sports

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The curious effect of tribalism in gravity sports

I have been a keen observer of the shared interest of gravity athletes for over 45 years. I started skateboarding when I was ten years old in 1969. At that time it was "Sidewalk Surfing". I learned to use my board to ride down hills, and as daily transportation all over town. I was totally dedicated to skateboarding and considered competent. As skateboarding morphed into a more challenging terrain contest using swimming pools, ramps, and "street skate" tricks, those who did not adapt were relegated to obsolescence and ridicule. It became no longer cool to just ride for the sheer joy of it. One had to be more dedicated or they were labelled as poseurs. I was not a true "Thrasher".

This separation of the various genres within the sport has grown larger. Today there are the hard core street skaters. "Thrashers" doing difficult and painful to learn jumps and tricks everywhere. They consider themselves the only true representatives of the sport. There are also the downhill speed sliders who are shunned and disrespected by the "Thrashers". There are the campus cruisers and commuters, the dancers, freeriders, tech sliders, and long distance pushers as well. They all seem to occupy different social groups and do not mix with the others.

I also began snow skiing at the same age of ten. A similar schism evolved in snow sports between the traditional downhill snow skiers and the upstart short ski revolution skiers of the mid 1970's. "Short skis suck" was the chant of local ski bums at the time. Freestyle bump skiers were undisciplined, and ballet skiing was stupid, etc. Then came the snowboard riders of the early 1980's. Naysayers would say the snow boarders were scraping all of the fresh snow off the slopes. They were unruly and a nuisance. How curious that this  non traditional, action sport loving type of human would exhibit such an ego based prejudice. Here we are, adapting the human experience to do things based upon innovative inventions that allow people to challenge their physical limitations. Yet we get immediately set in our ways and disrespect the mutations and innovations that follow.

This separation of seemingly alike athletes causes a splintering in the ability to gather and form a more powerful group as one. The self induced feeling of speed, with the wind in your face, is a universal pleasure. It's all good! It seems humans still tend to focus on our differences rather than on what we obviously have in common. Can we all just get along Brothers and Sisters?  

Peace. J.T.

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4 Steps to Survive the Death Wobble

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4 Steps to Survive the Death Wobble

"You’ve got everything dialed down just the way you like it on the equipment side of things, but for whatever reason you still find yourself feeling the telltale signs of the wobble coming on. It’s happened to everyone who pushes their personal limits of speed. So what do you do? You have a split second to act which will determine whether or not you end up covered in road rash or riding it out like a pro. Here are four fundamentals you need to understand, and make reflexive, in order to make the most of that split second..."

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Pushing off...

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Pushing off...

This is the start of our Legacy, and we want you to be a part of it. 

 

Longboarding is without a doubt a communal sport. Where would we be without our buddies pushing our progression, helping us up, or chasing us down? There are very few things in life that do not benefit from a good teammate, and building the perfect longboard is no different. Through Indiegogo we have managed to mobilize a worldwide team of skaters and designers, who all share in the passion of what we are doing. The feedback, support, advice, and of course, the criticisms, all propell this company and this dream forward. 

If you are reading this, you are officially invited to comment here and share your experiences, critiques, ideas, and overall your individual perspectives on longboarding in this forum. This community welcomes all riders of all styles and skill levels. Keep it honest and respectful, and never stop pushing each other forward.

 

All the best for 2015,

Tony and Jim Thornton

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