Let’s celebrate the quest for knowledge and carry some free ideas into the weekend.
It’s been hitting me lately just how fast and easy it is to find information these days. We have more resources at our fingertips than ever before. Unlike the old days of dictionaries and channel 8 news, if you have a question, type it into google, and the answer appears instantly. The trick to surviving in today’s world, is DISCRIMINATION. Not the type where you morally pick on someone’s race or social inadequacies, but the kind where you master the skill of deciphering the truth from the lies. Along with information at your fingertips comes misinformation and the proliferation of the EGO, the one true devil! There are so many of us who have opinions and maybe not enough facts to back ‘em up. That’s why we need to hear the story from the whistle blowers, the people who were there and on the front lines. Not from those of us just digesting the daily news and ranting in chat forums about what we think (that’s what websites like this are for).
What is the sacred art I am speaking of and what does it have to do with skateboarding? Truth be told, everything! How the world works is one of the hardest truths to uncover and only second to the eternal question of, “why are we here”. Would you like to have the answers to these questions? I am sure it would be way out of context to express those realities on a site that sells awesome skateboards but why not touch on the subject a little, eh?
We’re surrounded by technology and more notably, MASSIVE UNCERTAINTY. If it’s not some BS world conflict created by the bankers that has us concerned, then there is economic strife, poor quality foods, the quest for better pay and now, on top of it all, EBOLA, a potential population reducing agent. When my good friend Raffi, from Legit Skate shop and I are emailing about cool topics like these, it reminds me of just how far we have come and the trials and tribulations that still lay ahead.
Though many questions will go unanswered in the world, mostly because the worlds media is manipulated by a few individuals, there is one thing that is certain, WE WILL ALL PUSH FORWARD! It’s really easy to get buried by the struggle. Along side all the cool shit that’s out there like smart phones, ipads, 3D gaming and technology in general, there are many things to be concerned about. The question then becomes, how do we move past it and learn how to see through the smoke? In the case of world events, one could look at who’s to gain. Generally this is a great way to pinpoint the EGO, or the one who is most hungry for power. The quest for power is the cause of all strife and poverty, it seems. Someone else wants what you have. It’s said that those with money have the power (of course something I know nothing about) and those that control the money supply are today’s rulers. They don’t teach us anything about how money works, in any of our schools. Have you ever asked yourself why that is? It’s one of the most important things in everyone’s life. We stress about it, chase it, work to get it and always want more, yet few know how currency flows and where the stream comes from. If you can print endless supplies of cash, then you don’t have the burdens of wanting more money, so the only thing left, is to maintain the power to print all the cash. This is the state of the world today, dig deep and most will find that there are few real governments (those elected by the people) and the world is controlled by very big central banks that have governments in their pockets. And if they don’t by now, there are plenty of economic hitmen out there that will fix that problem. So to solve the wrongs of the world, we look towards multi-national corporations to see who the real demons are. That’s the foundation. And how we got there was to sift through the how’s and whys. When something is wrong, we can’t look to the alleged leaders for answers, they might just be puppets put in front of us. Good thing it’s Halloween! Trick or Treat?
You are probably thinking that you just been tricked. The title says, “Order of Skate” and I skipped right over skateboarding and went directly into crackpot bullshit that doesn’t matter to us at all. Besides it’s just more opinion and conjecture than fact. So the bankers and insurance companies are bad, so what. Everyone knows this crap by now. What’s it got to do with better Urethane and Hard Maple construction?
You know what skateboarding is all about. It’s the feeling of pushing some real buttery urethane around on some kind of hard pavement. But what lies behind the scenes and who tugs the purse strings in this game? What ideas are solid and which ones are just fluff in the pantie drawer? Some might say that the lifestyle has been built from iconic videos like Bones Brigade and The Search for Animal Chin. Until recently, professional skateboarders where the driving force of how we sell decks. In the early days, skateboarding and the product riden by pros went hand in hand. You could say both were equally important back then. But when skateboarding matured and branding become the most high God, the companies left American factories and went to China for cheaper prices and crapier boards. The first big brands to jump ship, were a little worried that skaters might know how shitty the boards were and rebel, but these brands had no choice, they owed the U.S. factories too much money and had to try the low end boards being made by the factories that supplied walmart and the chain stores. Others were just opportunistic and wanted to save a buck to compete in the game.
At that time, you couldn’t compare a Chinese board to something made here. But when you have no other options, you gotta do something. The flood gates were open. Some of the first big dogs to jump ship and sail abroad were brands like World Industries and Girl. How did they survive the deceit? After all, skateboards were supposed to be made by skaters, not made by sweat shops who care nothing about the product or country that founded the sport! What happened? How did these brands not go under? Did they find the lost key of Solomon? Nope, they witnessed first hand that no one at the time really cared where shit was made. The only thing that mattered was the name on the bottom of the deck. For the first time in skateboarding, the staple brands realized what a powerful tool marketing can be. Thanks to these forward thinking pioneers, China was able to become a leader in skateboard manufacturing and today, some factories are making really good stuff. That’s why most longboard and skateboard decks, wheels, trucks and bearings are made there nowadays. If the product is good and it’s cheaper, SCORE! Problem is that these brands are still charging prices like the product was made here, they didn’t pass on the savings to us. This is where skateboarding has started to resemble the world banks. They exploit cheap labor and charge highly for the product or service by controlling the process. Get control of an industry and you can charge whatever you want. Just keep the prices slightly below “rage” and the people won’t throw you out. Plus, make it cool to have others wear your advertising. When you really break it down, it’s pretty ironic that in the board sports industries, we pay four times more for a tee shirt if it has name on it than a blank one from Walmart. It’s the same shirt but when you swipe a squeegee over the front and it says, “Daimond” or “Volcom”, we will pay handsomely. Social acceptance is a BITCH!!! No wonder these ruling powers have us by the balls, they SHOULD! Don’t let me get off topic here, because dam, if we were smarter and didn’t know the cost of making things, then we too might be able to pull this off. That’s our problem, we come from the trenches, the dark ditch where shit is made and workers grind sawdust into the floors, so by that merit, we wouldn’t know a good marketing campaign if it punched us in the dicks…
I agree with the early skateboard pioneers and look up to them for embracing globalization. So I’m not downing over-seas manufacturing and truly, it doesn’t matter where things are made, someone is getting paid somewhere and a family is fed. What matters is how well products are produced and what the economic ramifications are. Most big companies leave the states to exploit leaner environmental laws and shrug employee benefit programs. When skateboard production left the USA, those of us on the factory floor never expected it to happen. That ignorance and innability for our state to help fight the problem, shut many of us down. The good ‘ol USofA makes it really hard on businesses and those with money and smarts, go elsewhere. In fact some American factories got together and tried to educate the retailer to let them know what was happening and where skateboards were coming from, but guess what, they didn’t care either. To combat it, the brands marketed, MADE IN CHINA, and skateboarders loved it! The “Made in USA” theme would forever be dead in this sport. Then, somewhere after the mass exodus, skateboarding got “boring”. The brands quit caring about the things that built the industry. Things like how imporatant the shapes, designs and quality of boards were to riders. The industry became solely dependent on pictures to sell boards. Even the Pros weren’t helping to move product like they did in the old days. What happened next is something that truly shocked these big graphic houses.
LONGBOARDING! “It came out of nowhere”, so they say. Who would buy a skateboard without a Pro’s name on it? And why would anyone buy a board that can’t, “flip”, they asked?
The big brands, were accustomed to skateboarding being driven by the pros. To make it big as a skateboard company, just buy the biggest name that you can. When NIKE says “Just do it”, that’s exactly what they DID! Then, out of nowhere, Longboarding was born. Longboarding is totally out of phase with what skateboarding is and was. The traditional brands were caught totally off guard and still, most of them, DON’T get it. That’s why these long running Pro based, brands haven’t made too many longboard deck offerings. They see it as dorky and not a long-term trend, just as big sporting goods companies saw skateboarding when it first made it’s way out of garages and into our minds.
Longboarding was created out of the desire to skate and the strength to not be told what to buy and what a skateboard is. Longboarders didn’t care about how many times you could flip a board or how long you could grind a rail. They just wanted to skate and some just wanted to get to where they were going on a skateboard. We’ve learned that brands and Pros come and go, but skateboarding always remains. It’s never died out and when it gets stale, boarders will create new ways to have fun with a skateboard. The only thing that will change are the cool ideas and product designs skateboarders will come up with. It’s doesn’t’ have to be the Pro who dictates where skateboarding goes anymore and what is right and wrong, it can’t be, because most Pros HATE LONGBOARDING, and today longboards are selling better than most others. So if we had leaders in this game, they have been overthrown by the buyers! How do I know Pros hate Longboarding? Because I made many of the pro’s boards and when they found out I pressed long wood, they asked us to keep it hush hush. Now some of those same cats are caring less about what was and are looking towards both industries working together. We have always shared the view that a skateboard can be made to fit any style of riding and it shouldn’t ever be limited to one view.
Right now we are seeing skateboarders who started on a longboard, jump to street decks and skate parks because they want to learn ollies and airs. How’s that for a switch? Those same visionaries who left the USA for their production, didn’t embrace the new direction of skateboarding and surely didn’t think expanding in this category would help them at all, and yet so many skaters are buying longboards as their first board and then growing with the sport. Longboarding is spawning a whole new type of boarder. To skate today, we should have a hole closet full of boards. One for each purpose. Don’t be scared of the skate parks, just get a board that is at home there. And if speed is your bag, the right setup will get you there faster and safer. Is it a cool time in skateboarding or what?
This goes to show you that the people will prevail. We can’t be told what to do or what to think. Even if they use micro wave radiation on us to control our thoughts, the human spirit will break through. Hopefully that same drive that keeps skateboarding progressive, will help to make a better planet and drive the world elite to try and work with us more closely instead of trying to make us sick so the pharmaceutical companies can get rich! Profits matter and this is a very important key to business, but focusing only on making a “buck”, disenfranchises us and we will catch you. Someday mankind will say, “enough is enough”, and with the help of the “Free Press”, the wrongs can be exposed and maybe even righted, or they will shut down the internet and we will be helpless, either way, it can be a new adventure. And remember, when they snap that EMP over our heads and knock out our computers and cars, your skateboard will still work! I just can’t find one thing bad about being a skater! For the environmentally conscious, it’s green and has a tiny footprint, and for the rebel, it’s still puck rock and way cooler than riding a bike! Shoot, bikes get flats, who wants to deal with that shit!
It’s kinda funny that I tried to tie skateboarding to the evil monarchies of the world, but hey, why not, both have their roots in dark magic and the occult, right? Fraternities are behind many of the powerful leaders and perhaps, those rituals practiced behind giant owls and on checker board floors have the power to build empires. Therefore it could very well be high time to create the very first, ORDER of SKATE”. Wanna join?