if you grew up on skate videos like I did, this is a really special piece.
I was glued to a skateboard when I was younger. I still ride from time to time, too.
The description of the frustration is so good. It’s exactly right. The falls hurt and seem unnecessary but the trick has to be achieved. It just has to. Every attempt that doesn’t succeed hurts, takes energy and means you still, for whatever reason, haven’t landed this damn trick yet. ARGH WTF!!.
Building software projects can be similar. I take the expression of my ideas very seriously. I love when something works very smoothly. It’s like landing a perfect 360 flip, but instead lots of people can enjoy your work. Functionality is the name of the game with software and it can easily be shared. Skating feels closer to an artistic display of physical control instead of something that can be shared easily. Don’t misunderstand me, skating can definitely be shared. We skate in groups and share videos of the pros, but it’s difficult to enhance my life with these things unless I too am a skateboarder.
I really enjoy the discussion of Lance Mountain and his contributions to getting skateboarding in the mainstream. They describe him as something of a Carl Sagan character. He’s not necessarily doing the hardest tricks, but he’s having a good time and showing how fun skateboarding can be. Sagan’s Cosmos series does exactly this. It just makes you think and tries to encourage an interest in science.
I spent so much time on a skateboard. I loved it. I could do switch 360 flips, inward heelflips and probably landed most tricks at least once. There was always more to do. Weirder stuff to try. More stairs to jump down. It was also my reason to visit NYC when I was a kid. I’d take the train with a few friends, whom I later played in bands with, and we’d head down to the Brooklyn Banks for the day. Sometimes we’d see a band before going home.
I love the way skaters always talk about their sport like it’s actually art. They describe skaters pushing the sport forward or landing very cleanly or focusing on really technical tricks or mastering all their tricks switch stance. The device itself is just a plank of wood with wheels, so there’s a lot of interesting things one can figure out how to do.
The discussion of the video parts captures that too. They discuss the music used for the section, the series of tricks displayed, how to capture the consistency of a skater’s abilities.