WORDS: Stu Gomez
This is your week in skateboarding, through the eyes of The Berrics…
On Wednesday, GQ published a profile on the GX1000 crew. Now, before you hate on it—”Bro, nobody cares about that high-end fashion bullshit”—give it a chance. On the surface, this profile (complete with glamour shots of the bombers wearing classy gear) may seem kooky but it’s remarkably well-written. The writer, Noah Johnson, excels at writing about skateboarding, and he does an amazing job of explaining what it is to bomb a hill and even manages to squeeze in some insight about the city which is most notorious for its peaks and valleys: SF.
Usually, I read these types of mainstream mag articles about skating with trepidation; the authors usually flub some skate history or dumb it down a little TOO much, infantilizing their subjects. But Johnson kinda makes the GX1000 seem like nuanced supermen, with an urban mystique.
Overall: respectful treatment. Even the description of these dudes as ”freakishly physically gifted.” I’ve never thought of it that way, but I guess they kind of are: the GX1000 guys skate like they have a motor in them.
Add this to last month’s Na-Kel Smith profile, and it seems like GQ is killing the “explain skating to the masses” game.
But wait, what’s this? Rolling Stone drops a feature on Noravexplora? And it’s good? (Even the ”breaking through the glass halfpipe” part.) Erik Hendrikx sums up her whirlwind rise to the pro ranks and even includes a few nuggets of info that the casual fan may not know. Again: respectful.
Has mainstream media finally figured out how to cover skateboarding? I scoured both articles for any embarrassing vernacular or “fake news” but I didn’t so much as see the word “extreme.” The New York Times has been in the forefront of well-researched skate coverage for years, publishing profiles and news about Quartersnacks (also written by Noah Johnson) and Brujas and several other NYC-centric brands. Not to mention the stellar Daily 360 VR video, “Go Hill Bombing in San Francisco,” featuring none other than the GX1000 crew. (The easiest way is to experience this video is to order a cardboard viewer on Amazon, or get a Google Cardboard. They cost a few bucks; bombing with GX1000—priceless.)
So, that’s one perspective of skateboarding in the media, and it’s positive. But on the other end of the spectrum, we’ve had an extra shitty week of negative press surrounding skateboarders. Whether it’s the “Angry Skateboarder” smashing windows in Lynnwood, Washington, who was caught red-handed on the security camera (but whom we can’t really be mad at because it IS rainy-ass Lynnwood, after all), or the homie in Bev Hills who straight-up ATTACKED Jaime King and smashed her windshield… skateboarders are undoubtedly viewed as dangerous. And our skateboards? Deadly weapons.
Or, even more sobering, the dude in Mesa, Arizona, who is skating around and groping women left and right. This guy happens to have a longboard, but to the media he’ll just be the “groping skateboarder.”
Skaters, let’s face it: we have an image problem. Angry skateboarders, groping skateboarders. Crazy skateboarders. We might not be in complete control of our collective image, but that’s also partly why we need to celebrate the small triumphs in mainstream media. Even if an article about our “culture” seems kind of wack, share that shit and get the word out anyway. Any publicity is good publicity.
*Straight outta Lynnwood. The moment after he smashed the windows, then turned around and decided to smash some more. *
Here are this week’s Berrics videos presented in easily bingeable bites.
Trevor McClung’s Battle Commander
A Happy Medium was in the (Jason) park.
Filmed in only ten days—here’s a little background for this record-breaking Battle Commander.
Blind’s United Nations raw clips. There’s plenty more where these came from.
Etnies gave back again this year.
Tijuana Rogers is pedidextrous.
”Glady Knight and the Pimps.” “It’s Pips, man. Pips!” —White Men Yant Jump.
Where the hell did this guy come from? We know: dumb question. It’s Brazil, right?