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Skateboarding Needs a Tune Up

The average skill level of skateboarders nowadays is the equivalent of a seasoned professional just a decade and a half ago. There are too many ABD’s or “Already Been Dones” in videos and skateboarding as a whole is in another realm. The 17 year old pros are killing it harder than the seasoned veterans in most cases and a lot of skateboarding has turned into a carcass tossing contest. So much that things have gotten a little to repetitive and it has become a lot harder to be impressed by anything.

ruben najera

A lot of times I feel some skateboarders are forced to skate certain things and if not that then they feel they “have” to skate certain obstacles. That’s when it gets to a point where people are either skateboarding for the wrong reasons or they are going to be so over it that they will just quit all together. Which I have seen happen all too often. It’s called getting BURNT OUT! People need to get back in touch with themselves and bring the fun back into it.

If you love skateboarding and want to make a career out of it, GREAT! But by all means don’t skateboard strictly because you want to end up with a TV show on MTV. Or because you’re entire goal is to one up every other local skateboarder in your hometown. Nobody likes the dude that tries to outdo everyone else or beat you to a trick. You know what I mean? You know you’ve seen him around. The guy who always tries to do “your” trick before you on purpose to show off or attempt to show you up to make himself look better and be the hero. Man don’t you just despise that?

Skateboarding in it’s entirety needs a tune up. A giant bucket of water to be poured over its entire entity to give itself a wake up call of why it all started to begin with. For the love, freedom, and feeling of riding your skateboard. A lot of people need to open their eyes and realize that.

Posted by Ruben 'Studdard' Najera on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 in Skateboarding.

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13 Responses to “Skateboarding Needs a Tune Up”

  • michael brooke Says:

    well stated, but skateboarding needs more than a tune up…

    it needs a complete overhaul…and sadly, very few folks are willing to admit this.

    There are two solitudes in skateboarding…in the one solitude street dominates and vert gets a bit of play. In the other world, you have an explosion of new products, new terrain, new riding styles, new boundaries being pushed and a sense of real community.

    When was the last time you stopped someone on the street because he was wearing a Blind t-shirt. Now change that shirt to a Landyatchz or Loaded or Abec 11 shirt and you’ll get my drift.

    The level of skateboarding has progressed to dizzying heights, but the myopia this has caused has wreaked havoc on skateboarding (just like it did in the past).

    It’s time for skateboarding to embrace ALL of skateboarding…

  • MichaelHGC Says:

    Amen brother. One of the reasons I let cali was b/c its all about 12 stairs and trying to look the coolest

  • Ian Says:

    Man, me and my bros were doing 360 fakie flips on this bank a couple of days ago and then these bearded dudes come rolling up with their super-size-me bart Bart SImpson decks doing power slides and bonelesses. I was like, dude let’s see a kickflip and he said he ‘wasn’t interested in that maneuver’ I bet he can’t even do one. Those old guys suck. Out with the old and in with the new.

  • michael brooke Says:

    Hey Ian,

    the author of this piece ends it with:

    For the love, freedom, and feeling of riding your skateboard. A lot of people need to open their eyes and realize that.

    Do your 360 fakie flips til the cows come home…no one is taking that away from you…enjoy it! But why worry about what old guys can and cannot do?

    I sure as hell don’t care what anyone does on a skateboard…as long as they are skateboarding.

  • AJ Says:

    Great article, I like the throwing carcass quote fantastic! Throwing yourself down a gap takes more balls then brains or actual skill.Same goes for that Rock Star lifestyle, not a good marketing strategy either to keep customers for the long haul because their bodies will be shot in no time!
    When anything becomes mainstream it becomes watered down so that the masses can jump on the bandwagon.It becomes a fashion trend (remember when you could tell if someone skated by the clothes or shoes they wore!Or if you wore vans you where taunted by others who didn’t skate?:))

    What it comes down to is the individual as well as what is being shown to these individuals. When I started in 1990 it was all about coming up with your own way of doing things and skating everything. Kids mimic what they see to much today,because they are inundated with it and what they see is the same old stuff.

    Perhaps we just need to sit everyone down and have them watch the great videos and skaters like the old Powell / H Street / Plan B (original Plan B)/ Eastern Exposure etc. or anything with Mark Gonzales in it! Skating with the kids is the best way to have them look at something differently, if you do it with enthusiasm / fun doesn’t matter what it is most likely they will be down as well. Seriously watch Mark Gonzales push and tell me that doesn’t make you want to skate?!

    Good article one again and I would like to see more like this taking a look at all aspects of the skateboarding industry because that definitely needs a complete overhaul!

  • Eric Muss-Barnes Says:

    Call me overly-optimistic, but I don’t think skateboarding has ever changed that much.

    You have trendy skaters who ride to be “cool” and to fit in with their friends. You have skaters who love to skate and ride all their lives. It was like that decades ago. It is still like that today. Trendy skaters will never be “convinced” to fall in love with skating. Just like the skaters who love to ride will never care what the trendy kids think.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The measure of a good skater is one thing and one thing only – how much fun they have. Because if you’re having more fun than everyone else around you, then you are the best skater by far.

    Skate. Be happy. The trendy kids will come and go. They may give skating a bad name, but they are fleeting. In the long run, they don’t really matter to the rest of us. Doesn’t matter if you are doing kickflips down stairs or cruising a longboard down the boardwalk. It’s all skateboarding. It’s all cool. It’s all fun. Real skaters know this. Trendy kids don’t. And they never will.

  • Shaun Says:

    Very inspiring article Ruben-

    I imagine the same points could be made for surfing as well. What make surfing and skating so incredible is that they allow an individual to express himself in his own unique way. All too often the motive for how or why a person rides becomes influenced by money, fame, or even just popularity. To each their own I guess, but nothing gets me more stoked than seeing a person riding with a smile on their face and a style and interpretation of their very own.

  • Avran Says:

    Any sport that has had a huge success in the mainstream goes through cycles like this. Snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding they could all use a serious adjustment. It’s just a matter of time before a little hiccup will cause this.

  • michael brooke Says:


    Were it just a “cycle”….

    for almost 20 years skateboarding (since Rocco decided to proclaim vert is dead) we’ve been going back to the same well – the popsicle shape is great…but it’s become a commodity.

    It’s not about skateboarding’s success in the mainstream it’s about what skateboarding has become: mostly about the fashion of skateboarding.

    I am not suggesting we forget the shoe and clothing biz, (hey, that keeps the lights on for most shops!) but it is time to embrace other types of skateboarding and skaters.

    A healthy HARDGOODS side BENEFITS everyone.

    But sadly, the skate media seems hellbent on ignoring on everything but rails ledges and the occasional vert shot.

    That is the real tragedy…and the reason why an overhaul, if it does in fact come, won’t be coming from inside the halls of Transworld. Again, I am not knocking the success of Transworld I am merely suggesting that if they opened up a little bit of space to other types of skateboarding, it would be a great thing…and begin the overhaul process.

  • Eric Muss-Barnes Says:

    Concrete Wave is the only skate magazine I see anymore with some diversity, genuine joy-for-skating and integrity.

    Skateboarding was rather “wholesome” back in the 1960s. Wasn’t too bad in the 70s and early 80s either.

    By the late 1980s the whole “degenerate/punkrock” vibe began to become the next trendy bandwagon of skateboarding – you can’t skate without the uniform of a crappy attitude and a Misfits tshirt.

    Some folks back then looked to break free of that negative image and it was admirable to “go against the grain” and do that. But now, they seem to cater to the masses too.

    Today it seems most skate companies and most skate media still love to perpetuate the “angry youth” stereotype of skateboarding… Then they wonder why cities don’t want to build skateparks. Well, you reap what you sow.

    Much of my inspiration to start California Girls Skateboards was the notion of a return to a funloving, carefree attitude in skating. Time to rise above the punkrock cliche. This is why I find it amusing when anyone says that California Girls Skateboards was done “just to make a quick buck.” No. If I had made boards with skulls and monsters and built a website with pictures of teenagers giving you the finger – THAT would be trendy junk to make a quick buck. I have higher aspirations. And I knew those aspirations would be unpopular with 90% of the skateboarding community. I just wanted to appeal to the 10% who still skate because they have smile on their face when they ride.

  • Plain Lazy Says:

    Plain Lazy does not desciminate and our brand was created out of love of all ‘boards’ each team member in the company chosen for their different passions… our director has skated for 20 years and is teaching his kids too. Isn’t that what it’s about – allowing more people and new generations to embrace something that has created a way of life, a style, a thought and an ehtos? Won’t that create the revoloution? Power to the people and all that….

    add your skate vids here for the chance to win plain lazy gear:

  • SCOTTY Says:

    What Skateboarding needs is fire lit under it’s tail.. No wait that’s what a Tail Devil does.. any just joking but everyone makes a good point..

  • Micahel Says:

    dude yeah.. i cant belive all this stuff its insane. individuality itself has gone. i love this. skateboarding is my life i hate to see when people ruin it..

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