Now that another epic episode of the Broadway Bomb has passed, I wanted to take a second and talk about something on the contrary. There is, on one hand, nothing quite as thrilling as being a part of a 200+ count skater pack ripping down Broadway clogging up traffic, fascinating tourists and collectively conquering a great stretch of pavement that is normally mostly inhereted by larger, more mechanical beasts. Likewise, there are few things as sweet as a tackling the town with your skate crew and feeding off the energy of a dedicated pack of pushers.
Today, however, as I get set to embark on a solo trip to Ecuador I am preparing for 3 weeks of a different kind of skate, the solitary skate. I’ll be traveling with a two-board quiver and am hoping to find a skater or two who I can rip with. Its probably more likely, though, that I’ll spend the trip teaching a few friendly folks how to ride and hopefully meet some cool cats to leave my boards with when I leave.
Most of the trip, though, I’ll be skating solo and experiencing the ride through the senses of one man alone on earth with his board. I am not anti-social and I am not a hermit, but since the earliest days of my skating career I have always loved skating alone. Some say it has to do with my sign, a scorpio and others say I’m just like my dad. Some of that may be true, but for the most part I say it surrounds a kind of innate appreciation for total freedom. To skate fast, to back off, to catch a second wind, to stop for a breath and ponder an amazing structure, to follow your instincts down an unusual path and realize for a moment that that was the sickest 6-block line ever skated. And in New York city, there is no greater candy shop for skating free. Sometimes you may feel like taking a culture cruise through Chinatown and suddenly get the urge to hit the wide open streets of the meat packing district. Sometimes you just feeling like making trouble in the middle of a week day and skating down Wall Street passed the sharp suiters. And as I cruise by I can only wonder what they think and I hear Johnny Depp in my head saying that great line from ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ .. “And with a bit of luck, his life was ruined forever. Always thinking that just behind some narrow door in all of his favorite bars, men in red woolen shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he’ll never know.” To me that is skateboarding and frankly, I hope it isnt true for some of those diligent folks. I hope that they have a chance to experience what I am experiencing at that moment as I carve through their crystal domain, free to exit as swiftly as I entered and on to the next level of the game.
As the Broadway Bomb weekend wraps up and the echos of skater stoke still reverberate through Manhattan, I hope that everyone who attended and all who saw were inspired to skate more. In the end, what is beautiful about skateboarding is the freedom it provides. Unlike most other sports, it only takes you and your board to make life magic on a pleasant day.