Skating Do – Part II. Reward vs. The Demon
Part 2: Reward vs. The Demon
What I see at the skate park every day is utterly amazing. I’ve been around for ages, and I must say that the skills being developed there are truly masterful. Think of skaters of all ages riding on small wooden boards, with fast wheels beneath, on smooth waves of unforgiving concrete. Gliding like birds above the crests of the ocean they enjoy each session. It’s the ultimate illusion of safety, from the 10 ft high wall they ride so peacefully. Yet the elegance of their actions betrays their bedraggled appearance of ratty clothes, tight jeans, tattoos, cigarettes, beanies…and a Venice skunk always nearby.
Then it happens…and you awaken to the gritty side of this art. If you closely examine the cement, you will see with dark splatters. Some unlucky bastard soars around the edge with the gods on his wing until…BAM! Something horrible happens, as if a demon reaches up from beneath the cement, and grabs the wheels in full stride. Like the proverbial gremlin on the aircraft, this demon is always plotting to snare his next skater. And when he does Icarus on wheels finds himself chewing gravel. A loud snap fills his ears as he absorbs the shattering impact. Disorientation follows…and half a second later – PAIN! Some skaters say they even hear a faint whisper of laughter in the distance? Some claim it is the demon, and his malevolent purpose…to crush the egos of those who would reach too high – thus keeping the conscious spirit contained.
The demon demands respect. If he is not given adequate supply, he shall extract his due, in blood. Maybe the wise see him less frequently, but eventually, he visits them all. A grim and clear reminder to all artist’s that serious injury is just the next session away. Yet the skaters rise up every time, resurrected stronger and with the burning desire to smite the demon once and for all. One of the great pillars of skateboarding rests on breaking the rules, their weapon a spear of destiny against the mighty demon. And with this weapon of mass destruction, they shatter the status quo…with the balls of a lion and grace of a grand master, they explode with fury, and smite the demon to his face.
Master Skater’s fly up vertical walls like painters on canvas. They ride high up to the top of the pool on the coping (edge of pool). The only sound is metal grinding on stone around the perimeter, as the Master’s sharpen their axels like a blade. They zip around the bowls with grace and precision, like an acrobat’s wet dream, before exploding into an aerial maneuver above the pool. Conscious disrespect for all sensible actions of safety is thrown into the demons face…for the shear high of executing such a mad trick. And for what purpose? The conscious spirit is always looking to evolve- always reaching for the clouds. Creating new paths, ways to ride, is how the conscious spirit speaks. Each artist skates in his own unique way, each one with his own knowledge, each one sculpting himself into an acrobatic masterpiece.
Style…one must skate with style. The art demands a unique, conscious perspective from each and every artist. This was the creed of the original Zypher team. One must flow with the board like a ballet dancer, yet with ample doses of testosterone. Knowing how much speed is necessary to roll up to the coping and balance like a tight rope walker above an empty pool – the hallmark sign of extreme precision. How one rides manifests in a completely different manner to the next. The key – the all-important key – is to find one’s own style. Letting oneself go, open to the whims of the gods, while ripping around on such a precarious vehicle frees the mind.
The practitioner learns to tap into their own potential, never before realized, and builds a solid foundation of confidence. An Old Master I know told me many years ago, “the greater the risk, the greater the knowledge.” The demon awaits, with its razor sharp claws just beneath the surface waiting to grab a wheel, nudge the center of weight just enough, or cause the wheels to slip out from under the artist; with every fall, the risk of death, a broken neck, broken bones, and flowing blood are very real with every session.
Written by Jak Ahabdune
Jak Ahabdune is an eccentric and enthusiastic writer from Venice, California with a unique, creative approach. Currently, he enjoys writing for e-zines articles and for a variety of websites as well as his own blog site, Jak’s View. He also frequently writes for 180 Films, an independent film company based in Los Angeles. His innovative and inspiring imagination strikes as a fresh draft of originality when he explores topics like skateboarding, consciousness, science, film and music.