Monthly Archives: March 2014

Skateboarding has gone mainstream (again)

At the peak of skating’s boom in the late Eighties – about the time Christian
Slater’s awesomely awful Hollywood skate-ploitation film Gleaming
the Cube
was released – the militant grinders of Camden burned down
a brand new half-pipe that had been given to them for nothing, simply
because it was originally built for a patronising feature on a Bruce Forsyth
light entertainment show.

L-R: designs by Rick Owens, Christian Louboutin, Stella
Jil Sander and Fausto Puglisi

At Selfridges, the inclusion in its Board Games shop of a £9,470 skate deck made
of petrified wood by the American fashion designer Rick Owens has provoked
intense skater-scorn – particularly because you can’t skate on it. A series
of (skateable) decks with prints by fashion designers including Christian
Louboutin, Stella McCartney, Jil Sander and Fausto Puglisi has fared only
marginally better in the skatesphere. Yet many of these decks have already
sold out – Selfridges has had to commission a second edition of the £75
Louboutin design, for which it already has a waiting list. And most of the
boards, shoes, bearings, trucks, wheels and magazines on sale are the real
skater gear – not ersatz stuff at all.

Today’s skaters might just have to accept that their sport is rolling into its
fifth era of mainstream popularity. The rise of the “skate geezer” –
middle-aged men (and women) reconnecting with their long-lost youth by
returning to skateboarding – shows no sign of slowing down (there were a
sprinkling of these at Selfridges, although they are more common in the US
and Australia). And skateboarding is much more integrated into the
mainstream than ever before: after a devilishly clever (and very respectful)
campaign Nike – the largest sportswear company in the world – has become an
accepted skate brand, while the whole Selfridges skate project is being
underwritten by the Taiwanese technology company HTC as a marketing vehicle
for the launch of its excellent new One (M8) smartphone. Skateboarders hate
the idea of being “in fashion” simply because being out of it is so much
more satisfying. After all, it feels much more thrillingly rebellious to be
chased off by a security guard than to be high-fived by some sad, Peter Pan
dad on a longboard.

Sometimes, though, it is much more fun to ride a wave than flail against it:
Selfridges is already pondering whether it can keep its Board Games park
open for longer than originally planned.

for more details

Article source:

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