Timmy Peters, he of legend and boss at DAS Industries, has been developing this project and THRILL has got behind him to see where it leads. Here's the lowdown, have a read ...
If you’re reading this then awesome! You’re already a lot further ahead than many longboarders out there in the UK when it comes to being switched on to what’s happening at the pointy, visible end of the sport/hobby/interest (define it how you will, bite me).
What’s not seen (and many very serious skaters I’ve talked to have often forgotten this) is that although the tip of the longboarding iceberg is shiny and epic and visible, the huge base of everyday skaters (yep, not just limited to longboards) is hidden beneath the waves of the internet and skate media produced by companies and active crews and sponsored riders.
The everyday riding isn’t epic compared to your high budget boom-cam follow run in California. That’s not to say it’s any less valid - skating is skating is skating. Stand on a board, go, enjoy.
It’s also significantly more important than the top. It’s the unseen chunk of iceberg that keeps the top bit afloat - the huge number of non-networked, unsponsored riders buying a board and only ever using it to go to the shops and back; riding the same janky setup to college for years; people maintaining their commuting board; those who never engage but still ride regularly; those who get themselves a new board every 6 months to keep up with tech and the trends. This huge mass of silent skaters keeps the wheels of the visible bit of the scene turning.
The tip of the scene Iceberg has a sense of community the bottom does not, at least not to the large, networked extent the top enjoys: through geographical isolation, ignorance, deliberate choice to not engage and a host of other factors, the huge force supporting longboarding goes unnoticed by the top (unless you’re a sales and marketing exec, then you spot it!)
“So what’s Timmy rambling about?” you ask. Well, it boils down to this: The iceberg won’t grow - the top, active bit won’t get bigger or better until the base of the skating iceberg is recognised and encouraged. Without those already engaged giving back and those not engaged somehow becoming more active, nothing will change. Maybe that’s cool by you and that’s fine: You do you.
But maybe you want more.
Maybe you want more multi-discipline events in the UK that aren’t just Hog Hill three times; maybe you want to see more fully closed freerides instead of outlaws; maybe you want a session or an event in your home town; maybe you just want to see more UK media or to find a friend to skate with.
Generalising massively, this can’t happen without you guys, reading this, wherever you are on the Iceberg doing something. And #SkateCommute365 is my doing something that requires you to do something to change the iceberg we’re all currently stood on.
I’ve written an introduction on the form itself, but here’s the poke:
We’re looking to collect 365 everyday style skate stories - whatever it is you do that gets you on a board that’s not a session. The huge, lofty, ambitious goal of this project is to publish one of your (the scene’s) skate stories every day for a year - providing inspiration for those sat at home staring out the window at the rain; providing motivation for those riders who get a board, watch James Kelly slay the alps and want to pack it in; providing solace that there’s someone out there later for college or work that you, riding a sketchier setup on jankier roads and is still loving the buzz of skating, regardless of situation.
It’s a reminder that skating is rad, no matter how you’re doing it and you’re never alone in what you want to do on a skateboard.
However, we need your input, your voice, to do this and to celebrate the untold, forgotten thousands of miles spent riding. Head to the link below and you can tell us, and the scene, your story.
Log your commute here: #SkateCommute365
Words: Timmy Peters, DAS Industries
Images: Timmy Peters & Charley Elizabeth Cristina