By Nick Shields
These are unprecedented times we are living in. Just a few weeks ago we could leave our homes carefree, head to the skateshop and buy a board while fist bumping the shop owner on the way out. Now skate shops all over the country are closing their doors and moving to online and curbside pickup sales only. California has just initiated a stay at home policy for all residents with non essential jobs. It may be tempting as skaters to hit the streets and take advantage of the empty buildings and sidewalks, but we should refrain from meeting up with the posse and trying to stack footy. You see, when you’re with your homies and one of you is infected with the virus, even without symptoms it can be spread to another person, whether you hand your phone to your friend to get a clip, or you give a fist bump or high five, you could be giving them more than just props. Then that homie goes home to his family or roommates, infects those individuals, then they go see their family and it spreads again and so on and so forth the chain continues. So to do our part as skaters we should refrain from the overwhelming temptations to meet up with the crew and roll around because the quicker we stop the spreading of COVID-19 the quicker we can get back to supporting local shops and stacking clips for the gram. So post up for some “quarantine & chill” and try some of these tips for staying busy:
1. Break out the old pen and paper:
You know how much you love Gonz, Cab, and Lance well now is your time to emulate these legends of skateboarding and art. Try developing your own style of drawing and painting to add to your next grip job or homie zine. See what sort of animation program you could learn to use to spice up your next homie video. Scour your junk drawers to find those markers, paint brushes, and color pencils and start drawing on the back of that jury summons you never responded to. Hell, write a letter to Thrasher and try to make it into their next Mail Drop book in 38 years from now!
2. Fingerboard till your knuckles bleed:
Tired of scrolling through Instagram’s explore page and seeing all those sick videos of fingerboard tricks you wish you could do? Well now is your chance to learn! You may have a trusty Tech Deck laying around that could use some lovin’ or you may have to order a custom shape from the underground world of online fingerboarding but either way plenty of fun is to be had. Dad threw away your old skatepark? Use some books as ledges, or find some scraps of cardboard to make a d.i.y. park, no excuses.
3. Set down the trap edits and pop in a DVD:
I know, I know, your laptop doesn’t even have a CD rom drive anymore. But guess what, every skate video ever is online now! Just a quick YouTube scan or Google search and you could be watching any Transworld video ever made. Go back to some of the classics like The DC Video, Dying To Live, Slaughterhouse, Baker 2G, That’s Life, or Sight Unseen. Given you might have to lower your expectations of that sweet, sweet 1080p you are so used to but hey the VX1000 was doing its best, okay?
4. Open a real magazine:
You know those Thrasher mags that come to your door every month and sit on your coffee table after you look through all the photos one time? Well they have words in there too and those words are usually said by pro skateboarders and typed up by less talented skaters like myself. Lots of time and effort goes into the text and layout of those mags and much of it goes unappreciated. If you’re like me you hate throwing away mags and you’ve probably got a few stacked up. Heck you might even have some TWS fossils laying around. Well if your mom hasn’t thrown out your collection yet and you’ve got your own mini Look Back Library going on, now is the time to crack open those bad boys. Go back and read some old interviews, see who’s fallen off, see who’s still on Fallen. Read through some of those articles you only skimmed the first time. Rehash the debate of Guy Mariano over David Gonzalez for 2012 SOTY.
5. Carpet skate the day away:
If you’re not privileged enough to live in an Emerica Mansion with a skateable three stair, or live like a Jackass with a bowled out apartment kitchen, there’s always the deck on the carpet trick. We’ve all stood on a board before setting it up and done a couple shuv its, but it’s time to take it to another level. I’m not talking about going full Soft Trucks here but try and integrate some flip tricks. Maybe hop onto your coffee table, learn pressure flips, or figure out that thing where you lay on your back and flip your board with your feet. Good luck, watch your teeth, and send an apology text to your downstairs neighbors in advance.
6. Edit that homie montage you promised:
Remember that one time you and your homies filmed a weekend montage that you were supposed to edit? Well get to it. Maybe it was iPhone clips or maybe it was the DSLR, just get to editing. The iMovie app is free and there are countless other programs. Don’t have any unused footy? Time to put out that remix to last Summer’s weekendtage. Or hey, rough cuts are really hot right now and guess what, no music rights. So get to it and get those youtube views, you’re only 963 subscribers away from monetization!
7. Fire up the podcasts:
There are probably hundreds of skateboard podcasts out there and you may not find the time in your regular schedule to make it to all of them but now is your time to catch up. A great thing about podcasts is you can multitask while listening, listen while drawing, piecing together a puzzle, cleaning your room, staring out the window, watching your roommates do yoga in the living room, it’s versatile. What to listen to you ask? Catch up on your favorite skaters’ life stories with The Nine Club, get bro-y with The Bunt, caffeinate with Caffeine & Green, hear about the latest videos with Skate Fillet, get woke with Vent City, or hear some solid Phelper and P-Stone stories on Talkin’ Schmit.
8. Pick up an instrument, or a laptop:
Make some music is what I’m getting at here. You could be the next Muskabeatz or Ben Harper. Some of the most talented skateboarders also dabble in the musical arts such as Leo Romero, Matt Hensley, Mike Vallely, Ray Barbee, Andrew Reynolds, Steve Caballero, Tony Trujillo, Riley Hawk, Nakel Smith, the list is endless. No matter if your instrument of choice is guitar, garageband, a microphone or the cello, these can all be practiced in quarantine. Work on that mixtape or song that can be used in a skate edit. Find some homies you can collaborate with through the internet. There are unlimited possibilities nowadays. If you’re like me and don’t have a musical bone in your body then start sifting through Soundcloud and Bandcamp to find that next song you can use in your part that hasn’t already been skated to!
9. Check in on the homies:
After you call your grandma and tell her to stay inside, Facetime the homies and see how they’re doin. It’s important to always check in on your friends and see what mental state they’re in but especially in times of crisis. Lending an ear to someone’s stress can work wonders. And if everyone is all good get into some classic skate debates, Yeah Right! vs Fully Flared, phillips head vs allen hardware, Hawk vs Hosoi, Gonzalez vs Mariano. Another idea, play Facetime fingerboard S.K.A.T.E. or carpet S.K.A.T.E., send each other music, videos, podcasts, pretty much all the shit we’ve already discussed, okay go.
10. Spend some money:
One of the biggest effects of this whole quarantine thing is going to be on small businesses and that especially includes skate shops! Most mom and pop shops could never survive with no sales for two weeks so it is imperative to find a way to support them. Some shops are offering curbside pick ups, and hopefully most have a good webstore up and running. Even if you don’t need a new deck or set of wheels at the moment, stock up for post-quarantine shredding because shops need your money right now. If you’ve done all the shopping you could do, try and find a way to help your local shop, repost their inventory on your gram, learn how to code a webstore, start a GoFundme. Skateboarding belongs to all of us and skate shops are the heart and soul of that so let’s all pull together to do what we can to support them and other small businesses in this crucial time of need. Get to it!
Wanna find more skaters to support during these tough times? Head over to our homie at thesellerdoor.com to find skater run companies.