Trick skating vs. Downhill skating
I sat and I watched the thrasher video on the Laguna Seca race on Youtube. Then I read the comments to find many people hating on the whole thing. “Noooooooooooooooo I don’t want gay longboarding on thrasher’s channel “- MrRMiste. “No offense but longboarding is gay”- kungfudrew123. These are only a couple of comments but there was a lot more where those came from. To be fair there were a few dudes who held respect and fought with the “street skaters”. Some of them stood up for DH skaters in a way.
As I read the comments I thought to myself, why the hate on DH (downhill) skaters. What’s their deal. Then it came to me. For the most part DH skaters can not do most of the moves that they can do. DH skaters do not tend to drive around looking for ledges and stairs to session but rather hills. Ollie’s and kickflips over 8 stairs is common for street skaters and if you turn on the TV to watch skateboarding that is what you most likely will find. That’s how they look at it. They probably have no clue about skating DH. They don’t know what slide gloves are, reverse kingpin trucks or being aerodynamic down the hill. They probably don’t even own a helmet.
Kids who skate street work hard, break their bodies watching kid after kid after kid go down eight stairs. Do 13 stair handrails. Every little boy gets a shitty little trickskate board (the first skateboard). They begin by learning Ollie’s kick flips and other street tricks, not by bombing hills. This makes it so a majority of the kids skate street and there are lots of good riders to push others to become better. Most of these kids have never seen someone “truly” bomb a fast steep windy gnarly road.
I never thought someone could be considered a good skateboarder without even being able to ollie. The more I got into DH skating the more kids I met that shredded without even being able to Ollie. Lots of these kids even held sponsorships. I believe the reasoning for this is the sport is pretty underground still and not many people know much about it although it is growing and more and more people are taking notice.
With this being said street skaters also do not understand just exactly how intense and gnarly DH skating is. Just two years ago bombing hills to me was still grabbing my trick skate and trying to make it down some small hills without getting speed wobbles and crashing. “Stopping” was us finding a soft patch of grass or a bush to jump into. Grass being the preferable option. I remember my first time following Max Capps down a hill. I was blown away. I had never in my life seen skating like that before. He was going as fast as he could down roads I never imagined anyone could bomb. Hands down around turns and a predrift into a left turn. He didn’t get speed wobbles, exceeded the speed limit and even hauled ass around corners. My life changed after seeing that.
DH skateboard races are held on steep windy roads now as opposed to when they were in the X Games and Gravity Games on fast straight roads. Riders now need to be able to use maneuvers like footbraking, airbraking and predrifting to control their speeds in order to handle corners. Pavement is not always smooth (in fact in some cases its absolutely horrible) and boards colliding and hitting shoulder to shoulder into the finish line happens.
“I’ve seen MAD skills on both sides but gots to have RESPECT! Why do we bash what we don’t understand?” said Yudy Vinograd. Why does the type of skateboarding you enjoy cause such a feud. Both sides involve having a ton of skill and being able to do things on a skateboard that others can not do. “With out longboarding there would be no skateboarding. It came from dudes skating down the street. Not dudes skating a ledge.”- Max Capps
Also the comments calling longboarding wrongboarding are really stupid. Either way its skateboarding and we should all embrace the similarities and push each other to try the different disciplines. Who knows, you might find out you like another type of skating. – Leecifer Eisler