Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

Skate or Die

Back in our day, we woulda gone uphill both ways to get to Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam


C'mere. Your old uncle wants to tell you a story. Sure, you can bring your skateboard in the trailer. In fact, this story is about skateboards.

What? No, it's not the one about how we had to make our own boards in my day, and how we carved the wheels out of stone -- boy, you got a smart mouth. It's about history -- the history of skateboarding. Shut up, you will too listen.

Back in my day, nobody thought Tony Hawk was anything special. Oh, everybody watched them Bones Brigade videos, and we all thought that he had a great head of hair. But he was a dork! All elbows and knees and bangs. No, if you were seriously into the vert, you loved Christian Hosoi. That guy was all about style. Crazy outfits, too. Hosoi looked like some kind of futuristic punk rocker, and he skated like a force of nature. Hawk could charge the pipe, sure. But the kids went wild for Hosoi if he just rocked back to back Methods for five minutes. Hosoi was a poet -- sometimes you didn't even know why you were cheering for him, because it didn't look like he was doing anything. But it was still beautiful, in an effortless, unthinking way.

Hawk looked like the kid who did his homework and turned it in early. Oh, he had the moves, and he was better than any of us, but he just looked like he practiced all the time, like it was a full-time job. And then when skateboarding went bust, Hawk kept at it. Hosoi spiraled out of control, into drugs and trouble and out of skating. But Hawk kept working, and he just got better. And now look at him. He's touring the nation with his Boom Boom HuckJam, raking in all kinds of cash. But more important, he's making work -- hell, careers -- for all these skaters like Rune Glifberg and Sergie Ventura. And not just the skaters. Motorcycle hardcase Brian Deegan rides in this thing, and the BMX guys get a piece of the action, too.

So what's the point? Keep practicing is the point! You get good enough, you can buy your old uncle out of this crappy trailer park! Do a fastplant off your aunt's credenza! Now!

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