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When the skateparks shut down
due to insurance reasons,
the sporting good companies bailed.
Of course they did.
But let’s make one thing clear:
Skateboarding never died.
Only corporate interest in skateboarding died.
Skateboarders pushed on.

From the rubble of the skatepark era,
the Thrasher Magazine era was born.
The Rise of the Big Five.
These guys weren’t skaters.
They were however, true skateboard supporters, at least initially.
From San Diego, to Costa Mesa.
From Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz
to San Francisco.
They might have all hated each other but they worked together and
they got shit done.

But then, as it goes, it all went to their heads.
They grew mullets, they bought bigger buildings and they took themselves a little too seriously.
They started to think that THEY were skateboarding.
It took an ex-used car salesmen to bring them all back down to reality.
But by then, the party was over.

Now, the children of the Big Five:
They were kinda clueless.
They weren’t as smart as their Daddies, they were way less organized
and they didn’t play well together.
So, when ESPN came to town they just simply bent over.
And they’ve been bending over and over and over ever since.

In time, skateboard company owners were replaced by CEOs.
Skateboards began to be manufactured in China.
Skateboarders on the streets became consumers.
Mangers, agents, lawyers and bean counters infiltrated the front lines of
skateboard culture.
Professional Skateboarders glad handing politicians, celebrities
and Entertainment Executives became the norm.
Skateboarding went into the shopping malls — Into the mainstream.

Kill the spirit, drag the carcass around and extract every last penny from it.
That’s what the mainstream does.
Homogenize and standardize.
The Johnny-Come-Lately’s will ride that broken horse
till it collapses then sell off it’s parts.
When you’re at that party, a VIP, it seems like it will never end.
But it will.
That’s okay.
Those of us with a foot nailed to the board will push on.
We ride the permanent wave.