Did the era when you started skating define you?

I was listening the Stretch & Bobbito podcast the other day and they mentioned how young rappers nowadays are focused on making serious money with little regard for the older generations of rappers that paved the way. The counter argument was that the older gods had eternal gravitas and respect within the culture but younger rappers rebuke that because a lot of the so-called legends are broke.

Anyway, it got me thinking to skateboarding and how the era at which you started skating defined how you perceive the culture. The skate or die culture seems to be gone and a more athletic and professional philosophy seems to be in place.

I was first introduced to real skating at the tail end of the 80s -early 90s and was thrust into the big poants small wheels era where skaters were few and far between and considered an eye sore by the general public. I remember when skating started to get really technical and cliquey around the Trilogy era and I kind of fell off because I couldn’t identify with it anymore. I remember local friends of mine becoming obsessed with their chilling shoes and everyone’s ability to switchflip like Keenan. As I got older I saw through it all and just enjoyed my skating (Thanks John Winter!).

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else experienced similar stoke and jading with skate culture, and if this was based on your introduction and experiences?

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I started around the same time, and I still hold that mentality that everyone who skates/skated should be an instant friend. I’ve not stopped since and enjoyed all the different eras since. They’ve all had their pluses and minuses. I feel that I’m lucky to have seen skateboarding go through so many changes.
When I talk to younger generations now, they can’t wrap their heads around the fact that we were learning tricks as they were invented. That blows their minds!

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I feel like any skating is a complete mix of my first few skate videos. I religiously watched Flip sorry, 88 shoes Destroy Everything Now, Real Roll Forever, and Traffic Via. Then a host of UK videos like Landscape Portraits. I doubt other people could see that, but being equally stoked on Geoff Rowley, as much as Peter Hewitt, Ricky Oyola, Busenitz and Toby Shuall all at the same time is why I think I’ve never skated just one certain thing. I love skating everything.

I was talking to a few of the younger lads recently, they’re about 13-16, and they just couldn’t believe that we used to get chased and beaten up nearly every time we left the house with a skateboard in Sunderland. They were just like, but why? And I was like, cos we had skateboards and it was for some reason an instant excuse for someone to smack you. I used to skate Homebase or Sainsbury’s car park most nights that was opposite the skatepark, as if we went to the Skate the park/bowl lads from school would be there on bikes and just instantly wanna fight. The young lads I was talking to about this just didn’t understand why!

I still nod at people in the street who look like actual skaters tho, always get a nod back and it gets me stoked! Say what you will about the new gen!

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89-92 for me, much as I’d like to be a cool mid - late 90s burly street skater

A couple other main points that are pretty interesting- skateboard videos got me into punk/hardcore music, and 16 or so years later I still listen to it all now more than ever. Maybe that defined skateboarding culture in a way too for me and a lot of others. Outcast angry weirdo culture!

Something else I laugh at- remember being at the skatepark or the spot and seeing the older kids who could drop in the bigger ramps or do the most tech tricks? Remember how cool they seemed? They were probably like 15 and stinking.

Good idea for a topic!

I started in the late 90s and I think I’ve always been half and half deep down, I always enjoyed my sports when I was younger and still do now in fact, so I’ve always felt like I’ve had one foot inside the skate world and the other still into more tradional sports. So to see things progress to how they are now perhaps hasn’t put me off as much as some from the previous generation.

To address how you got to this topic, I just can’t believe that it’s become the standard in rap now for someone’s voice to be completely and utterly fake and autotuned to death. To my ears it doesn’t even sound good either.

I got my first proper setup in November 1990, for my 9th birthday, and the first vids I owned dubs of were Video Days and This Is Not The New H-Street Video. I regularly binge on Cromer or Worrest footage on YouTube but nothing comes close to Video Days when it comes to inspiration.

When I was a teenager, some older skate mates showed me vids that came out before I started, like Savannah Slamma. I thought these were so sick and I always liked being inspired by skating and trends from various eras (talking about tricks more than fashion here). As a result, I learnt pressure flips, late shove-its and impossibles when they were illegal as fuck, in the mid 90s. Some people probably thought that was silly but I had fun and didn’t care. Never forget that a skateboard is a toy.

There’s so much shit I discovered through skating as a teenager that’s still part of me now. A lot of music, but also loads of tricks and the way we used to see and live skating back then too. Graphics as well, I have a fish that was on a Vision Gonz board tattooed on my arm.

I was a kid from a small industrial town in the mountains and going skating in the main Swiss cities was kind of intimidating at first, especially in the mid 90s when skateboarding was kinda cliquey. Never had any problems, but I definitely saw a lot of cool guys taking the piss out of nice kids from the countryside that didn’t care about trends that much and this certainly had an impact on the way I interact with people to this day. Skateboarding has never been as diversified and open as it is now and I’m super stoked to see all these girls but also more and more transgender people and people from all kinds of origins skating.

Oh and I’m also part of this generation that says hi to any other skater at the park and some kids these days seem surprised by that but I’m not gonna change. A smile in a skatepark is better than a lot of likes on Instagram.

Damn, I wrote a lot of shit and didn’t even mention Welcome To Hell and EE3. And Mouse, obviously. These definitely shaped the way I skate too. Or at least the way I wish I could skate, haha.

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I experienced the same thing in Lyon during the mid-Nineties.

All about the money.

I check their shoes for wear and tear first.

Back on topic, when you first start skating you are a clean slate. I only started to understand the culture once I started reading magazines. Videos were still rare and expensive.
It feels like with all the technology and media at hand today, a kid who starts now has a much deeper bag of knowledge and tricks to learn from which probably explains why some guys style or trick selection looks forced or familiar. Instead of just skating and expressing themselves, they are getting into it with a preconceived notion of what they should do.

Does that make sense?

Very late 90’s just before the THPS boom.

Things that give me nostalgia from that time is shit like music from the offspring and green day and big DC shoes and the muska. Me and my friends would buy Kerrang magazine and spend all day at the skatepark being moshers and talking about music and skating.

When THPS came out we then looked into the skaters who were in the game and started to have favourites and looked at the brands they skated for.

Every so often one of our crew would buy a new video or the latest 411 and we would watch them religiously.

When we made friends with the older skaters who were filming and stuff we became one big crew and the older skaters (toby batchelor and co) would school us and give us VHS tapes with Video Days and shit.

Toby opened a skate shop and we had a small team (me and Arthur Tubb) and we made a couple of videos and travelled and stuff.

Great times.

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Very interesting question,I started skating in 1977 and still skate at 54 to this date but while some young skaters think its cool a lot think i’m just an old fart who has nothing to do with their culture,ive even had dudes on here questioning my age & skating because I dont fit their skating stereotype and they dont know other people my age who still skate.Ive seen the way the culture has changed through out the years and older skaters who are still at it do seem to be somewhat stuck in the era they started but at the end of the day skateboarders are skateboarders and do the same gig irrespective of the era they skated in,I dont think whatever era defined you changes the fact that your a skateboarder in the past or now.

I do feel that skateboarders are a smaller percentage of people that have skateboarded in their lives.
There have always been skateboarders that have just done it for many other reasons than actually really fucking loveing it and having to skate. Maybe some of these people actually get good at skateboarding over time. I can’t question everyones motives when they skate, that’s pretty cunty but I do feel that fashion and trend can influence some people more than love and need. If that makes any sense?

shoutout homebase bouncy bushes

Yeah mate, it does. When you are at the skatepark, you can tell which kids are still gonna skate in 5 or 10 years and which ones will have quit in 2 or 3 years.

Skating has always been around me, as well as surfing - I think coming from a typical beach town these cultures are closely integrated to a degree and you’ll find similar stories in almost every country in the world. You could throw in punk rock and beastie boys etc there too.
So my introduction was in the late 80’s with backyard miniramps here and there. Propaganda dubbed to Betamax.
But I got fully into skating around the time that Mouse and Welcome to Hell came about - when I was around 14 or so. Ciggies, weed and sneaky beers accompanied all that and was a great excuse to get out of the house all day. Didn’t go the beach for about 3 years.

I completely still believe I’m in that era, I think the only things that have changed are my trouser and wheel sizes.

I also think I went about 2 or 3 years without watching any new skate stuff around the time that PRod and Chris Cole were really big (probably around 2008 when emo was a thing?) even though I was skating loads the industry and output just bored me. I would only get stoked on forum edits, heh.

Interesting to see that so many of you come from the earlier years of skateboarding. For me, the years I started skateboarding didn’t really define me as a person. It was a confusing time growing up in suburban Birmingham. I first started around 2003/4. Me and my best friend used to skate, watch jackass, listen to Linkin Park and wear very very baggy jeans. Our sworn enemies were the chavs. Growing up, you had to choose a side. I didn’t understand why, but it was just sort of something that had to be done. Skater or chav. After years of peer pressure, I finally caved in and turned to buying fake tracksuits and fake ‘one tens’. Being a chav was no fun, but I felt like I had to do it to ‘fit in’ with the majority of lads I grew up with. So I stopped skating for around 15 years. Now, over the last 7/8 years or so, I’ve seen ‘chavs’ I grew up with, now walking around wearing Vans and Diamond Supply/Supreme clobber. Also, a lot younger skaters are wearing full Adidas tracksuits. ‘Streetwear’ culture seems to have completely merged the two sides into a weird blur of fashion combinations. Now, I’ve accepted the fact that I was a skater all along. I buy whatever clothes I feel like. Being 29 and having my own family has made me realise that it really doesn’t matter what ‘side’ you are on. This could almost be a Mental Health crossover post, but I’ll leave the psychological side of things out of this. Just saying how weird it’s been watching the culture change as I’ve grown up, and it’s only been 15ish years. It must be crazy for some of you guys that’ve been skating 20+ years.

I started in the early 2000s. Mainly due to my brother influence. Then THPS came out and that just pushed me further into skateboarding I guess because that was around the time I got my first proper complete. And I have moved around a lot and I have always taken skateboarding with me and in a way it defines who I am. The clothes I wear, the shoes I wear etc etc. I grew up on a mix of flip sorry Baker 2G and trabsworld sight unseen. And you could pick up copies of sidewalk or document in whsmith so I would get hose now and again.

Then when we settled I found others that skated and you make a crew etc and we managed to get a park built in our home town and its just carried on. It’s always been a part of me and I couldn’t vlgive it up.

In more recent years with access to the Internet I think it gives you a chance to discover more skaters or more styles through having so much content available you can search out what you like and ignore what you don’t like.

At the moment I’m really hyped on watching Chris Pulman footage. Slip on vans, clear frames glasses and back smiths

I still skate awfully and sometimes think about giving it all up because of how I skate, but in the same breath it’s something I could never give up

I started in 2002 and to answer the title question - yes

I started in 1988 but have had long periods away from it for different reasons. I realised reading the other replies that this has meant I’ve actually got more than one era that I relate to cos I’ve basically started about three times. 1988 was all fishtail decks, Gullwings, Slimeballs and hoping RAD would remember to print this months edition cos it was literally my only connection to the skate world. By mid 90’s I stopped, during Trilogy, pagers, Kareem, Wu songs on vids. Sidewalk being around. Then started again about 2008 and found it really hard to relate to anything cos skill levels had shot up while my own had gone to zero. So I relate to the early Prod stuff etc mentioned but not in a good way as such. Then started again properly a couple of years ago and again the skills have exponentially improved while mine have gone back to zero, again.

Tldr- I’ve had a board for 32 years but look like it’s more like 32 minutes

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Started in 2003 after I got THPS2 on PS1. Enjoyed Zero and Flip footage the most, so I bought Dying to Live and Sorry. My mates at the time got Yeah Right, DC video, then shortly after Almost Round 3. Osiris Subject to Change too because it came free with Sidewalk. We weren’t, and still arent, schooled in many videos that came before these titles. We’d occasionally get the odd new DVD but pretty much just stuck to watching the aforementioned videos over and over. Skated solidly until 2010 when I graduated uni and got a job.

I didn’t see a single piece of skate media for a few years, I just lost all interest. I got back into it in 2014 and have pretty much skated constantly since. A lot of my mates have a similar story, and we’re all sort of in the same boat fashion/skate wise. Some of us still ride 7.75s, nobody wears chinos with the cuffs rolled up to your shins. Nobody wears those little hats over your ears or has their keys dangling from their trousers. And everybody’s griptape is plain black.

It’s easy to keep up with the latest videos and parts just by keeping an eye on 2 or 3 YouTube channels. But we’re all very much firmly set in 2006 and Dying to Live is still my favourite video.

Not sure this response has answered or contributed to the topic…

Started late 80’s at about 12 yrs old.
Skated with people of a similar age and ages upwards of their 20’s so kind of picked up on stuff my elders were getting up to.
Stopped at 16 ish for about 3 yrs and then got well back into it.
I’m not sure that I’d have developed the music and other sort of tastes that I have now if I’d have gone a different route.
Not saying I was copying per say but definitely picked up on things that I liked that otherwise I might never have encountered.
All in all, despite the bad press skaters got, the people I skated with were all really decent guys.
It’s hard not to be influenced when you completely immerse yourself into something the way that you can with skating.

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