When you spend as much time at skate parks as I do, especially ones filled with more little kids than skilled skaters, you get used to answering the same questions over and over again.
The first frequently asked question that I want to address is "can you do this trick?" When skating was at its hottest, this was the most frequently asked question by far; since all the little grommets knew what the tricks were called but couldn’t perform them.
My response to this question used to be either, “I’m not here for your entertainment” or “I’ll do it for a dollar,” depending on how I felt that day.
During one of my recent sessions at the Salem Skatepark, I was posed this question again. “Can you do a porn star to royal grind?” asked a young kid just sitting on the quarter pipe. I told him I could, and that it’s called a "Royale." Obviously he wanted to see it. I asked him “what will you give me?” His response made me laugh. “Respect," he said bluntly.
Since the combo is one I can do, I told him that respect was enough for me and I threw the tricks with some ease. He didn’t respond at first, then he said “Can you 180 the spine?” I could see that he wasn’t easily impressed so I decided to one up him.
I went to the spine and tossed a quick 180-Mute over it. “Nice, nice,” he said, but I told him that I wasn’t done yet. I dropped back in and hucked a 360-Lui Kang over it this time, stalled on the quarter-pipe and then finished with a 540 back to the other side.
The kid was pretty stunned. “Respect,” he said, “much respect, that was sick.” I thanked him and went back to my session. It was one of those moments that remind me why I love skating, and one that I had almost forgotten was possible.
I hope you get to have experiences like this when you’re out rolling and progressing the art. If you have, please share them with me here. I would like to tell your stories on Skate Sessions, showing the world what our life is all about.