Ask not what the stunt wood can do for you, ask what you can do for the stunt wood…or something like that. Depending on how you look at it, we are fortunate to be going through a boom time in skateboarding. Popularity is at an all-time high. Pros are getting big company endorsements and most make a decent living without a side job. But there are those who just want to take from skateboarding. They will use our “culture” to sell their apparel/sports drink/etc. until they start to see the return on their investment begin to sour. With the Olympics coming in 2020 that day may be far off but never say never, who thought freestyle and 80’s shapes would come back into style?
With November being a month of highlighting giving, it feels like a good time to look at what you can do to give back and say thanks for all the good times that skateboarding has given you. For every thirsty streetwear company that wants to get skaters repping their gear, there are dudes who selflessly help build the community around them. Guys like Jerry Mraz or Pat Smith from Coda who actually MAKE skate spots. DIY is at the heart of skateboarding, whether it’s a simple Bondo job or building an entire skatepark from scratch (RIP Shorty’s). Spots that have a lot of love put into them are truly something special.
No construction know-how? No problem. If you have some extra dough (let’s face it you don’t really need that 12th tall boy of Narragansett) why not donate a small amount to an organization that does something positive in skateboarding? Harold Hunter Foundation, Boards For Bros, Skateistan and Grind For Life are just a few that are in it for the love. Another good example is Kevin Marks and the Lookback Library. This dude travels around collecting, displaying and preserving skate history all so you can geek out and rummage through magazines you coveted as a kid and go “Oh man I remember ripping this Lance Mountain ad out and hung it on my bedroom wall when I was 13!”
To wrap this do-good rant up, there are plenty of ways to give back to skateboarding, and they all don’t have to be a donation or pet project. When it comes to being good to skateboarding there are simple everyday things like cleaning up the spot instead of trashing it, or bringing a used deck to the shop to give to a kid in need. Maybe the next time someone asks you how to do a trick instead of replying “I don’t know I just do it,” try and break off just the slightest hint or words of encouragement to a skater struggling to learn something new. We all know those 90’s trick tips that consisted of 4 vague steps (Pop, flip, catch, roll away smiling) didn’t help anybody. All I’m saying is that at a time where it seems like everyone wants to take a piece of skateboarding, it’s up to us to keep giving back and take care of those stupid wooden toys that we love so damn much.
P.S. Got an idea to do some good that isn’t listed here? Know someone doing good that deserves to have their story told? Email [email protected] and tell me about it.