jenkem_rings

Listen, before you start yelling at me for not understanding that “skateboarding’s an art, not a sport, man,” I get it, and I’m not here to argue that skateboarding should be an Olympic sport, in fact, I’m strongly against the idea.

But, unfortunately, such a stance is futile because it’s an argument that it seems we’ve already lost. Rumors are swirling that skateboarding has been shortlisted for inclusion into the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and everyone from Chris Cole to Tony Hawk has gone on the record in support of an Olympic version of skateboarding.

Of course, there are still some questions to consider when thinking about including skateboarding in the Games. (Is marijuana a “performance enhancing drug”? And if it is, how will they get enough sober competitors to enter?) But the biggest question has to do with what form the amorphous activity of skateboarding will take once it’s translated into a sport.

My only hope as a skateboarder is that whatever version gets sandwiched in between synchronized swimming and racewalking looks as little as possible like the silly thing I’ve been doing with my friends on curb cuts and parking blocks since I was 10. The further removed Olympic Skateboarding is from actual, normal skateboarding, the better chance our insular culture has of surviving the inevitable dilution into the mainstream.

With that reasoning in mind, here’s four skateboarding events I’m willing to let the kooks at the Olympics have…

jenkem_downhill

1. DOWNHILL / SLALOM

Going fast while doing skateboard tricks is cool, just watch any Busenitz clip for proof, but once going fast becomes the trick, all coolness evaporates faster than a drop of sweat on a hot black leather jumpsuit. Downhill skateboarding has everything the Olympics could ever want from a sport: it’s easy to judge since it’s based on time and not style, it promises high-speeds and high-speed wipeouts, and its athletes wear tight, form-fitting, ridiculous outfits. What more could producers ask for?

The same reasoning for including downhill in the Olympics works for the inclusion of slalom too. While it’s fun to weave between cones while you’re skating down the street, the setting up of cones for the purpose of slaloming has kookery written all over it. Plus, have you seen the footage of the Candian guy who holds the world-record for skateboard slalom? Dude deserves a gold medal for the comedic value of his technique/hair style alone.

jenkem_megaramp

2. MEGARAMP

The Megaramp is so gnarly that it broke the femur of the guy who pretty much invented gnarly skateboarding. It’s so gnarly that I don’t even think it can rightly be called skateboarding – it’s stuntboarding to the extreme, and would rightly draw a huge audience waiting to see kids doing 1080’s and people falling so hard their shoes fly off.

As a skater who has never rolled in on a ramp taller than two Mitchie Bruscos, I’d be perfectly fine with giving this kind of stunt-skating away. Any activity that has its participants training as hard as Danny Way and his mega-mace is not made for everyday humans like you and me. No, this is a sport best left to Olympian gods.

jenkem_skate

3. S.K.A.T.E.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but flatground skating has been totally taken over by circus tricks as of late, so we might as well turn this three-ring carnival of flippery into a five-ringed one by making S.K.A.T.E. into an Olympic event. You know, really give the groms a chance to make it from the flat-bottom of their local miniramp to the top pedestal of athletics.

And with the Olympics’s cutting-edge technology, questionable toe-drags will be a thing of the past since competitors will be wearing uber-sensitive sensors on the tips of their shoes for ultimate accuracy. But, unfortunately for Brazilians, highly popped tricks count just the same as ground spinners. Sorry Luan!

jenkem_white

4. HALF PIPE

As a kid who grew up watching good (Bob Burnquist) battle evil (Tony Hawk) in the X-Games vert walls of yore, I hate to give the half pipe to the Olympics, but marketing trumps nostalgia, and the prospect of America’s favorite ginger, Shawn White, (pictured above) being just the fifth athlete to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Games would make for great publicity and a very clickable headline on buzzshit.com/sports.

But, instead of the improvisational masterworks of Vov, picture a vert skater’s run as if it’s a gymnast’s floor routine, highly regimented and strategically planned for maximum points. Judges have a list of the skaters’s proposed runs and judge them accordingly on their difficulty and execution. Did the young Belgian competitor do a stalefish instead of a stinkbug like he said he was going to do? Dock him half a point. Olympic Skateboring is about preparation and precision, not none of that free-wheeling soul skater shit.



Words: CK
Illustrations: Walker Miller, see more of his work on his website (gnarfiction.com)
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Comments

  1. Chris Frye

    August 4, 2015 6:08 pm

    Hippie high jump competition too!

    Reply
  2. Kavon

    August 4, 2015 8:21 pm

    Your self-elitism and condescension towards other forms of skating are much worse than anything you criticized here, including the corporate mainstream movement of skateboarding that you “rebel” against to look cool. You’re so worried about what’s popular at the moment, including clothing and other nonsense irrelevant to what skating’s about, and it’s extremely transparent. This looks like it was written by a self-entitled 14-year old who has been skating for 6 months, re-engineered by an editor to resemble something remotely close to a professional article.

    All that aside, you have an awfully negative attitude about something that should be fun. Cheer up man…be a little less cynical!

    Reply
    • Don Corleone

      August 5, 2015 3:14 am

      Maybe you’re taking it a bit too seriously. Lol

      Reply
    • lick my hairy balls boy

      August 5, 2015 4:27 am

      Fuck the olympics and fuck you.

      Reply
    • vito

      August 5, 2015 4:29 am

      I couldn’t disagree more with you. I found this very well written and all the small references with links in the text truly proves that this guy has been skating longer than six months ;)

      Who knows, maybe you’re one of the kids who think that SLS is cool and that Nyjah is the best skater to walk the earth?

      Reply
    • artisti versache

      August 5, 2015 8:08 am

      fuck you skateboarding is an art. and of course clothing plays a massive role! are you off your fucking head? you must be the one who’s been skating for 6 months. leave the internet alone and go ride your revive deck. you might not suck by 2020

      ps this article was pro af

      Reply
    • SC310

      August 5, 2015 7:06 pm

      Kavon, I couldn’t agree with you more. The author sounds very close-minded in this article. The whole “rebel” idea of skate culture is really getting old, all kinds of people skate now and there is room for all of its different machinations, whether we like it or not. Plus I think Olympic downhill would be pretty cool, kind of like the summer Olympics’ version of bobsledding!

      Reply
      • patrick

        August 1, 2016 4:59 am

        honestly downhilling is given a lot of undeserved hate as well since a lot of people talk shit on it when they’ve never really seen it. downhilling is fucking roots of skateboarding and the soul point of it outside of races is flow and style. I think this dude needs to learn more about the art of skateboarding besides what he sees on his instagram feed

  3. Guto

    August 4, 2015 8:22 pm

    “… it’s easy to judge since it’s based on time and not style, it promises high-speeds and high-speed wipeouts, and its athletes wear tight, form-fitting, ridiculous outfits.” It’s so obvious that the writers have never been able to ride a board above a 10 mph speed or even grind on a bowl with thick coping, which makes believe that you’re probably just other two trick-oriented guys who’ll drool when watching Street League finals thus limit skateboarding to that only. Try to slide on high speeds without style, and the road will be the next thing you’ll feel on your bodies. Go riding downhill speed without leather suits, and the road rash / broken bones will leave unforgettable marks on you forever. The article is a waste of time and an unnecessary display of extra hatred on skateboarding. Everything’s skateboarding and we’re all skaters so please at least try to respect what you don’t master or understand. I know you’ll never do it because it’s not “cool” or “hype” and you won’t miss the chance to “dis” me… Poor kids. Please grow up and quit writing, it’s just not for you.

    Reply
    • roadrash

      August 5, 2015 4:30 am

      “Please grow up and quit writing”.

      well said, why don’t you go first? CK was on point in this article.

      Reply
    • guto are you welsh?

      August 5, 2015 8:20 am

      the reason longboarding was included in this list is probably because not that many people like it or the ones who like it are mainly idiots. fuck doing 60 and eating shit with the slightest mistake. this is jock material and as much appealing as moto racing. definitely nothing at all to do with street skating. the only relevance is that longboards have 4 wheels attached to a board.
      this comes from a grown man who has tried downhill and thinks its fucking shit. if you are going to risk your life going fast you might as well do it using proper equipment like a motorbike (which is gay too) and not a fucking longboard

      Reply
      • Drakkars

        August 5, 2015 10:47 am

        You said it ‘street skating’ ……. ahahahah

      • drakass

        August 6, 2015 4:55 am

        drakars if you are so dumb to take everything literally so that you cant distinguish the difference between “street skating” and “longboarding/downhill” then i also dont understand what those “hahahaha” scribbles mean. is it a new word? fucking retard.

      • yaintevenknow

        August 21, 2015 5:36 pm

        lol someones a big fat fucking pussy
        stick to jumping down stairs at the local elementary school kook

      • fuck you

        October 7, 2016 12:12 pm

        you’re a giant piece of shit

  4. Relax Have a Fuckin Baygal

    August 4, 2015 8:41 pm

    I must say..I LOL at putting SKATE on the list. That shit was high jacked by jock mentality skaters 15 years ago.

    Reply
    • dsadsdadas

      August 3, 2016 8:21 pm

      That just made me remember a time when i was fooling around flatground with 2 guys, then one said can you nollie tre flip to the one who does all these nollie shove it variations and he said he can’t, then i thought “i think i got it”, the second i miss it the nollie guy start asking me to play SKATE like i hurt his pride by trying the trick.

      Reply