When I was just a younger my friends and I used to have to deal with rollerbladers taking over our skate park. They’d show up in packs and snake you, their runs on the mini ramp would take forever, and they were straight up dorks. After rollerblading died out, harmony was restored at skate parks and everyone went back to their normal ways. But over the last couple of years, rollerbladers have been replaced by kids rolling around on $300 Razor scooters, once again crowding skate parks and even street spots.
I took a trip over to LES skate park to find a real scooter rider and asked him why scootering is gaining so much popularity with young kids. I found David scootin’ around and he was down to answer a few questions. David is actually a cool 17 year old and I imagine he’ll be even cooler once the scooting phase is over, but for now, he was our direct line into the scoot world.
As a scooterer, have you ever put your scooter handles in your mouth?
[Laughs] Hell no, man. What kind of question…
Okay, well how long have you been scooting?
Like a little less than a year now.
Is it actually fun?
Yeah, I actually really like it. I used to skate, then my friend introduced me to scootering and I really enjoyed it and got into that instead. I like scootering more because it’s different in a way. There aren’t really a lot of scooter riders out there compared to skaters. Also, the tricks are way more interesting to me than the tricks in skateboarding.
Is there a Nyjah Huston of scootering?
Probably Ryan Williams. He’s in his late 20’s, but he was the first to do certain things and created stuff. He’s still ripping. He just finished his Web Edit 3, which was the craziest one yet. Also Jack Dauth, he used to be a skater actually. Jon Reyes is sick.
How often do skaters talk shit to you?
All the time. Sometimes I accidentally snake them and they get mad, but even if they snake me they’ll talk shit. We get blamed because of little kids on Razor scooters. But the shit talking has gotten less and less, I think.
Skaters used to call rollerbladers fruitbooters. Are there any names scooterers get called similar to that?
[Laughs] There are, but they’re not as creative. We’ve heard some skaters and bikers call us “scooter fags”. We don’t take it as an insult because there’s some animosity between scooter riders and skaters, so we just joke around now and call each other scooter fags now.
Do you guys play games of SKATE like us?
Yeah, we play SCOOT, or SCOOTER if you want to make it longer.
Is scooting going to die out like rollerblading did, or is it going to become cool?
Every time I’ll be riding an older guy will come up to us and say, “Oh, I used to rollerblade,” and stuff like that. And that’s like whatever. I don’t think it will die out. Since I started riding, I’ve seen a lot more people start up. I feel like for a while it’s going to stay the same, but scooting is trying to work its way up there. I know some really good scooter riders that rode for like three years then just dropped it. Maybe that could happen and it will come and go, then come back again.
If skaters accept it more, maybe it will be more “cool”. It’s new, so people are going to hate on it and not let it get to the level of skating and BMX. I’d say in three years it will be more mainstream, or longer, or never. I don’t know. I think scooter riding is cool, though. I’m just trying to get out there and ride.
How old are some of the people that you see starting to scoot?
There’s no age limit to scootering. I’ve been around where there are people from 10-30 so there’s a whole bunch.
Yeah, but doesn’t it look weird for an older dude to ride a scooter?
It’s no different than an older guy skating.
Is it intimidating going into the park and being the only scooterer?
It used to be when I first started and I didn’t know what I was doing. Now, if someone says something to me I just ignore it. I think sometimes we make mistakes in the park and other times skaters do. When we do, we say sorry and they get all mad, but every single time they snake us it’s really annoying because they yell at us to get out of their way and yell “scooter fags”.
It’s getting easier. I see more and more scooter riders at the skate parks now. I feel like it’s slowly integrating into that world of getting together in the skate park and the streets.
Do you think skateboarding is wack?
I don’t think that. A few of my friends and I really try to be as friendly as we can because we try to make scootering and skating one group instead of two groups judging each other. But some of our other scooter riding friends completely hate skaters, just because of the rep they give scooter riders.
Have you ever been in a fight with skaters due to the shit talking?
The other day, one of our friends Jon Reyes, the vlogger, did this vlog and we all took over the streets. There was this group of skaters by a street spot and they started messing with us and throwing their boards at us, so we just all just had to help our friends out and we just joined in.
Who won the fight?
It was a quick brawl. The cops came and everyone stopped fighting. Some people got a few punches to the face, but I don’t think it was a winner and loser type of fight.
Why is scootering a big hit with the kids?
I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a little easier to learn the basic tricks, like a bunny hop and ollie and 180. Also, it’s easier to balance on a scooter. You don’t have to learn how to balance the same way on a skateboard.
Jon Reyes did a video with a popular skater in New York [Brett Conti] and they both try out skating and scootering. They try to see which one is easier, and they just do the basic tricks.
I heard some BMX riders saying that scootering is just easy biking.
Easy biking?! Some biker at the skate park came up to my friend and asked to try his scooter. It took him maybe 10-20 tries to do a tailwhip. He finally landed it and it was gross and sketchy. My friend asked him if he ever scootered before and he said, “Nah, that’s the easiest thing ever.” There are some tricks that are really difficult. When skaters and bikers talk shit they only bring up the tricks that you could learn in like a day. When it comes to doing flips and grinds and shit like that, it takes way longer to learn. Obviously, some stuff is easier on a scooter than it is on a bike or a skateboard, but some things are just as hard on a scooter. I just try to ignore that.
How do you get your scooter news? What scooter media is out there?
I listen to Scoot Review with Scooter Brad. He’s cool. But it depends on who you’re talking to about him. He’s got beef with a younger group of scooter riders called the Funk Bros. He completely hates them because they’re disrespectful and stuff. He posted news about how they were asking for money for drones but they’re making mad money already.
He does more than just scooter news and product reviews. He has videos of him out on the streets scootering. He’s still really good. He broke something in his back a while ago, so I think he just cruises around now.
Do you think he goes by Scooter Brad in person?
I don’t know. I couldn’t imagine calling him that in person. If I ever saw him I would call him Brad. If someone called me by my YouTube name I would be pretty weirded out.
Who is this scooter guy Tanner Fox and why does he get millions of views on his vlog?
He’s pretty good but he’s really douchey. Nobody really likes him in the scooter community. Little kids like him. He kind of dropped riding and focused on his vlog and all his YouTube money and stuff like that.
Do a lot of pro scooterers have horrible vlogs?
They all wanna make YouTube money. They’re pretty self-absorbed. There are like “sponsor me” scooter riders and they vlog and post everything on Instagram and blah blah blah. I think it’s kind of stupid because kids watch those and then wanna be like those kids and just worry about themselves.
Is a vlog necessary to get sponsored?
[Laughs] No. There are a lot of teams, but you have to be really gnarly. You know how there is the X-Games? Well, scootering has Nationals which is separate, and for scooter riders to get sponsored you have to go to meets and competitions. If you make it to Nationals, maybe someone will notice you. If you’re lucky you can get sponsored by posting vlogs on YouTube, but that includes looking lame.
Is that Grizzly grip on your board?
Yeah. I got it because I ordered this scooter and it came to me when I was in Florida and I needed grip. The only place around me was the Vans store and they had this. I liked the bear.
There is scooter oriented grip also, though. It’s like the same shape of grip you get for a skateboard just smaller. Envy has grip tape, AO grip tape. There’s a bunch of cool grips that are made for scooters. There’s this company Ripper that makes grip that says “Ripper” across the top. There is some pretty cool stuff.
Are there any scooterers with a shoe sponsor?
Not that I know of. I’ve never seen a scooter pro model. Scooter riders just usually wear Vans, Adidas, or Nike SBs.
Would you want to see Nike and Adidas start sponsoring scooterers?
Yeah, that would be sick! That would mean we’re breaking into the mainstream a little bit more. As it grows maybe we’ll see it. There is a market. I also think it’d be weird if Vans or Lakai started sponsoring scooter riders, though. That would never happen.
How would you feel about scooting in the Olympics?
That would be awesome! I don’t think it will ever happen, but it would be so cool if it did.
Are Thrasher and Supreme acceptable scoot wear?
I don’t wear it. It’s meant for skating and I’m not skating. When I see scooter riders wearing Thrasher, I’m like why? Skaters are just going to hate on you even more if you’re wearing a Thrasher shirt.
But oh my god, so many scooter riders wear Supreme. A scooter rider wearing a Supreme shirt is no different than a hypebeast wearing one. There are way too many scooter hypebeasts. I just wear whatever. The thing that gets me is the stupid Supreme accessories like the headband or socks or any of that. The shirts are one thing. My friend has the Supreme dollar throwing thing and that’s funny I guess.
What’s the difference between the Scooter you ride and a regular Razor scooter from Target?
You can get “trick scooters” at Target but those will break down in like a week if you try to do the tricks an actual trick scooter is made for. The fold up ones are to like get around, I guess. You can do a lot more tricks on these. You can hit rails and stuff and have a chance at not breaking them. When it comes to wheels, Target ones have a plastic core. With actual pro scooter wheels, there are metal cores so they don’t break as easily.
My scooter probably costs around $400. The deck is the most expensive part. I have an AO deck that cost $290. Obviously, there are cheaper ones, but mine isn’t that cheap.
Who gets more girls, scooterers or skaters?
Uhh, It depends. I know certain girls that I’ve told that I ride a scooter and they don’t care. Other girls tell me that they only date skaters, like little fucking skate dates or whatever.
Do you think the fact that so many scooterers wear helmets is why some girls like skaters more?
[Laughs] Only park scooter riders wear helmets or full pads and that’s only people going really crazy like on half pipes and bowls. If street scooter riders are not doing something crazy and they’re wearing helmets, it’s wack.
Do you ever wear a helmet?
Nah, only if it’s something big. If I’m trying like a kink rail with a big kink in it I’ll wear one.
Why aren’t scooterers looked at as badasses, like other action sports?
I don’t know. There’s a party scene in scootering. There are scooter parties all the time. But when it comes to like smoking and drinking in the skate park, it’s rare to see a scooter rider smoke out in public like a skater. Maybe that’s why.
Wait, is it scooter rider or scooterer?
It’s scooter rider.