I’m serious, don’t. Make some dinner plans instead. Pick up a good book, illegally download an album, masturbate, or maybe start re-watching The Sopranos. There are a million and one other enjoyable things you can do besides just skating. And, be honest, do you actually want to go skate anyways? Or did you grab your board out of some misplaced sense of obligation to the skateboard brands and magazines that won’t stop shouting: “Skate and Destroy,” “Burn Forever,” and “SkateEveryDamnDay”?
We love chastising each other whenever we choose to do anything that isn’t skateboarding — dating, studying, even working to get enough money to buy a skateboard – yet we also define skateboarding as an expression of absolute freedom…
Take a second to think of all your favorite skate legends, and why you hold them in such high regard. Would you really be as psyched on Tom Penny’s High-5 part as much if he put out three identical parts in the preceding years? I have a friend who loves Danny Renaud, not just for his skating, but because he didn’t give a shit about it enough to stop partying until he fell off a building. Jason Dill filmed a “Day in the Life” consisting of little more than coffee and cigarettes. Heath Kirchart fucking retired to bike and sail the world. Even The Gonz and Daewon Song stepped away from the culture for a few years in the 90s. Many of our skate legends are legends because they take time to immerse themselves in life outside of the skatepark.
As we grow older, we all rely on routines and comfort zones to get us through life, but skateboarding should be a respite from the daily grind, not another pattern to fall into. Some of my family members are gym rats, and they love bragging about waking up at five in the morning to work out, planning elaborately nutritious meals, and charting their progress toward arbitrary #SwollGoals. I never want to think of my skateboarding as a training regimen I have to adhere to, every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M., and I never want to feel obligated to go skateboarding simply because a brand’s marketing scheme tells me I should.
The more time you spend off your board, the more you’ll appreciate the time you spend on it. So, take time to pursue other projects and interests, should the opportunities arise. Skip the session and go to a concert! Learn to paint! Foster another skill or talent for a few weeks or months! Shit, if you really want to, get drunk before noon! I can’t speak for everyone involved, but I have way more fun when I’m scheduling my skateboarding around my life, not scheduling my life around skateboarding, and if my adult life starts to inhibit my ability to go skate for several hours a day, so be it. It’ll only make the time I do get to skate more precious. Appreciate the spontaneity of the craft, how magical it can be when it’s unregimented and unserious.
So if you wanna “Skate or Die” that’s fine, but if you wanna “Skate From Time to Time” that’s cool too. What better way to celebrate skateboarding’s fuck-it-all ethos of freedom than by choosing, sometimes, not to skate?