The urethane trails on the pavement from sliding wheels was like a visual reassurance that the events that had just happened, really did just happen. There were smiles of all kinds, ear to ear grins hidden behind helmet visors, laughs, yells, embraces, the clapping sounds of high fives all around. Pure joy, elation. An adrenaline spiked celebration of near misses, tandem drifts, extreme pursuit. On the hill, it was all about performance, an elegant science of corners and apex’s. But here, at the bottom, we celebrated. For it is here that we were transformed back into human form. Compatriots once more. Victories and defeats honored and revered. Distinguished champions of gravity and the road.
And then, I find myself sitting in the car, board tucked away in the trunk. The sun setting on the horizon. An extreme feeling of pure contentment. Tired, exhausted yes, but pleased. A soul nourished. The accomplishments of the day all recorded like a visual loop in my head. The close calls, the passes, all the residual stoke that comes along with the memories from a perfect day of skateboarding.
It brings me great pride to know and to have experienced moments such as these. They come from accomplishment, courage. They come from pushing yourself to a realm you never thought you, or anyone else for that matter could. They overtake you at bus stops, in meetings, during conversations with uninteresting people. A wonderful little gallery of mental snapshots, a collection of awesome in your mind. Always residing there as an escape from the mundane, an excuse to go out and ride. I’m rather certain at this point that true skateboarders are never really bored. They’re always thinking. Always feeding off their mental stores of stoke. Reliving those corners and apex’s, remembering lines, the road. Constantly rethinking their posture, their tricks, their style. An obsessive addiction to that warm resounding feeling of rolling. True skateboarders are dreamers, romantics. Choosing to live their lives amongst their thoughts, and on the road, casting the feelings of fear and pain to the wind. The Zen of the shred, and the effects of residual stoke.
A proper thanks to Nic Escamilla for his photo assistance on the shot of me. And to all the subjects who helped me out on this project.
You guys shred.
Now go skate.