Micah-Green-at-Pike’s-Peak

My Excuse: Notes On Not Racing

Micah Green at Pike’s Peak

I really enjoy riding skateboards down hills. I don’t race because I don’t like it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a great fan of skateboard racing. It’s fun to watch and root for my favorite riders, and everyone likes to see someone walk away from a spectacular crash. I just don’t want to do it anymore.

Until recently, downhill skateboarding and racing were the same thing. If you rode downhill, you raced. I was deep into downhill skateboarding, so I went to races and competed, but the racing was never that important to me.

I decided to stop racing earlier this year, after Maryhill. Entry fees and wheels just seemed like a waste of my sponsors’ money when I’m clearly not a competitive racer, and racing is a bad use of my time when I could do more good behind a camera.

While I definitely enjoy skating fast and tight with my friends, riding my skateboard through corners at 50mph is dangerous enough without random strangers trying to pass me in every corner. I don’t want to win badly enough to be willing to crash—I’m more “let’s just have a fun run and make it down in one piece” than “I’d rather crash and get fourth than go through clean and get second.”

Which brings me to the next thing: I don’t like the competition. I was initially attracted to skateboarding because there are no rules and it is fundamentally noncompetitive. You can do whatever you want with the board. Nobody wins or loses. However you want to skate, that’s cool. Style is subjective and being good just means you can do what you want, how you want.

With the exception of the equipment, racing has nothing to do with those things that initially attracted me to skateboarding. It is fundamentally competitive and governed by a set of written rules (those rules are often broken by top riders, who get away with tactics that would disqualify most riders). Success at a high level depends on a willingness to ride aggressively and risk injuring myself and other riders.

My style doesn’t really lend itself to racing. Some folks like to haul maximum ass down every hill they skate. I am not one of them. I’d rather carve and keep my hands up.

Besides, racing is crazy hard now. While I can usually keep up with the good dudes, that certainly doesn’t mean I’m as good as they are. It’s much easier to be a good photographer than a good racer, and the camera gives me a good excuse to hang out.

I still get to travel and skate closed roads with hay—there are more freeride events nowadays and some race organizers will let me skate on the practice days for a reduced entry fee—but I don’t have to stand on the starting line hating my life.





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  1. John Meyers

    HA, max could have made this article a LOT shorter by telling the truth;
    " I don't like to race because I'm not any good and I never win, and nobody takes me seriously."

  2. Sean Kolvenbach

    " I don’t like the competition. I was initially attracted to skateboarding because there are no rules and it is fundamentally noncompetitive. You can do whatever you want with the board. Nobody wins or loses. However you want to skate, that’s cool. Style is subjective and being good just means you can do what you want, how you want " Maxwell Storey Dubler – My feelings exactly, great read man.

  3. Nick Levin

    It's this attitude that makes him a fundamentally better skater than you probably will ever be. Hate all you want, but skating isn't supposed to be competitive at all, it's something the individual develops on their own in their own way. Hating on someone's preference is like hating someone cause they're black or gay or muslim or whatever else isn't a white christian man living in america.

  4. Mikko Biffle

    I've been struggling with this as well and at 60yrs old, maybe I just want the fun and thrill without the extra risk of strangers buzzing me and jankin' me out? Love the clan and going though, so it's a little conflicting. Love your honesty, content and stoke Maxwell Storey Dubler!

  5. Douglas William Fink

    I don’t like the competition. I was initially attracted to skateboarding because there are no rules and it is fundamentally noncompetitive. You can do whatever you want with the board. Nobody wins or loses. However you want to skate, that’s cool. Style is subjective and being good just means you can do what you want, how you want.

  6. Eric Holub

    seriously dude, im not a downhill racer and i ride just for fun, or just to push my riding skills a little bit further, and i totally understand what Max is stating here. truly today longboarding scene has changed a bit into something we never wanted, becoming a sport about money, and not about having a good time. you really need to stay up with all the races, all the preparation, so you dont miss out. i think that longboarders that want to carry on this way as Max wants to, i think its the way how we can keep the sport on the fun level, and not loosing our friends throughout competitions.

  7. Zach White

    I agree I miss the competition of racing but really enjoy just free riding with my bro's more than waiting all day for your race then having a short time to ride. versus riding all day then chill!

  8. Max Wippermann

    I really like how you said "Style is subjective and being good just means you can do what you want, how you want."

    Rock on man, getting the board to do what you want is pure satisfaction. And that's why learning new things is such a rush!

  9. Garrett Dunk Johnston

    Nick Levin yo I'm a Christian and I'm white, yet I don't hate gays or muslims or black people. I totally agree with everything you said except for that last sentence man. I'm not trying to start an argument or even calling you out. Just wanted to let you know that not all Christians are intolerant deusche triggers. I believe there's a right and wrong way to do things but I'm not out there judging everyone. Just thought I'd let you know what's up man. God's Peace.

  10. Till O'Rly

    @John Meyers So who are you? Saw some videos from Max, but don't recogize your name…
    BTW: Yes I'm too fucking slow for racing, but as an noncompetitive person I personally like steep gnarly hills more than that normal racetrack.

  11. Charlie Danger Snyder

    If you skate to win, more power to you. I skate because I love it. Some people just don't care about the competition and want to enjoy the ride.

  12. Charlie Danger Snyder

    Right on, Max. Nail right on the head.

    I've found, more than anything else, racing seems less and less enticing as I get older. I have more fun and enjoy skating more when I'm not worried about what place I'm in.

    And yes…when compared to top racers, I suck something fierce.

  13. James Ware

    i love a good run down an open hill with my good buds any day. but i live for racing, i've always wanted to be faster than everyone else, always wanted to race cars or something aswell, so maybe its just how i get my fix.

  14. Kevin Cecil

    This is by far the best article I've ever read on longboarding! Love this you speak the truth! Freedom is exactly why I got into skateboarding. The values of no competition and freedom of self-expression are what makes skateboarding and longboarding so special. Your attitude and outlook are amazing and I have really liked reading and watching everything you produce! Please don't stop!

  15. Philip Ginn

    I'd like to clarify what it means to be competitive: It's performing the very best you can. Hopefully if everyone performs the very best, they can all be winners. Sliding out into the bails means you just have more to learn.

  16. Maxwell Storey Dubler

    That's cool too. I'm a huge fan of skateboard racing 'cause I get to see dudes going HAAM, laying it all out to go as fast as possible.

  17. Joe Lehm

    At Skate School we teach that Racing goes against the fundamental precepts of skateboarding, which are to put both feet on the board, roll, have fun and smile. Not when to go, when to wait and when to cheat. I applaud Max's take on not racing, and I was there to see him take a run down Pikes Peak Downhill and smile. No question more free rides are the future for downhill skating. Thank you Max!

  18. Timothy William Bogart

    Garrett Dunk Johnston pretty sure he was not pointing out christians in general… it just seems like thats stereo typical american.

  19. Philip L. Maddux

    I to stay away from competition! as a lone wolf i just dont care to much for crowds. i love skating with people, but i need all the room when its my turn! skating was born of freedom. and i must preserve that to stay stoked!

  20. Jonathan Harms

    You're pretty good with using words, too, Max. No matter what you write, it's always clear and to the point. I'm not sure what John Meyers meant by "no one takes [you] seriously." I do.

  21. Sergio Padilla

    I happend to run into a couple cooks in basketball shorts ( Max and his buddy Has) in the malibu hills a couple years back. I had JUST started longboarding and me and my buddy where on our way to venice for pedestrian slallom when saw them hitching up the road, so we gave them a lift, they offered to let us trail them and get some raw footy….to this day i havnt wittnesed anyone go as fast as max we were litterally in awe…shortly after i put my ceviche in the closet and completley realized i want a long board. hah

  22. Sergio Padilla

    doubt He'd remember but, I happen to run into a couple cooks in basketball shorts ( Max and his buddy Has) in the Malibu hills a couple years back. I had JUST started long boarding and me and my buddy where on our way to Venice for pedestrian slalom when saw them hitching up the road, so we gave them a lift, they offered to let us trail them and get some raw footy….to this day i haven't witnessed anyone go as fast as max we were literally in awe…shortly after i put my ceviche in the closet and completely realized i want a long board. hah also, i still have the footage but the skating's distracted by our tourret syndrome style of amazement.

  23. Ty Visser

    Awesome attitude Max, I am notably a terrible downhiller, with barely any skill, a lack of certain fundamentals and I am absolutely terrified of falling/crashing/getting hurt.

    That being said, what drew me to downhill, and into running some outlaw races was the thrill of speed, the chaos of multiple riders on the road and seeing the looks of pure joy on the faces of other new riders as they bombed a new hill. The race itself meant very little to me, it was getting the riders there and spreading that stoke that really made it awesome.


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