A Fragmentary History of Skateboarding Videos – Chapter 11 - No Future

Chapter 11 – No Future 

Fragment 71

“Oh, that felt fucking tasty, I’d like to do it again, you ready?” [0:58]

Fragment 72

“See that? It fucking hurt.” [2:37]

Fragment 73

It’s no coincidence that Geoff Rowley’s part in Flip’s Sorry [2002] begins with two heavy slams. Most of his skating in this part (in others as well, of course) depends on going fast, flying out and jumping onto and off of tall stuff. After a while, the viewer sort of gets used to it. Takes it for granted. Ok, so the guy can do it. The slams at the beginning are like a warning – they set the tone. Anytime you see him land a trick and kind of swerve or skid [4:02] you remember the cost of skating like he does.

Fragment 74

Can we accommodate the two quotes above? Can something hurt and be tasty or somehow enjoyable at the same time? You don’t really need to be into S&M to know the feeling. A little bit of pain can make you feel alive. It awakens the senses and brings your attention to the present moment, clearing your head of all worries and ideas. Not all people can appreciate that, though. Not even all skaters. I know many who will end a session the moment they get hurt, and I’m not talking about getting seriously hurt, of course.

Fragment 75

So yeah, it fucking hurt, but I’d like to do it again. After a slam, after taking a couple of minutes to feel that there’s nothing wrong, when the pain becomes just a fact and not a symptom or sign of anything else, any further complication, it is kind of tasty. The heat in a bruised area or from road rash is a great antidote for anxiety, stress or an overworked mind – it forces you to focus on the senses, and your senses are always here and now, not at the office in tomorrow’s meeting.

Fragment 76

Skating in itself should be like that. Ideally, skating should imply forgetting about deadlines and bills, focusing on the senses (feeling your board, seeing the rail..) and reacting immediately to the surroundings. But it’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to find a comfort zone, to reach a certain level of skill and stop there, which would allow for someone to be skating while thinking of something else. When that happens, slamming is like the skating of skating (feeling your elbow, seeing it swell up...).

Fragment 77

What about all the incredible stuff Rowley does land? Well, of course, it’s there, and it’s awesome in the true sense of the word. But it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the slams and for how Rowley takes them. For Geoff Rowley there is no comfort zone, no thinking of something else while he’s skating, no future? Johnny Rotten did agree to be Sorry’s MC or narrator. God save the Queen.

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