SK8 FAQ // 11.1

Being a skateboarder can be confusing. There seems to be a series of unwritten rules that govern the correct way to “be” a skater. To help clear some things up, we’ve compiled a thorough guide to common questions. —Cole Nowicki

Q: Is pushing mongo wrong?

A: It’s a little unsightly and impractical, but no. (If you switch-mongo like JB Gillet, it can be a thing of beauty.)

Q: Does it matter what gear—like shoes, pants and shit—I wear when I skate?

A: Nah, but be aware of what works. Heelies might not be a better choice than Vans.

Q: Am I a kook if I wear a helmet when I skate?

A: Nope. If that’s what makes you feel comfortable while skating, do you.

Q: Am I a kook if I wear earphones when I skate?

A: If you’re with a crew of people, it can be rude and it looks pretty brutal in footage. But if you’ve really got to listen to your jams, go for it, I guess.

Q: Do I have to be listening to Dinosaur Jr.?

A: No.

Q: People keep getting mad at me when I spread whole candle worths of wax onto ledges. What’s up with that?

A: Well, you’re making the ledge incredibly slick and sketchy for everyone. Just check in with the folks you’re skating with before coating the spot next time. It’s a common courtesy.

Q: Is it okay if I…

A: You won’t make any friends by snaking people. Just be patient, you’re turn will come soon enough.

Q: I’m not that good at skating—am I just in the way when I’m at the park/spot and it’s busy?

A: As long as you’re aware of the lines at the park/spot, and you aren’t snaking people or being an ass, you’re good.

Q: What if security is kicking us out of a spot, should we fight with them?

A: You’re talking about causing trouble for someone just trying to do their job? Someone likely only making minimum wage? No. Don’t be an ass.

Q: Yeah, but what if they’re being assholes first? And man, I gotta get my trick!

A: They might be, but wallowing in the mud with them isn’t good for either party. Just leave. Come back when they’re closed.

Q: Yo, a bunch of girl skaters just got to the park/spot. What do we do?

A: Say hello. Treat them like human beings. Don’t be creepy.

Q: I’ve been using homophobic slurs when talking shit to my friends or when describing something I think is whack. Is that cool?

A: No dude! C’mon. You can just say “whack.” It’s 2019. Learn how to use different, hate-free language.

Q: But I’ve been calling things “gay” since I was a kid! I don’t mean it like that.

A: Yeah, and it wasn’t right then. The words you use have an effect on people, whether that’s your intention or not. It’s time we be accountable, learn, grow and change.

Q: You’re being totally—

A: Hey. This is a teachable moment. Learn and move on.

Q: Fine. Alright. I was just wondering about one last thing: is there a right way to skate?

A: What do you mean?

Q: Like, tricks. Are there “correct” tricks to do, or whatever?

A: Everyone’s tastes are different, but no.

Q: Cool. Okay. Thanks.

A: No worries. Have fun out there.

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