Silent on the approach, hurtful to the eye, behold the Neanderthal plank with wheels, Fred Flintstone, bare foot pushing mongo down the street as if progression and evolution had never taken place. Devoid of lush aesthetic flowings, rushing to his mates house to tell him how he had just rubbed two sticks together and made fire.
This story begins down south. Student town Dunedin, I would say this town has the highest number of fish and longboard riders in the country. With smooth tarseal foot paths and roads, flowing hills and some real steep buggers. Dunedin is ideal and due to the smoothness of most surfaces it’s understandable that people can get away with bare feet or jandals. Unlike the NEW! exposed aggregate footpaths of Auckland (nice one Auckland Council! Good to see you’re supporting eco friendly transport.)
Now like most short boarders I take it as my god given right to shit on LongBoarders, but at the end of the day, is Mongboarding really that bad? My main reason being, that they make us real skaters look so damn cool. For example: If a longboarder is stopped at the crossing and you come screaming through and ollie straight over their board and scare the shit out of them while impressing anyone else who is looking on. Often you see them struggling down the street with a sasquatch front leg (mongo) push, stopping at each curb while we just pop straight up and roll on through with a cheeky laugh, a toss of style and a fast easy back foot kick.
So we know we’re good, so why do we hate so hard out on Longboarding? Does our hatred stem from always being grouped together with them? I mean most times you mention that you skate to a civilian there’s a strong chance they will mention something about those guys that longboarded down the Bombay hills!?
These philistines don’t understand the wonder of physics, style and technicality shown in even the smallest tricks these days. We want to be recognised! The unsung heroes of shredding hahahaha….
So us shortboarders (Normalboarders) agree that riding a ‘proper’ board is stylistically the illest shit ever. But…… in saying this, have we made longboarders the new outsiders? Are longboarders the real purists? The essence of how skateboarding began? Are they the new raw dog “I don’t give a damn whats cool” skaters? And the ones that push mongo, are they the new punk rockers? Lets face it, there is nothing that says “I don’t give a F**K” like pushing Mongo. Barefoot is so anti establishment, so anti sweatshop, slave labour, hey Nike!! stick it up your ass.
In this respect, have us “real” skateboarders become the new jocks? Picking on the geeks who are just riding around trying to have a good time and get from A to B?
Longboarders may be the link between skating and your everyday person, maybe these additions to the skateboard community are just what we need to make everyone think it’s all ok. I used to think we didn’t want to be absorbed into society but it’s already happened, while you were sleeping. I hate to be the barer of bad news but the real street skater is all but dead, our city streets are being converted to unfriendly surfaces of super grit sandpaper, giant cracks, blind people bumps and skate stoppers. In order to skate across Auckland these days you need big soft wheels just to keep any sort of speed up. So long boarders may become the new street skaters!! While us short boarders become known as “Park Skaters”. The next evolution of skateboarding awaits us, try and embrace whatever comes next with an open mind.
Broke my jandal.
Photos by Jessie "Chase" Robertson