by Donny Williams
Photos by Matthew Vickers
The first time I learned to slide, I realized that hard carves and meager hills bombs would never be the same. My momentary fascination with this new facet of skating sent me on a quest to do the impossible—learn every skateboarding trick to ever exist.
This quest was short-lived. I realized that attempting to catch ‘em all was not plausible. After all, each and every skateboarding trick can’t be standardized into a Pokédex. Like art, tricks can be hard to define. Due to the nature of a trick’s rotations, flips, and human ingenuity in general, one can always make a move a bit more complex. Double rotation, heel flip this time, land on one foot, or juggle all three—Was that switch? As you can see, the possibilities are close to limitless.
Trickology has fascinated me since day one. Yet, I felt as if I lost something along my way to learning many flips and shuv-its. My skating roots lie within the effortless style of my surfing father. We cruised together a lot more before I learned how to bust stand ups and drop in on my mini-ramp. None of that impressed my dad, though. To him, all skateboard tricks amount to is just “jumping up and down on a piece of wood.”
Gosh dad, that’s pretty closed-minded! I thought. But then I recalled the B.T. (Before Tricks) era of my riding career. I rode with a lot more friends before games of S.K.A.T.E got personal and shredding became showing off. Eventually, my pals who weren’t feeling slides and stair-sets began to shy away from weekend skate sessions.
Feeling nostalgic, I hopped back on my Derringer 28 to recapture my love of smooth carves. Taking a few laps around the block on this short pintail with no kicks for tricks reminded me of the old days. It reminded me of pushing with friends to our next destination, way before any of us had cars. Back then, skating was always an adventure. We still raced each other, but winning or losing felt much less competitive. We went out and skated just because we loved to ride together.
These days, I try to make more time for simpler riding with my dad and my friends. Sure, cruising and carving may be easy, but it’s still a lot of fun. So, every now and then, I encourage you to go out for a long, slow ride down your block with your buds. I can’t forget to cruise—I’m almost certain it’s how we all began. And when we’re too old and feeble to pop tricks or slide, it’s all we will have left. Shred on!