Since the beginning, street skateboarding has been an outlet of expression for those, who for the most part, don’t want to follow the stream into the bear’s mouth. It’s a solo thing, that’s why it appeals to those who shy from organized sports. The guys who have been in it for the long haul will definitely remember the days went it was not accepted, but now with this explosion of worldwide popularity, it’s as mainstream as the fore mentioned salmon.
Now, with all this exposure and profit potential corporate America is drooling all over itself in anticipation of its slice of word, metal and urethane pie. And what does this bring? Contests, duh. America’s a capitalist country, it needs competition, and Americans need to know who is the best. Thus, we have skate contests, which aren’t a bad thing. The guys that don’t like them have the video outlet to go to, and the guys that want to compete have their options.
What’s the point to all this? The contest guys have too many options when it comes to the mega contests. I’m talking about the big guys, “The Fortune 3″: Cole, Sheckler and Rodriguez, they’re skateboarding’s indicators, if you see them at a contest you know there’s some serious coin involved. The problem is they’ve all won different things, so technically we don’t know who the best competitive skateboarder is.
There’s just so many super-contests and no organization: Maloof Money Cup, Dew Tour, X Games and now Drydek’s Skateboarding League. They all have different formats, and if I remember correctly from science class the way to figure something out is to create a control. Sooner or later some of these are going to have to merge. Cole has won Maloof and The Dew Tour Championship, Rodriguez has won Maloof and the X Games, and Sheckler has won the Dew Championship and the X Games. See, not one of them has won the same two.
Skateboarding should take a lesson from surfing on this one. If you want to be the best competitive surfer in the world you join the ASP World Tour. You start on the Qualifying series and work your way up to the main tour. Kelly Slater has won the World Title nine times, he is the best competitive surfer ever. That’s that. Skateboarding’s contest world on the other hand, is like a fire drill in that giant Asian country that’s been all the rage of late.
Chris Cole at the Maloof Money Cup.