What is skateboarding, exaclty? In which percent we can consider it is a sport, in which it’s a lifestyle and finally which slice of cake is eaten by fashion? I can’t easily answer to this question: surely is that we can take as statement that in 2010 skateboarding has came back as a mass sport, while there was a middle age for the skating culture that obscured almost the whole nineties – culminating in the 91-93.
Someone defined those years the most obscure era for skateboarding and damned the Steve Rocco domination driven with provocatory acts.
Someone wrote that skateboarding in early nineties was death, all about clothing trend and slo-mo switchstance flat tricks: but hey, if nobody started doin’ switch flips at 10 cm from the ground, who would have nailed ’em later from 10 stairs gaps? They call it a dark period where dissing, gameboy and jeans stance were more important than style and riding.
instead I think – because I began skating right in the early 90s – that it has been a truly creative period, when people who were still skating, for the true love of it.
Back then the SF infamous Embarcadero spot stepped up as the world skateboarding mecca, where the best street skaters were reinventing the sport and there was a true pilgrimage movement with billions kids flyin’ to SF to live the dream.
Skaters like Henry Sanchez, Daewon Song, James Kelch, Chico Brenes and Mike Carrol were skating the spot daily so get there and sitting by the Justin Herman Plaza was like seein’ a skateboard video, but live.
The spotlight were miles away and there was way more less money than now, but so many things were created back then and are still carryin’ on: skateboard brands still push provocatory stuff, and skaters still skate switch and K-grind…well all those things came out from that obscure period.
Last but not least, Steve Rocco can be considered a dirty bastard, but he invented a good percent of what skateboarding is now, skaters included.
To you that maybe in early nineties was still ridin’ diapers, get on skatevideosonline.com and search for this three videos: plan B – Questionable – 1992 / H-Street – Next / Word Industries – Love Child: those three flicks sums it up what it was skateboarding in a so-called obscure era.