Who’s the Fairest Skater of Them All?

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The New Yorker‘s James Guida comments on Transworld Skateboarding‘s 30th anniversary interviews with skating legends from across skateboarding’s long history.

Guida sees the project as a kind of oral history, one that chronicles skaters of all walks and ages and illuminates skateboarding as an evolving culture and sport often at odds with mainstream culture. In order to explain the paradigm shift that occurred between skating’s original surf-inspired stylings and the things that are done on a skateboard now, Guida examines the birth of street skating.  The shift to the street also prompted an all important change in skating’s identity; creativity in one’s approach to terrain and architecture all the sudden became the name of the game. And so Guida praises one of street skating’s main pioneers, Mark Gonzalez, as the most influential skate of all time: “His genius is both complex and simple: it entails doing tricks that are damnably hard—sometimes difficult merely to conceptualize—while making being on a board look like the greatest fun. Watching Gonz skate is to be reminded that the basic essence of the sport is a novel act of the imagination.”


Graham Todd is an intern at The Rumpus. He spends his mornings writing post-apocalyptic, vaguely biblical sci-fi horror comedy, his evenings tutoring the wide-eyed youth of the Palo Alto area, and his Thursdays at The Rumpus office, effectively “off the streets”. Beyond this weekly ritual, he enjoys karaoke, the movies, and jogging. More from this author →