A Review of Hospitality in Skateboarding
How well a city treats a skateboarder visiting from out of town is often a function of that skater’s level of talent. This is hard to deny. The true value of a city’s embrace of out of town skaters should be based on its treatment of untalented skateboarders, but facts are facts.
The majority of us skaters aren’t all that great at this thing, and that is more than okay. Skateboarding is one of a few activities where as long as you get the fundamental concept down pat (i.e. pushing!) you’re able to join in without impeding the enjoyment of others. I could go out for a day of skating with Guy Mariano and we’d both have a blast… regardless of the massive difference in skill between us both. The same cannot be said if I were to go out for a day of golf with Tiger Woods. I have a feeling I’d bum Mr.Woods out a tad with my lack of talent in the golf department.
There are several cities where an intricate equation of variables determines how you will be treated as a skateboarder. Do you have a nice nollie heel? Are you sporting some fresh, "on trend" gear? Do you get flowed shoes from time to time? Even if you know someone who gets flowed shoes from time to time…get ready to have the red carpet rolled out for the duration of your stay!
At the same time, there are also cities that do not care as much about these factors. Long live these cities! I’m talking about the cities where the skate community looks forward to showing out-of-towners everything that they have to offer to ensure that they have a good time. It’s a sign of great hospitality if a community shows love to a visiting skater who’s sporting some Air Walks or who hasn’t even heard of “Blessed” before. Yes, good skating is impressive and awesome to see… but it shouldn’t be one’s “key” to unlocking what a city has to offer. Simply being a skater should always be enough for that.