Marc Doiron has got to be one of Ottawa’s most impressive skateboarders. Along with his lovely wife Lori, Marc owns 2 of the city’s finest restaurants, Town and Citizen. The food at either of these establishments is only outdone by the beautiful atmosphere, accentuated with friendly service and amazing decors. The couple have done so much for our local skate scene, from facilitating the fundraising of our local skatepark, to hosting plenty of skate related events. Most importantly, both restaurants have hired dozens of Ottawa skaters. At one point, popping into the kitchen at these restaurants was like taking a stroll through Charlie park itself.
It was a pleasure to pick Marc’s brain about the evolution of skateboarding. To study the past of skateboarding is to understand how it stands currently.
What year did you start skateboarding?
I started skateboarding in ’84 in Ottawa…Orleans to be specific. I was 13 or 14 years old.
What has changed in skateboard culture the most since then?
A lot has changed….so much has changed. With regards to the actual act of skateboarding, the first thing that comes to mind is consistency. Skaters are way more consistent now than they’ve ever been, especially with technical tricks. I started skating at a point where the ollie was just starting to be a thing. I’m familiar with the days where any “air” you would get would need to be facilitated by a ramp, and most likely by “early” grabbing your board. When kickflips started coming around, a good skater would do one out of every 50 tries. Among my friends, nobody had them on lock.
How did skateboarding evolve as an activity from the 80s to the 90s?
My first decade of skateboarding was definitely all about getting vertical. Whether is was about jumping off a ramp and seeing how high you can go, or putting a ramp against a wall and doing wallrides. It was way less technical. It was all about getting higher and higher.
That sounds to me like a totally different concept in comparison to modern day skateboarding.
Not necessarily! Look at someone like Pedro Barros for example. He’s someone who’s obviously trying to get as high in the air as he possibly can.
…with super technical tricks too!
Thats the thing! The first part of the evolution of skateboarding was all abut height. The second part, moving into the 90s, was all about an emphasis on technical ability in the streets. Modern day skateboarding seems to be a combination of both concepts.
That makes sense.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but if you ask me, basically every possible technical trick combination was done in the 90s. Were the tricks done well? Not always, no! Definitely not. But as far as reaching the peak of accomplishing all of the tricks possible on a skateboard..that was essentially accomplished. Skateboarding has come a long way and will be like baseball or anything else at some point…where you’re just a fan of the activity and how things are done rather than focusing purely on the progression of the activity. I am a fan of skateboarding. I watch tons of skateboarding everyday!
Interesting point! I hope it’s not lost on young skaters the fact that we are witnessing the evolution of skateboarding before our very eyes. It’s not like skating is 200 years old and we have to read about the pioneers in history books. It’s about 45 years old or so! Plenty of skateboarding’s pioneers are still alive today!
I think the younger generation of skaters are interested in skateboarding history and actually do appreciate it. I think that’s so cool, especially because I didn’t have any skateboarding history to appreciate at all when I was younger.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Marc!