Book description: A modern interpretation of the original Tao Te Ching. The meter has been preserved to its original intent, while the subject matter is about skateboarders and non-skateboarders instead of merchants and farmers. May this bring peace, empathy, compassion, and stoke to all who hear it.
Short excerpt from Verse 2: Relative
“We know style because there is stinkbug.
We know good skateboarding by how it feels.
We know bad skateboarding by how it looks.
Being hurt and not being hurt,
create each other.
Difficult and easy,
long and short,
define each other.
Just as push and roll follow each other.”
Short excerpt from Verse 15: Know Your History
“During the steel wheel era
skaters knew their board
through subtlety and grace.
Because this is so foreign to us,
we can only describe
their skating with great effort.
cautious to look for any crash inducing crack.
Wary of any size pebble that would end in pain,
dignified like golfers
yielding like rotten wood
innocent as a brand new board
open like an empty skatepark
turning freely like broke-in trucks.
But today, who can wait
for their trucks to break in?”
BRA Book Review
Both the Author (Ari Evan Gold) and I have known each other and skateboarded together many times over the past 30 odd years starting way back in the early 90s in Tampa. A few months ago, I noticed a post on Linked-In that contained a link to The Tao of Skateboarding on Audible so I communicated with him about his writing and his skateboarding as well as what he has been doing in business. Not long after that, he sent me an autographed copy of this remarkable little book as well as his first novel Trim Kamp.
What I really like about The Tao of Skateboarding is that it is an easy read or listen and the content fully enables the reader to reflect on skateboarding as an art or even a martial art. While the book is segmented into 20 very short verses (each less than a page and a half), the format and carefully chosen words can really provoke thought in one who chooses to allow that.
What I did not really like was the blank page and excess space between Verses and feel like the author could have filled a few of those blank pages with a variety of complementary images by one or more skate artists that would help the reader to better grasp and contemplate on the words. I suppose the need for such images would be lower for those that have a greater imagination and minds eye than me. I am reading a lot of children’s books to my three year old daughter these days so perhaps that is why I am more reliant on the pictures.
My overall impression is that despite the lack of illustrations, the majority of content including the specific wording and format style was well crafted and thought provoking. I have loved skateboarding since I started pushing back in 1984 and feel it is refreshing to be able to have a resource like this little book where I can reflect on skateboarding internally in a variety of ways then manifest it physically like a martial art.
I would highly recommend any shop owners listen to or read then if you like it like I did, order copies of The Tao of Skateboarding for your skateboarding customers and staff.
– Doug Works, Executive Director of Board Retailers Association
About The Author
Ari Evan Gold has been a lifelong skateboarder for over 30 years. He has studied chi gong with Grandmaster FuWei Zhong, Kung Fu with Grandmaster Greg Yau of the IP Man lineage and has been a student of Lao Tzu since he was a boy. He has been a published columnist and a feature writer for Snowboarder Magazine, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Business, SG Magazine, Concussion Magazine, The Tahoe World, Lemonade Magazine and many others. His first novel is also available, it is called Trim Kamp.
Links to other BRA Book Reviews:
If you would like to recommend any boarding related or other relevant and resourceful books for Doug to review, email him at email@example.com
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form