“Finland’s Finntastic Response To World Skate” by Dave Carnie via Transworld Skateboarding

“Finland’s Finntastic Response To World Skate” by Dave Carnie via Transworld Skateboarding

Finland’s Finntastic Response To World Skate January 9, 2020 By Dave Carnie The Finnish Skateboarding Association found a clever way to repel the roller derby junta’s invasion of their country’s skate scene. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) resolved the conflict between the International Skateboard Federation (ISF) and Rollersports regarding who would be skateboarding’s official international governing body by combining the two disparate organizations into one now known as World Skate. The compromise reached was that Olympic Skateboarding would be handled 50/50: ISF, the skateboarding contingent (comprised of core members of the skateboard industry and helmed by Woodward’s Gary Ream), would handle everything that involves skateboarding, from running the contests, to course design, to drawing up rules, etc., while the Rollersports people would handle the logistics and the “business” of Olympic Skateboarding. As I expected, that is not how things are playing out. For one, World Skate is helmed by members of the former Rollersports organization, a group dedicated to roller skating and rollerblading. Skateboarding is merely one of many disciplines under the World Skate umbrella. While Skateboarding is governed by respected members of the skateboard community, it is still, ultimately, only a division of World Skate. The former Rollersports officials have shown both in attitude and action thus far that they very much intend to assert their dominance over their new Skateboarding division and milk it for all its worth because it’s the first time they’ve “owned” anything worthy of being called an Olympic sport. As one anonymous source told me, “World Skate is the worst organization I’ve ever experienced. Coupled with arrogance and inexperience, they believe they are the best...
“Danny Way Talks Olympics and Absence Of The Mega” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

“Danny Way Talks Olympics and Absence Of The Mega” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

Danny Way Talks Olympics And Absence Of The Mega December 20, 2019 By Mackenzie Eisenhour  This is part 3 of my ongoing conversations about the upcoming Olympics (Read Part 1 with Josh Friedberg here and Part 2 with Tony Hawk here). Skateboarding being in the Olympics is a funny thing. Everybody has an opinion on something that has never happened. I would chalk that up to how much each and every one of us loves skateboarding as it is—pre-Olympics—and our fears, real or imagined that being a part of the biggest sports event on the planet might change that. For this installment, I checked in with Danny Way—on the eve of him celebrating 30 years of professional skateboarding—to get his two cents on how he thinks Tokyo 2020 will affect the broader culture and specifically the counterculture of skateboarding. I also asked him—as arguably the founder of the Mega Ramp—what his response was to the absence of one at Tokyo next year. And finally, as a company owner (of Plan B and with deep ties to DC Shoes) I wanted to know how Way felt about Nike’s outsized role next year dressing the skaters from Team USA and beyond. Here were his responses. Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Danny at the Great Wall of China, 2005. What are your thoughts on skateboarding joining the Olympics in general? You know, It’s cool that skateboarding has gotten that validation—that it has matured to that level. It’s cool to see—it’s been around for a long time and it’s paid a lot of dues to sort of get to this point of mainstream recognition and finally being accepted. On...
“Meet the USA Skateboarding National Team That May (Or May Not) Go To The Olympics” by Dave Carnie in Transworld Skateboarding

“Meet the USA Skateboarding National Team That May (Or May Not) Go To The Olympics” by Dave Carnie in Transworld Skateboarding

October 28, 2019 By Dave Carnie You may have heard that the 2019-2020 USA National Skateboard Championships were held last weekend (10/18) at the California Skateparks Training Facility (CA|TF) in Vista, CA, and that USA Skateboarding (USAS, or “Us Ass” as I like to call it) announced the USA Skateboarding National Team roster. Or, if you’re like me, you did not hear that. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Though the event was not a secret, not many people knew about it—including (allegedly) some of the National t=Team riders themselves who only learned about it the week of. This is probably because information about Olympic skateboarding has been difficult to obtain and what is available is rather confusing to understand. To use a sports term (since skateboarding is apparently a sport now), Olympic skateboarding is very “inside baseball” at the moment and it’s causing concern and dismay around the skateboard community. What is going on? First, I understand that there’s been some mismanagement, some differences of opinion, communication issues, there might even have been some diarrhea involved (?), etc., but I think for the most part the confusion surrounding Olympic skateboarding can be attributed to the same woes a new restaurant faces when it opens: everything is new, no one knows what they’re doing, and the staff is trying to work out the kinks as they go. I trust they’ll get it sorted out soon, but if I were to write a Yelp review about USAS’ new “restaurant” right now it would be a complaint about the lack of information. For instance, USAS announced their new national skateboard team on Sunday, but...
“Tony Hawk On Why The Olympics Snubbed Vert” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

“Tony Hawk On Why The Olympics Snubbed Vert” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

Traditional vert is dead, at least to the Olympics. As detailed in our Olympics: Fact From Fiction article last month, neither vert nor mega ramp will be represented in Tokyo next year. Instead, the two ‘disciplines’ will be “park” and “street.” The reasons behind the decision — participation rates, accessibility, gender equity — are well intentioned, but the decision itself still probably came as a bit of a shock to the world’s vert skaters. And it will have far-reaching ramifications, considering that the 2020 Olympic Summer Games will almost certainly generate the largest global television audience skateboarding has ever seen. The traditional vert ramp was the cornerstone around which the ‘80s NSA contest circuit (and later the ‘90s/’00s X Games model) was built. The vert ramp was (and is) the backdrop for the cutting edge of progressive aerial tricks and vertical NBDs— Tony Hawk’s 900 in ‘99 being the most famous. Meanwhile, love it or hate it, mega ramp seemed like the obvious choice for the mainstreamest of mainstream crowds with it’s big air “wow factor.” Having been the poster child for vert skateboarding since his teens, and as skateboarding’s biggest ambassador for almost four decades, you might think Tony Hawk has an opinion about all of this. You’d be right. What are your thoughts on skating’s Olympic debut? You have said that the Olympics needs skateboarding more than we need them; do you still think that’s true?  Yes. Skateboarding is already more popular (in terms of participation and/or industry size) than many of the Olympic sports. We have established skating as something kids choose to do as readily as almost any other...
“Cutting Through the Noise Around Skateboarding’s 2020 Olympic Debut: Qualifying? Judging criteria? Uniforms? Drug tests? What exactly is going on?” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

“Cutting Through the Noise Around Skateboarding’s 2020 Olympic Debut: Qualifying? Judging criteria? Uniforms? Drug tests? What exactly is going on?” by Mackenzie Eisenhour via Transworld Skateboarding

The spectrum of responses to skateboarding’s debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo range from “I can’t wait to see Nyjah on a Wheaties box!” to “Focus my board, all hope is lost.” Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it’s likely you’re still plenty confused about even the most basic details surrounding the most hyped Olympic addition since snowboarding was added in 1998. I know I was. To separate the facts from some common fictions and misconceptions, I talked to Josh Friedberg, the CEO of Team USA Skateboarding and Skate Director at World Skate (the International Olympic Committee-recognized federation that governs skateboarding competitions and organizes the sport’s World Championships). Skateboarders everywhere already have an opinion about Tokyo 2020; Hopefully Friedberg’s insight into how this whole thing will actually work helps us all have an informed opinion too. 1) Fact or Fiction? Skateboarding will be represented in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics via Mega Ramp, Vert, Park and Street disciplines. Verdict: Fiction Fact: Park and Street will be the only two disciplines. Josh Friedberg: “The main driver of the choice of disciplines was gender equity. Outside of Park and Street there are not enough females competing in Mega Ramp and Vert right now to represent enough countries with both men and women.” 2) Fact or Fiction? The US skate team has been announced and everyone on that list will be heading to Tokyo. Verdict: Fiction Fact: USA’s national team has been announced, but that doesn’t automatically qualify those skaters for the Olympics. JF: “Any country can name a national team that they will support through the national governing body (in our case that’s USA...