Professional skateboarder Chris Cole explains how skaters are trendsetters, innovators, and outside-of-the-box visionaries.
Chris Cole: Your average skateboarder started and got hooked on skateboarding because it was different. Because it was different than the team sports and it allowed a lot of creative freedom. And so your general population of skateboarders are really creative individuals that think a bit outside the box. So when that happens you have their music tastes and their clothing tastes and, they make up words for different things like slang terms. And it becomes really – it becomes a trendsetter.
It really drives something new into the media and it drives something new that people start noticing different musical tastes and music artists. It’s very evident how skateboarding has changed fashion and what people are wearing. Skate shoes have become the norm and, you know, people that are walking around that don’t skate aren’t really – they just don’t know that the paneling on their shoe is made for skating. It’s made because we need support in these certain spots but now that just becomes the look of a shoe.
With the outside of the box thinking these skaters they have an attention to detail whereas it might not have come out in school or it might not have come out in a lot of different ways that people may have thought that, you know, they weren’t bright. When you can break down skateboarding and you can break down these little movements and what would look good and, you know, certain ways they turn in like a line, they’ll turn one way and then turn back the other way because they like the way that that looks. Or the skate filmer will film things so that the skater begins in the left side of the frame, leaves on like the opposite side of the frame and in the next clip in his video part will start the opposite way so that your eyes move during the video. It’s really creative and with that and that attention to detail it goes into every other part of their life that they start to tweak things a little bit and so they start to talk different and they make up slang terms with their friends. But those slang terms end up making it into popular culture and they end up making it into like hip hop songs and things like that.
And then they’re also great at designing. A lot of skateboarders are artists and one of their outlets is a skateboard and the other one is doing art. And then they become popular artists that people don’t know that they actually started in skateboarding and they’ve had like their graphics on boards for a long time. They start to design shoes and they start to design clothing and doing things just differently. It ends up being really refreshing for, you know, the rest of popular culture. Without these creative individuals we’d all be wearing like a uniform in a way.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton