What Is The Next Olympic Action Sport?

5 01 2012

With all the talk of the FIS taking the reins on the Olympic slopestyle qualifications lately, and the fact that Shaun White says his next real focus will be to get skateboarding in the games I have been doing a lot of thinking on the topic of action sports in the world’s largest mainstream sporting event.

What are the chances Shaun succeeds in bringing the shred to the Olympics yet again?  If he does, what will it look like?  And finally what impact will this have on another of the sports we love so much?

To answer the first question, in a word I’d say yes.  I truly believe that thanks to the success of the winter sports as well as the recent addition of BMX to the games there is a very good chance that in the near-ish future we could see skate make an appearance alongside the other Olympic exercises.  The reasons why I believe this are plenty but in the interest of holding your interest I will try keep it to a few.

For starters the Olympics is trying so hard to be cool that there really is no telling what lengths they will go to in order to modernize the games.  With that being said let’s look at some of the criteria in place to get a sport included.

The IOC states that for inclusion “A sport first has to be recognized: it must be administered by an International Federation which ensures that the sport’s activities follow the Olympic Charter. If it is widely practiced around the world and meets a number of criteria established by the IOC session, a recognized sport may be added to the Olympic programme on the recommendation of the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission.”

Of those criteria I fail to see one that isn’t already in place, with the obvious exception of it not being recommended to the IOC itself, but that part is relatively easy.

The sport has mass appeal worldwide, has millions of participants and can be done in more locations than nearly any other sport.  Add to that the fact that all you need for a venue in the case of White’s version is a single ramp, able to be constructed in any pre-existing Olympic-ready building.  So I think there is a solid case to be made for it as an easy fit.  As for the other form of the sport…

…On to the next issue.

What form would “Olympic Skateboarding” take, and here is my thought is that.  Any Olympic version of a sport seems to be the least threatening version possible.  By that of course I mean the IOC charter speaks in volume about fair play, sportsmanship and a bunch of other things that make the street skating side of the sport a little scary at first glance.  Halfpipe skating however, has the ability to transform itself into this clean cut account of the sport, where there is no need to be raw, and rough and get kicked out of your “venue” by the cops.  Ramp skating can be seen as Danny Way’s monumental leap in China, or Mitchie Busco, potentially the cutest little nug of a skater ever hucking a 900 and being praised by the elders of the sport.  So I think that if and when skate gets in, halfpipe will be the tip of the sword.

Ending off this rant, I’d just like to talk a little about “What impact this might have on skate, and the other ‘alternative sports’”.  This is where I feel like it gets tricky.  Look at the effect that snowboarding in the Olympics had on the sport as a whole; they decided to put racing in the Olympics years back and the concept of a stiff, ski-style boot still makes some people (including myself) a little nauseous.  Then look at what happened when a snowboarder was caught smoking weed (not inhaling, or whatever) great for the public image of the sport that’s for sure.

Action sports are forced to fight for respect and media attention every day, but in the same breathe I don’t know if altering our image to fit the mold of the perfect aspirational athletes is the way to get it either.

Outside of that, think of the impact it has on people inside the sport, who live it, and don’t want to see something they love taken from them and tainted for the sake of fitting in.  Terje’s Olympic boycott, and the current issues facing slopestyle are shining examples of that, and it is a solid truth that if we don’t send the best in the sport, no one wins.

So what I am saying with all of this is that the chances of skateboarding, and eventually a host of other action sports cracking the list of events in humanity’s oldest sporting festival are pretty good.  But whether or not that is what’s best for the sports themselves, or the athletes who perform them remains to be seen.

As always, thanks for listening,

-t

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Mike Mo Goes : Off Lakai

17 10 2011

In news that was made official over the weekend, Mike Mo Capaldi is has parted ways with long time sponsor Lakai Limited Footwear.  New shoe deals haven’t exactly been rare recently, as Chris Cole, Mikey Taylor both hooked up with DC and Chaz Ortiz is still walking around in different shoes every day.

With the new money that is being pushed into the sport, no one can blame skaters for looking for greener pastures elsewhere, and the one real question is where is he going to end up when the dust settles.

Given the new direction of a few brands in skate, namely Adidas, Nike and DC my money is on one of the three, probably DC being as they have been pulling out all the stops to bolster their team.  Rumor has it they even offered him a million bucks in a deal similar to Cole’s

I won’t speculate any further because everyone hates that.  But I will do this; check out the poll below and tell us where YOU think he will sign.  Feel free to comment on why you are making your pick.  Or tell us on FACEBOOK, that’s even cooler!





Shaun White Is Officially A Company

9 10 2011

Over the weekend it was announced that Shaun White has a new business venture.  It’s called Shaun White Supply Company and the aim is to bring you the best skateboards, bikes, stunt scooter, helmets, ramps and handrails at a price point the even the average weekend sender can afford.  According to a company called D6 Sports, who will be working alongside SWSC the products are put through their paces by not only Shaun, but a team of athletes and testers who ensure that the products can perform at a professional level as well as hit retail with a decent price tag.

Now I know what you are all probably thinking (or at least the majority), this is another lame project by Shaun White, the king of commercial action sports to boost sales at Target and put his name on as much merch as Gene Simmons.  I was one of the I’m assuming many people who thought this, then I thought about it, and then thought about it some more.  Then I realized, this is something action sports NEEDS.  Look at what Wayne Gretzky did for the popularity of hockey in out of market areas, or what Ichiro did to bridge the gap for Japanese baseball players in America.

Someone needs to be that trail-blazer who is willing to be a little too mainstream for the hardcore, in order to help our industry grow.  I think Shawn is the perfect man for the job as well.  He clearly loves the spotlight, he can sell better then most real estate agents and he has a face that is identifiable in every home in the world, which few others can say.  Look at another great example of this; Tony Hawk.

I’m sure you have gone over to a buddy’s house and played one of Hawk’s games on their console, even though they may not have owned a skateboard.  If you disagree, then here is a stat to back it up:  The Tony Hawk video game franchise has grossed over a billion dollars in worldwide sales.  I think just a few people outside of skate may have bought the game.

And yes, getting back to the original point to SW based products, I did say “stunt-scooters”, but I know there are a ton of parents out there who are more than happy to let their child get the hang of skateboard, by using one that has a handle on it.  So this idea is not all that bad, in fact, I believe that the Shaun White Supply Co. is going to do the culture of action sports a world of good.

And I guess we will find out, as the picture above states, we will be able to check out the product launch at this weekends Dew Tour Championships in Vegas.

 

-t





Boardworld Girls Magazine : By Girls, For Girls

4 10 2011

Last week the launch of a new girls magazine was announced.  It’s called BWG (Boardworld Girls) and it is based on art, fashion, music, and action sports for the fairer sex.  I was originally drawn to this site, because chicks are awesome and looking at them is fun, then I realized it is one of the most well thought out, well put together sites I have come across in a while.

Everything is done cleanly, tastefully and decidedly feminine, which even if you are a dude, isn’t the worst thing in the world.  I was excited to be watching good videos and reading good content in a format that was soft, easy to follow and didn’t use bro for every second word; don’t expect me to stop doing that anytime soon, bro.  The site has features, videos, photos and blog and style sections that rival ANY lifestyle magazine out there.

Girls are beautiful, talented and creative which gives them at least one leg up on us hairy, sailor-mouthed, talented and creative dudes.  So do yourself a favor and check out BWGMAG.COM and show some love to the ladies pushing the envelope in our industry.  You can also check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Oh yeah, and they are Canadian!

-t





Flippy Thing On A Rolly Board

3 10 2011

Backflips on skateboards have been done plenty of times before.  But the thought of being able to find a street spot suitable for the trick may have seemed a little out there until now.  SBC Skate magazine posted a video of a while back of young Derrick Timoshenko accomplishing just that feat, no ramp involved.  The trick was done using only a parking barricade with a slight lip to allow him to actually ride up it.

The flip happened this summer, and then SBC released the footage a while back.  Our boy Josh Worsfold found it and passed it on to me, and now here it is for your viewing pleasure.

 

-t





Streetjesus Gets Ambitious

1 10 2011

Even though as of right now the “Team” has hit a bump in the road, that definitely doesn’t mean that the followers for all things shred aren’t out there killing it as per usual.  Our boys Austin and Mitch aren’t just assassins on the rolly boards, but they do pretty good on the wheel-less boards too.

They both proudly rip for Ambition Snowskates, a real sponsor and they were busy stacking footy all season for the latest product entitled “Skrill Clinton”.  Snowskating has always had a place in the heart of Jesus, because it’s really cool and definitely not as easy as it looks.  I have tried a few times, and if I’m an 8 out of 10 on the shitty skater scale, I am an 11 on the snowskate side.

On the plus side, there are these kids, who make me feel like the world is a better place when I watch them do their thing.  Congrats to Alex, Nick, David Engerer, Zack Alworden, Chancellor Huguey, Justin Majeczky, Dom Blanchette, Roby Provost, Steven Socknaki, S-P Goulet, Nick Stefani, Taras Ryabokon, Josh Seguin, Bjorn R-G, COSD, Phil Moreau, Mitch Serbu, Austin Welter, Phil Smage and Alan Gerlach on an amazing video.  Here is to another great year in 2012.

Check them out at Ambition Snowskates





Sunset Rampage 2

29 09 2011

Skateboarder Magazine along with Gravis, Analog and with help from Red Bull recently took over Sunset Blvd. in LA. There was a ramp set up at the Standard Hotel, which is really awesome on it’s own, but add to that an extremely high level of skateboarding and a few hesher kids, and things are just straight up great.

As a side note I feel like I have to mention that my little buddy Curren Caples absolutely slayed as per the norm. Yeah dude!

-t








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