The Bizarre World Of Skate Etiquette: An Essential Guide
Let’s verbalize the unspoken rules, norms and behaviors existing in skate culture. While these seem obvious and essential to skaters, they may seem foreign or unnecessary to non-skaters. Brace yourself as we explore what it means to be a refined and courteous skater, as opposed to our good friend Steve Buscemi (bless his soul).
Mall Grabbing, Snaking, and Messing With Obstacles
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of skate culture, it is worth tackling the usual suspects of skateboard etiquette you’ve likely heard before: mall grabbing, snaking, and messing with obstacles.
Though I have nothing against mall-grabbers I personally wouldn’t do it. Holding a board by its trucks may cause metallic-smelling hands, rip pants with grip tape, and skaters labeling you a poser. Holding the board by the deck (preferably with grip tape facing away from clothes) is recommended.
Then there is snaking, the skateboard equivalent to cutting in line - just as rude. Situational awareness is a must in skate parks.
Finally, there is messing with obstacles (unsolicited over-waxing, sitting on ledges etc.): all big no no’s (more detail on angering skaters at the skate park here). Now that we have the main ones covered, let’s have a look at some more discrete skating phenomena.
If you’ve witnessed skate culture before you will likely have noted its friendly and uplifting nature. Whether they are there for a release, to improve, to hang out with friends, finally land that one trick - whatever the reason - skaters will always hype each other up. It is not uncommon for skaters you don’t know to celebrate you landing your trick if you’ve been going at it for a while.
There are two ways skaters commonly do this. The first, tapping the ground with the nose of their board, as seen in this gif. This is a skater's version of clapping. The second, grabbing the board and tapping the wheels on the ground (generally at a slower rate).
This is a skater's version of a standing ovation. These celebrations really encapsulate the motivating and life-affirming spirit of skateboarding. Still, there will always be bad apples, bringing me to my next point.
Don't Be A Douche
From my experience this is a small minority, but arrogant and overly impatient skaters do exist. It’s understandable, skating can be frustrating, but letting it out on others just ain’t right. Some skaters throw their boards in anger when failing to land a trick, or yell at beginners who may accidentally get in the way.
This applies in and out of skating: have some patience. Your frustration does not have to affect others. Don’t ruin the friendly and supportive atmosphere upheld at the skate park.
Just as people yell “ball” when one rolls into a football game, you yell “board” when your skateboard skids out of control at the skate park - same deal. This avoids crashes and potential injuries.
Skate Or Die!
The final rule is the one skaters hold above all others. It is taken extremely seriously in the skateboarding world: skate or die.
Whatever you do, have fun skating, ripping, pushing, rolling, zooming, gapping, grinding, dropping in and shredding away – because that’s what skating’s for!
Speed on over to the DOSE store to get your hands on some shirts and hoodies.
FOLLOW DOSE ON INSTAGRAM @DOSESKATEBOARDING