by Matt Cantor
Have you ever had one of those days of skating that you'll end up remembering years after it happened? I know that there are a lot of you that haven't been skating for much more then a year, but I'm sure that you know what I'm talking about. There will just be one of those days where your board feels more like YOUR board then any other day, when you feel that little bit of magic under your feet that wasn't showing itself so much just the day before. And believe me, there is no use in trying to figure out what it was exactly that made you have that day where you just felt like you were "on it." It's going to be a different thing every time.
Skate or die,
Maybe one day it was hearing a new song that summed up everything about what you feel for life in general, and just having that piece of music going around and around in your head was enough for your mind and body to meet at a place where your skateboard could be controlled and created in just the right way, and all was good in those wonderful hours. Maybe a crooks never felt so right on that day. Maybe that flip trick that always missed in a game of S.K.A.T.E. suddenly became easily within your reach. It's crazy to think that it's just the difference of your mind being happy enough about something to set the rest of you free - free enough to understand skateboarding. That is no small statement. To be able to understand it, and then, to really feel it…to feel your own version of it, where there is the understanding that this is how you would have it come out, according to you, and your style.
I had a good day of skating today and I wasn't even planning on having that much of a skating day today. I think that's the best part because it was kind of spontaneous. I was up in my loft office going over some paper work, (just picture something really boring, something that would make you fall asleep in class) and for some reason I looked up from my computer screen, out the window, just in time to see Forrest Kirby finishing up a switch nose manual across the long box out in the park. After popping out proper-like, he looked up and gave me a "yo fool, come skate" type of look.
Needless to say, the computer became fairly lonely for the next couple of hours and my skateboard received all the company that it could handle. There was a good group of friends at the park, both new and old, and the session was on instantly. Forrest brought over Chany from Expedition (I'm sorry, but i'm not even going to attempt to spell this guy's last name...Swedish is not English.), Felix Arguelles, and one of my all time favorites, Mr. Stefan Janowski.
I really like skating with people who can laugh at their mistakes, and shrug off even their most bangin' tricks like it was on accident that they landed the illest $h!t to hit the pyramid...ever.
When it's chill like that, it makes me feel like I can really try, because weather I land it perfect or I slam like no tomorrow, at least I know that everyone that I'm skating with is going to get the same laugh out of it.
Either way, it was fun skating with those dudes. They're all SOOOOO good that it just makes you want to skate even more - it's like living in your favorite video. That's the best that I can explain it. Everyone is just dropping tricks and when it’s your turn to go, you just want to keep the momentum going - you want to throw your own two cents in the mix. Of course, some people throw in like, ten bucks at a time, like when Stefan switch backside flipped the pyramid out of nowhere, with ill steez. Watching him skate is like seeing someone with superior vision, like life comes to him at like 100 frames a second. He can just be so chill on his board because he sees everything in slow motion, so it's easy to land with a proper revert in a gangster lean.
The same can be said for Forrest. With him, you can just tell that he's got his own little world going on inside his head, complete with its own sound track and everything. Every trick is just chiiiiiiill...and the tricks are iiiiiiiilllll. I'll sum it up with switch front nosegrind across the long box to fakie flip out. Don't ask why. Ride or die. There is no try.
I'm telling all of you about this stuff not to simply spread gossip, or whateves. It ain’t about none of that. It's about making sure that everyone understands that there is so much potential within every moment that you are on your skateboard. It only takes that one instant where you aren't afraid, but you are focused on your own desire to understand this thing that has become a part of your life. And the next thing you know, you're watching yourself do something that you never thought YOU would be able to do. And maybe you are rolling away from something wondering what it was that you were really afraid of in the first place. Those are some of the best moments.
So this week, think about the stuff that you see yourself doing...the stuff that will make you feel like you are really skating.
Whether it's going down the big roll-in for the first time or finally understanding the secret to switch flip back tails, think about what it is that you want to accomplish…the thing that will make you feel like you've truly connected with your board. Spend a day or two thinking about it. I bet by the time you are there, in the moment where you can really connect, it'll simply be a matter of plugging in.