Zaturdays With Zitzer: Flip Phone Skateboards Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Zaturdays With Zitzer: Flip Phone Skateboards

Posted on Friday, December 12, 2014 by Paul

How Riding a Shaped Board is Like Using a Flip Phone

I heard the really cool kids are using flip phones again. I should say Fred Van Schie heard it and passed it along. I’m not really buying it though and I don’t think Fred really was either. It reminds me of the so-called Norm Core scene. Like, that can’t be for real can it? But the idea of going back to flip phones is interesting in this way: It’s the technological equivalent of riding a shaped board.

The Nokia 6085, bottom right. Image by Common Folks Collective

The photos from flip phones looked absolutely terrible, and the Internet search functions were unusable. But flip phones were great in their simplicity and those really were the days. The simplicity part of it was key. Instagram wasn’t eating into 50% of our free time back then. And that brings us to riding something that’s not a Popsicle. While yes it’s hard to do a proper nose grind on a board with a two inch nose and nearly impossible to tre flip on a massive log with a swallow tail, THAT’s the point, to avoid at least a little of the pain, time, and suffering of that next hardest trick. All of sudden you’re back to having fun. Carve, slash, grind, very good, have a drink. Those are the moves that aren’t just fun to ride away from but are actually fun even when you’re in the middle of doing them.

Yeah but what sized trucks go on it?

I could write a book about how the evolution of board shapes and cell phones have followed similar trajectories, not that anyone would want to read it. But the Cliff’s Notes start at the end of the 80s when skateboards were super wide. Over the next few years boards started to get smaller and smaller, until let’s say ’94 or whatever when we started to realize that while yes, the super small wheels, trucks and decks allowed for more flinging of the board, they were really starting to hinder our ability to actually RIDE on them. So the trend began to reverse and he were are in 2014 and people are again riding boards as big as they were in ’88.



Similarly, when cell phones first came out they were gigantic, people called them car phones. Then they began to shrink and shrink until Will Farrell put a tiny phone in an SNL skit and maybe helped us notice how ridiculous they were. Now they’re huge again.

The one on the left is way better for flipping out of ledge tricks.


“I can’t guarantee the screen won’t crack but the rails will help if you drop it on a flat surface.” Photo by MethodAir1 on Photobucket

Don’t get me started on phone cases, which are pretty much the equivalent of rails, skid plates, and lappers. But you know what I really want to see? A phone shaped like the Mark Lake Nightmare.

The all-new iPhone 7!

- Paul Zitzer

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