How to Tell Lurkers From Skaters

Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 by Cash

Image & Words by Corey Cash

At any popular skate venue you will see two prominent groups of people...actual skaters, and those pesky, fashion-obsessed lurkers. At a glance lurkers might blend into the crowd, but look again and they are almost unmistakable. Here is an easy idiot's guide on how to differentiate the two.

Most likely the skater won't bother busting out those over-priced Nike's and bling-tastic watches while attempting that particular trick that put him in the hospital three times. Instead, he will most likely be sporting something you would purchase at Wal-Mart or a thrift store, complimented with a pair of moderately priced skate shoes (rich or poor, no one wants to be caught dead in those Payless Airwalks). A lurker hardly ever skates, but rather stands at the top of the roll-in holding his fresh board that's been fresh for months because actually skating the damn thing might make him sweat. And who wants to do that after spending all their parents' money on that matching shirt and jean combo that's more suited for clubs rather than a skate park? The skater is just happy he could afford admission, and not at all worried about ruining his old work shirt from a local car wash he got fired from.

The easiest way to distinguish a skater from a lurker is by using "The Mouth to Board Movement Ratio." It's simple, if the mouth moves more than the board, you have a lurker. If the board moves more than the mouth, you have a skater. Math was never that simple in school. Now you might notice a person's mouth and board move at an equal rate. This would make you the lurker and a psycho for noticing. Seek therapy.

The only exception to the rule is if the skater has stopped skating to either talk to women or drink beer. Then he is not a lurker. He is doing what any human being would do given the opportunity. Another way to tell the two apart are by the topics in their conversations. A lurker's main topics of interest are himself, his shoes, and himself. Gravitating attention to his $200 spotless kicks is one of the only reasons the lurker dragged his carcass out of his mom's house, so you can be certain they will come up in conversation. Not only that, but it usually comes out of nowhere.

For example, the skater says, "Call 911! I just severed my arm!" While the lurker comments, "Oh damn, look at the Dunks. They always make me feel better. Guess how much they cost." A skater's conversation consists of only three things: Skating, beer, and women, because at that one point in time, nothing else is important. In fact, I didn't know there was anything else to talk about.

Well, there you have it. This should help keep you aware of potential lurkers or has made you realize that you are one. Most importantly, this has hopefully motivated you to actually place both feet on your board and skate, but I can only hope.