Young skateboarders showing off their tricks on the floor of the ASR trade show
The buzz in the ASR seminar rooms hints that skateboarding is suffering from no longer being as cool as it was a few years ago. Its hipness seems to have peaked when skater shoes crossed-over and saturated the mainstream market. Also, it has simply become too difficult to be any good at the sport- the bar for performance has been raised too high to earn any ‘street cred’. Ironically, it has also become almost impossible to rebel any more- skate culture has become so conformist in its appropriation of the urban, thrasher style, it’s just plain boring.
Action Sports Environmental Coalition is carving out a niche for the New Cool
So what’s next? I think it has to do with defining a New Cool, which I anticipate will have a lot to do with sustainability. Surfing remains cool because the activity is almost synonymous with environmental stewardship, it follows logically that surf-related products enforce the perception. Skate culture still has a ways to go.
I was surprised and delighted to see the ‘Green Room’ at this year’s ASR trade show, sponsored by the Bay-Area-based non-profit, ASEC (Action Sports Environmental Coalition). Tucked away in the back corner of the San Diego Convention Center, the area featured retailers and manufacturers committed to social and environmental responsibility. I look forward to working with Sebastopol-based Frank Scura, one of the founders of ASEC, as I bring my Deep Deck and related products to market.