The Ethos of the Forbidden 14 With Dana Ericson

November 8th, 2017 | 5:00 am | Features & Interviews | 51 Comments

Words & Interview by Frozen in Carbonite
Photo by Lee Madden

“A man must have a code.” — Omar Little and/or Bunk Moreland, The Wire (HBO, 2002-2008)

You might remember the Code of Hammurabi from 9th/10th grade world history or some shit. Long story short, it functioned as the first written code of law in the history of human civilization.

Four thousand years later, from a socio-anthropological perspective, skate spots — and more specifically, the almost-extinct inner city plaza spot — are mini-civilizations with their own dignitaries and codes.

Love Park — don’t push mongo. Embarcadero — don’t get in Mike or Henry’s way. Along those lines, Boston’s Eggs has developed its own code, a central component of which is the infamous “Forbidden 14.” When I first heard of it, it took me back to the days of vibing anyone that did a street grab or railslide. On the other hand, when you saw someone with a nose and tail worn down to the wood grain and a pristine graphic in between, you knew they weren’t fucking around.

When I referenced it here, a substantial amount of #engagement erupted in the QS comments section. So, we hit up Eggs local and Alltimers rider Dana Ericson to shed some light on one of Eggs’ most elusive and #controversial hidden codes.

For the culture.

+++++++

Explain the origin of “The Forbidden 14.”

The Forbidden 14 is the general fourteen inches of the wheelbase on the average skateboard, and where you choose not to use the middle of your board and only really do noseslides and tailslides — but only on ledges.

Who came up with the term and the whole concept?

I had first heard of it through my homie Steve, who used to run RAW, but I also heard that Rob Welsh had coined that term, and maybe it was a S.F. thing. I don’t know the exact origin of it; I just kind of like that code and live by [it].

Which is a bigger Eggs faux pas: a boardslde or lipslide, or rolling up with a non-Dunkin Donuts coffee beverage?

You can drink other coffees; Dunkin Donuts is just the preferred brand. I would have to go with boardslide on the ledge, especially if you were filming it. There’s people who can pull it off — I’m not against it, it’s just that I don’t prefer to do boardslides on ledges.

Along those lines, are there any skaters or specific instances that are an exception to the rule?

Yeah. Ron Deily has the best front board nollie 270 I’ve ever seen. And a Mike Carroll back lip is real proper. But front lip on a ledge? I dunno. Maybe it’s just for ledge lines. Like, you can do a nollie front lip on a ledge and it’ll be beast, but maybe it’s just the line thing. People will boardslide and get a little lazy; it’s the biggest surface area on your skateboard.

What about smith grinds?

Smiths are dope. I’m not really a big smither, but that’s probably just because I can’t really do them.

Speaking of controversial and “forbidden” tricks, what’s your take on body varials?

Body varials? That shit is trash. I’m good with the body varials.

I take that back, actually. Brad Cromer’s body varial was the only one I ever liked, because he does it on the way up.

What about ledges that are smaller in width than the wheelbase, like a 12-inch wide ledge?

Oh yeah, I mean if it’s like a flatbar ledge, do you thing. I’m not trying to sponsor-block you or anything. If it’s a flatbar ledge, like, go for it. I’ll allow it.

Does this only apply in Boston? What sort of reprimands have gone down for people not applying the rule?

Nothing, really. I just like when people get mad about it; they take it personally. It’s just a code. I enjoy following it, and when you look at your board and you have no marks in the middle it’s like you did a good job on the board or something.

So, I guess there’s no the Eggs “enforcer” a la James Kelch at Embarcadero?

I mean, I dunno. Maybe if one of my friends did a lipslide, I’d call him out and trip him for a second, but nah — no real enforcement or hard feelings.

What is the etiquette if you slip on a crooked grind or some shit and end up scratching the middle? Do you need to set up a new one?

Nah, I’m not that mental, but some people will call me out, like “oh what’s that in the middle?” I’ve made a few mistakes, man. No one’s perfect.

Filmed by Lee Madden. Edited by Brian Delaney.

Are there any other rules at Eggs less notorious than The Forbidden 14?

There’s one bench up top that is where kids that have never been there will plop down because it’s the first one. You’re not really supposed to sit there because it’s in the way of the main ledge. Definitely no bikes; that’s not to be tolerated at Eggs. We have a resident mascot named Bones who usually takes care of any outsiders that we tell him to get rid of. He’s pretty good at that. You can shout his Instagram out — @bonesbabyboy. He’s the Eggs mascot.

Has enforcing Eggs law enabled you to adapt to Tompkins, etc. laws more easily in other cities?

Boston’s one of the more “Forbidden 14” cities. I don’t know if New York will ever give up. Most people just think it’s funny. I do, too.

Boston’s a pretty big sports town. Are there any rules about sports apparel?

No Yankee fitteds at Eggs, for sure. One of our friends is from Florida and he’s a Yankees fan, but we give him way too much shit for it. It’s almost like he knows better at this point. I mean, a Yankees cap is basically the only violation, not even really because of baseball — it’s almost like the rivalry of the cities that’s been going on for, like, a century.

This is off-topic, but how far do you think the C’s are gonna go this year?

We’ll see how they actually mesh in a real game, but I like Irving. I think he’ll do nice. I liked Thomas, too, but we need somebody who can actually score a lot.

51 Comments

Comment by Pee Wee Longway
  • A grown man enforcing pathetic skateboard ‘rules’ smh. Grow up and leave your little bubble

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:22 am
  • Comment by gheeto
  • What about the part of the code that says shorts that look like 3/4 length pants are chat

    November 8, 2017 @ 6:33 am
  • Comment by Hmmm
  • Looks like the Eggs Mascot runs Yankees fitteds all the time. Y’all gonna let him know about it?

    November 8, 2017 @ 8:05 am
  • Comment by Eggs
  • Our favorite :)

    November 8, 2017 @ 10:19 am
  • Comment by Aaron Judge
  • “The rivalry that’s been going on… like a century…” how bout since the Hartford Convention u loyalist cucks

    November 8, 2017 @ 11:17 am
  • Comment by Linh From Mixtape
  • Rumour has it he skates to his own beats…

    November 8, 2017 @ 11:59 am
  • Comment by Eggs is a lie
  • @Eggs get your head out your ass and stop speaking for other people. You’re definitely not a Boston native.

    November 8, 2017 @ 12:29 pm
  • Comment by Bbrown
  • Fav Sk8er:)

    November 8, 2017 @ 1:04 pm
  • Comment by Acop
  • Dude did alot of forbidden combos in his time

    November 8, 2017 @ 1:11 pm
  • Comment by Welcome skateboards CFO
  • disagree with this post? we are running a one day sale on all shaped boards and rails. Use code “forbidden14fetish” at checkout.
    https://www.welcomeskateboards.com/shape-guide

    November 8, 2017 @ 1:43 pm
  • Comment by weckingball
  • The thing about all these “almost AM dudes”, they always go a little too slow to get real hookups.

    November 8, 2017 @ 2:35 pm
  • Comment by the mansion-having sauna soaker
  • nice work dana ericson. you’ve singlehandedly created a sale on welcome boards. i hope you’re happy with yourself.

    November 8, 2017 @ 2:50 pm
  • Comment by Alex
  • Gotta pay homage to delaney and dana matter of fact the whole.
    Boston squad even the Ogs that use to come out of town to skate boston mainly eggs.
    sure paved the way for the ones thats coming up.

    November 8, 2017 @ 2:50 pm
  • Comment by iPhone
  • Frontside half cab to crooked grind is the move

    November 8, 2017 @ 3:35 pm
  • Comment by Tracy Morgan
  • Yo dis nigga nice

    November 8, 2017 @ 3:38 pm
  • Comment by Jo El
  • Gawd I love this. Backing it 100% (and I always sucked at boardslides). Keep em coming. As a skateboard community, we can’t just accept all skateboard moves as “legit”. For the next installment, can you get someone prominent to stand up for, and explain to the newbs, why “it doesn’t count at a skatepark”?

    “…and you have no marks in the middle it’s like you did a good job on the board or something.”

    November 8, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
  • Comment by Jurathedamaja
  • Best skateboarder alive. Fuck y’all haters

    November 8, 2017 @ 4:32 pm
  • Comment by 2x4crew
  • welcome so shook :^)

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
  • Comment by Hell nah
  • No boardslides or lipslides on ledges that shit is whack as fuck

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:01 pm
  • Comment by YaBoyFinnin
  • Why the heck would you heckle someone for doing lopsided on ledges? That’s not that easy. And this nigga grinds for like .2 inches every trick.

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:16 pm
  • Comment by dont come
  • tell this wigger to look up pepe martiniez please

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:19 pm
  • Comment by ELSTUPIDO
  • That spot sucks eggs.

    November 8, 2017 @ 5:42 pm
  • Comment by Newsman
  • maaaan some of yall needa watch some rub spelta footy, cop some new clothes, take your headphones out and go skate a spot where some chicks might actually walk by

    November 8, 2017 @ 6:08 pm
  • Comment by forbidden14
  • Thank you guys for taking time out of your day to roast me, it means a lot! #alltricksmatter <3

    November 8, 2017 @ 6:27 pm
  • Comment by Snack
  • Well at least the comments are back ‍♀️

    November 8, 2017 @ 6:36 pm
  • Comment by Newsman
  • also IT can’t “actually score a lot”? he was third in the NBA in scoring last year only behind da god and that dude who’s got all the tricks but rocks fat globes and skinny pants sooo….

    November 8, 2017 @ 7:14 pm
  • Comment by AL
  • I think spot ambassador or spot liaison is a nicer title for Bones.

    November 8, 2017 @ 7:41 pm
  • Comment by CDB
  • Great interview. But in what fucking state were you taught about Hammurabi in a grade 10 class!?

    November 9, 2017 @ 12:09 am
  • Comment by 7-11
  • the only one that would be a pain to give up on ledges is backlips… everything else trash

    November 9, 2017 @ 2:03 am
  • Comment by The Original Brother Love (AKA: Not Diddy)
  • Welcome skateboards CFO, you need to stay in your lane. This article clearly doesn’t apply to you because all of the boards you sell have fat guy wheelbases. How about you pipe down until the “Forbidden 14.75 and up” article comes out.

    November 9, 2017 @ 8:14 am
  • Comment by Billy Boardslide
  • Whether y’all ledge junkies want to admit it or not, rails are harder to skate.

    November 9, 2017 @ 12:15 pm
  • Comment by Richard
  • Wow, you guys are really sensitive about a guy’s tongue in cheek rule at a skate spot. I assume the majority of you are adults too. Grow up :)

    November 9, 2017 @ 1:49 pm
  • Comment by Charlie Murphy
  • Gotta hold true to the little things that keep the game charmingly petty. If it makes you laugh you’re doing something right :) It’s only skating

    November 9, 2017 @ 8:30 pm
  • Comment by Joe
  • So glad I know some kid in Boston doesn’t like boardslides.

    November 9, 2017 @ 9:12 pm
  • Comment by dmerc
  • Damn, I’m a habitual offender.

    November 9, 2017 @ 11:09 pm
  • Comment by Pinwheel Red Sox Fitted
  • Ironic that the title photo isn’t at Eggs, but Aquarium – stomping grounds of Boston’s greatest skateboarder and habitual lipslider: Nate Keegan.

    November 10, 2017 @ 1:14 am
  • Comment by deez
  • lost me at dunkin donuts

    November 10, 2017 @ 7:08 am
  • Comment by ang
  • keep that bum ass forbidden 14 bull shit in Boston with them bum ass Red Sox, ……….and the only rule in skating is make it look good if u cant make it look good dont do point blank …and lets be real u did a nose slide in your line before noseslides on a ledges for a video part became acceptable ……….p.s your parts are on point i fucks with it , but its a bop for that FORBIDDEN 14 rule

    November 10, 2017 @ 10:39 am
  • Comment by pepe martiniez
  • shout outs to dont come

    November 10, 2017 @ 1:39 pm
  • Comment by Chester Cheetah
  • I got no problem with this. Only backlips look cool on ledges anyway.

    November 11, 2017 @ 3:22 am
  • Comment by bonesfanclub
  • Calling Nate Keegan ‘Boston’s greatest’ may be the comments’ saltiest appearance of irony ever.

    November 11, 2017 @ 11:20 am
  • Comment by Tyler
  • This interview is actually really chill idk why people are upset prob because they don’t skate that much

    November 11, 2017 @ 11:30 am
  • Comment by Clayton
  • ‘Pepe”Martini”ez. I don’t care if that was on purpose, or a typo. You need to pump the motherfucking breaks kid. That man’s a national treasure.

    November 11, 2017 @ 3:38 pm
  • Comment by wavybobson
  • Nothing but love for Dana, fully get it’s more of a tongue-in-cheek thing…

    Still, I will never get how dudes trip on board/lipslide tricks on ledges yet find flip tricks out of crooked grinds perfectly acceptable.
    Shit gets overdone and looks cringey 99% percent of the time.
    Same goes for flips out of smithgrinds or treflip crooks/smith

    November 12, 2017 @ 5:02 pm
  • Comment by Bae bwoy
  • So many feelings. Pump yer breaks? Lol. Shit is pure humor. Are readers here 12 or retarded? Who gives a fuck..where’s Monday links?

    November 13, 2017 @ 11:00 am
  • Comment by NYC CAT
  • BOI i have no idea what this man is talking about

    November 15, 2017 @ 4:03 am
  • Comment by Skate Scholar, PhD
  • Stretching it with the SLAP forum skate critic content. Especially when ya dig up some neurotic nobody from Boston to get it.

    November 15, 2017 @ 10:32 pm
  • Comment by Clayton
  • Bae bwoy

    Welcome to the internets. Sometimes we joke around and have fun. Have a wonderful Friday-eve, bud.

    November 16, 2017 @ 3:35 pm
  • Comment by Snack
  • They say that nobody remembers anything on the internet in 2017 after five minutes, but here we are still talking about this a week later :) Can’t wait to do more of these ;)

    November 16, 2017 @ 4:28 pm
  • Comment by Bae bwoy
  • All good Clayton! Yo u see the Pepe shirt on deck aid? Shits dooooope!

    November 17, 2017 @ 4:21 pm
  • Comment by Clayton
  • Oh damn – yes, that shirt is dope indeed

    November 20, 2017 @ 3:15 pm
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