Where there’s fire, there’s smoke — and where there’s water, there are skate spots. Skateboarding crawled out of the Pacific Ocean on a day with no waves, and its progression has largely been the work of those residing in coastal cities. From Third & Army to Southbank, waterfront property has provided an idyllic atmosphere necessary to clear the head and innovate. In fact, many New York ledge skating skills have been honed along the Seaport, a tradition that continues northward to this very summer, with the new Upper East Side ledges / manny pads becoming an IG hot spot.
But like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli, the sea is angry today. It is our oldest foe — after all, are we not 50% water ourselves? If Jawn Gardner’s explanation of astrology is to be taken to heart, any war within is halfway a war with water. (The girls keep saying Mercury is in retrograde, so something must be up.)
The ice caps are melting. Waterfront property is becoming a liability. Even the current battle over the fate of the T.F. is tied to rising sea levels: if the city didn’t need build a flood-resistant barrier along East River Park over the next four years, they wouldn’t have to temporarily relocate all the Little Leagues inland, and the idea of turfing landlocked city parks wouldn’t be on the table.
Water is inescapable, that little bitch.
Via Adidas’ new Mike Arnold part
Jason Sinnawi via Facades
Danijel Stankovic via “Neverwhere” part for Solo
So what of it? Is the Three Up Three Down bound to be swallowed whole in the foreseeable future? Will Riverbank become a skimboard spot by 2028? Will a session on New York’s most photogenic out-ledge soon require scuba gear?
Many of our peers are not waiting to find out. In 2019, skateboarding has already began to transition into an amphibious activity. Just like when freestyle skateboarding was deemed dead in the early nineties, many pros who cannot swim have already been given notice by their team managers: the future of skateboarding is in the water, and we are not liable if you drown at the end of the next line you film.
In 2017, Mike Arnold already suspected that Bristol’s most iconic skate spot’s days above sea level were numbered. He decided to land a back noseblunt underwater, and holds tight to this prediction with his new Adidas part. Others have followed suit — admittedly shocked that the superfluous 360 flip at the end of a line is finally going out of fashion, and into the water.
America’s second-greatest invention has made a long journey away from the surf, but it is making a U-turn to begin its slow skate back home. Luckily, skateboards float. We can breathe easy knowing that if we tie them together and create boats from used decks, we can wave to Mark Zuckerberg, Kylie Jenner and the rest of them as they fly over us in their hovercrafts, eager to catch that last ship to Mars.
Previously: #TRENDWATCH2019: The Road To A Post-ABD Society