For much of skateboarding’s history, we have enjoyed a fruitful non-aggression pact with grass. Grass was something to be skated over; Carlsbad, of course, was the landmark display of our disinterest in messing up the grass. Avoiding it was the entire point — sure, a few bails on ledges over grass gaps resulted in some collateral damage, but that’s the cost of doing business. The grass did not encroach on our hard surfaces, and in turn, we watched the grass grow.
Then, the grass became a hater.
In fact, it wasn’t even natural grass that turned its back on this unspoken agreement — it was its fake cousin, AstroTurf.
After an innocent 2018 Tompkins joke, AstroTurf started to get a bit too big for its britches. It began sticking its stupid fucking plastic nose into all sorts of things that were none of its concern. First, it tried to cover Tompkins with its bullshit and failed. Skateboarders laughed in its face, but then it clapped back and took over the Borough Hall curbs as a consolation prize. Though much of that damage has since been reversed, 2019 confirmed that the longstanding calm that defined skateboarder-grass relations was done. This was war.
In the time since, it has claimed Penn Plaza — and like, yeah, who cares — but more consequently, the rumors surrounding the fate of Big Screen insist that a green-ification of the space is possible. Grass is threatening Manhattan’s best spot.
In 2016, a team of Harvard ecologists visited the Caribbean island of Domicia to study the island’s lizards, interested in how they coexisted, “and recorded data on their body size, toe features, and grip strength.”
In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a category five storm, hit the island.
A year after the hurricane, that same team of hot nerds returned to find that the lizards’ “grip strength averaged to an astounding 10 times stronger than previously recorded” — despite the fact that their body size and toe pads had not changed in size. In one year, the lizards had bossed up in anticipation of the next hurricane: they strengthened their grip, and began waiting for the next bout of category five wind to try some shit. It is believed to be one of the fastest rates of evolutionary change ever recorded.
Skateboarders, like our reptilian muses, wasted no time in adapting to our newfound green enemy. Though the ever-prescient Aidan Mackey has been a trailblazer off-roading through grass, the #TRENDWATCH has shown that even those who color more inside the lines with their spot sensibilities are prepping for a future where grass is wielded as a skate deterrent.
And we’re not just contending with the loose patch of grass in front of a stair-set here and there…
We’re wallieing off trees and landing into the grass that grew it, adding insult to injury.
Then, we’re chopping that tree down, turning it into skateboards, flying to Portland, and skating on more grass.
After that, we’re still in Portland, and matter of fact, do you even see grass? Nah bro, that shit is a double bank.
Oh, is that you again AstroTurf? We’ll rip out patches of it to practice our long-jumps. We’re Olympians!
Everything’s grass? Whatever. Rolling away doesn’t even matter anymore.
Fuck up the foliage, indeed.