Jake Johnson’s Mind Field part has remained the most talked-about section in our Five Favorite Parts series, the reason for which was probably best explained by Gilbert Crockett: “He was about my age, he was an AM coming up, and he was on the east coast, just doing it. At that time, I remember thinking, ‘Nobody is doing that, nobody is skating on the east coast like this, and pursuing their skate career… like this.’ It kinda freaked me out, like ‘wait, so I can do anything I want?’ It was trippy. At the time, I was just going through the motions a bit, and that part made me realize that wasn’t the only way to be doing it. From then on, I approached everything differently. It was irreversible, you can’t unsee it.”
Pursuing a professional skate career out of New York in the mid-to-late-2000s probably isn’t far off from maintaining one out of your central Pennsylvania hometown of 39,000 people in the early 2020s, which is the never-the-easy-route Jake Johnson has taken in recent years.
In a word association game with a skater of any age bracket, Jake’s name comes up first in response to the mention of State College, but the town has had a skate scene since the eighties, which is chronicled in “Making It Work: State College Skateboarding Documentary,” a new short directed by John Marenic, and edited by our friend Greg Navarro.
It just goes to show that when there’s a will, there’s a way, and nobody has to move to New York or southern California for a shot anymore. No scene is too small to eventually sprout a local shop or a skatepark, the latter of which is something the locals and community leaders in State College continue to lobby the city for.
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