The old internet adage goes something like: “If it exists, there’s porn of it.”
By the same token, if it exists, there is also #content about dating it.
Not long after skateboarding ceased to resemble anything you could call “a subculture,” skaters enticed a curious crowd of admirers. (Cut to the old head yelling at the cloud: “I miss when we were the outcasts, man!”) Soon, those same admirers began gathering their thoughts into writing, onto the burgeoning internet publications of the 2000s and beyond. And there’s nothing — nothing — that gets a group of people as riled up as an article explaining why they are (or in one case, aren’t) hot.
In the same week that The New York Times is urging people to have more sex, Jezebel, currently in the midst of what has been dubbed “Horny Week,” published a piece called “What Is It That Is So F*cking Hot About Skateboarders?” (Yes, the same Jezebel that published “Adult Men Shouldn’t Skateboard” just three years earlier.)
As usual, the piece got skaters all riled up and shit, so we decided to run through the touchstones of “skaters r hot” writing that made an impact on our culture.
Missbehave‘s “You Wanna Date A Skater? Really. Really?“
Missbehave was Mass Appeal‘s female-directed off-shoot magazine that was published from 2006-2009. While this article isn’t exactly “famous,” it is perhaps the first of its sort to take a noticeable crack at defining the “unemployed mattress on the floor”-archetypes and paradoxes of skater-dating that would be crystalized into mainstream consciousness by Ali Wong’s 2016 Netflix special. (Who among us wasn’t sent this clip by a romantic prospect in 2016?)
Biggest Compliment 😁 — “They dress well, and no matter how much they pretend not to care, they know it too.”
Biggest Diss 😔 — “How come every skater sucks in bed? Ask anyone, this theory has been tried and tested and unfortunately always proves true.”
Thought Catalog’s “12 Reasons You Should Date A Surfer Or Skateboarder“
Again, not particularly famous, but worth pointing out because it is the only one written from a male perspective.
See, before TikTok, there were these things on the internet called “listicles,” in which words were used to run down certain reasons for a thing. Thought Catalog captured a massive young audience in their day by flooding the internet with billions of them — like “12 Reasons Why You Still Feel Like A Kid In Your 20s And That’s Okay.”
This one in particular bends backwards to undo the “bad at sex” accusation that gets hurled around in skater-dater writing by insisting “practice makes perfect in the skatepark… or in the bedroom.”
Biggest Compliment 😁 — “A skater will touch your soul with music. They just get it. They make the best mixtapes.” Queue up that YN Jay, baby!
Biggest Diss 😔 — Something about how cats hate us.
The Cut / New York Mag‘s “The Enduring Appeal of a Skater Boi“
This was it. The one that hit. The one that lit the skate internet on fire. For all ten of the skaters who were on Twitter in 2015.
This one is actually good, in that it digs into how unrequited crushes on a “type” in adolescence often mangle their way to new forms in adulthood. Definitely the best one on the list, though the Weeknd nod is still confusing. Can’t say I’ve met a skater who likes more than a couple Weeknd songs. “King of the Fall” is still fire though. Might put it on right now…
Biggest Compliment 😁 — “The attitude of skaters — at least those who match the nonjudgmental, earnest, enthusiastic, and independent archetype — can be a welcome reprieve from double standards around female behavior, at least for those of us with a lingering attachment to the freedom of youth.”
Biggest Diss 😔 — “Sometimes the dick is great but a lot of times they are too scared to perform at all and they just wanna listen to the Weeknd.”
Jezebel’s “Adult Men Shouldn’t Skateboard“
Though not about dating, it’s safe to say that an article about how a group shouldn’t exist doubles as a manifesto against dating them.
Also, this was such bait. If you were up in arms about it, you should feel like a big dumb baby.
The week it dropped was unforgettable: “Well, well! My friend is an engineer and happily married with two kids and owns his house and contributes to charity and HE SKATES!” “What about Bing Liu? He got nominated for an OSCAR and HE SKATES!”
If you couldn’t laugh at this one, idk.
Biggest Compliment 😁 — Teenage stoners, Tony Hawk, women and girls who could easily kick [the author’s] ass and members of Blink-182 get the pass.
Biggest Diss 😔 — Lol.
The latest entry and ultimately, why we’re here recapping this literary phenomenon today. This one is a bit spiritually connected to the New York Mag article — a lot of bad boy, devil-may-care rationalizations for skater hotness — written from the perspective of someone who always wants to go to Philly’s FDR Park, but never takes the plunge. (Even those of us who skate all know the feeling too well.)
One of the commenters sums it up for the author: it’s hotter than pickleball.
Biggest Compliment 😁 — “On a much more superficial level, I drool over the ill-fitting pants and torn up shoes. Stupid bleached hair or half-shaved heads that I assume are drunken dares taken too far is as charming as it gets.”
Biggest Diss 😔 — Honestly, none.