Skaters! What is going on inside of their heads?!

For years, marketeurs and admen have tried to unlock the secrets of the skater brain. If skaters are, in fact, the first adopters of everything they fancy themselves to be — wouldn’t the quickest way to a portfolio full of retainers be unfettered access to that well of trend forecasting?

But the skater brain has proved elusive. It is guarded behind a wall of trick jargon, indecipherable slang, and a chorus of YEEEEOO‘s. Even superficial factors can be hard to read. Clothing, one of our most outward identifiers of taste, remains a maze of false starts, confusing denim and broken promises. Something as simple as a skater’s t-shirt can be a mystery wrapped in screenprinted enigma.

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#TRENDWATCH2023 — The Search For This Moment’s Really Long Ledge

Human beings are infatuated with ways to measure their endurance: Usain Bolt’s 100-meter dash, Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, 76 hot dogs in ten minutes, etc.

In ledge skating, this measuring stick is holding a given trick over a long ledge. If it stands to reason that everyone’s first time doing anything on a ledge is a quick grind off the end, then holding it the distance is the true form of mastery.

For this purpose — in New York, at least — The Grate™ is a unit of measure.

Have you been getting really good at backside tailslides? There is no doubt that one of your idiot friends will ask, “D’ya think you could do it over the grate?”

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F.T.I. Comp #tfreport

Tompkins Square Park — like all other skate spots, institutions, and thinktanks — is subject to the winds of time and generational shifts. The Tompkins of today is a different ecosystem of personality and obstacles than even the one that stood on the original Save Tompkins Day in 2019.

…much like that one is different from the immediate post-Autumn days when the lifespan of a box or rail would rarely exceed 72 hours.

…and that one was different from the post-9/11 years when it first became a buzzing central hub that exceeded the popularity of any traditional street spot.

…and that one was different from the Skate NYC days depicted in endlessly reposted nineties lore.

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