A week away from the first Olympics to feature skateboarding, you will no-doubt see mainstream publications taking a “global” lens through which to view the Games’ new inclusion. To anyone who actually skateboards …it’s like, “yeah, no shit.”
But it’s not because we are all aware of some nebulous concept of who the “best” skater from Brazil, Sweden or Japan is. Given the sprawling worldwide growth of skateboarding that has accelerated alongside the internet, we can now know who the “best” skater of a literal acre or two of city land in some Scandinavian country is. We know the architectural intricacies of completely arbitrary train stations across the globe. Give me a Pantone book, and I’ll show you the color scheme of Tennessee’s capital building because of one guy’s skate footage. Have I been to Tennessee? No, not yet!
A one-spot part is a way to deify one’s name alongside a place, but not in a championship or gold medal sense. It is more Kobe’s 61 points at MSG than it is a title. It is a story. Better yet, it’s mythology: “So-and-so only filmed at this city block for a year and figured out ten new ways to skate it.”