What Is ‘Poetic Collective?’ — An Interview With Tom Botwid

Intro & Interview by Adam Abada
Photos by Tom Botwid

What “is” skateboarding? A seven-ply piece of maple? Thirty-three inches of length and no more? “Not a crime?”

Just as skateboarding often eludes definition — existing in a purgatory between physical expression and existential thought — poetry uses language to access a similar type of feeling and add something new to our shared experience.

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Why An Academic Skateboard Conference?

Words by Adam Abada
Photography by Norma Ibarra & Michael Worful

“Huh.”

That’s what I heard each time I told anyone, skaters or otherwise, that I was traveling to Sweden for an academic skateboarding conference.

“I didn’t know that was even a thing.”

It’s the second one, actually. I skipped last year’s in London, not wanting to commit to a trans-Atlantic flight for something that definitely had the potential to fall flat. But, when media started trickling back from Bartlett School of Architecture, which hosted the inaugural Pushing Boarders, I knew I would not make the same mistake next time around. Once I heard Malmö, Sweden — arguably the world’s most progressive skate city — was chosen as Pushing Boarders’ next destination, I booked a ticket. Then I spent six months trying to convince someone to come with me.

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QS x Savage x Fenty

Sign + share the petition to keep synthetic turf off the Tompkins flat.

Not a ton of New York news this past week…

4 Cities, 100 Nuggets” is a mini video featuring some Canadian dudes (…I think?) doing a two-week road trip through North Carolina, Philly, New York, and Boston. That back noseblunt bigspin at Baldi really came out of left field + good to see people coming up victorious over the speed bumps at the recently-knobbed plaza on 110th and 8th (which is sure to be utilized by absolutely nobody now, considering it’s in the middle of the street, with no shade, and across from a 840-acre park full of trees…)

Thoroughly enjoyed this… a lot: Kris Brown in the Philadelphia-based, A Regular Ass Video by DJ Traceman.

“It’s not a boot-camp for the Olympics.” “No, it’s a boot-camp for life.” Given the stature of its alumni, you likely know of its existence, but you probably don’t know much about the skateboarding high school in Mälmo, Sweden. Skateism has a full interview about Bryggeriet, and how’s its not exactly what you would expect.

Brian Delaney and a few others skate some Boston classics in a collab clip between Grand and Orchard Skate Shop. (Is that the first time somebody has backside 360 kickflipped a trashcan on flat?)

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Run That Back Turbo

Listen up, fuckers: Voter registration periods in most states end this week. In New York, the voter registration deadline is Friday, and lucky for you, New York offers online registration. (New Jersey’s deadline is October 16, but you’ll need to mail in your registration.) Just under 50% of eligible 18-29 year-olds voted in 2016, whereas nearly 75% of 65+ year-olds did. Literal senior citizens are steering the course of your future. And that whole “my vote doesn’t matter!” / “it’s all corrupt!” / “both candidates suck!” shit is exactly the sort of cowardly laziness that anybody working against your self interests is dependent on. So, if you are eligible A) take the time out of the day you’d otherwise waste filming shitty skate tricks and register if you are not already, and B) if you do not vote on November 6, I hope to every possible higher power there is that you roll the fuck out of your ankle first thing in the morning on November 7 — like I hope it’s an excruciating cantaloupe size roll that takes five hellish months to heal where you don’t get laid once, and I hope that on your first day back skating after those frustrating five months, you roll the life out of the other ankle and it takes even longer to heal.

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Psssst…shops have began getting fall QS merch in. Arriving in Europe & Japan this week. Check our stockists page to see which shops will have it in both in the States and globally. Our webstore will relaunch on Monday, October 15 at midnight E.S.T. (basically still Sunday night) with all of the new items.

The Canal video, Mode, is now online in full. Really fun video pretty much entirely filmed in New York, with the highest volume of midtown clips of any local vid in recent memory (always nostalgic for that.) It’s always heartwarming to see crews who grew up together keep skating and making full-lengths into adulthood ♥

Tied with midtown footage, our favorite sub-genre of New York skateboarding is watching Tyshawn skate over trashcans. Plenty of that and more in Thrasher’s recap video from the Hardies Can Jam at Blue Park last week.

Pat Hoblin has a rad new part over on TWS. The curvy boardslide over at the old Red Benches + the ender at Seward Park are both wild.

“Anything that combats the idea that skateboarding should be relegated to the skatepark is cool, and to me a worthwhile cause.” Alexis Sablone, who has a masters degree in architecture, created a sick-looking skateable sculpture park in downtown New York (just kidding, you know that shit is obviously in Malmö), and told Medium mag the story.

Antonio got sick of your switch tre jokes and decided to do some switch heels.

Theories posted a new episode of Elkin’s raw files, and Tombo uploaded another “Raw Deals” video from a 2009 trip to Peru and Colombia, which features a good batch of gold Brian Brown footage.

This is what the skatepark in Red Hook is supposed to look like. Aannddd it looks… cramped. To nobody’s surprise, the “Straight Fucking Ledges” crowd will be disappointed.

Russia’s Absurd Skateboards leads the skate world in companies whose trip destinations I most frequently have to search on Google Maps. Their latest one was to the Sea of Azov.

Here’s an eight-minute Jake Johnson mega mix of like, all his footage.

Lee Smith interviewed R.B. Umali for a new podcast he started.

Just after talking shit about those Citi Field benches on here last week, the city found a body wrapped in chains in the adjacent water on Wednesday. Told you that place has a weird energy…

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Basketball is back! Honestly started laughing upon remembering Lance Stephenson and Lebron are on the same team now. Lance Stephenson Finals MVP book it!!!

Quote of the Week: “Damn, Frank Gerwer looks like me in ’06.” — Emilio Cuilan

The 2017 Shirtless Kebab Tour

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C. Champion via W. Dada

“Every time you disprove the prejudices of a pedestrian, you win a small victory that reverses the erosion of our collective social capital.” As sarcastic as we may get about the tired “skaters see the world differently” trope, there’s always something reassuring in our ability to — on on some tiny level — leave the world better than it was before, provided we stop sitting around talking shit about pants for long enough. Caught in the Crossfire’s “Four Small Ways Skateboarding Can Change the World” is inspiring, intelligent and heartwarming writing for a tough world right now.

On that note, #respect x999999 to Young Will and everyone in Providence, Rhode Island. “If you have an idea, for pity’s sake run with it, for the good of us all.”

Half a million pounds of Love Park granite is being shipped to Malmö, Sweden. Shout out to all the cities and people doing cool shit to make humans’ time on earth better.

If you guys in the comments are calling Shanahan a “’99 Kalis deadringer,” you better brace yourselves for the ’99 Stevie version because its really really real.

Ugh, Jake ♥ Just wait on it

This might be an illegal link, but here’s Yaje’s Riddles in Mathematics part til it gets taken down. Non-sketchy link to buy the video here. Sorry TWS, it’s Yaje ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

“One day’s lifted bar soon becomes the next day’s hurdle to be ollied, and later kickflipped, and eventually kilty mcbagpipped for an after-credits clip set to a whimsical indie-rock tune.” — Boil the Ocean explores ledge skating’s shrinking middle class, via the lens of Tiago’s switch back tail™. And yes, YouTube debaters, Antonio could’ve easily been #1 but Tiago got it for the trick’s status as a “culture-unifying moment.”

The most entertaining raw files clip in a really long time: A full 18 minutes from Na-Kel Smith’s X-Games “Real Street” part. Most elastic slams in the business too :)

ICYMI: Johnny made a clip of Cyrus and some Nike SB boys skating in Texas.

Skater types.” Facepalm emoji ya.

Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine is now available to stream on Hulu. (You may need to put in your card info for a free trial blah blah blah.) You can read and disagree with the QS review here.

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*Non-Skate Related Alert* The latest episode of 99% Invisible deals with abandoned buildings, squatters, riots, and everything else surrounding Tompkins Square Park in the 80s and 90s. “You got guns? We got piss buckets.” Shout to Mostly.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: How about this “Fuck Kobe” shirt found at a thrift shop in Turin?! Some Italian must really hate Kobe man.

Quote of the Week: “The price isn’t the problem. Pryce is the problem.” — Dallas Todd

I learned frontside flips via Pryce’s Seaport line A.K.A. have never fully *flipped* one in my life. They still count in S.K.A.T.E. though ;) Thanks Pryce.