593: What are you doing this summer?

One for the Keeeeds

What are you doing this summer?

Let’s say you get ten skate friends together and they all hit Grandma up for $90 each you have $900 which is enough to get 50 boards made from a real USA skateboard press. 50 real deal skateboards your sizes your shape with multi color screen print graphics you designed yourself. No print on demand junk a real stack of good wood…everyone gets 5 boards.

Now you and your nine mates go to the nearest pre-fab skatepark in your town and ride that place for weeks on end…everyday, morning, noon and night. Uncover every line, land every trick, every over under – just kill that park until the place gather’s a crowd when your crew show’s up…and bring the boards because everyone has to sell two of them. When I mean sell I don’t mean via Facebook, twitter or youtube but in person. Let those boards be a record of the scene you have created, people will want them for two reasons one to be part of the scene or two to support that scene. So now weeks have past and everyone is ripping and has sold their two boards and now you all have your original money back, a board to ride and two more mint decks in your possession. At this point you can go two places you now have the original 10 + 20 new skaters/friends riding your boards and the board is doing its job its documenting or recording(like records used to do when they were made to record the scene that a bands live music created…google Ian Makaye for more on that) now you can make the scene go where it takes you but you have to skate that original spot, every line, every trick in the book you have to be stoking people…forget you tube and edited sponsor videos. Think how much time is wasted creating those when you can be creating a sacred place to go to were you are unburdened by the demands of the world. So when you have 10 friends 20 tribe members and your original $900 + 20 boards to sell(around $1700 in cash and boards) determine who has the coolest parents and build your own ramp on their property. Source all the wood from your friends garages, the local dump. Ask your friends parents and grandparents if you can clean out their garages of nails and wood and borrowed tools. Email jeff Roenning for ramp plans…. But! do not spend a dime of your $900 unless you absolutely have to. Be creative, don’t steal thats not creativity that’s destruction. Now you are done building and you have your sacred place with home court advantage. Your own dimensions, your own music playing and a place that even the girls are willing to hang out.

At this point I guarantee you have learned something about life. One how to organising your time and two how to work with other people you are still just a teen but you have already learned the two most important things that four years of college will teach plus you have learned something they don’t teach in college..generosity. Generosity with your time, your creativity, your abilities.

So what’s next? sell the other boards! See who can be the first to get a local skateshop to buy one- they will because they know you are part of a tribe of 30 strong that also need wheels (pssst you can make these too) helmets and all the other detrius that surrounds skate life. How about make a second model! Dont look to put your signature on this new board but look to put your ‘Mark’ on it by the way you ride and behave- Print sticker, make t-shirts, not print on demand ones but real silk screened ones or better yet make em yourself with spray paint and a stencil…and give them away!

So what not to do? Don’t waste your time on youtube and facebook. Even when you are not skating or its late at night and you cant skate. Skate in your basement or just sit up and dream about skating. So the summer is over and some people have faded and some remain, some people are in for the long haul..make a new board…wash rinse and repeat. Watch what happens to your grades, your social life, your creativity. The kid who built the ramp is pretty popular at school and his Dad has agreed to put up some lights and he lets you night session for a couple hours on a school day because they are happy to know where you are. Your ramp probably has a name by now and everyone at schools knows that name and even the girls are happy to hang out and watch you do your thing.


SO now one of you turns 17 and gets a car…take your show on the road, leave your state! Discover how skaters in other parts of the country do their thing. Un-earth places to skate where you will not be the best – you don’t get cred by being the best skater you get cred by being the best skater you can be so dont be scared. Find these places and experience first hand how you will be treated. If you paid to get in then it may not be a place I am referring to. Go skate places and with people that put butterflies in your stomach. DWV or Philly Warehouse come to mind.

So now you have done something…not blogged something, or emailed something, or ‘Liked something’ or uploaded something but actually done something that you can physically share, grow, experience and remember. It was never about making money or becoming famous it was about taking action and enjoying the fact this is as good as it gets and knowing it at the time.

Let me know how you get on.

The time is now…

Jason Oliva (via internet cafe)

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6 thoughts on “593: What are you doing this summer?

  1. hank

    great read! I am putting together something similar! I am going to let one of our riders design his own company… have him come up with the name, graphics, shape and have him do the leg work in getting them sold. would be a great business lesson!

  2. Guidotti

    So rad. One of the many amazing things about skateboarding is that you can “make it yours.” The whole thing- the scene, the spots, the music, the boards…I love it. I think kids sometimes need to have someone show them the possibilities out there. Great post, Jason.

  3. Roenning

    One of my favorite posts ever. You tapped into that core element that made/makes skating what it is. It feels more important now than ever to show the kids options to the mall bought life style. Make it your own are words to live by.

    Thanks Jason, and happy birthday!


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