Seven years ago I was a freshman in high school. I was four-and-a-half feet tall, had super long curly hair, and only wore skin-tight purple pants. I was a doofus little kid interested in nothing other than music and skateboarding, and so I spent every waking moment involved in them.
Every day after school I would take the bus a half-hour away to our town’s ‘skatepark’. I use the term loosely due to the fact that it was nothing more than an abandoned basketball court that my friends and I would bring pieces of plywood to; then spend all day trying to figure out how to make a 2x4 plank of wood somehow grindable.
By the time that I was a sophomore, everyone that I skated with was a senior planning on leaving our tiny town in Southern Vermont in search of something a little more glamorous. Yet somehow we all found the time to not only skate every day, but we began to really work on our park. We started talking to local politicians, arguing our case at town meetings, having local fundraisers- making actual plans to transform our basketball court into something that had honest-to-god ramps. Miraculously, all of our efforts worked. By the end of the school year, we were all skipping class so we could begin putting together all the metal ramps and boxes that a shipping company so kindly dumped onto a slab of pavement.
It took a long time, but we finally had a place to skate that wasn’t covered in rust and didn’t need to worry about someone coming and wanting to play basketball. Unfortunately the timing wasn’t great. A couple months after we finished it, every single person I had ever skated with left for college. Most of them went to UVM in Burlington, one to Hawaii. I found myself skating alone much more frequently than I would have liked, only seeing them when they’d come back from school. What was more, they all were getting better at skating. Way better. I was always nowhere near as good as they were (it took me an entire year of skating almost every day to finally understand ollies) but their skills just exploded. Some of them started working at Talent Skatepark and quickly acquired handfuls of sponsors. They started a collective called The Worble, an amazing online blog and video production company and began making skate videos unlike any others. They were getting highlights in places like Thrasher, and The Berrics began premiering their videos. Just last year those who were still in school graduated college and drove out west to LA- a place that I’m sure will only find them more fame and recognition.
For me, The Worble points to the direction in which skateboarding will inevitably end up. Their videos are based not only in technical skill (although it is certainly there), but also on creativity. Growing up in Southern Vermont and skating almost exclusively on found surfaces define their aesthetic, and their videos constantly revolve around the natural and discovered places. There are videos of them skating in the woods on pieces of plywood (something that I’ve had the pleasure of doing with them) and videos of them skating through puddles half a foot deep.
Being forced to be creative when we were young has given them the opportunity to do something that was somehow missing in skateboarding. Keep an eye on them- they’ll be famous soon.
LBS Snowboard Tuner