Welcome to the MOB “Digi-Diaries from Alicante – a collection of random digital snaps taken by whoever was playing with his smart phone at the time and briefly commented on by Papa Crack. Further down along the scroll-bar you’ll find the article from our tour feature in PLACE magazine. Vollbockadigi.
GOOD TIMES IN THE FRONT, KICK TAIL IN THE BACK
I’ve been going on Skateboard Tours literally for half of my life now. Ever since I got my drivers license back in 1990 I have been on the road in search for skateable terrain outside of my hometown with a trunk full of equal minded Skateboard folk. The first tour I remember was me and two local homies going north in my tiny Fiat Uno. Not only did we drive the Uno during our adventurous three-day stint into the unknown, we also slept and cooked in it. To us, back then, that was absolutely nothing unusual. Mostly because we didn’t even think about it. We were inexperienced, hyped on Canadian Maple and still healthily stupid. Nothing „professional“ about it. No strings attached. No trick- or to-do-list. Despite the fact that I did bring my camera to cover our 50-50s, Boneless-Ones and Early-Grabs for an upcoming issue of the Zine I was publishing at that time. „Read and have Fun“. That was not only the name of my DIY magazine it was absolutely our Motto back then – the „have Fun“ part by definition. We did know nothing about ABD’s and other Media Politics – probably because they just didn’t exist back then. We were just a couple of Freebirds. Absolutely.
Years – and several „Freebird Tours“ later, I delivered myself into voluntary captivity by starting my own skateboard company. Of course I didn’t know I was about to get my wings clipped – in the early days of Company Ownership everything still seemed to be just Fun and Games. Nothing „professional“ about it. All Sessions. No meetings. No Pre-book Line Books. No Fall/Winter. No Spring/Summer – that was all just „Skateboard Season“ to us.
Now fast forward 15 years. Fast forward to Now. I still make a fly-by-night living selling skateboards – but after 15 years of doing this professionally, I know which way the some cookies crumbles in the Skateboard Marketplace. They crumble mostly at the thin line between caring and not caring. You have to be in peoples eyes, ears and brains – which ultimately will lead you into the comfort of their open wallet. That’s how you make a living selling almost anything – including yourself if you’re a sponsored Skateboarder. You need to show off your brand. You have to get it hyped. One way to get to the target-group is by going on a Skateboard Tour with your Teammates. Travel to exotic destinations and get the adrenalin-fueled action covered. Still and Moving. The bigger, the better. Then get it featured in a major magazine. Six pages. No less. Simultanously, blog, post and Instagramize the shit out of the footage gathered. Edit some video-clips. Keep them under 3 minutes. Release them within the next two months in conjunction with blogging the Second-Tries and -Angles on tumblr. Then wait a month – then do it again. And again. And again. It’s like you gotta stir ‘em good if you wanna move ‘em!
I have never have been a Captain known to exploit his crew. I’m not out pushing the performance of my team overboard for publicity. Probably because I’m still clinging to that feeling I had back when I went on those early „Freebird“ trips. Good Times over Bangers. BBQ over TBD. But for a Skateboard-Company owner in the digital age that sentiment is quite romantic. Nothing but an analog luxury if you look at it from the modern business perspective of things. The omnipresent internet of today is a multi-headed Hydra always ready to toss its wireless tongue relentlessly at the potential customer. The internet is the major player in almost every business now – and in order to stay in the Game of Skate you, as a Brand or branded Skateboarder, have to feed this hole. You have to supply to the demand for anything by everyone. Your Brand has to stay afloat in those timelines, Blogs, Posts and Google-Rankings – otherwise you’ll be sinking to the bottom of the digital Quicksand and, ultimately, slip into Meta Oblivion. Millions have already become oblivious so millions of us are feeding that beautiful beast on a daily basis trying to stay within the highest favor of its disciples. We all want Likes in the K’s.
The world online is the Golden Cow of the digital age. Most of us just haven’t yet realised that we have begun to worship it almost above all else. This ignorance of reality is what puts the pressure on us to perform in the digital realm. We put on a performance, an act, trying to stoke the wireless masses and we tend to forget all about just having a good time exclusively by and for ourselves every once in a while. Me included. In 2013, after a King-Of-The-Road-Type of tour for a major magazine, I found myself feeling that this had definetly been my last Skateboard Tour. The „Mission Manual“, as the book was called which included our daily Challenges for this tour, was the essence of what I had begun to dislike about the status-quo of Skateboarding. Always try for the impossible. Not because it’s so much fun but because the gnarlier it gets the more Likes and Followers it will be generating and hopefully finally it will go absolutely viral – get insanely hyped throughout cyberspace – and satisfy millions of people momentarily with a little bit of something.
So when Archie, our Team Manager, mentioned organising a tour I wasn’t exactly all gung-ho about it. I even had doubts about going at all. I didn’t want to see the boys smashing themselves to pieces again for hours on end trying to land that one trick – the one which had never been done before at this spot. „Can’t we just have stupid fun for once?“, I asked myself and then thought „Yeah. We could – but that would NOT go over so well in the magazine feature of the tour if we didn’t even try to stoke the shit out of the Skateboarding World with our Performance.“ – “Why not?“, the Freebird twittered in response from the left half of my brain, „We’re fucking Skateboarders. We can do whatever we like.“ So we did and agreed on going on another tour under the premise that we would keep this tour strictly about having a good time. Good Times in the front, Kicktail in the back. And that’s what we did – all the way to Alicante, Spain. And look at us now: here we are. Full Tour Feature in a major magazine. Six pages. No less – and all we did was to have some simple stupid fun for once in a while.
by Cpt. Cracker