Just like at the dinner table, there’s a certain level of etiquette that exists when a skate demo comes to your town. And we couldn’t care less if you keep your elbows on the table, but make sure you end up on the right side of this list of dos and don’ts.
1. DO Bring Your Skateboard
Catching a game of SKATE or a session before or after the demo is always a possibility. But when the team hits the course, keep the board under your arm. You might think your frontside flip is just as good as Reynolds, and you might think you can pull it before he does over the pyramid, and you might think the team manager will take notice and you might think you’ll immediately be put you on the team-but you’ll be wrong. So don’t be an asshole.
2. DO NOT Ask A Pro If You Can Have His Skateboard
No matter how much sense it makes in your brain that since sponsored skaters get tons of free product and you don’t, you should be automatically entitled to everything they own, this is the dumbest question you could possibly ask a pro at a demo (with “Who are you?” coming in a close second). It’s annoying, the answer will always be no, and how is someone supposed to skate in a demo if they don’t have their board at a demo?
3. DO Ask For Pro Autographs
Be polite, be respectful, but come prepared. Pros don’t equip themselves with Sharpies so they can scribble their name on your boards, shirts, hats, arms, chests, foreheads, and undergarments as you corner them in between trying tricks (however, if you’re female, this rule may not apply).
4. DO NOT Ask For Civilian Autographs
When you’re surrounded by pros and the signings begin, it may all seem like a blur, but make sure you know who you’re asking to sign your gear. Otherwise, we don’t think your mom will be too happy when you come home with a “Harry Paratestes” signature right across your forehead.
5. DO Bring Friends And Family
The larger the crowd gets, the louder the crowd gets, and the more amped up the skaters will be. Get your cheers on when tricks start going down, and take your checkbook-carrying friends and family right into the skate shop where the visiting pros’ pro-model decks are sure to be on sale. Demos are an easy place to talk a guardian into buying you a new board.
6. DO NOT Bring The Wrong Friends And Family
This includes, but is not limited to, your underage sister, any cousins on a religious mission, the local Rollerblading or BMXing crew, Life Of Ryan fans, kleptomaniacs, the high school football team, anyone with Swastika tattoos, grandparents who think skateboards make too much noise, anyone who regularly carries firearms, and any friend who wears Heelys.
7. DO NOT Think You’re Filming For The Next Transworld Video
If you want to get some footage, owning a Hi-Def Panasonic and a death lens doesn’t give you a free pass to stand at the bottom of the rail and stick your fisheye where it doesn’t belong. You’re not Jon Holland, and shoot, even if you think you’re a damn Steven Spielberg, give the invited skaters a break. Keep to the long lens outta the way.
8. DO Tip Off The Team About Local Spots
Don’t expect a session to go down that day, but it doesn’t hurt to talk a little shop about the spots in the area. But remember, you’re talking to some of the best skateboarders in the world, so your red curb leading up to a four-stair rail ain’t gonna cut it. On the other hand, don’t expect the team to be psyched on your 30-flat-30 double-kinked handrail either.
9. DO NOT Talk Sh-t
Whether you’re sincerely trying to piss off the team or you’re just a straight-out kook, saying things like, “Seriously, how many more tries is it going to take you to land that?” or “No wonder so-and-so sponsor kicked you off the team” will quickly bring the demo the to an end, if not a fist to the face. And once everybody finds out you’re the jackass that pissed the team off… well, you’re probably gonna get the shh-t talk beat right outta you.