Pushing … is it the forgotten trick? It’s probably the most taken for granted and the least seen in any media form-print or video. (TransWorld SKATEboarding has had one cover featuring someone pushing-Tod Swank, June 1987.) And other than the ollie, it’s the most fundamental and basic motion you can do on a skateboard. It also helps define your style on a skateboard. Do you raise your pushing knee high in the air for maximum force because you only know one speed and that’s pedal to the medal? Or do you have the lazy I’m-barely-pushing-dead-leg-’cause-I’m-gonna-switch-back-tail-this-ledge-super-buttery-so-it-doesn’t-matter-how-I-push style? No matter what, the push is seldom seen. Pop in a video and count how many times you see someone pushing. Not very many because we’re so used to focusing in on what trick is being down and at what spot-roll up, insert trick name here, roll away clean (or with hand drag depending on your style acceptance)-the how you got there part is overlooked. Think about pushing, too, when you flip through this issue: how many pushing photos do you see other than this one of Mark Gonzales for his art exhibit in Germany, circa 1999? Mark is perfect for this piece about pushing, because when you see Mark skate he makes pushing, weaving, carving, and dodging look like the most natural and fun thing to do on a skateboard.
This whole idea about pushing on a skateboard came about after seeing Santa Cruz’s newest project Guarte because there was lots of pushing in that video, which is a good thing. But it made me think or how things are just different now. I certainly don’t push as much as used to (and probably should) and it mostly has to do with the fact that I have a car. The car provides all sorts of transportation needs. Before I had a car, not only was my skateboard the fastest and funnest way from point A to point B, but I could spend all day on my skateboard just skating from spot to spot. But life has changed and as I’ve grown older, the responsibilities of life have been consuming me and the fastest way from point A to point B is in my car-get in the car, drive to a spot, get in the car, drive around, repeat steps one through four, and so on.
Maybe it’s time to rediscover an old trick. Not only am I spending way too much time in an office setting and in my car, but I’m not spending as much time on my skateboard as I should. Now with gas reaching close to the three dollar per gallon mark, maybe it’s time to trek the five miles to work on my skateboard. It’d take me quite a bit longer to get to the office, but you never know, maybe I’ll discover some new spots along the way.-Eric Sentianin