Gasbag 18-1

TransWorld SKATEboarding: Y2K Compliant

On a recent trip I came across an interesting advertisement in an airline duty-free catalog. It read:

Y2K Survival Kit

While we here at airline’s name omitted look positively toward a bright future for frequent travelers, we’ve also learned that it’s always best to plan for the unexpected. With the upcoming millennium approaching fast, it’s a good time to ask ourselves, “Are we really prepared?” Our Y2K Survival Kit will help ready you to respond to whatever the “Y2K” has to offer. Kit includes: 50-gallon-per-hour water purifier, global positioning locator, long-burn candles, strong box, emergency eyewash kit, dial-and-find information chart for emergency radio and television bands, comprehensive first-aid kit, flares, 60-foot 3/4-inch nylon rope, tool kit, gas mask. Price: $599.99

What, exactly, is going to happen on January 1, 2000 that will require an emergency eyewash kit? Is it going to rain darkroom chemicals? Do the airlines know something we don’t? Judging from how they dress their employees, my guess is no. Odds are, like every other company and organization on the planet, they’re simply cashing in on the Y2K hype.

And at TransWorld SKATEboarding we are, too. The only difference is instead of preying on your insecurities and fears about a future in which the judicial system, law-enforcement agencies, computer systems protecting missile-launch codes, and human decency outright fail, we see the Millennium with a bit more optimism. While the skateboard industry has spent the last three decades doing a rather believable impression of an E-ticket roller-coaster ride, as the Year 2000 approaches, it suddenly finds itself hitting its strongest and most-stable period ever. Knock on wood.

Tony Hawk appears regularly on ESPN, as well as in numerous advertisements and on HBO sitcoms, and he can be see skating the Encinitas Y with his son Riley. There are more skateparks recently completed, in the design phase, or currently being considered by city councils than anyone even knows what to do with. Regardless of snowboarding’s rookie appearance at the world-class level, there’s heavy lobbying going on to make skateboarding an Olympic event. Denver, Colorado is rumored to have set aside over a million dollars for a downtown skatepark. Andy Macdonald regularly introduces the President of the United States at White House functions. Skateboarders, who will remain unnamed, are signing endorsement deals worth millions of dollars – and the scary part is, they’re worth it. Street skaters aren’t required to dress like circus clowns and ride 26-millimeter wheels anymore. And to top it all off, Steve Berra’s marrying Juliette Lewis!

It’s an exciting time to be riding the skateboarding roller coaster. So to celebrate the Millennium and all the amazing skateboarding we predict will go on over the next thousand years or so, we’ve produced 54 pages’ worth of interviews with skateboarding heroes past, present, and future. There’s even an interview with Neil Blender.

Come to think of it, maybe we do need those emergency eyewash kits.