European countries, now more than ever, are seeing a serious influx of skaters from all over the globe, as most of you have probably already noticed.
An exodus of skaters from their homelands into Europe is currently taking place, and a large portion of that group is made up of skaters from the U.S. The reason these beings are showing up in such mass quantities is largely due to the fact that the U.S. is living in a constant state of fear of basically everything. Everyone is afraid of getting sued by everyone else, so of course you’re going to get kicked out of every spot all lickity-split-like. You don’t even have a chance in most U.S. cities. Most security guards act like it’s their building and take the shit way too seriously, to the point where it doesn’t even make sense. There’s a whole mess of spots that you can’t even approach nowadays because they are on what I like to call “Osama Bin Lockdown.” This is a huge problem for skating in NYC and at any federal building in the States, which has put a fierce damper on many once-flourishing skate scenes. Everybody is also in such fear of some minor scuffing of inanimate objects (ledges and rails) that no normal human in their right mind would even ever pay attention to, anyways. And on top of all this annoying crap we have so many goddamn bikers with big-ass ledge-eating pegs that make perfect marble look like chunky flintstone ledges in no time flat. If somebody can figure out a way to bike-proof stuff but keep it skateable, I will write him or her a personal check. Europe, so far, doesn’t have so many harsh BMX humans, and it also has a much more insouciant mind state, which caters to skateboarding in so many ways.
There are lots of perfect spots throughout Europe, and most other continents, for that matter, and if these spots were in the States, they would be skate-proofed in moments, if not in the blueprints before being erected. Europeans just don’t seem to care as much, which makes it a much more pleasurable place to skate and to exist in. I hope Europe stays as far as possible from the American ways, and if they maintain what they’ve got going on right now, they’ll be that much better off in the end.
In the not-too-distant future I see this being one of the catalysts for helping other countries’ skateboard companies to flourish. Most people that have a high level of skill end up riding for American companies because they can offer more money and in turn have better teams that a skater would want to ride for. Also, most U.S. companies have been around longer and are a lot more established. European companies are growing stronger but are still pretty far from the level of U.S. companies.
Skaters in the U.S. are being held back, and if things continue the way they have been, the mecca for skateboarding will eventually be based somewhere else. Only time will tell, but in the meantime I’ll keep on booking flights to other parts of the world so I can get some time skating without getting kicked out of a place before I even land a damn thing.