Nothing to argue with here, here are the top ten reasons why the 90s was the best decade in skateboarding according to Clyde Singleton.
1. The Best Videos Where Made
Let’s see….Video Days. Questionable. Trilogy. Welcome To Hell. Goldfish. Spitfire video. Skypager. Soldier’s Story. The End. Uno. Lick. Eastern Exposure 1-3. Stars And Bars. Yellow. Life In The Fast Lane. Love Child. Tim Dowling’s Listen. A Visual Sound. Color video…. I could go on for days. Basically , there ain’t no comparison.
2. The Level Of Talent Will Forever Go Unmatched
I don’t care what anybody has to say. If it weren’t for cats like Eric Koston, Danny Way, Pat Duffy, Kareem Campbell, Daewon Song, Tom Penny, Guy Mariano, Chad Muska, Mike Carroll, Alphonzo Rawls, Jason Lee, Andrew Reynolds, and Jeremy Wray (just to name a few), there ain’t no telling where or what the hell skateboarding would be like now. Those guys literally changed and are partially responsible for the game as we see it now.
3. The Best Contests
I mean, is this even debatable? Just the level of excitement that joints like Back To The City, Brooklyn Banks, Munster, Houston Pro, Tampa Pro, Slam City had…and then we had the illest amateur contests imaginable. You go to any NSA district, regional, or finals, and they were better than most Super Bowls! And here’s another great thing–the street guys would actually stay and root for their vert comrades. I’mtelling y’all, 90s was the best.
4. The East Coast Explosion
Good googly moogly. I remember this like it was yesterday. It was like when Snoop Dogg (Ricky Oyola) and Tha Dogg Pound (Fred Gall, Matt Reason, Donny Barley, et cetera) thought East (West) Coast was biased about their music (skating), and came through and kicked over the buildings in the “New York, New York” (Eastern Exposure0 video. Sorry if y’all don’t get that, but that’s the easiest way I could reference the “takeover.”
5. World Industries Was Created
It took on dude to change the face of the skateboarding industry, and that one dude was Steve Rocco. He didn’t give a f*ck about what the industry thought of him. He didn’t give a f*ck who he made angry. And he didn’t give a f*ck about the way the industry perceived the way he ran his business. He was a real bawss! Don’t wanna run my ads? I’ll start my own magazine! I don’t like you. I’ll take your riders and make them superstars. Plus, he gave more minorities jobs than the damn Job Corp. As I said, BAWSS status.
6. Vert Skating Was At Its Peak
The level vert skating was at back then was so ridiculous that there was street dudes incorporating it into their video parts. I’m saying, when you’re watching a video and you see a dude do a backside 360 tailgrab fakie nosegrind revert or a fakie 540 heelflip indy grab, you’d wanna skate vert too! It was like these cats were literally doing ledge, mixed with the hardest flatground tricks, on eleven-foot ramps! And oh yea, the 900 was done in the 90s too. And it ain’t even fair to discuss when Bob Burnquist hit the States.
7. There Were No Manufactured Pros Or Ams
See, unlike nowadays, you had to actually be at least somewhat well-rounded at skateboarding to even be taken seriously. There was no such thing as a “video skater” or a “rail guy.” There seemed to be a common, unspoken level of wackness that was just not accepted as much as it is now. Teams had variety. Skaters had real personalities. All in all it was doper.
8. Graphic Design Was At Its Peak
The 90s was the premier era of design. Guys like Sean Cliver, Marc McKee, Marty Jimenez, Natas Kaupas, Andy Howell, Ron Cameron, Ed Templeton, and Thomas Campbell (just to name a few)….these guys were at the forefront of art. Galleries were paying attention. Companies were literally ripping off skateboarding logos. As Russell Bongard said, “The new bible of cool was written in the 90s, from and aesthetic standpoint.”
9. The Best Shoe Companies Were Created
And when I say “the best,” I’m speaking in terms of teams that these companies were built around. And with that said, I think we can just stop at both DC and Etnies (yes, I know Etnies is technically from the 80s, but that was really just Natas). These are our “Nike” and “Adidas” of our sport. They’ve both been built around solid teams, have always had solid products, ads, branched into other sports and genres, and furthermore, have withstood the test of time. Say what you want, but these two companies will be around until they wanna be.
10. Trends Were Actually Being Started, Not Followed
When the hell did skateboarders start following trends? Real talk. Since when was it “cool” to dress like anything other than a skateboarder? If you look at the history, half these other “action sports” stole our tricks. Half these bands/rappers stole our looks. It’s like, we Benjamin Buttoned our whole existence and now we look as if we’re emulating other people…and accept it! We let money and sheep define our current existence. ‘Scust. Now I know why my folks always say, ” The good ol’ days.”