Skaters like style. We like to see good skate style, and hate horrible style, but style is hard to define.
When you try to copy someone else’s style, you usually don’t look natural, which is very unstylish. Sometimes the pinching of someone else’s style is really obvious.
After many years of analyzing my own videos I’m still not really happy with my style, but I suppose it is mine, and I’m old, and it’s not going to change a whole lot. There is one style factor, however, that once you are aware of it can really improve your skating and the style of your skating. I’m talking about your knees.
You really, really want to keep your knees pointing roughly the same direction. Very few things look worse on a skateboarding than a rider squatting this his knees spread apart. You don’t even have to get into a full stinkbug, chimp-taking-a-dump style squat, however, for the spread knees to start looking bad. Just a little of that shit can really ruin things.
Eddie Katz, defining style 30 years ago. Photo by the great Warren Bolster. Click through the pic for more great classic shots.
But rather then dwell on “bad” knee style, I want to dwell on the good. So first I give you Eddie Katz, in this photo by the great Warren Bolster (also available here). Check the knees. They’re together. They are pointed the same way. They look relaxed. I won’t even get into the hand positioning. Skateboarding should be beautiful and powerful, like this. This is just so damned awesome! This pic was taken over 30 years ago. Lesson learned.
Here’s another good one, also well over 30 years old. Tony Alva. Again – check the knees. I don’t mean to be a hater, but you would be hard-pressed to stroll into any skatepark in the country and find a single skater that looks that good doing any maneuver at all. Style counts. It matters. It’s what you remember.
Moving on, but still back in the 1970s, I give you recently deceased founder of Sims Skateboards, Sims Snowboards, and master longboarder Tom Sims showing the good knee style on his longboard in a huge bowl. So rad.
Tom Sims, in another Warren Bolster photo. Sadly both Tom and Warren are no longer with us.
And finally, I’ll leave you with 1980s -2000s master of power and style, Chris Miller. If you tell me that anyone has better style than Miller, you are either insane, stupid, or just screwing with me!