I have a funny story. It involves a former employee of Transworld Skateboarding. Now, I wasn't present for this story and heard it from somebody who was in attendance so who knows if it's true. But, when the legend is better than reality you can always go with the legend. Besides, this is SouthoftheNorth.com not a public newspaper where we actually give a crap. I digress the scene was a pitch meeting with the former TW Employee and he referred to a blogger and radio host as "a tourist." You see the radio host has a show that deals with all things action sports. Said host is based out of the Bay Area and the guy can shamelessly self promote. There, that's the story. What struck me as funny is that the TW Employee would talk down on the radio guy when there were so many more blatant touristas out there whoring off action sports. Case in point the New York Times.
The New York Times should do us all a favor and never right about skateboaridng, snowboarding or surfing again. Moreover their article on Van Wastell published today is a waste of copy space. I don't mean that Van isn't worthy of their space but their editorial position to show him solely on a broad spectrum as a live fast, die young type of person is just sad journalism. With no insight from family or close friends, the writer, Michael Brick paints a portraitof a reckless soul akin to Evel Knievel. A quick excerpt.
" ... he always got up, and when he did he flew over guardrails, across the berms of parking lots, high above staircases, up riverbed embankments and around abandoned construction sites, his board twirling manically beneath his feet. Down bent metal handrails, he glided with ease. He soared over crevices like Evel Knievel. Most astounding of all, he seemed to defy gravity on behalf of his board, which he kept aloft beneath his airborne toes until the moment when he chose to slap the wheels down with clean finality."
I stumbled upon this piece of crap story via You Will Soon. Apparently the writer talked to Dan of YWS and then just managed to take things out of context in his own special sort of "I spend more time writing about tennis and bass fishing sort of way". The point is, people legitimately interested in skating, snowboarding and surfing don't write this kind of dreck. We know when to respect our fallen friends but that's just in general good taste. You don't have to skate to know that. But, going back tto the story I know who the real tourists are and why they'll never understand the contribution somebody like Van made to skating. Michael Brick, New York Times you missed the mark on this in a big way.