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Skate Youth Troubled

The following is copied straight from issue 60 of Slam Skateboarding Magazine:

If something is not said now, well then, what hope do we have for the future?  I'm talking about this obsession with sponsorship many of today's young skateboarders have.  Without the slightest hint of exaggeration,  about eight of every ten letters SLAM receives  basically read like this

Dear Slam,
I'm a twelve year old skateboarder from Woop-woop and I've been skating for about six months. I can do blah, blah down the three stairs at my school and I want you to give me advice about getting Sponsored.  Companies I want sponsorship from are . (an arm's length list of all the big guns).
From A. Tool

When this type of correspondence first began to pile up on my desk I thought of it as innocent childhood fantasies, although it wasn't long before I began to frown upon every letter of this type passed before me - fearing I've become a grumpy old man.  Now that it's a continuing trend, I'm more inclined to pass this fear on to the kids with these delusions of grandeur.  The fear I refer to is the sincerity of their motive for skateboarding  - are they actually skateboarding because they love it for its pure essence or are they engrossed by all the hierarchy in skateboarding, and generally in society, that all they care for is to be better then the next skater.  Without harping on about the "good old days", today it seems more acceptable to be of this nature and I don't see it as any sort of improvement.  Sure healthy competition is good, but for all the multitude of 12 year-old kids to be thinking this way is not.  There are skateboarders out there hungry for popularity and product that succeed a little, although in my experience they don't seem to last long--not getting what they expect and rather not skate at all.  The skaters I do see stick around for the long haul just skate, and have a lot more fun.  If an industry type sees fit they're flowed some product--great. 

A skateboard is a piece of wood attached to four wheels, if you're rolling upon it then that should be enough -- Shut up and skate.

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