Skateboarding is Wierd

A few days ago I went skateboarding at DOS (Department of Skateboarding for the PDX uninitiated) with a friend. This is a friend that I have known for nearly 10 years now. I friend that I met on the other side of the country, and that I have remained very close with throughout many of lifes changes: jobs, states, fatness, thinness, relationships, deaths. Everything. We used to skateboard together at work a long time ago, and we still skateboard together today.

During this session at DOS with my friend I saw a familiar face. I say familiar because it’s a face that I knew, but not one that I had seen recently. Not at all. This time, it was another friend from my days in the mountains of Colorado. I hadn’t seen him in many years. He was here on business and he did what skateboarders who travel for business do. They go to the local skatepark and ride their skateboards.

So, I was now engaged in a session with a good friend of 10 years who I do get to see very often, and then another friend from about 12 years back that I haven’t seen in many. It was as if we all got together and did this all the time.

Upon starting my job at Burton I remember being somewhat taken aback by the lack of skateboarders in the place. Coming from the Midwest it was always my thought that snowboarders were just skateboarders in cold places. I had completely undersold ski culture and the fact that snowboarders were just becoming snowboarders out of the blue in the mid 1990’s. No skateboarding required.

Still, one person in that place stuck out as a skateboarders’ skateboarder, and he and I immediately became fast friends. We are still very good and close friends today, because we share the same set of values and a lot of the same experiences.

Growing up skateboarding in the 1980’s did this to me. It did this to us all. We are veterans of a cultural war that the youth of today reap benefit from. We bear scars of age and of battles won against cities, cops and rednecks. Things that in many cases you don’t have to fight against today.

The skateboarding community is an amazing thing. There are not many other cultures that I know of that would allow circumstances like this to happen. Anywhere I go I have friends, or I make them. Immediately. I can always get a couch to crash on, a cold beer and a slice of pizza.

I am sure that on my next skateboarding adventure anywhere more friends will either be found, or new ones made, and for that I am always most grateful.


  1. Coulter- your the coolest mother fucker on this planet- you got more fans than you can skake a stick at- me included. Come skate HR!!

  2. I enjoyed your story, I’ve had similar things like that happen. In the early 90’s I ended up living in the same building in Steamboat Colorado with a kid from Boston who I met and photographed on a skate trip in the mid 80’s. We didn’t put it together until he saw a copy of Skate and Annoy laying around that another friend had on his coffee table. He saw it and said “i met that guy when he came to Boston, he put a picture of me in his zine…” to which I replied “I am that guy!” He had finished going through puberty and grown a huge head of dreadlocks in the meantime..

    Let’s see, I went to school in central Illinois. At one point I moved into a vacated room at a house. I didn’t know thew guy who left, but my girlfriend at the time (now wife) was a friend of his… Then maybe 6 years or so later we moved to Oregon. On our first visit to Newberg we ran into that guy at the skate park.

    Plate of Shrimp

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