Over at Skate and Annoy, kilwag writes about the AST Vert comp in China. Here’s his take…
“They offered to send me some pictures from the vert event in China, and I said Sure, I’d check them out, and see how they went over on the site. They were kind of stingy. Pierre-Luc Gagnon won the vert event (2nd - Andy Macdonald, 3rd- Adam Taylor) and Sandro Dias’ 900 won the best trick. I don’t know if there was a street event, all they sent was vert info. You can read the canned press and see the pics after the jump. Who knows, maybe you are curious about what Zhou Qiang, President of Xingyi New Media Investment Company has to say.”
Oddly enough, I felt the same way. There are so many ENORMOUS skate events occurring on what feels like a weekly basis that I think people are getting worn down. I know that I am feeling fatigued by it all. This is not to dismiss the skaters and folks who work behind the scenes – they do great work. It’s just, I don’t know – I get the sense that these mega events seem to keep churning and churning. Hype and more hype. Obviously, corporations wouldn’t do these events if they didn’t get a bang for their buck, but a word is beginning to creep into the back of my mind and that word is “OVERKILL.”
Yes folks you read it here – skateboarding + overexposure + hype + more hype = that faint whiff of death.
Again, my mind is torn here. I appreciate the fact that pros are getting paid. I appreciate the fact that corporations are stepping up and mass media is providing all this coverage. The problem for me rests with the idea that I don’t think skateboarding needs any more coverage to convince people to skate. What we need is thousands of healthy independent skate shops and dozens of healthy skate companies – not two or three major chains and five skate corporations.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Mike, you idiot – the money helps promote skateboarding – why fight it? Why not enjoy the ride and watch skateboarding become purely a mass market experience?” My answer to this would be to say “skateboarding is already a mass market experience – it needs something to counterbalance the hype creep. Only then will all of skateboarding be healthy, not just a handful of companies and skaters.
I am sure the Maloof Cup with its almost half million dollar prize purse will be an event of epic proportions. But have this funny feeling that it may mark the watershed moment when skaters took a step back and said “do we really need this?” I know, that’s harsh – it’s big money and it’s a big deal – but I just sense things are going in a direction that will eventually wind up biting a lot of folks in the ass.
But then again, nothing like a big chomp on your butt to get you moving in a different direction.