Perhaps nowhere is Mr Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule more pronounced than with skateboarding. And yet, while the sport has gained ground within the wider world, to the extent that it has been selected as an exhibition event at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, it will take a lot for it to shake off an association with weed-smoking misfit adolescents in exceptionally baggy trousers. But to pull off the kinds of feats that teenagers in beanies and Vans make look profoundly easy actually takes a lot of tedious, repetitive and focused work, and a lot of cuts and bruises every time you fall down.
Assuming you’re no longer in the age bracket where it is still socially acceptable to spend far too much of your time tumbling off a plank of wood with wheels over and over again, but you still want to tap into the cache of skateboarding, where do you go? Not the skatepark, that’s for sure. Thankfully, The SkateRoom has a clever scheme that will allow you to look like you know one end of a half-pipe from the other without the effort – or injuries – required to pull off a kickflip. What’s more, it will make you look like you know something about art, too.
The SkateRoom’s latest collection of decks showcase some, erm, sick artworks by the likes of Messrs Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who both found their feet amid the street-art scene of 1980s New York at the same moment hip-hop culture took hold, and graffiti became intrinsically linked to skating. Also on display is the work of Mr Andy Warhol, a man you’d struggle to see dropping into a sketchy bowl, true, but in his reproduction of cans of soup and use of screen printing gave striving street artists the ammunition they needed to make the world their own.