Some decades ago, man made the skateboard.
Man rode skateboard between cones, took advantage of a drought, hit some curbs, some PVC pipe, took pictures of it, other people did it, marble plazas, Barcelona, multi-million dollar video projects, Olympics, Chloe Sevigny, you know the story. You may be the type to focus on the ‘glory days’ past, or you could be one of those forward-thinking dreamy-eyed progressives who couldn’t be happier with it’s present and future, applauding it for being the premiere activity of today’s #alternative #culture.
No matter where your tastes in skating lie, surely you can’t deny the current variety of pants being embraced and experimented with by skaters across the globe. While a couple homies over the past fifty years have succeeded hugely in their selection of pant, the vast majority of looks has been one saggy bundle of frayed-bottomed JNCOs, cargo khakis, bungee cables and penis-suffocating womenswear. Of course all of these looks still exist, out of irony or stubborn protest, the boom in skating over the past few years has bred so many new approaches to what constitutes an acceptable cloak for thighs, shins, balls and/or vagina that it is at once exciting and stifling. Call them kooks, call them jetsetters, but props to kids for keeping it interesting. Here’s just a few of the current styles that are weirding all the OGs out.
The Urban Camo
The camos have always been with us and have never left. There is just a wider variety. Digi cam, snow cam, and as pictured above, duck camo have been making quite a splash among the rippers. Some dudes have them fashionably-snug, some still keep the gigantic look. It’s a timeless look, especially if you’re a skilled labourer and/or artist*.
*read as: guy who writes graffiti
As skateboarding is now finally actually labelled a sport (as opposed to mind state, lifestyle, artform), more and more rippers have adopted the top-shelf apparel of rival sports. The wicking comfort of the trackpant is a prime example. Some kits pull up in first-hand well-tailored joggers, others come through in hand-me-downs, looking like they just didn’t have time to change after gym class. I endorse both looks.
The Short Shorts
A continuation of the “skater-as-athlete” look. This isn’t 2003. We don’t need to keep a sack lunch, Hi8 camera, and copy of Don Quixote in the cargo holds of giant khaki shorts anymore. Less is more in this look, which is why the shorts game has been getting tinier and tinier for some. It’s a look that is very distance runner, very midfielder. It seems to work well as far as performance on the board, and like a great way to quell any pale-thigh fears one might have.
The Alt-Earth Tone
During the shoelace belt era of the 2000s, the earth-toned pant got huge, but the colour spectrum seemed limited to varying shades of brown. Plenty handed their Habitat chinos in for some near-white denim, but an ever-growing subsect of heady urbanites never looked away from the earth and its many shades for inspiration. We have pants the colour of pine, the ancient pigment ochre, pants that mirror the yellow-hues of mineral deposits like stalactites (or is it stalagmites?) Man has always turned to the majesty of nature with life’s big questions, it’s no surprise that Mother Earth knows pants.
In speaking with some members of the 40-and-up crowd, this is the look that really gets them fuming mad. In their heyday, overalls were reserved for really gully rappers or really, really, really white people. Here’s an image of a young man from New Jersey with fashion-forward, well-tailored white overalls, and matching baby blue pastels. Fifteen years ago, this look may have been reserved for a member of a boy band, but by today’s standards, this is just an adventurously-dressed brother who’s really confident that he’s not going to fall.
The Bad Boy Raver
The raver look’s been big in general. Bleached du’s, the centre hair part, tiny tees with big ol’ pants with the edges frayed. Some kids look awesome in it. Shit, you could be wearing a diaper, stilettos, titty tassles, and a lone purple dreadlock; if you rip hard enough, no one’s going to say shit. This kid looks awesome.
The Everything All at the Same Time
When all other looks fail, there is also this pant option, a wild composite of literally every type of pant you could think of.