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The streets have knobs, cracks, and security. The skateparks have fences, rules, moms, and--well, these guys. It's like trading in one headache for another. Class is in session.


The funny thing is, this guy rips. He's good. He lands some sick stuff. So how is it that he actually bums out everyone around him? The Mad Dog is the guy that devolves into an aggressive, territorial canine as soon as he hits the park His breathing becomes panting. His dialogue is reduced to grunting. Kids scatter in the Mad Dog's presence. They know that outlandish transfers are in the air, and that means death from above for the 10-and-under crowd. When a rabid pack of Mad Dogs descend on a park it can be every man for himself. They circle the park, forever seeking the gnar transfer. Their slams only encourage them. They want to hang up. Blistering frontside 50-50s are met with a chorus of approving grunts. The Mad Dog stinks. He's over there in the corner taking a piss. He's bleeding from no less than two limbs at all times. Fear the wrath of the Mad Dog, those who dare skate a bowl like a mini-ramp. You better roll-in and no Canadian fly-outs either.


The media onslaught of X-Games-type programming, which supposedly spawned skating's current popularity has had a nasty afterbirth--raw jock skating/training, overbearing rules, clueless skatepark construction. Another unfortunate phenomena is the Schmoe. The Schmoe is the near half-century old guy who hits the skatepark straight after an alternative sports shopping spree. We're not talking about older skaters in general or even the dudes that dust off the board once or twice a year. The Schmoe is the unabashed, trend-following zero. A guy who never gave skating any legitimacy until NBC and Sprite told him it was time. He played softball in college and hasn't done shit since, not counting the swing-dance classes. He tried Ecstacy last weekend and is thinking about a nipple piercing.


This dude bites. Of course everyone wants to stick whatever they try. And, sure, an occasional whoop from the masses is no biggy. But, for Pete's sake, you don't go out and seek it like an attention-starved step-child. Before hitting the popular blast-off hip, ledge or what have you, the Beamer looks left, then right, scoping his "audience." He'll then do whatever stock trick he has wired and complete the routine with a roll-away stare-down. Sometimes he triumphantly glares at the obstacle he just "killed" (which is bad), or he'll look back at the "audience" (which is worse). The skatepark explosion was well-suited for the Beamer. When he switch-flipped the Cooterville Convalescent Home six-stair, only two bros cheered. Now, he can outshine the entire flow team at the Putrid Fetus demo and have the kids screaming for more. Some of the more pathetic, shameless Beamers bust out in front of parents and even little kids, like grade-schoolers and shit. Tell-tale Beamer--one eye on you, and one on whatever he's doing.

KEY: Look for these characteristics when trying to define a park perp








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Date:Dec 1, 2002
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