The evolution of skateboarding

The evolution of skateboarding
The evolution of skateboarding.

Although the basic physical aspects of a skateboard remain pretty close to your old roller skates nailed to a piece of wood, the evolution of “skateboarding” always amazes me.

How skateboarders learn new tricks

I am a old dude (I mean really old), but I still skateboard. While skateboarding and taking pictures I have seen my friends learn new tricks. And I got to thinking about this process. If you don’t skate you might not know that in order for a skateboarder to learn a new trick they must literally fall. Think about that if you want to learn how to make spaghetti there is absolutly no falling on the ground involved. If you want to get a associates degree again no falling. But with skateboarding the recipe for a new trick includes being physically hurt.

It normally goes like this. The skater tries the trick for the first time knowing that they will mostly likely fall. And when I say fall I mean fall to the concrete from a couple of feet to around 13 feet above the ground. So knowing this the skateboarder still tries the new trick. They of course fall, and worse they didn’t even come close to making it. The skater might lay there for a moment to get over the pain and or embarrassment. The skater gets up and tries it again and they fall again, this time it physically and sometimes emotionally hurts even more. Their mind might began feeding them doubt. Doubt that is based in the logic of the physical and emotional pain they are feeling, but the skater pushes that logic aside. The skater tries again and falls again (imagine climbing a few rungs of a ladder and falling off (over and over)). Every fall proves how far away they are from the trick. Every fall hurts more and brings more doubt into the situation. But the skater who is physically hurting and emotionally doubting (for some reason) believes that he or she can do this and that it is worth doing.

Sometimes the skater falls so hard they cannot move for a few moments. They are not passed out, just physically exhausted which contributes to having a harder time with each new beating. They get this sort of dazed look in their face.  And they are not thinking about school, relationships, money, politics etc. The skater is in some sense even more focused on the goal. The skater is in sort of a trick-trance.

At some point friends or even other skaters (complete strangers) who are nearby might start cheering the skater on. This support certanly helps take some of the sting away, but whats interesting is that the skater is really battling this thing alone. Skateboarding is such a solitary pursuit. In the end it is just the skater fighting gravity, figuring out physics, and the battling the worst enemy of a new trick (the self).

In the end this process of making a new trick can go on for hours, days, or even months. And of course the moment the skater makes the new trick they feel a sense of accomplishment that is hard to describe. And they take this feeling with them in their pursuit of new tricks as well as other things in life they are attempting.

So I see this day to day from people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. For some skaters just standing on the board and rolling down a bank is a first time thing. And the beautiful thing about skateboarding is that other skaters no matter how old or skilled will alway cheer on and many times even coach the new skater. Skateboarding is like that, a wonderful skater-family experience. And when one learns to accept falling the world can look a little different.

“Aloha” Hunter Long photo

Ken Hada photography hunter long aloha skateboarding-1
Ken Hada photography hunter long aloha skateboarding

Hunter Long contacted me a few hours before this picture was shot. She wanted to take some pictures at Pedlow. We took some invert photos and some air photos and thin the process produced this picture. Just a few hours after this session Hunter was on plane bound for Hawaii. The next day I edited the photos from the session. After professing all the images that I felt she and I would both like a came across this “bail shot”. I this image along with all the good “make” photos. She immediately text back that she thought this image was funny. A lot of other people seemed to like this as well so next gallery i’ll add this one to the mix.

Amelia Brodka, am session at Vans Off The Wall Skateboard Park

Ken Hada Amelia Brodka front d vans off the wall skateboard park-1
Ken Hada Amelia Brodka front d vans off the wall skateboard park-1
Ken Hada Sarah Kate vans hb back disaster-1
Ken Hada Sarah Kate vans hb back disaster-

Back in the day when change seemed like nothing but a fantasy, instead of giving into the way things were going she believed in women skateboarding and even built a refuge for it thrive in.

These images are from a skateboarding session Amelia Brodka invited me and my camera to on the morning of the Girls Global Qualifier Huntington Beach. Amelia has been a heroic figure for me ever since I heard about her movie and annual skateboarding event Exposure. You see when I throw a Skatopia reunion its me cooking chili dogs over a old coleman stove at Chino skatepark. When Amelia throws a event it is somewhat larger. So I am always honored to photograph her and always happy to pick her brain on things like Women’s skateboarding.

Rouge One (Spoiler Alert)

Julz Lynn Skateboarding Star Wars Carrie Fisher Tribute
Julz Lynn Skateboarding Star Wars Carrie Fisher Tribute

This image was created on the Day Carrie Fisher best known as Princess Leia from Star Wars died. I found myself with a little extra time this day and so I contacted a few skaters to see if any were interested in making a skateboarding picture. Once I learned of Carrie Fisher’s death I send a second communication to the skaters asking them to bring something Star Wars related to the shoot (if they cared to). Julz ended up being the last photograph of the day and when she showed up to the skatepark I was amazed at how much she had done. Now I must interject that I was amazed at how much thought and time Julz put into her Star Wars concept but I was not surprised, because Julz gives 200% to everything she is called to do.

If you have not seen Rouge One read no further. I have a few thoughts after seeing Rouge One last night with my family. I was amazed at the Forest Gump components of the film. When I began tinkering with 3d animation back in very late 1980’s I wondered if films would someday be made without any physical actors? Rouge One was yet another Star Wars film that used CGI characters. Where I was a little disappointed was with the fact that the quality of the cgi didn’t seem to improve much since the day of Forest Gump. The characters looked sort of low rez and like Forest Gump didn’t seem to be looking directly into the eyes of the other live characters they were sharing the scene with.

The other thing that bothered me about Rouge One was that it was the least Star Wars feeling film I have seen to date. It instead looked and had the rythm of any other film i might see  in 2016.  Star Wars used to have a a very special unique feel about it. It is possible I feel this way because just saw The Force Awakens a year ago?


Would I watch Rouge One again and recommend it to friends? The answer is yes. Although it seemed to lack some of that Star Wars mojo, it had enough to keep me intersted. And it had my kids asking about episode 4, so it even ignited some interest in the movie that started it all way back when.