Hi guys, Ed here again with this month’s blog. This month I’m going to be talking about lots of different gimmicks in skateboarding, some of these are actually good, while others are absolutely dreadful. I’ll start off by giving you the Cambridge dictionary definition of gimmick, which is;
“something that is not serious or of real value that is used to attract people’s attention or interest temporarily, especially to make them buy something”
So, I won’t be talking about things that are useful in skateboarding or actually have a purpose, such as P2 decks or impact decks and instead concentrate on the things that fit into that definition.
So, let’s first start off with something I imagine you’ve used on your skateboard before;
Most skaters love stickers, including me (I have a box full that only used in the house). But let’s face it they have no real purpose other than to be an advert for whatever brand is on said sticker. We all love them and will keep sticking them on our boards. For example the picture above is my current rider and I’ve literally left a space in the grip tape just for stickers, they might be a total gimmick and serve no purpose, but they are pointless yet almost integral part of skateboarding.
Having graphics on a wheel is even more pointless than stickers, as at least you can make your board look good with stickers while the graphic on your wheel, although it may look awesome when you buy them it will pretty much be completely removed apart from a few unrecognisable remnants of the graphic near your bearing after a week of riding them. Flip made an attempt to change this in the early 2000’s with their sidecut wheel which had the graphic printed inside a groove on the side of the wheel, as it was in the small groove you couldn’t get a really awesome pattern on it (at least flip never did) so you are stuck with just a logo of the brand and type of wheel and once the wheels started to wear down the lip of that groove would end up very sharp. While coloured wheels are also a bit of a gimmick they at least keep their colour so I’m giving them a pass.
Branding on anything and everything;
A lot of companies will put their logo on anything to make it skate related. NHS who make Santa Cruz, Creature and Independent among others are possibly the worst for this. Some of the examples of stuff you can you can get are; an independent ashtray shaped like the Combi bowl, while being totally pointless I still really want one, mob to a grip tape file for $12 (or you could go to any DIY store and pick one up for a tenth of the price and put your own mob sticker on it), towels, mugs, umbrellas, slippers and many more random things. My main gripe with these is the price of them just because they have a brand logo on them. Despite them being expensive for what they are, I would still buy plenty of the random stuff with skate logos on.
Random shaped boards;
This isn’t a dig at shaped boards in general, as I’ve written plenty shaped boards and still own some, this is more about them pointless shapes that make using them as a skateboard extra difficult. you might be thinking “but Ed it makes a fun and interesting cruiser” while yes that is true, it’s still not practical. Take the pizza board above for example either your nose or your tail is going to be ridiculously skinny, which is just asking for speed wobbles, so if you want shaped board at least pick a practical shape.
Pucks with flint in them;
Quick venture into the long boarding world with this one, if you don’t know what these are there are small plastic puck you stick on a glove to help with slides while long boarding, very useful and very widely used in long boarding but the gimmick part of this is the little bits of flint in the puck and the only thing they do is make sparks totally pointless and unnecessary, yet I still plan to buy some, as who doesn’t want to shoot off sparks while bombing hills.
This is another product designed just to make sparks, the difference with this one is that it will affect the performance of your board. Putting a big chunk of plastic with a load of flint on your tail is definitely going to kill your pop and after a few decent all these are tail slides on one of these it’s bound to crack, resulting in you now having sharp bits of plastic screwed to the bottom your board.
Going to end with this monstrosity. What annoys me most about this, is that is aimed at new skaters who don’t know how crap and pointless it is. There is no point learning new tricks stood still, as then you’re not going to get a feel for how the board reacts and get used to a moving skateboard, even if this was a good idea, it could be replicated cheaply with a roll of duct tape, or just tightening your wheels.
So, that’s it for this month’s blog, thanks for reading, despite most of the stuff in this list being a complete waste of money, if you want them just buy them, as long as you’re having fun on your skateboard it doesn’t matter. I still have a load more gimmicks to write about but I will save them for another list.
Please have a read of some of my other blogs, don’t forget to check out my videos on Urban Surfers YouTube channel and feel free to give me a follow, on Instagram @breadskates
Go out skate and have fun.