Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ode to the No Comply

I started skating during the first big boom in the 80's. This was right around the time Gleaming the Cube came out and as a young impressionable 10 year old, I'm pretty sure I came out of that movie thinking Christian Slater was a better skater than Christian Hosoi.

One of the first tricks I learnt was the No Comply and still to this day its my favourite trick. Not just because its easy, or because it can be combined with endless variations. You could say that about a bunch of tricks. No it's because the No Comply perfectly captures the spirit of skateboarding. Think about it, it's all in the name: the don't fuck with me fuck all authority damn the man goddamn motherfucking do what I want 'No Comply'. A thousand words about skating can't capture what these two words do.

This was back in the day when naming a skate trick used to mean something. You had Christ Airs, Airwalks, Stalefish, Boneless, Mad ollies, Rock and Rolls, Judo Airs, Melon Grabs, Feeble grinds and so on. People put a lot of thought in to those names, or at the very least took the opportunity to make up some weird shit. And one day some genius said "you know what, I'm gonna call this trick a 'No Comply'. Why? Because fuck you, that's why. It doesn't need explaining, it just is" (at least that's how it happened in my version of reality).

You see, for those too young to remember, skaters used to be outcasts from society. There was no X-Games, Nike wouldn't touch skateboarding with a hundred foot pole, and Tony Hawk ws too busy looking for Animal Chin to be looking for the next product endorsement. Skaters expressed their originality and freedom through skating.

Yep, back then you skated because it was what you wanted to do. You didn't care what anyone thought and you didn't give a damn if everyone hated you for it. it was a rejection of a lame arse society and its lame arse values. To skate was to 'No Comply'.

So here's to the No Comply. I hope you outlive every lame named fad trick that comes along and keep the spirit of skating alive. I hope you outlive the existence of every Nike factory and every version of every video game Tony Hawk ever makes. And last of all I hope you outlive me and when I'm an old duffer my grand kids will say "hey pops what's that old school trick you do where you take your foot off the board?" and I'll say "Why that's a No Comply" and then they'll say "No Comply? Good name, sums up what skatings about don't you think pops?" and then we'll all click our tounges twice and say "rolyoloho" (because that will be like a high five in the future), then jump on our boards and bomb a hill, Zimmer frame and all.