Skateboarding and Music

I’m 43 and I started skating again around 36. I’m blown away by the amount if musicians that skate or used to skate and as I get into modular stuff more I’m seeing that crossover as well. I think there’s a real similarity of thought process or something that attracts the skater to music. How many of you skate or used to?


In high school we just finished building a skate park that was across the street from campus. We also had off campus lunch. I skated every day then. At 30 I got back into it, but not with the same intensity as back then. It hurts a lot more to fall now.

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I used to pretty heavily, though I guess I was more on the “longboard” side of things. I did a LOT of downhill freeride and tech sliding(kinda looks like breakdancing at 30mph), but also did some freestyle on my skateboard

I think the outlet for self-expression, along with just about endless possibilities in both areas is why there’s crossover.

I need to dig out my deck and find a parking lot

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I skated for years (since the mid 80’s) but the last 5 years have slowed considerably due to the recovery time from injury. I wish by “injury” I meant something cool like “well I almost cleared that set of 15 stairs” but it’s more like “Oh I didn’t stretch enough before getting going and I pulled my achilles skating this mini ramp”. At this point I’m just happy to carve around for a few hours. Old man with nothing to prove.

I definitely think there’s a parallel between coming up with a nice piece of music (or even a nice piece of sound) and coming up with a nice line at a skatepark. Really I think it applies to many creative endeavours. Here are all of these options…now what? Flow states. Expression. Style. Sometimes you plan it out in your head and then you try it and bail. Sometimes you just wing it and it’s the best thing you’ve done in a while.

Were I ever to make my own set of Oblique Strategies cards, the first one in the deck would just say “Neil Blender”. :slight_smile:


Fuck yes! Might be my favorite skater of all time.


skated growing up, got back into it a few years ago, fell hard a few times and basically got back out of it (other than as a sort of transit mechanism between walking and biking).

Have you watched many/any of the Palace videos? I feel like their music curation is pretty great (also the owner of Trilogy Tapes is the main graphic designer / brand person for Palace, so there’s a lot of overlap).


Been skating for 20 years solid now and it informed a lot of decisions and associated experimental interests for many years. I wouldn’t say skateboarding was key in starting my interest in electronic music though. It’s not traditionally been an associated genre i don’t think - I love what Palace and other more current companies are doing using more dance/electronic music in their videos though. Currently living in Saigon where skating in the street is pretty hard to do, which has pushed me to spend a little more time on music. One of my favourite things to do with a track i’m not sure what to do with/need a fresh pair of ears for - is to find a ‘RAW’ (no music) clip on youtube of some street skating and throw my track on in the background. I find doing this can sometimes contextualise and refresh my perspective on a track. Thrasher has a bunch of ‘raw files’ which are good for this.

Skate videos have always been a kinda visceral gateway to the excitement that comes from the combination of physical movement and music together. It’s a kind of dancing i think.


one of my favourite hobbies :fist:

While listening to:


Skated from 90 until 03, 10 years old to 23. College and work and many injuries that lacked physiotherapy made me stop. All GSDs i meet up with my hometown skateboarders and just roll arround the skatepark and have fun with friends.
I am also the designated event photographer and the one that organizes the yearly older skateboarders (must be born before 1983) dinner.
Although i don’t skate anymore i am still part of the crew, they treat me as if i never stopped.
I do plan to start riding again, as my life in the future will allow me to do so.

I got into skateboarding and listening to music mostly because i can do both alone. Being an only child and an introvert steered me towards that. Skateboarding contributed for me to become more extroverted, as the community received me very well.
As for the music, it didn’t help until much later, when i found people with similar tastes.


I used to love to skate as a teenager back in the 80s…had my first Walkman then too and skated to a soundtrack of mostly American Hardcore Punk bands, The Dead Kennedy, Bad Brains, Flipper, D. O. A. etc and some early thrash Metal albums,Anthrax and the Metallica lps ‘Kill Em All’ and ‘Master Of Puppets’ are still firm favourites from my years spent on a skateboard.

I no longer skate nowadays though I must add!!

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I bought a Zorlac John Gibson in 1985 and have had a skateboard ever since. My introduction to skating and a whole new world of music happened at the same time so the association of the two are deep for me. I still skate around from time to time with my son, but fear of injury is real these days.

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not really a skater, but always been an admirer. i grew up during the ~tony hawk pro skater~ era, and watched tons of 411 videos and lots of the classic team videos from the late 90s through mid 00s (basically Jump off a Building through Fully Flared). i snowboarded a lot as a kid, but was always too uncoordinated and risk-averse to really give myself over to the skateboard.

instagram edits kept me very stoked on skateboarding in recent years, and last summer a bunch of friends and i bought skateboards on a whim and had an awesome time carving around chicago for a few months before the weather got chilly (and i took a few slams on the street). i may pull the board back out later, but for now i’m pretty content to watch people who are much better than i’ll ever be shred on the 'gram. i know there’s been a bit of discussion around here about the value of platforms like instagram, but i don’t think there’s any question that it’s been crucial in keeping kids (and adults) involved in skateboarding in the post-X Games era. it allows up-and-coming skaters and brands to find an audience and also serves as a kind of time capsule/encyclopedia of skate culture. i’m certainly grateful for it.

anyway, i’ve always taken cues from the music of skateboarding. the THPS games kickstarted the ska phase i had as a 14-17 year old (lol), and as an adult i’ve ‘discovered’ countless bands by searching for the songs in video parts. i don’t know if it has much of a direct impact on the music i make today, but it certainly contributed to the arrangement of my brain cells re: music, so the indirect impact is there i’m sure.


I still casually skate. It still gives me a sense of freedom. What I have taken away from skateboarding is:

  1. My interest in music. Skate videos is a great gateway to alot of great music.

  2. Work ethics. You cannot give up easy when skating. Its a steep learning curve. But you also have to learn alot by yourself. I am pretty self thought in what I do for a living and I credit that to skateboarding(and my dad).

  3. DIY ethics. Build ramps and rails by yourself is a great way of understanding that you can accomplish alot and make alot by building, failing, improving and building again.


further overlap

i found out about palace because of my interest in beat tapes (especially the Philly NYC scene 5-10 years ago)

followed “pete” on social media…and was pleasantly surprised to find he posts more skate clips than music

really appreciated his style and sense of humor* so kept following
later, gradually i realized he’s super humble but very well respected (and rides with palace team for apparel)

*two exhibits and tenuous music links

just noticed he’s wearing korn tee in the video that made him famous to non-skate nerds

mainly sharing cause i love how effortlessly he nails these…also the music :joy:

Toy Machine’s Satva Lueng’s Part in Welcome to Hell brought me to the Overton Berry Ensemble.

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I think this is huge in it’s crossover to music.

Also, while skating is not sub-mainstream anymore, it used to be the place that all the kids would end up that were averse to team sports and its culture, but still wanted to do something active and creative. Then as you grow out of skating, as a lot of us did, you moved into other similar creative pursuits outside of the mainstream, which was playing in bands. I’m speaking as someone who grew up largely in the 80’s and 90’s and my hometown culture was practically ripped from from a John Hughes movie. John Hughes actually lived in the next town over. I’d say 1/4 musicians I know skated or still skate now.



I mainly rode BMX but hung out with skaters and watched a ton of videos - Welcome to Hell was always a favorite. That whole scene definitely kept me out of trouble as a teenager in a smaller town and got me to start traveling, the first skatepark in my town was built once I headed to college so I was always heading to nearby cities on the weekends. The film and photography aspect of BMX and skateboarding was what got me into a film program at school and in some ways was the gateway to a lot of music. There are so many songs and bands that I love that came from one video or another. Tony and Eric (Rodent) at Make Noise are really into skating, Eric’s background is in skate photography. I definitely need to set aside more time to get back into it.

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This is a fantastic tip, thank you!