Thursday, 13 December 2012

The grassroots, The IDF, and Buttboarding

Having read through the IDF Articles of Association (yawn, nothing new here, any worldwide non profit sports organisations constitution reads pretty much the same). I can't help but wonder why classic luge continues to be a race category. When luging was the primary downhill sport it made sense, it gave new riders or riders in a bad financial position a chance to enter the sport. But when you have less than a dozen street Luger's racing a whistler, why take runs away from the skateboarders so people can butt board down the track? It would make far more sense to either abolish the classic luge entirely, or add a second entry level skateboard category. (top mounts, cast trucks only, no lipped wheels, w/e). which would allow many younger or less financially backed riders to understand your gear makes very little difference. Of course, as I'm writing this I've realised that Skatehouse has already asked these questions and received some sort of general answer. which I've quoted below.

5. I read the FAQ. It says that some events will continue to have luge, but nothing about classic luge. Why is there a separate racing class for inferior equipment? Can we get a special class for all-wood skateboards, no metal or composite decks allowed? If not, why does luge have a separate class for wood boards? -Max Dubler
The IDF FAQ used the word "luge" to refer to both street AND classic luge. We're certainly having a debate right now about how and why there are two luge classes but only one skateboarding class, and this issue will be explored extensively over the coming year. I'm sorry to all those budding Penny riders out there but there will only be one class of Downhill Skateboarding. -Lee Cation 

I think my main worry about the IDF is that there is going to be yet another abandonment of the grassroots downhill scene, and history has shown us that approach simply won't work. Downhill skateboarding is simply one facet of skateboarding in general, the non skating public doesn't see any difference between a racer and a park skater, the vast majority of kids that are into downhill right now will move on with their lives as they grow up, and the next wave of 14 year old kids that financially power skateboarding might find themselves into another form of skateboarding. The corporate sponsors that flirt with racing right now will move on, just as they did before. When the top tier of the skateboarding world becomes inaccessible to the grassroots, the interest will die off again. We need to keep the independent events alive that generate the next wave of die hards, or we risk losing the epic race venues that we are currently bless enough to have. 

Of course, the counterpoint to this issue is that as things stand now, Race organisers have very little in the way of support, and races tend to simply disappear when the organiser can't handle the work or financial burden of said race anymore. (Shredder and Something Fishy are two local examples) So the IDF can hopefully provide a support network for race organisers and find replacements when someone who has run a great race for a few years doesn't have time to continue it anymore.

All in all, the 2013 race season will be an important one for many of us. And I for one, and just hoping to get as many runs down Whistler as we typically do at Britannia . (hint hint, fuck off with the GPS armband thingamabobs.

links: questions for Lee Cation from Max Dubler (both people that know more than me. IDF articles of association (constitution) IDF membership page. (thirty bucks that will be well spent hopefully) unrelated awesome.

1 comment:

  1. your going to be wearing an rfid tag next year. good read Brendan. I'm paying attention. I remember how things got started. That's why Britannia will remain unchanged.