In the 2nd part of our conversation with the legendary Karl Watson, we dive deep into the evolving world of skateboarding. We discuss how skateboarding, once a bastion of individualism, has seen its originality fade as social media has surged. We also explore Karl's journey to becoming a pro skater and his mission to introduce beginners and their parents to the essence of skateboarding through his written series, "My First Skateboard". We address the issue of hazing new skateboarders and the crucial need for skate companies to help their pros plan for life after the spotlight fades. Lastly, we hear about Karl experience at Adidas and his vision and process for assembling the team at his new skate company, Maxallure. Tune in for a fresh perspective on skateboarding's past, present, and future.
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In This Episode...
we're delving deep into the ever-changing landscape of skateboarding, a subculture that has undergone a profound transformation with the rise of social media. Skateboarding, once celebrated for its fierce commitment to individualism, has witnessed a noticeable shift in recent years. The ethos that once prized originality and personal expression has, in many ways, dwindled to the point of being actively discouraged. We'll explore this intriguing shift and its implications for the skateboarding community.
In part one of our interview with Karl we learned about his many accomplishments on the board during the golden era of skateboarding, but now he's embarking on a unique mission: introducing beginners and their parents to the profound beauty of skateboarding through his written works. His books serve as a gateway, demystifying the world of skateboarding and opening its doors to a wider audience. We'll hear Karl's story of how he came to champion this cause and how, against all odds, its been accepted by the core skaters.
Karl's journey to becoming a professional skateboarder is a testament to perseverance and dedication. He'll share the inspiring tale of his first sponsorship deal, going pro too soon, being "demoted" to amateur, and eventually going back to pro, finally feeling like he deserved it. It's a story that resonates with aspiring skateboarders and serves as a reminder of the grit required to turn a dream into a reality.
Beyond personal narratives, we'll tackle broader issues plaguing the skateboarding community. One pressing concern is the prevalence of hazing rituals directed at new skateboarders. It's a topic often overlooked, but we believe it's high time we address the harm caused by these initiation practices and advocate for a more inclusive and supportive environment within the skateboarding world.
As skateboarding continues to grow in popularity and evolve, there's an urgent need for companies to help their pros think beyond their moment in the spotlight. We'll discuss the importance of preparing skateboarders for the future, highlighting the challenges they face as trends shift and new generations of skaters emerge. Sustainability, authenticity, and a commitment to the core values of skateboarding will be key to a skater's career longevity.
Lastly, we'll delve into Karl Watson's latest endeavor: founding the skate company Maxallure. Karl will provide insights into his vision for the company and his meticulous process for selecting team members. The choices he makes in assembling his team reflect not only his dedication to the sport but also his desire to foster a new generation of skateboarding talent.
Skateboarding's evolution in the age of social media is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. While the influence of platforms like Instagram and TikTok has brought both opportunities and challenges, skateboarders like Karl Watson remind us of the importance of staying true to the core values of the sport. Skateboarding is not just a hobby; it's a way of life, a community, and a source of inspiration for countless individuals around the world. Through Karl's story and insights, we gain a deeper appreciation for the enduring spirit of skateboarding and the individuals who continue to shape its future.
Theme song: Show Introduction by The Soul Surfers