Skate Rats

 Photo by Jordan Neal

Photo by Jordan Neal

Adolescence is a time of uncertainty and constant searching. Few things give the teenage mind a true sense of peace like that obtained from skateboarding. My time shadowing Tobi, Kaveman and the rest of their gang reopened my eyes to the serenity of skateboarding that once captivated me during my own adolescent years. Watching the freedom and joy they all felt from doing what they love was truly inspiring. In terms of image and style, these kids encompass the entire spectrum of what skateboarding truly is.

 Photo by Jordan Neal

Photo by Jordan Neal

Filming Tobi’s crew was an experience to be remembered. Their carefree attitudes pandered to my own longing for a simple lifestyle. A lifestyle where you could choose to skate the entire day and not have a single worry in the world. Of course their lives are more complex than they appear. They have school, relationships, and a myriad of other responsibilities to maintain and nurture, but none of that seemed to matter at that moment. Their only focus was what trick they could land off the sketchiest loading dock imaginable.

 Photo by Jordan Neal

Photo by Jordan Neal

The pure positivity that these kids carried with them enriched the lives of the people around them in a way that is inexplicable. On the way back home from a day of filming and life threatening maneuvers, my crew and I all spoke of how much fun we all had. Even though we are 6-10 years their senior, we all managed to have a blast. An experience that genuine is rare. Children, more specifically teens, can be very cruel to other. This ragtag group of adolescents all seemed like the best of friends and they embraced us in a similar fashion.

The point is, you can find art in anything if you look close enough. Enjoyment can be found in the most unlikely places. Sometimes, reexamining your own past can be eye opening in ways beyond measure. Something that was near and dear to me during my own formative years became grey and disenchanting. Thanks to Tobi’s group, the wonder that I experienced once before has reentered my eyes and made something old, shiny and new.

 Photo by Jordan Neal

Photo by Jordan Neal