Kyle Beachy is a writer living in Chicago. His latest book is The Slide (Dial, 2009).
I was eleven when I started, I am 38 now, and I’ll be dead or immobilized before I stop. But it was fifteen years of fucking around before I began thinking even remotely about what I was doing. Skaters typically avoid thinking. This is partially a matter of self-preservation: there is no surer guarantee of hurting oneself than to consider the thousand failures that could come of an attempt. More crucially, there’s the nature of fun on which skateboarding is premised. Fun that, like humor, risks collapse the moment it becomes a critical object.