Skateboarding has always been a sport of rebels. From the early days when it was kids in San Diego breaking into drained pools, to the fight for Love Park, and even today, with so much mainstream acceptance of our sport, skaters are still often personified as rebels.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Go out, skate what you want, where you want, when you want. You can even push mongo and be alright. What you can’t do, however, is be Chad Muska.
Chad Muska is sitting in jail right now. Not for skating where he shouldn’t be, but for tagging a Coffee Bean in West Hollywood. We’re not talking about some cool Banksy-inspired street art— we’re talking about a gang scribble. Muska has been splattered all over the news for these charges, as well as a video where he gets all Mel Gibson on some security guards at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
So now, every stiff old American who rarely checks into the skateboarding industry is going to think that this is what’s going with us, and that this is what we do. Thanks Chad, you’ve single-handedly set skateboarding back by ten years.
The saddest part is that Muska is one of the most recognized names in skateboarding, and has been for years. Now, all those kids that looked up to him are left with the skating version of Charlie Sheen. This is especially troublesome for the Los Angeles skate scene. Over the past few years, people like Rob Dyrdek have been quietly building free, public skateparks around the city, while the upcoming X Games throw skateboarding in the accepting faces of millions of Angelenos who, for one weekend a year, realize that we have a legitimate thing going here.
So what can you do, to help distance skateboarding from vandal kooks like Chad Muska? Pick your favorite story from this link and next time someone brings up Chad Muska, toss in a counterpoint from one of our sport’s relevant characters—the future of skateboarding will thank you.