A Pro Skater Has Written a First Good Skateboarding Book for Kids
December 12, 2017 - skateboarding
Children’s books and sports have a prolonged story together. For decades, authors like Matt Christopher and Jake Maddox have created books about each foe imaginable, description literary cinema that any small leaguer can report to. But when it comes to skateboarding, many authors tend to report things in broad, simply eatable strokes that feel pretentious to anyone who’s ever indeed stepped on a skateboard. Every 11-year-old can seamlessly ollie a 12-stair and if Timmy can hang a Indy 360 during a large foe a bullies won’t flog him up. But distinct girl soccer, where one random flog can renovate a benchwarmer into category hero, skateboarding takes pain, dedication, and a eagerness to literally drain before we can even make it out of a driveway.
Karl Watson knows accurately how tough skateboarding is. The 40-year-old San Franciscan has been bombing hills and innovating on ledges given a early 90s, creation a name for himself with implausible on-board impression and a skateboard industry’s biggest smile. After some-more than 20 years as a pro for storied companies like Mad Circle, IPath, and Organika, he’s now a father to 4 kids of his own, and is prepared to share that believe with a subsequent generation. Karl teamed adult with cartoonist Henry Jones for My First Skateboard, an illustrated children’s book about descending down, removing up, and anticipating village in a favorite invalid wooden toy. By rooting a book in their possess childhood experiences, Watson and Jones were means to constraint a fun and consternation of picking a residence and training to skate, yet one competition, sponsor, or brag in sight.
With a book now accessible to order online, we got on a phone with Watson and Jones to find out some-more about My First Skateboard, how training to transformation is opposite for today’s generation, and to hear some stories that could never run in a kid’s book.
VICE: Karl, what done we confirm to write a skate-themed children’s book? And since did we select Henry to do a illustrations?
Karl Watson: To be honest we was during a bend indicate in my life and career and was meditative of ways to try and continue creation my impact on skateboarding. we wanted to concentration on a certain attributes that skateboarding has to offer and it was like, hey, we competence as good try to inject a girl with as many information as probable about how extraordinary skateboarding is.
And of march meditative about Henry Jones we was so stoked to strech out since he’s one of my favorite artists, and when it comes to display transformation and countenance in a pointed way, he’s a best. Having Henry concerned was a no brainer.
Henry, what was your initial greeting to a suspicion of sketch a kids’ book?
Henry Jones: I had always suspicion of doing something like a kids’ book, yet never got around to it. So it was cold to have someone, and generally Karl, strike me adult to pull it since it done it a lot reduction work to do for something that we unequivocally wanted to do [ laughs].
My First Skateboard keys in on a village and informative aspects of skating. Why was that so vicious for we to communicate to a wider audience?
Karl: We wanted to concentration on hearing and error, removing behind adult after we fall, and fundamentally how skateboarding can save a world. What we meant by that is that skating breaks down a race, language, gender, and age barriers. It’s a best activity famous to mankind, true adult and down. I’m being biased, yet I’m unapproachable of that. The explanation is in a pudding; go to any skatepark and you’ll see all a colors of a rainbow.
For me, skating was a initial activity that we did wholly on my own, with no adult assistance or supervision. Do we cruise a penetration of helicopter relatives and hyper-intense transformation dads has taken divided some of a freedoms that done training to transformation so fun and rewarding?
That was a large matter for essay a book. Skating’s something that we caring so many about and we can see it slipping away. It creates a large disproportion to not have someone barking during you. “You gotta strike it this way! Stand this way! Hold it this way!” Nah, we do a kickflips a approach we wanna do it and we do a ollies a approach we wish to do them. It’s an particular form of expression, and that’s a beauty of skating.
Karl, you’re a parent. What have been your favorite tools about assisting kids learn to
My oldest son pushed [with his front foot] when he started skating during like 3 years old, and we didn’t wish to highlight it, yet we always showed him a approach you’re ostensible to pull with a behind foot, not a front. Still, it went on for years until he became a teenager, and during that indicate his friends had to let him know. Even yet we had told him his whole life, unequivocally nicely, as both a primogenitor and pro skater, it took his friends revelation him to change it.
Are there any adult characters in a book?
Henry: [The categorical character] Jonas’s mom is in a book, yet in a lot of frames we did try to keep it secure in a kids’ world. Even in a transformation shop, there’s no comparison dudes there assisting him collect his residence or anything. We unequivocally wanted to give a characters a lot of independence.
Do we remember your possess initial skateboards?
Karl: My initial was an all-white Zorlac residence with immature Tracker trucks and orange Sims wheels that we got from a strange FTC skate shop in San Francisco in 1987.
Henry: we had a Blind residence called “The Switchblade,” and we know that since we demeanour for it on Ebay all a time. we got it from Gordon’s, a sport and fishing store right subsequent to my house. But we usually had adequate income for a deck, so we had put my fondle store trucks on it and cavalcade in new bolts since a settlement was wrong.
Ouch. The book takes place mostly during travel spots instead of skateparks and there’s during slightest one page in a story dedicated to San Francisco’s mythological EMB. Is it unhappy to we that many kids will grow adult assembly their friends during skateparks instead of plazas like Embarcadero?
Karl: we cruise a biggest disproportion between transformation plazas and skateparks is not carrying to run from a cops. When we were during EMB or Love, we were always on guard, and we appreciated a time we got to skate, since we knew it could finish during any moment.
The skatepark kids nowadays, it’s roughly like all is only given to them. And don’t get me wrong, I’m blissful they don’t have to understanding with it. But still, that was a fun component of that scene; being 13 and removing divided since you’re on your skateboard and a cops can’t keep up.
It unequivocally forced kids to grow adult a small faster.
No doubt. At EMB there was this male we called a banana male who would float around on his bike sucking on a banana and compensate skaters to pee on him or watch him pee on himself, and I’m 12 or 13 years aged saying this. Or another male with a counterpart on his shoe that used to go adult to businesswomen on their lunch mangle and demeanour adult their skirts.
We would learn from those people, and know, we don’t wanna be like that and we don’t wanna be like that. So in a messed adult approach it was beneficial.
I’m guessing a military chases and banana male didn’t make it into a book?
[Laughs] No, no, no. No banana man.
Henry: Karl didn’t tell me about that before we drew a book, so we didn’t have a possibility to embody it even if we wanted to.
Karl, You’ve been by a lot of shifts and changes over your 20 years in pro skating. What does it meant to we to be means to bend out of a core skateboard industry?
Karl: Life is some-more than only skateboarding. we had blinders on for a prolonged time, hovel prophesy of only skateboarding, skateboarding, skateboarding. But as we get comparison it’s vicious to bend out to other aspects of life. And if we can incorporate what we adore so many into other people’s approach of thinking, and make them consider, Oh, skateboarding is indeed something that’s unequivocally positive, we feel like that’s my approach of giving back.
Skateboarders are notoriously vicious of their description in renouned culture. What’s a accepting to a book been like from a transformation community?
I’ve unequivocally got some flack. we will contend it’s been 99 percent positive, yet that one percent is people tripping on a helmets.
Henry: Are we serious?
Karl: Yeah, some hardcore heads have pronounced “C’mon Karl, there were no helmets during EMB, what a hell?” [ laughs]. Everyone’s authorised to have their opinions, yet we’re perplexing to strech a masses, and we cruise it’s best to be as PC as probable in that regard. Also Henry nailed it with a helmets, so thanks, Henry.
Buy My First Skateboard here.