OFF THE TOP
An illustration highlighting the most used words in this issue.
In a Matter of Speaking Before I start into this story you need to know that the local shop in my hometown just outside of Toronto was called Hustler Skateboards. Just keep that in mind, it’ll come in handy in a minute.
This must have been about 10 years ago and my mom was on her way downtown to pick something up. As she was getting ready to go she asked me if I needed anything while she was out. Not possessing a driver’s license at the time and in need of some grip, I asked her if she could, “go by Hustler” for me. She hesitantly obliged, no stranger to helping me make the commute across town to pick up a board, a video or whatever. A few minutes passed and before heading out the door she stuck her head in my room and asked, “If I give you some money, can’t you just buy a Hustler for yourself at the grocery store?” I paused for a second, not sure how to react to my mother offering to give me money to buy porn. Then it dawned on me that when I said “go by Hustler” as in head to the skateshop, she heard “go buy Hustler” as in purchase the Larry Flynt publication with naked ladies in it. Because of this weird quirk in the English language and the strange naming of my local shop, my mother had spent 10 minutes thinking she was on a mission to buy me porn. Weird. But as we all know, skateboarding is full of strange and paradoxical twists of the English language. Usually it’s just our parents or girlfriends who pick up on them and give us puzzled looks when we grown-ass men are deep in conversation about Fakie Big-
spins or an epic Hurricane on tranny. Last year we mistakenly labeled an Elissa Steamer Lien to Tail as a Crailslide and I promptly got emails from both PLG and Thrasher’s Michael Burnett on the subject. It sucked. But it just goes to show you, as weird as skate lingo may sound to the untrained ear, we take this shit seriously. By the way, my apologies to Burnett, PLG, Elissa and Neil Blender. In fact, we have a couple people here at the mag soley to make sure our spelling is proper, skaters’ names are legit and countless other things the untrained eye might not pick up. This issue we have a new dude doing that thankless job—Calgary’s Jesse Locke, whose name you may recognize from countless bylines in the mag in the past couple years. Hell, we’ve already had the age-old discussion of whether it’s “Shuv” or “Shove” for John Hanlon’s caption near the front of the mag. The first of many conversations that may seem mundane or trivial to the outside world, but make perfect sense to us. We went with Shuv, by the way. In this issue Jesse also saw the word “blowie” come across his desk when he looked over the Kevin Lowry feature profile Rob Brink wrote for us. I’d never heard this awkward sounding, possibly British slang, but it means… well you’re prob-
ably thinking it already. Kevin is a man of few words, but he certainly makes sure the ones he choose stick with us. Even if they are kinda weird. I’m also hoping this issue marks the first and last time we use the word “sk8.” I would normally rather be caught rollerblading at Seylynn Bowl than let that Avril Lavigne, text message, Justin Bieber-esque word in the book, but in this case we had to use it when talking about Sk8 Life, the Canadian independent film that our other feature interviewee Chad Dickson co-starred in. Finally, to help the general public decipher what comes out of Shane Heyl’s mouth we literally had to publish a primer on the Shake Junt crew’s lingo. Shane captured the recent Canadian Smash and Grab tour for us in a way that only he can. And in keeping with our mission to deliver top-notch anthropological analysis, we even traced the origin of the famous “chickenbonenowison” that has been seared into our minds thanks to Beagle’s editing. So please, dig in. Make sense of these strange, fickle, backwards, stoke inspiring and tongue-in-cheek words we’ve collected this issue. And drop us a line if any of them inspire, confuse, stoke or tickle you. Or you can just look at the photos, that’s cool with us too. —Andrew Norton, managing editor. firstname.lastname@example.org