Common Tongue : Are all grabs equal?

Grabbing Equality

Don’t just grab the board. Know why you grab the board.

THIS is an email–sent as an idea–until I realised that what I wanted to be written I had pretty much just written.

On XX/XX/XXX, at 3:52 PM, Union wrote:

Yo. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you… so I had an idea for an opinion piece–“why do we grab the board?”-something about how before you grab the board, you must understand why. My thoughts on grabbing are that, in of itself, grabbing is not stylish. It’s the way you grab that is stylish. What you do when you grab and how you do it is stylish. If you look at it like that, grabbing has no inherent value; it means nothing.

Perhaps we could write something like “Grabbing is a projection of style, a pivotal moment that is used to signal the peak of control over and during the trick.” You could say something like “All grabs are not equal” or “Not all grabbers are equal” or something like that.

Obviously grabbing is the ‘raddest’ when it’s done right. But I think throwing a hand out to grab on the way down after a Moby Dick is useless, and touching the board for no reason except maybe comp points looks pointless to me. In that instance grabbing indicates a misunderstanding of what it means to grab the board.

Or maybe there’s an article in the idea that some people grab and others touch. Maybe we could mention how the reason for grabbing initially came from skaters holding onto their board as they aired out of backyard in-ground pools in L.A during a drought. Maybe we could mention the Dogtown documentary–it shows that grabbing originally had a function before it became a fashion. I wonder if that’s why you never see a bad grab on a skateboard, because bad grabs literally fail them.
Is there an opinion piece in that? It’s a cool idea; I don’t want it to sound negative though. I want to try and make it sound educational rather than raggin’ on those who don’t do it ‘right.’ We could take the angle that we are trying to show the reader why it’s done. I think Union has the standing nowadays to have an opinion on shit like this… what do you think? If you agree, would you write something on it? Just a single page on a) the merits of grabbing the board, and b) the merits of understanding why you do what you do. Let me know if you are keen and when you can have it done by…


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