I received a letter from skateboarder Benoit Smith and he gave me permission to share his thoughts on skateboard magic. This is what he had to say.
hey dude, firstly, thank you. hope you don't mind but wanted to share a little magical moment with you. apologize in advance if this turns into thesis levels walls of text.
woke up today and out of habit went out to smoke, pondered some abstractions, felt the need to concreticize a couple thoughts, and did so with the aid of a nicotine shit; this was the result:
Skateboarding is inherently magical. The act of inducing one's will to conjure and manifest whatever the individual desires to achieve on their skateboard is fundamentally magic; the resulted "trick" the act of the magician. Both psychologically and physically, the act of transmutation is enforced. Physically, taking the already established environment (nature) and combining the physical environment with beauty in the form of performative art, the two come together in unity. Derived from a socioeconomic perspective, skateboarding itself is the same union between high and low culture. Psychologically, the perception of environment to skateboarders are entirely transmuted; the mind is now trained and sharpened to recognize every instance of physical environment as a (skateboard) potentiality. In the same nature of humanity, each individual's skateboarding is entirely personal in it's expression, as the nuances in someone's style, trick selection, etc. are all rooted in the myriad facets of one's mind, but one in it's overarching community, as people from all walks of life from all over the world share the same source of love that trancend all human barriers such as language, sexuality/gender, culture, etc.
right after i came across an interview for your book, and fuck dude, hell yeah. so glad you made this, especially in this format since i do illustration work as well. probably shoulda held off on emailing you until after i bought and read it but it already resonates. when i do ill be sure to send you a follow up dissertation.