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Rule number 69: How do I improve?

Rule number 69: How do I improve?

Last year I wrote the ultimate cheat sheet to getting sponsored. The post was loved and hated, skaters were inspired and offended. There was a bit of Aussie humour in there (or is that sarcasm), a lot of life lessons, and a chunk of truth that I hoped made people think. The point of the blog was to make you think. You don't need to be the best skater to be on the best team (look at some of the original Bones Brigade members). You don't need to make a lot of money to be happy. Why do you need to be sponsored is a better question than how do I get sponsored. Sometimes that answer shows you a different path. Some of the points I made in the original blog, were vague on purpose, and the plan was to follow up every rule with another blog post to expand out the idea. A bit late, here is the first blog post! Rule 69. How do I improve? Longboarders should watch skateboard videos and get inspired. Skateboarders should watch longboard videos. Both should watch surf videos. The problem with longboard videos is they are too cinematic. That has changed in the last 12 months, brands like Comet are making gnarlier, sketchier videos. Landyachtz always seem to have the right mix. Even Loaded has stepped up their mongrel with the latest Kegel video. It is not about being controversial, it is about pushing the sport in new directions. I think longboarders think about mainstream too much, can I make a video that will appeal to everyone. Skateboarders do the opposite, this video is for skaters and everyone else will hate it. Skateboarders will make a video that only has amazing skating, but do we really need to see 20 variations of grinding a stair rail? I know videos are about the brand and advertising, but they do give the sport direction because skaters will watch, replicate and build upon. One of my favourite skate video series is the Almost Cheese and Crackers. Everything in this video should have a longboard version. I'm not talking about longboards on mini ramps. I'm saying many of the tricks they do, skaters years earlier would have said was impossible.  Longboarders need to watch skateboard videos and get ideas for film techniques, tricks and style. That is how you will improve. The late Steve Jobs was often quoted saying "good artists copy, great artists steal". This applies to skating. Want to be a great skater? Steal from the previous generation. What inspired me to write this blog is the following video, I just thought that here are some skaters who get, it is like a longboard video, there is a journey, story and purpose. There is a love of life as well as a love of skating. It is one of the best skateboard videos I have watched this year. It goes for 30 minutes, so make yourself comfortable, maybe get out some cheese and crackers ... and enjoy. 

One of the surest of tests is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest. T. S. Eliot “The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism”
(rule 96. rule 97.)