Here at FickleBoards, we take the term “Barney” pretty seriously. This comes mainly by merit of us being made up of castoffs from skateboarding’s “core”, or “mainstream”. You see, “Barney” is a term coined long ago among the surfers of Hawaii, referring to non-islanders (farmers from the mainland who had “barns”). These mainlander “Barneys” choked up the surf scene when word got out.
Skateboarding is different from surfing. Barneys don’t choke up anything for us. The “Noobs”, beginners, and Old Men are an important part of any scene. People who love to fly on a wheeled board, no matter where they are from are skateboarding (activity), and they are Skateboarding (community), when they love it enough to dream it.
Barneys don’t fit the molds. Not the “Mainstream” mold of super-ripper-machines, winning contests and bagging up high-dollar sponsorships.
Not the “Core” mold of super-serious elite iconoclast, “holding it down” “on the block”.
Nope. Barneys are just skateboarders who go skateboarding. Some do it a lot, and some get good at it. Others are not as proficient, but used to be 25 years ago. Some of us are on the rise. Others are in their twilight. But the one thing all Barneys have is in common: Barneys love skateboarding.
Barneys love skateboarding in the face of how bad they are at it.
Barneys love skateboarding in the face of how good they used to be at it, and never will be again.
Barneys love skateboarding despite how good they could have gotten, if life had gone differently…
Barneys love skateboarding without the hope that they will win the comp, get the girl, or have a crew.
Barneys love skateboarding without fatcat sponsorships and cool points.
Barneys often go skate under the dark cloud of disapproval, because they didn’t know you couldn’t wear that.
Barneys often have no manners, when it comes to giving a shit about skate trivia prowess.
Barneys tend to be grateful for skateboarding, even if Skateboarding has loaded scorn on them.
Barneys who hang in there become heroes of a story nobody is reading, because those books are in the grown-ups section.
Barneys have to pick their kid up from school, or go to meetings, or go to dialysis…
Barneys have useless skills like being engineers, pastors, or Man At Arms for the Iron Horsemen…
Some of the Barneys are religious kooks.
Many have kids.
some even still have a wife or two in tow.
Some Barneys are hitting their forties and fifties.
Most of them have passed through the dope and party phase and would like you all to know that that’s not going to work out well for any of you. …and it’ll kill more than a few of you.
Barneys are what they are, no apologies: Human Beings who love skateboarding (the activity) and Skateboarding (the community).
From that love comes this wood, made by a bunch of “Barneys”…
who never got their priorities screwed up enough to be fooled into a corporate mold…
whose skating always came from our hearts for fun, not a head full of elitist/competitive bullshit…
who think YOU are insanely rad because You are being You,
not because of some trick you learned to impress someone who’s just going to let you down anyway.
So do yourself a favor: Be a Barney. Do life and enjoy skateboarding as it comes.
Be the guy/gal who has a real life and skates for fun.
Be someone who knows the difference between a thing and another thing…
who raises kids instead of being some “shred clone”.
who stokes others without worrying about losing territory.
who gets under and lifts, by example, instead of stacking up and sitting on the accolades of men.
And if that earns you “Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride” status–-GOOD. If that puts you on the “outs” with some established clan of rippers who’ll look down on you for not knowing your “pro skater trivia”–GOOD!
Because you know the difference! That we’re not skating AT each other, we’re skating WITH each other, life long.
Give a FickleBoard a good death this week, and if it doesn’t wear like iron, for all its imperfections, we’ll take care of you, because we have your backs when we’re under your feet out there.
Thanks to Terry from Disaster 77 for hand-sculpting our original Punk Mayhem RFD Barney graphic.