I can’t stand: The 36 Year Old Skateboarder
By Leanne Cloudsdale
Take a stroll through leafy London Fields most Saturdays and you’ll be sure to see a collection of grown men doing wheelies on fluorescent bicycles with no brakes or gears. One thing you may be surprised to learn, is that the majority of these men have children. Unlike the design purist, these stunt riders always favour the mass market, but only as long as the product is emblazoned with the right logo.
In days gone by, successful middle-aged men would go out and buy a Ducati or a set of high end golf clubs – but not now. Instead they just cycle around in circles wearing brand new Vans from American eBay. With them it’s not so much what you bought, it’s when you bought it. In this game, dates are everything. They treat their wardrobes like a game of pre-pubescent Top Trumps. “I bought this cap from Stussy in 1706″, “Well I bought this limited edition Joe Strummer t-shirt from Supreme just after the Great Fire of London – therefore, I WIN”. These kids will never grow up.
The inner city cool cat may live to skid, but would never dare veer off the beaten track. Just like back at public school, they stick to a strict code of conduct, probably why they’re still obsessed with FITTING IN. The right t-shirt, the right bike pump. It’s like the playground at Westminster all over again. Their wives or girlfriends are unusual in that they follow the same aesthetic, only in pastel shades 2 sizes smaller.
It’s casual. It’s designer sportswear. Just like the townies of the 1980s with the Ellesse tracksuits, Adidas Samba and a pair of Farah’s. Only now they don’t ride a Raleigh Banana. It’s all this carbon fibre nonsense.
Seasonal ref: The 36 Year Old Skateboarder doesn’t give or take much influence from the runway however branding is essential to their DNA. Their uniforms are chosen by design houses in the same way everybody else’s are except the 36.Y.O.SB must be marketed to in a more seemingly opaque style. Guerrilla advertising… pop up billboards… limited edition tags… these are their catnip; thus the 36.Y.O.SB doesn’t have the traditional seasonal reference points rather a series of PR coordinated mini-capsule-launches throughout the year, guaranteed to have them busting their city-boy/part-time-DJ bonuses on graphic tees and silly trainers all year long.
Must Have: Bottom halves – Uniqlo (“don’t wanna spend too much in case I rip them when I’m doing an ‘ollie outside Rough Trade”. Footwear – Vans, Converse. The 36 Year Old Skateboarder is also obsessed with wearing huge bike locks around the waist, but then never locking their bike up anywhere for fear of it getting nicked.