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WhatIsWhat 1.0 2003


This is Stepping Roll. I created the root of this form to simply walk long distances while living in Chicago. The skating depicted in this video is me pushing the boundaries of what I am capable of and not an everyday type of activity for me. I do want to get this style on tape and uploaded for the world to enjoy and hopefully adopt. So clik thru for the background info.

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The intermittent weightlessness of the feet on the board comes via the shifting of weight into the armpits and biceps, wrists and hands. This redistribution of weight allows for complex footwork patterns on the surface of the board as it rolls. Similar in style to surfing old school tricks such as to “hang-ten” and “walking the dog” etc. These tricks involved stepping while riding the wave and eventually moved into skateboarding. A wheelie on the nose of the board with all ten toes on the nose of the board is the skateboarders hang- ten. Then comes my form. The difference on the skateboard while pushing with the arms is that the rhythm of the swinging arms drives the pace and the feet bring the hits and the feet never have to leave the board..


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Referencing the video you can observe that with skateboarding on crutches the movement of the arms is in a left-right-left-right rhythmic pattern, the arms become the rhythmic bounce for the body that moves with a more intricate footwork style. In a way the arms are my base lines and the feet are my treble lines. The arms and head become punctuations. This is ultimately an entirely separate form of skating on a board with a completely different set of goals. This is not to get radical and go big this is finesse, panache, flow, style and grace. it is a way to grow old with skateboarding and enjoy the details of an extrememly laid back approach. (do i sound like a dad pushing forty yet?) so here is another post up. enjoy and a big shout out to ZOLT for holding it down on the camera front. so.. The performance material here is several years old but I have never documented the evolution of my style and where it is now. We shot it just these past few days in a way I was happy with and though it was not an ideal location the pavement was smooth as butter... and remember this is Pittsburgh.. the capital of potholes.  I think what is still missing here is the soulfulness and the detail of the skating when navigating objects people and vehicles. However that capture may not ever really be possible with electronic devices, possibly only being there can tell you how the moments crystallize so intricately. So, what I do have here to share is my street style of skating and dancing within the same session on clip two and just feeling free to the music and making my steps crisply rhythmic on clip one. When I went out I had an old school skater friend, Zoltan Weslowski roll with me and we got some footy.  There are variations shown in this video such as a stepping thrust, a stepping carve, a high step, a reverse step, step behinds, heel spins, hang five steps and more.  There are also crutch pushing variations and arm styles that vary. Board control and moderate speed allow for more stylized leaned out manuevers while higher speeds necessitate a tighter flow. There are also tricks included here that can only be done with crutches on the board.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
This Work, STEPPING ROLL : A MUSICAL FORM OF SKATEBOARDING, by Bill Shannon is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA license.