What happens to someone when the thing they love most in the world — skateboarding— is also the source of their greatest wound? When Joel Rice, a naturally bookish kid was younger he wanted nothing more than to be a pro skater like his heroes, Christian Hosoi and Tony Hawk. That dream died the day he hit the “dog trap,” a hazard at a popular skating spot in San Francisco. Falling on his face in front of everyone that afternoon was a major trauma that haunted Joel as he became a prominent skateboarding journalist for ESPN and McSweeney’s. Years later, he got the opportunity to ghostwrite the memoir of his idol, Hosoi. It was a second chance to join the ranks of professional skaters, but it did not go how he hoped.
ESPN’s X-games just wound down, the world is gearing up for skateboarding in the Olympics in 2020 for the first time, and Jonah Hill just released his trailer for his new movie “The Mid 90’s” following a young boy steeped in skateboarding culture. A nostalgic reflection on skate culture is in the zeitgeist.
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Music by Podington Bear and Tony Gage. Editing by Anita Bugg, Mack Linebaugh and Galen Beebe. Production assistance from Caleb Shiver.
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