What Is It That Is So F*cking Hot About Skateboarders?

For me, the height of horniness can be found at skateparks across America.

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What Is It That Is So F*cking Hot About Skateboarders?
Photo:Antoine GYORI/Sygma (Getty Images)

Underneath a stretch of an I-95 overpass crossing through the south side of Philadelphia lies the FDR skatepark. With features like the “Bunker wall” and “Amoeba” area, it’s what a number of influential skate mags have called a skateboarder’s paradise. In 2007, Tony Hawk immortalized FDR by making it virtually skate-able in his video game Proving Ground. For me, someone who managed to do one (1) flip jump mount in eighth grade and then called it a day, FDR was my promised land of milk and honey, if the milk was Skaterade and the honey was dreamy bros filming each other wiping out.

What is it that’s just so fucking hot about skateboarders? What made me watch Victor Rasuk and Emile Hirsch in Lords of Dogtown make out with girls in adjacent beds on repeat, envisioning myself as a young Nikki Reed telling them not to ever wear underwear around me? What makes me joke “there goes my husband” every time a skateboarder whizzes past me in SoHo? Trying to pinpoint that answer is as enormous an undertaking as mastering a Smith grind. But I’ll try.

I attended an all-women’s college, just over 30 miles northwest of FDR skatepark. In that prickly first semester, when I was assessing the disappointing chasm between my expectations of college life and the reality of living in a suburban dorm mostly isolated from the gender I was most interested in making out with, I spent a lot of time online searching for communities I could astral project myself into. Between a sparsely updated Flickr account and soon-to-be extinct Myspace page, I relentlessly surveilled what was going on at FDR. Hot guys were hanging out at the skatepark. Hot guys with unkempt hair. Hot guys with skinned knees. Hot guys with busted lips. Hot guys who probably got detention in school. Hot guys wearing ripped up Vans and sweatshirts branded with band names I’d pretend to know. “Uh, of course I love Thursday.”

Skateboarders are arousingly unpredictable and unruly. Their entire ethos is the spark that love and sex are promised to ignite.

These hot guys were certainly not spending time at my comparatively pretentious liberal arts school. These were the sort of cool, devil-may-care dudes, who, while I hooked up my ethernet cord to cyber stalk, did not care if I lived or died. The ease and speed with which I was sure they’d skate right past me, not acknowledging my existence, forever cooler than I will ever be, only intensified my longing (working that one out in therapy, don’t worry). My fantasy included bumping into one of these guys and within a glance they’d recognize my nascent beauty, yet to be discovered by anyone else. Maybe they’d show me how to ollie? Maybe I was the one thing aside from their skateboard that they could love? This fantasy, as you might imagine, never extended itself into the physical world.

Conceptually, I fucking love the all-American punk posture skateboarders possess. I love that basically at the center of the sport is a “fuck the rules, party hard!” mantra. I love that the sport started with a bunch of dudes breaking into backyard swimming pools that were emptied because of a drought and deciding to make use of them. Skateboarders are arousingly unpredictable and unruly. Their entire ethos is the spark that love and sex are promised to ignite.

On a much more superficial level, I drool over the ill-fitting pants and torn up shoes. Stupid bleached hair or half-shaved heads that I assume are drunken dares taken too far is as charming as it gets. In the same way California exists in the American imagination as liberated and limitless, an afternoon spent with a skateboarding punk extends infinite possibilities. There aren’t rules in their paradise, right? Or if there are, we get to break them! Hot!

The effortlessly cool rhythm skateboarders move to, in and out of crowds, up and down bowls, through office parks they shouldn’t be loitering at is frankly sexually exhilarating. Few things turn me off more than dudes “yes, sir”-ing one another. Golf, with its undertones of corporate networking, is a libidinal death sentence. Despite skateboarding’s fold into mainstream culture, it remains, though not to the same sweltering degree, hot. If I see a person with even middling interest in the sport, I can gather where their aspirations might lie—in that fantasy land of anarchist indulgence. Though ultimately, to me, a punk cruising around an empty parking lot is tenfold more titillating than someone skating for Team USA at the Olympics.

So, here is where I have to be honest: I never once made the two-SEPTA train ride to FDR park. I suggested it a number of times to my new college friends, that we go watch hot guys skate. There were shockingly no takers. “Do you skateboard?” one would ask. Stupid question. Of course not, I just…appreciated the art of it. “What would we do when we got there?” another would posit. Fall in love, duh. “Do you have a friend skateboarding there?” Again, stupid question. It was more than friendship. It was lust.

Read the rest of Jezebel’s Horny Week 2023 stories here.

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