Monday, June 22, 2009

I Put It On for my City, Put it Ooooooonnnnn

*as seen on the cover of this Saturdays Florida Times Union

Professional skateboarder Clyde Singleton also works as a magazine columnist, video producer, contest emcee, spokesman and outspoken blogger - under his alter ego, Piff Huxtable.
photography by Jon M. Fletcher/Florida Times Union

by Matt Soergel
Clyde Singleton says that when he was young he did a lot of stupid stuff, and that doesn’t even count the time he cut his Afro into a flattop and dyed it blond.

He imitates his earlier self, adopting a high squeaky voice: “Run a car over my foot! See if it hurts!”

For the record, running a car over his foot didn’t hurt that much. But then Singleton has a reckless streak and a high tolerance for pain. That helps if you’re going to become a professional skateboarder, as he did when he left the Northside for California at age 17.

That helps if you’re going to be part of what would become MTV’s “Jackass” crew, pulling off stunts of questionable safety and taste.

And that helps if you’re going to run your mouth off making fun of the skateboard industry, making fun of some of its biggest stars, and making fun of yourself.

In the insular, image-conscious world of skateboarding, Singleton is something of a celebrity lightning rod - a magazine columnist, a blogger, a video producer, a contest emcee, a satirist, a spokesman, a personality, all brash and provocative.

So, in deliberately misspelled and slang-heavy articles, he writes about things such as “The Top 10 Worst Tricks in Skateboarding.” “Ten Ways to Ruin Your Skateboard Career.” “Ten Things You’ll Find in White People’s Houses” (cheese is one).

And if you’re, say, a male skateboarder who wears tight jeans - or even women’s jeans, as some stars have been known to do - then prepare to be needled mercilessly.

“Some people are embarrassing jackasses,” he says, giving a laugh. “But I can be one too.”

On the message boards, the offended rail against him: “A hater.” “Washed up.” “Abnoxious [sic].” Others get the joke: “You write articles that are fun, even if your opinions are wrong. Keep it up, man.”

Singleton has spent much of the past 17 years in California, the center of skateboarding culture. But he came home in November for the holidays and has stuck around. His mom runs three day-care centers, and his stepfather and brother have their own churches. He’s been away for half his life, and it’s kind of nice to be back doing the family thing.

Now he’s trying to figure out if he can stay in Jacksonville and still be relevant in the skateboarding world. In the old days, some companies paid him just to wear their clothes or ride their boards. That source of income has dried up. But he can still get free shoes and clothes and skateboards - it’s all part of the business.

His days of competing are over but, for now, he’s still able to cobble together a living simply being Clyde Singleton.

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s ever going to end,” he says. “But hey, enjoy it for the moment. The moment might last forever.”

click here to read full story…

- id like to take this time to thank Matt Soergel, Jon Fletcher, Martin Ramos @ Kona
for letting me not only skate padlees. but also, setting his pool on fire. and last but not least- my girlfriend for all your support in getting this article done.. if you know of the recent events going on in Jacksonville, and the medias attempt to potray us in a certain light, over a certain incident that was obviously MADE UP.. you'd know this front page feature, was HUGE for skateboarding.. so once again, props to everyone involved..

i gotta run.. got to edit down this weekends GoSkate day festivities, as well as knock out this photo gallery.. make sure to look out for both online over at the Transworld site within the next 48hrs...

and until, you can check out Jon M. Fletchers photo gallery of this years GoSkate Day(courtesy of /Florida Times Union).. then- get on over to hustlemania for all your music, news, and other goodies.. oh yeah- you can usually find me on twitter. yall be easy..

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Blogger Beat Junkie said...

very LEGIT!!..keep the swagger up man!

10:46 AM  
Blogger derek Mc said...

doin' big thangs! THATS a pretty rad article! keep repin'!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Rachel Bess said...

it's always here for you. you deserved the front page, for sure! keep it up! xo

7:15 PM  
Blogger Norm Stovall said...

It was a great weekend. Let me know if you need anything from me. My gear is up and running if you need to use it, just give me a call.

Thanks again for making it fun.

1:23 PM  
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