Daredevils have enjoyed the thrills of skateboarding for half a century, however the methods, manners and madness behind the sport are still little understood. In his book, The Impossible, Cole Louison investigates the history, culture and major personalities of skating, while focusing on the multi-billion dollar industry that the sport has created.
Bill's Thoughts On The Impossible:
The title of Cole Louison's book about skateboarding refers to a particularly acrobatic move that should be impossible, at least according to the laws of physics. Part of the point of The Impossible is that skateboarders have little regard for those laws, even after they have broken their elbows multiple times, cracked their necks, and "exploded" their feet. No lie. One chapter of this book is titled: "'I Hate Sheckler,' And The Exploding of Ryan's Right Foot." Skater Ryan Sheckler was regarded as the best skateboarder in the world when he was thirteen. If you are not inclined to take seriously any endeavor which has been most thoroughly mastered by a kid in seventh grade, then The Impossible is not likely to find a place on your nightstand.
Cole Louison writes that lots of the sport's ex-stars, some of them probably still in their teens, "dwell nameless just outside skating's strange history…which is full of neglected, abused, manic, and un-nurtured people." Meanwhile, inside skating's strange present, somebody's getting rich. Louison estimates that eight million participants are currently spending over seven billion dollars annually on the boards, shoes, shirts, pants, and various other accessories apparently crucial to the sport. He writes that "skating now quietly boasts (sic?) twenty times the participants of Pop Warner football, which is another thing children can do if they're determined to break their heads.
This segment aired on July 30, 2011.