Tricking trends: One short leg

You ever seen a Hip Hop video, or a crew on the street walk with one trouser leg rolled up? Maybe you’ve even caught glimpses of David Beckham in the papers with one of his trouser legs half rolled up to the knee too? The more you look around the more you see it. Its subliminally right in front of so many peoples faces, I’m sure its seen as one daft fashion that only the super confident would dare to wear out.

I’ve noticed a growing trend of trickers rolling up one trouser leg, have you? If you haven’t noticed, you will now and if you have noticed and thought why? I can tell you its to show which way round they’ve skating. Confused? read on…

I’m pretty certain most of the people mentioned above have no-idea where this trend comes from. They might think they know, but I really doubt it. Why? well because it all started in about 1992 with skateboarders.

Skateboarding tricks exploded around that time with the invention of ‘switch’. This is the equivilent of riding the skateboard the wrong way round, and therefore multiplying the difficulty level massively. Think about if it all a sudden it became popular to write with your other hand? Then you’ll start to understand the level of technicality it brought to the ‘street sport’.

Well where does the trouser leg fit in you’re asking? It began to be used in competitions, because ‘old school’ skate judges had no idea what they were looking at when judging competitions… riders would show off a ‘switch’ trick and the judges wouldn’t notice and mark them accordingly (just as if the move was done the regular way). It didn’t take long for the skaters to realise that unless they made it obvious to everyone competing and judging them, that they were riding the other way round, then they were never going to get the points needed to win a competition.

This is where the trouser leg got introduced, and the simple ‘semi-rolled’ trouser leg played a huge part in giving the talented skaters the credibility they deserved. It was now obvious to everyone which way round the skaters were riding.

So it wasn’t some ‘gangster’ thing, or even a ‘catwalk experiment’ by some random Joe designer… nope, it was actually born from a practical necessity. Its now been adopted in to many lives and tricking deserves it fully in my book. Its so much easier being able to count rotations and combos difficulty if we can see whether the tricker is starting or ending on their natural or weaker leg (yes I know martial artists train ‘not’ to have a weaker leg, but c’mon, tricking isn’t ‘martial arts’ really is it? – eek, *mark opens a can of worms)

Anyways… its simple really, once you think about it, one short leg gives the viewer an insight into the athletes direction. Now you know where it was born, please spread the word, lets not get into any confusion about this. However should you still be in denial, or insist on being historically and factually incorrect, I’ve left a convenient comment box at the bottom of this post for you to leave your opinion, which I can read and delete at my leisure.

btw – this guy inspired my post:

I dunno who he is, but he’s doing good I think. Go say hello

all the best – mark



Filed under Flips, free running, Martial Arts, parkour, skateboarding, Tricking, video

2 responses to “Tricking trends: One short leg

  1. hey mark,
    i’m the guy in that video, and i loved this entry :)
    For me, it’s not really a trend thing… i roll it up
    cause otherwise my pants “jam” with my left knee, which i’ve
    hurt recently… shorts will solve my problem, haha
    it’s a good idea to use it as a marker though, since more
    people do ‘switch’ tricks these days!

  2. no problem, I didn’t think for a minute that you were doing it to be trendy, your video just inspired the thought about it all – however it does appear to have become acceptable to roll up one trouser leg (for various reasons) in tricking. Glad you’ve cleared this instance up :)

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