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The Greatest Skateboarder in the World

Photos and words by Trait

There is something as equally irritating as listening to commercial radio. Its not the most irritating thing but its equally as irritating. Its listening to a pleb journalist who knows nothing about a subject interviewing a subject about that subject.

I can’t remember when it was or what it was, but I was watching something terrible and heard something amazing. Some jock reporter asked a female pro surfer one of those cringe worthy, plasticine daytime tv questions, “who’s the best surfer in the world?” And that surfer gave the greatest response possible to such a stale question. “The one who’s having the most fun. They’re the best surfer in the world.”

And that answer has stuck with me ever since. I could kiss her urchin ridden, salt encrusted feet for creating the greatest response to that age-old philosophical query. Who is the greatest? Danny Way or John Cardiel? I always say Cardiel, not because of tricks landed, distances covered, video parts, photos or notoriety. It’s because of pure stoke. Cardiel looks like he’s having more fun. Even if he is a shadow of his former self on a board, the pure joy he receives from scratching coping is enough to make the most hardened 0ne-percenter cry tears of emotional joy.

So, if you ask me that same plastacinic cringy question. Who’s the best skateboarder in the world? Easy Tim Conan.

Most of you will say “who the fuck is Tim Conan?” And I say “who fucking cares”. Because Tim rides on this raging cloud of pure stoke that’s been evaporating radness from a deep dark sea of skate gnar for decades.

Let me explain. On this latest little trip, we did Tim got the session going at every fucking spot we stopped at. We would be in the heart of too-fucking-cool-land Sydney and Tim will be-friend the way-too-fucking-cool-locals and break down their arrogance barriers and get everyone at the park seriously rooting for him to get his trick. They could all sense his absolute lack of ego and childish enthusiasm that eroded the crust of even the most die-hard sin city scenester.

This is not Tim. This is Carne. Carne is also one of the best skaters in the world. Not just because he rips but because he skates with a permanent grin on his face. Seriously, he must get bugs stuck in his teeth, moths attracted to those pearly whites. Tim and Carne got fired up. Navigating the pockets at Charlestown with a front tail.

At the last spot of the trip we were seriously beaten and broken and slowly sinking into our beers and the setting sun. But Tim fired it up again, his stoke levels can be energized from a multitude of radiating sources. In this case it was a trans gender roller skater who was getting inverted in the deep pit of Empire bowl. Tim got fired up, then she got fired up, then the whole fucking skatepark got fired up. Session on again.

It doesn’t matter about the tricks; it doesn’t matter about the notoriety. It’s the crazed cackle he makes mid-run. That hellish shriek of pure stoke that sounds like a demented witch high on pixie dust. Hell, the other day I heard him cackle mid trick. There’s too much stoke busting out of that guy he can’t even contain it til he rolls away.

Ill leave you with one of many great pieces of pure wisdom that Tim has beset on me. Next time you find yourself deep in the way-too-fucking-cool scene just remember these words from the best skateboarder in the world. “Being friendly is free”.

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