‘Everyone wears skate shoes’ – Emage makes their mark | VailDaily.com

‘Everyone wears skate shoes’ – Emage makes their mark

Nicole Frey
NWS Emage Contest2 BH 2-22

EAGLE-VAIL – Once upon a time skateboarding was the baddest of the bad.”If you were a skateboarder, you were so cool, you were so punk rock,” said Patrick O’Toole, owner of Emage, a skate and snowboard shop in Edwards. Standing at the front of a Battle Mountain High School graphic design class, O’Toole told the class about the days when being a skateboarder was exclusive, underground and just a little bit feared by the public. Back when O’Toole was in high school, a teacher had forbidden him from bringing his skateboard to school, and when he did it again, she confiscated it.

“And my mom, she was even more punk rock than me,” O’Toole said. “She broke into the teachers’ lounge and got it back.”But since O’Toole’s high school days, skateboarding has gone mainstream – so much so that the skate rat turned business man is asking Battle Mountain students to design a new graphic for a skateboard. “Nowadays everybody knows about skateboarding,” he said. “Kids who have never been on a skateboard know the names of tricks and who Tony Hawk is, and everyone wears skate shoes.”Two girls in the back of the classroom put their feet up on the table to prove him right.

Understanding that skate culture is now part of the norm allowed O’Toole to feel comfortable asking an entire school to create a design that will be cool enough to slap on the belly of hundreds of skateboards. But O’Toole leveled with the art students in Berneil Bannon’s class – asking students to design is also a lot cheaper than hiring someone to do the job. And he freely admitted he doesn’t have an ounce of talent. “If I were to make a skateboard, it would be the stupidest skateboard ever,” he said. He encouraged the students to put emotion into their designs, and although he told the girls in the class that the design could be feminine, he told them to stay away from anything too girly.

“Skateboarding has always been about creativity. It embodies everything besides skateboarding,” he said, following up with, “Skateboarding is not a feminine sport. Maybe you can do, like, flowers with blood.”Student Rachael Casady, with a self-proclaimed dark side, ran with the idea, sketching a woman’s salivating mouth and a bloody human heart. Other students cooked up their variations of what embodies skate culture – a feminine but scary clown, a girl with the devil, flying images. Next to Casady, Rachel Lach drew an intricate tree. She also worked on a sketch of a preying mantis with dreadlocks, and said she will likely submit more than one design for the contest.”I’m stoked about this,” Lach said. “I’m so excited about this assignment.”

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado

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