Noah Brier | January 9, 2024

The My War Edition

On skateboarding, bails, and the creative process.

Noah here. Growing up in the 1980s, I had a skateboard. I was never any good, but I would try to roll around and ollie over stuff. Every so often, I would get a copy of Thrasher and pore through its pages. I vividly remember holding onto the April 1991 “Boards of the Future” issue for years, puzzling over the featured boards. (It was an April Fools’ edition, though I don’t remember whether I put two and two together at the time.)

I recently returned to Thrasher by way of YouTube. More specifically, over the last month or so, I became pretty obsessed with their "My War" series, where different skaters and their crews recount epic battles to land insane tricks. 

Ryan Sheckler’s attempt to trick up an insane gap, for instance, involved a torn ACL, asphalt so hot it began to soften, and an exploding bungee cord that could have killed someone. 

And for pure style, it’s hard to beat this super-long line from Miles Silva that took a ton of tries:

Why is this interesting?

While these videos are amazing and entertaining, what’s more striking to me is the way they tell the story of a creative process. I’m a sucker for anyone talented talking about the way they get their work done. I love books by writers about how they write—like the recent editions by John McPhee and Robert Caro. Watching these videos gave me a similar feeling. It’s a view into the brains of incredibly talented and creative people. As a non-skater, I’ve seen plenty of amazing tricks but hadn’t thought much about the number of tries it takes to get there. 

Now, when I watch any skateboarding video, I take note of the dirt and sweat already on the rider’s clothes: the only evidence of the work that went into that perfect 15 seconds of footage. (NRB)

Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN)

Why is this interesting? is a daily email from Noah Brier & Colin Nagy (and friends!) about interesting things. If you’ve enjoyed this edition, please consider forwarding it to a friend. If you’re reading it for the first time, consider subscribing.

© WITI Industries, LLC.