My friends spend every working hour surfing an endless wave of free online skate videos. Free vids are inescapable IRL too--shiny discs stuffed in shoe boxes, packaged with your new magazine, shrink-wrapped with that new board.
Skateboarding is following "Grateful Dead" economy, trying to turn free into profit. I don't think it's working. While the Dead was able to make millions giving away music in exchange for ticket and t-shirt revenue, skateboard industry alchemists are missing one crucial element for this transmutation: excitement. Dead fans were building for that rapturous moment of experiencing the band live. We've got nothing. iTunes updates us daily with the newest skatecast. No effort, no anticipation, no excitement.
This flood of footage drowns out some pretty amazing skating. My friends and I still talk about Markovich's 360 flip ender in the Prime video. That vid came out 14 years ago! I've already forgotten most of the Fully Flared highlights.
Skate companies have to figure out how to give it away, but still leaving us wanting more. Lil' Wayne's mixtapes led up to the Carter III. But DVS, Circa, and the rest are keeping us adrift and not leading anywhere...especially not to the cash register.