Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Skateboarding [Print without images]

Monday, January 5, 2009
Updated: March 18, 4:13 PM ET
Skate 'Stache on Vacation

By Chris Nieratko
ESPN

Ryan Decenzo noseblunts while the 'Stache elludes him.
There is one common thread that ties all skateboarders together regardless of race or religion, homeland or dialect, male or female: we have all, at one point or another, had or wanted to have the best moustache the world has ever seen.

Brezinski nose manny's right into the 'Stache vortex.
Which is a bigger mystery: the 'Stache or Stonehenge?
Why are the camera's pointed at Ron Deily when they should be documenting the 'Stache's glory?
Backside 180 nosegrind or nose over ginger 'Stache?
Sadly, for most of us, we've had this notion well before we were able to grow a real moustache and so it is that, generation after generation of skateboarders is forced to perpetrate a peach fuzz moustache. Sure, we've all tried to pass it off as something much thicker and fuller than it was and we all have our own reasons for doing it. Some of us are just tired of getting moustaches drawn on our faces when we pass out, others want to look as mature as our fake IDs say we are. There are those that enjoy having something to massage when running thumb and index fingers across their lips in deep thought. And the girl skaters just want to be one of the guys. Whatever the reason, it really doesn't matter. What's important is that in the dawn of these new days of HOPE and CHANGE we should embrace the thing that binds us all together as skateboarders regardless of our differences. You could be a Yo-guy, or Sister's-Pants guy, a Canadian void of personality, or a mute Euro. You could be Mr. brown corduroys, a rapper, a jock, whatever. None of that should stop your moustache dreams. I am 30-years-old and I still can't grow a moustache. I'm not bitter. I like that I can relate to Figgy and Chaz Ortiz. And I'd like to say to those guys, "Keeping Shaving! It'll fill in one day!"

But I'd be lying. Skateboarding keeps you young in spirit. It also halts any chance of you having a man's moustache. You can't have it both ways.

Recently I went on a Red Bull trip to the UK with a bunch of their riders and some filmers. Photographer, Matt Price came along to shoot for an upcoming article in The Skateboard Mag and some folks filmed for a show on "Fuel TV." One thing I noticed was there were only two guys on the trip with moustaches. I asked Matt and RB Umali if they could grow moustaches. Both said no. Jereme Rogers had his signature chin strap but no moustache.

"Where's your moustache, Jereme?" I asked him.

"Can't grow one," he said.

I asked the rest of the guys and most said they couldn't grow one either so they didn't bother trying. Shane Azar from Australia was running the peach-fuzz 'stache. I commended him.

"This is the best I can grow," he said.

He seemed down on himself for his moustache, which was completely understandable because we all paled in the shadow of Mikendo's magnificent moustache. Mikendo, aka Mike Stanfield aka Filmbot used to have a baby face. When I first met him he couldn't even grow peach fuzz and now—Now I am in complete and total envy of his bushy, mesmerizing lip hat.

What's the secret? Mike grew up. Not completely, but just a little, just enough to fool his lip hair into coming out. We had long talks about adult things like budgets and allocating time between girlfriends and work and investments and such. Real talk. Real talk that scared me. But he explained to me that growing up is the only way to attain such a fantastic moustache and so long as I continued to think and act like a child, like so many skateboarders do, I will never be able to grow one.

So I spent my next 10 days documenting our travels with his moustache in the foreground, as the focus. I had never been all the way to Stonehenge and I doubt I will ever go back (because the stupid rocks were closed when we got there. How can rocks be closed for the day!?), but the mysterious, unexplained sculpture (or whatever it is supposed to be) intrigued me far less than Mikendo's moustache. I think in some quiet, unspoken way I realized that I was never going to have a moustache of my own to love and caress. None of us will. Because none of us are going to ever grow up.

Next Month: The Ponytail: Where has it gone and when is it coming back?



For more of Chris go to njskateshop.com and chrisnieratko.com