JE / December 12th, 2016 / Blogs
Senate: The future was always screwed

Remember Senate? If you’re a blader in your mid-20’s or older (so that’s most of us) then you likely have fond memories of the once-dominant brand that told us to “Destroy All Girls,” sold wheels in beer can and matchstick packaging, and pretty much did anything they could to ape the success of skateboarding juggernaut World Industries.

At the time I thought it was so damn original.

Years later I discovered old skateboarding magazines and videos and found where it all came from.

But for a brief period these guys seemed like the most original creative geniuses in the world. They had fame, money, girls (as Arlo likes to make a big point of in this segment), and a lot of opportunities.

Truth is, these guys had it better than anyone in blading ever had or has had since. Where are they now? What are they doing? We’ve touched on that before and we’ll do more soon.

In the meantime think about this video and how it represents our past. At the time, it was also a presentation of our most prosperous future. From here in 2016, I’m kinda bummed that I thought this was cool. Oh well! At least it got me on blades.

Discussion / Senate: The future was always screwed

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  • Peter D - December 12th, 2016

    Dont feel too bad… About a million skateboarders are going to look back at JackAss and feel the same exact way about thinking it was ‘cool’.

  • Brooke Howard-Smith - December 13th, 2016

    I haven’t seen this footage since it was shot so it’s pretty confronting, humorous, and, of course, some of it’s embarrassing.

    Current me would love to never have been involved in the open misogyny expressed in this video, but it happened, and as a 20-year-old I was unable to identify or correct it. All I can do is hope to learn from it and do my best to make sure it’s no longer a part of sports.

    I don’t know if you can blame rollerblading’s demise on Senate, it was a large part of the culture so it’s culpable but it’d be nieve to attribute too much to our part in the industry crashing.

    All I know is that we write ourselves off in a big way in this video. I’d like to think the arrogance can be attributed to us being 20-year-olds without any real grounding. There’s no doubt we’re hamming it up for the cameras, it was the role we’d designated to Senate and so in part to ourselves. Now, without that context and perhaps rightly we look like amazing douche bags.

    Re: Ripping off skateboarding, the culture was ubiquitous, it’s youth rebellion, fuck-you-establishment, it wasn’t invented by skateboarding or any sport, it grew out of NYC and London through music ( punk ) and morphed into hundreds of forms. Arlo was always, and still is every bit as creative as anyone in Skateboarding, I’m sure at times we were inspired by things in other sports but for the most part Senate was Senate.

  • Mikey Lynch - December 13th, 2016

    How exactly did Senate ‘screw’ us? I hear this from time to time… but never really hear the cause-and-effect.

    Senate also inspired lots of people with a vision of rollerblading style and cultural confidence. People who didn’t care about the silliness.

  • Brooke - December 13th, 2016

    After a little thought, the idea that Senate could even help “screw” rollerblading is so ridiculous. My guess is that you weren’t around when we began and in a place to see what the industry was, it was CDS Detroit and Lazy Legs… As cringeworthy as some of the arrogance in this video is Senate was infinitely better than what we replaced and we were replaced by better companies.

    Let it go bro…

  • Jebbadiah - December 14th, 2016

    If you’re in your 20s I doubt you remember the pre senate days a time when you did most of the modification to your skates with your own used miss matched parts. I doubt you would remember saving every part because you couldn’t just go online and order a part. You spent hours in your garage grinding and drilling to get things the way you wanted or even just functional. No senate didn’t solve those issues but pre senate was a rough time for quality equipment. Senate was a big part of what brought attention to the industry and attention = investment, that investment may have later soiled the industry somewhat yet it brought better equipment and made it more accessible as the popularity of the sport grew the the investment got larger the equipment got better. Sadly in the end senate was not quality and overpriced but I have a hard time not respecting the roll the company played and its contributions in the early years.

  • Sakkis - December 15th, 2016

    “I’m kinda bummed that I thought this was cool.”

    JE, it was cool, this footage is 20 years old, JNKO pants and tennis visors used to be cool too, how do you feel about JNKOs and tennis visors?

    “All I know is that we write ourselves off in a big way in this video.”

    no we don’t, you’re being paranoid, Arlo and Brooke were (are) the shit and to condemn them and a whole scene based off an old clip of them mugging for the camera is ridiculous.


  • Dadchuk - January 1st, 2017

    All I know about ONE is the following:

    – They have little or no standards.
    – They promote and advertise low standards within skating.
    – They consistently publish a ‘Best of the Year’ with low standards.
    – They blocked me on their Instagram account.

  • Mariano - January 11th, 2017

    Yeah! And Wheres Aaron Feinberg? the michael jordan of this!

  • FruitBootHammer - February 22nd, 2017

    So gay.

  • Booter - March 9th, 2017

    This really is borderline blasphemous…. (paraphrasing) “One at that time was either Senate to the grave, or FR”… that’s the truth, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Being embarrassed of the very foundation of the sport is exactly why inline has not regained full steam. Every sport in the world is ruled by the powerful and reckless energy of its youth. Dreams of attention from not only peers but women, are some of the strongest motivators known to man. Technically speaking the attention from women is the most primal gauge of power/success, as Arlo states… and the other animals then trust, believe and follow. This comes with some questionable aspects by nature, but it IS the driving force of any idea/sport. While many do truely believe it deep down, it is rare to see a football player refer to his game as an art form. There is an intensity and respect that the players have for the institution…one that is currently held down by the individuality CURRENTLY driving the sport of aggressive inline. Individuality is a major part of skating, and usually one of the first reasons most of us started…but for skating to regain it’s strength, the ideology of “this thing of OURS”(our strength as a force to ACTUALLY be reconned with, not have a powow and adjust each others manbuns) MUST be reclaimed. The hipsters crying about misogyny and social justice will NEVER help to sell the legitimacy of the sport on it’s once grand scale. Its not about selling out…its about taking advantage of the possibilities that corporate sponsorship allow for ANY idea…because otherwise blading will continue to barely be able to pay its riders. We saw what publicity did for the sport, and it did not destroy the essence of blading …it field it.

  • Ryan Stoner - May 17th, 2017

    yea ONE is notorious for blocking ppl from they’re stupid i.g. account. Considering they’re blocking ppl that have been skating longer than they’ve probably been alive it only shows what little kids are running it. This article is stupid. Senate wasn’t the end all be all to skating and it sure as hell wasn’t its fault that skating died. maybe it was because of some of the people that rode for Senate but ultimately I hate to see them getting so much credit for the demise when in fact Senate was pretty much n the shadows by the time skating was going out, and I don’t know anyone that even bought Senate shit by then anymore anyway. ONE magazine is fucking stupid, and I honestly don’t even know why I drop by this stupid magazine anymore They promote weak blading and put in shit that wouldn’t have made it in BOX mag.

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