As everyone who skateboards is aware, The Berrics and Skate Mental released a digital download of Shane O’Neill’s unreleased video part. It was hyped up on The Berrics as being one of the best video parts ever, as judged by “legitimate” pros, and then was put up for the sale price of $2.99. This began an internet debate of “Why should I pay for this?” and “Steve Berra is taking over skateboarding”.
Due to the rising popularity of The Berrics, it is only natural that it becomes hated. Tony Hawk is hated, Ryan Sheckler is hated, Rob Dyrdek is hated, (insert successful skateboarder of choice) is hated. Steve Berra made it clear that this money was to go directly to Shane O’Neill as a gift for going pro but it is the continuing theme that Steve has become rich from The Berrics.
I am not going to argue for one side or another because frankly, I do not care if Steve Berra is raking in cash from the site, I earnestly hope he is. The Berrics, without a doubt, is the most visited skateboarding site in the world and just about everyday provides us with updates to show us things we wouldn’t normally get to see. I am content with that.
Without The Berrics, the majority of skateboarders in the world would never know who Nick Mullins is, let alone the fact he could have died and without The Berrics would be in much worse financial shape. Anyone who has so much as spent the night at a hospital knows how expensive that can be.
Back to Shane O’Neill… Having his video part for sale brought up the discussion that came up with the creation of the Canteen and Berrics Unified: “The Berrics is trying to profit off of us”. First of all, if Shane wasn’t getting the money, I would hope he would say something. Second, I do not believe the digital download is going to get The Berrics any additional money and I am not against them having the Canteen or Berrics Unified unless I begin to see products and shops that should not be there.
The only “negative” thing I would have to say about the digital download is that I don’t think $3 really equals out when a full skate video is usually pretty inexpensive BUT it is only $3. If you have a problem re-upping on $3, watch Buttery Ass Mondays and I’m sure Donovan will have something useful for you to try.
I’m not saying you have to buy the part, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to, that is called free will but if you are a fan of Shane O’Neill or just want to support skateboarding, this is an opportunity, an unprecedented opportunity at that. From what I understand, you are more or less giving Shane a direct deposit that could help him with his rent. Is that so bad?
Steve Berra recently had a follow-up post explaining that skateboarders are not paid as well as they should be and that only a select few get to make a real living out of it (see hated skateboarders above). I can understand why people dislike events such as the X Games and even Alli’s Dew Tour. They may not be paying the skateboarders as much as they could be (which is a separate issue) but are skateboarders better off without the money?
Chris Cole swept the contest circuit last year and (as far as I know) everyone was hyped for him, which they should be. Unless I am misinformed, Chris Cole has a wife and kid(s) and thanks to these hated contests, he is able to put food on the table and clothes on their backs strictly from skateboarding.
Do we not want to see our favorite skateboarders succeed? Did Shane O’Neill not bust his ass (figuratively and literally) to film for that part? Do the people who make The Berrics run not work harder than what they are being paid? Skateboarding cannot and will not remain what it was 10, 20 and 30 years ago. People complain that the corporations paying skateboarders are the ones killing it, what about the skateboarders who won’t support another skateboarder?