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Revenue and Relevance: Skateboarders Open Up About NFTs

BY Louis O'Neill

November 02, 2022

The world of skateboarding is changing, and many professionals are finding it difficult to keep up. “Nowadays with all the content-creating platforms, skateboard content just comes and goes very quickly. You’ll work on a video project for years, and then that video gets lost in the ocean of content. It’s really tough,” Torey Pudwill, 32-year-old professional skateboarder, told nft now. 

Over the years, skateboarding has evolved alongside technology. Community gatherings turned into VHS recordings, then DVDs, and eventually live streams on social media. These shifts dramatically changed the nature of the game.

Historically, new video projects would be released every few years. In these recordings, more difficult tricks would emerge or old tricks would be performed on larger or more dangerous obstacles. As a result, new ground would be broken, and the sport would progress accordingly. 

Now, thanks to YouTube and Instagram, the pace of change in skateboarding has accelerated. 

“There are kids doing tricks at five years old that professional skateboarders used to only learn in their late 20s. This is all because of technology and the visibility it provides. If someone lands a crazy trick on the other side of the world and they film it, you can see it on Instagram within minutes, and begin trying it yourself,” Pudwill explained to nft now. 

While this accelerated rate of progress is great for the sport itself, it creates a challenge for many who skateboard professionally, like Pudwill, who have to find a way to stay relevant in a sea of endless content. This need to stand out and stay relevant is ultimately why he says he released an NFT series with ABD Collectibles

The fight for staying power

ABD Collectibles, created by professional skateboarder Mike Mo Capaldi, produces NFTs and physical collectibles associated with iconic moments in a professional skateboarder’s career. Pudwill is the latest featured skateboarder in ABD’s NFT series. “Torey has been in his prime for over 15 years, and his newest ‘Bigger Bang’ video part is easily one of the gnarliest parts ever filmed in skateboarding history. ABD’s goal is to showcase the best moments in skateboarding, and he definitely fits that description,” Capaldi told nft now. 

36 tricks from Pudwill’s most recent video project were made available as NFTs, which fans could acquire by purchasing a “pack.”

Each pack randomly generates a clip of Pudwill skateboarding. Individuals who purchase packs had a chance of receiving Pudwill’s ‘legendary’ trick. This earned them both an NFT, a physical collectible card signed by Torey, and a piece of memorabilia from the day that he landed that specific trick. This, Pudwill argues, is how he can extend the staying power of tricks that he’s done, without them disappearing into the ether. Instead, they are memorialized and made tangible.

“ABD Collectibles has created a new way for skate tricks and footage to really be able to hold their strength for years to come. It’s something I didn’t think was possible,” he said.

Money matters

In addition to making tricks remain relevant for a longer period of time, Pudwill hopes that NFTs such as ABD Collectibles can help skateboarders to be supported by their fans, in a world where they’re expected to post tricks daily on Instagram for free. “With Instagram, every skateboarder in the world can be seen, which is awesome. A little kid in Germany could post videos of themselves skating, and a pro skater could see that and even communicate with them. However, the short end of the stick is that all this content is being given away for free. Skateboarders are not able to retrieve anything back from it, other than getting eyeballs on them,” Pudwill explained. 

To this end, Pudwill notes that NFTs aren’t just a way to stay relevant. They provide financial support for his career. “I love skateboarding, but at the end of the day, this is my career and I want to be able to stay in the industry for a long time and support myself and my family. NFTs are an amazing way to get behind an artist or athlete and show them that you value their contribution to the space that they’re in,” he said.

NFTs have certainly helped to support visual artists around the world to continue doing what they love, and skateboarders may be the next group that can say the same.

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