Research on skateboarding has sought to define it, place it in a spatial-temporal schema, and analyse its social and cultural dimensions. We expand upon skateboarding’s relationship with time using the Marxist theorist Henri Lefebvre’s temporal science of Rhythmanalysis. With the disruption of urban social production of capital by the Covid-19 pandemic, we find skateboarding renewed in urban disjuncture from Capitalism and argue that this separation is central to its performance and culture. We propose that skateboarding is arrhythmic: discordant, out of step, and disruptive of the more predictable rhythms of everyday production of capital. Drawing on Lefebvre’s concept of ‘arrhythmia’, we attempt re-conceive a beat and tempo of skateboarding: offbeat, juxtaposed, tilted, and contradictory. We emphasise that this discordance is not a malady but part of a broader beat ontology in skateboarding. This very discordance also raises questions about the continued incorporation of skateboarding into competitive sports, wellbeing, and prosocial paradigms and reminds theorists that skateboarding continues to be unkempt, subversive and tacitly political.
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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- beat ontology