Lew Ross is a social activist from Northside in Cincinnati, Ohio and the creator of Fickle Skateboards. Lew crafts each board in his workshop with the intention of encouraging young skaters to be who they are and not force themselves to conform to the ideals of modern skating culture.
Season 2 – EP 6 Part 1
Stirring the Pot of Mainstream Skating Culture
On a gorgeous and unusually warm January day, I arrive at the Jim Warren skatepark in Franklin, TN to shoot an episode with Lew Ross, a social activist and the founder of Fickle Skateboards.
While the crew sets up the shot, Lew skates with some locals – two young men in their twenties (one a teacher and the other a government agency worker) and a clean-cut high school kid.
Lew lives in Northside, a relatively diverse part of Cincinnati, OH, where he connects just as easily with skateboarders from all walks of life.
“When you’re skateboarding, all the stuff you worry about, how you fit in society – it doesn’t matter when we’re rolling on skateboards. You could be on the opposite end of the political or social spectrum from me. When we skateboard together, that’s not there,” he explains.
We cover so many interesting things in our interview that it’s impossible for me to edit anything out. So we decide to break it down into two parts, both equally informative and inspiring.
It all comes down to one thing: Be who you are and don’t let culture pressure you into being something you’re not.
We talk a lot about conformity and the price people are willing to pay to fit in, finding value through the tricks they perform or the clothes they wear, a topic I’ve been exploring a lot recently.
“I’m passionate about empowering people to dare to be who they are and to skate differently if that’s their thing,” Lew says. He runs his brand not because he loves wood, but because he loves the people who skateboard.
“Running a skateboard brand is the way that I can reach to the culture and say: Hey kid, you don’t need the hat, you don’t need the pants, you don’t need the right shirt. You are! Whatever you wear is right because it’s on you. Your spiritual being, your intellectual being is what is most important.” – Lew Ross
Watch PART 2 – POWER AND LOVE here.