When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote these words in the 19th century, he could have no idea that they would be so aptly repurposed by a family of skateboarders 160 years later. But communication arts major Thomas Mull ’13, English major Steve Mull ’15, and their two brothers Charlie ’07 and Dave have adopted the quote as their boardsport motto. It’s a far cry from the “skate and destroy” culture popularized through the eighties and nineties—and that’s the point. Their Vermont-based skateboarding collective, The Worble, represents “rural skateboarding.” It’s about more than releasing pent-up aggression on a slab of concrete. They seek ways to return to nature, to respect and honor the terrain with their sport—much in the same way that surfing has done with the ocean.
The brothers will be premiering their latest skateboarding video, The Wander Years, tomorrow night at the Barrington Center for the Arts cinema. Spanning several years of filming and editing, the video was shot and produced mainly by Thomas, and features the brothers skating cities, skate parks, rural roads and even downed trees in their native Vermont and at spots across the Northeast.
“I think the film will appeal to skaters and non-skaters,” says Steve.
“We tried to make it visually interesting and representative of our rural perspective on skateboarding” explains Thomas, “There’s more beautiful fall foliage and nice scenery in our films—but also much more gravel.”
The Wander Years premiers at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow, November 29, at the Barrington Center for the Arts cinema at Gordon College.
Photo: Thomas Mull '13 (left) films his brother Dave (right) making creative use of a downed tree in Vermont. Watch the trailer.