How to write an academic essay? Try the game of skate dynamics.

Celso Vieira
3 min readJun 2, 2018


Game of skate is a flatground tricks challenge between two (or more) skateboarders. The basic set of rules is simple. Ro sham bo determines who goes first. Skater A does a trick. Skater B must repeat it. If B fails, he or she gets a letter ‘S’. Whoever gets the five letters in SKATE first loses. When A misses a trick, the order changes and B will make the next trick. Despite the boring instructions, it is an exciting game to watch and play.

Out of this set of core rules, a certain dynamics emerged almost naturally in the disputes. It starts with the basic tricks. Skaters usually say they are warming up but I prefer to think of this first stage as a dispute about fundamental consistency. Here we will find the kickflips, heelflips, 360 flips, bigspin and its variations. [Check the video up until 1:32] As the game progresses, contestants break the tacit barrier to the stage of ability. At this point we will find the hard tricks that every one involved in skate culture knows but only gifted skaters can perform. Most of them are combos such as bigspin kickflip, switch backside 180 heelflip, nollie hardflips and other combinations. [up until 2:32] Most of the games will be decided at some point in this area. Unless you have two really technical and consistent skaters as in our example bellow. These conditions lead to a strange situation. One feels as if the game had entered in an eternal loop. [up until 3:38]. Fortunately, this indefiniteness allows the skaters to play dirty. We arrive at the last stage in which skaters resort to some weird tricks. Most of these are not even that hard but they are so weird that the oponent might never have tried it before. These are the front foot impossibles, late flips and pressure flips. [3:35 in the video and the reactions at 3:50]

Our paradigmatic example of game of skate dynamics (see time marks in the text)

In the aftermath, we have found a three-stage dynamics:

i) The consistency dispute

ii) The hard-earned showmanship

iii) The weird playfulness

These, I suggest, should also be the stages in a well-harmonized academic article. Allow me to refrain from the traditional distinctions as introduction, problem etc. During the incipient paragraphs writers should let the reader gather certain cues of how consistent and comfortable they can travel through the fundamental matters of a given subject. It is a statement of how effortless you can handle these. Within the last part of this stage one should inadvertently progress to the core hypothesis. This is the realm of the hard technical stuff. It is composed of those things that only specialists in the area of investigation of the subject are able to understand and that only the most skilled are able to do an original relevant contribution. This is the reason for the article to be. And the article is the reason of the academic to be. Fortunately, the reason and the end are not equivalent. After all that hard stuff, the writer has earned the playfulness ticket and you should use it at the last stage of the article. The writer should desacralize what he has so carefully constructed before. This is the place to take things forward in an adventurous way. One can allude to a risky, weird, unthinkable development of what was said before. Hopefully, some point made here will provide the seed for another article when it will be properly developed as the core idea.

My weird playfulness stage within this text would be to apply this three stages to how one should live their life. Nevertheless, I will refrain to do so. The reason is obvious. In fact, this whole text was a weird playful (and hopefully insightful) thing.