DEFICIT AND DISORDERLY
Deficit and Disorderly. Our minds are the minority.
Honesty is not always the best policy, but read on anyways because I don't know any other way.
Tip: Spotify Recommendation for Concentration and Reading below. I listened to this playlists while I created this content. What's your favourite music to craft your art?
Welcome to my first blog and my first entry on danpape.org. Before reading on I need to be clear about a few things if you're planning on frequenting the site. I have, or had ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder), I write what I feel and going forward I won’t back down from my views based on what the general public thinks. Hopefully you don't leave on of my pieces confused or upset. A lot of things need to be cleared up but my brain feeds on lack of structure so thing's might not always make sense, but hopefully at-least it does to the Hyperactive Mind (HM). I once read a book that was actually presented in a way that was easier to read for people with ADHD, the book change my life. Healing is part of moving forward and that's what I would like to do. Now that I got that off my chest I welcome you with an open heart and minded view into the often-misunderstood brain of the hyperactive mind. Prepare yourself for randomness at it's finest.
It’s important for me to bring up a few things about this site. I guess first of all, I’ve never seen myself as a writer and starring at a white screen for hours is uncomfortable at the best of times, and downright painful at the worst. If the subject doesn't stimulate my creative side then I will rarely write on it. Assigned articles? naw man that ain't my style. Secondly, the collection of articles you’ll read are all true and sometimes they come to me at the oddest times. Sometimes when I’m not in a good place and sometimes when the flow of ideas are coming at such a force that my fingers cannot keep up. Back in the day in Ontario Canada, a teacher in high school encouraged me to write more but I didn't listen. Snowboarding and skateboarding was too much fun. Yet, I still remember his words of encouragement 20 years later and sometimes regret ignoring his wise words. Last of all, in my opinion my grammar is atrocious and I certainly won’t score any points being for a literary genius. I don’t make up my stories and I am well aware that I see things a lot differently than the majority of society. Never the less, I do as I do often unapologetically because I have a lot to say. Or do I? Maybe I'm just too impulsive to keep that filter on. More importantly I have people I'd like support, so burrowing important issues facing society is not doing anyone any good. 8.7 times out of 10 my intentions are to help. Leaving it lay down is hard. I feel that I am not alone in this hence the reason for sharing. Even if my blog only helps one person, I'll be stoked to know it.
Our minds are the minority and for 40 years I’ve lived the life of masking my way of thinking to suit the majority. For the first 15-20 years of life I did this to avoid judgment. In my teens I just wanted to fit in. At that time a lot of people in my community knew very little about ADHD and most would take the easy road and simply classify someone like me as a problematic child. I’ll take you back there in one or more of my adventures, but for now, let’s take baby steps into the world of the hyperactive mind. Around age 12 I was put on strong meds that completely changed my vibe. I went from the life of the party making everyone laugh to a zombie sitting in the corner, all from a little white pill. I’m not against taking meds the right way, and it’s my understanding that since the 80’s a lot has changed. But since 12, I have been prescription drug free due to the shear fear of how much it changed me. If you have ADHD then meds might be for you but I am not the one to say [he is, Interview Coming Soon]. Sure I might have been able to concentrate in school for an hour longer than usual, and sure I might have received an A- instead of a C+. But for me, it was all about loving life, laughing with my friends and enjoying whatever sport and/or arts that stimulated my mind. And Ritalin robbed me of all that. I have very few regrets and some pretty awesome adventures to share. I also did some dumb shit. I probably should have cared more about my grades but I didn’t. Playing sports, and keeping active was all that mattered. Typical of the minority mind, maybe, but I was only thinking a few hours in advance. Stimulation. stimulation and more stimulation was it. Never mind planning for the science project due next month and you can forget thinking about my long-term future.
So what’s this blog all about? And why would I take time tell people random stories about my life or report or my favourite coffee shop. For starters, ADHD, an acronym I don't like, feel doesn’t belong in the English language. As you go down the rabbit hole of the HM (Hyperactive Mind), this statement will make much more sense. I was diagnosed in my early teens; and I turned 40 this past November (2017). For simplicity and understanding, I'll use ADHD or HM in my content going forward. The latter of the two I prefer which I will dissect as time goes on. I want to be clear though why. This acronym that includes two absolutely negatives words; 'deficit' and 'disorder' has been used since it was coined. Although I may use it, it doesn't mean I agree with it. Sure, I understand we have an uphill battle being misfits of society. My concern for the effects of this way of thinking is it’s not common sense yet (improving!), so backing us into a corner as the problem doesn't help. A lot of people I talk to have no idea so kids with the disability or who are labelled are often looked down upon. They just assumed we are selfish, hyper, weird or all of the above. We don’t fit the “norm” so this is why I feel spreading the word is an important step for getting over the past. For 15 years I've been promoting other people's brands, launching startup after startup, and repairing my family relationships and past friendships the best I can. Perhaps you may think I felt successful after completing a project but I never did. Even danpape.org will forever feel incomplete. We’ll get into that another time.
Here's what Jon Caften, a former editor at Concrete Wave Magazine had to say when I asked him to write my biography. Like me, he started then the writing fizzled off. Jon is a busy guy. From my own experience I couldn’t get angry or even disappointed because I too have done that to countless people. It’s not intentional; it’s just my nature and perhaps Jon's too. He's articulated my downhill skateboarding 'career' quite well but there is so much more to share outside of that realm. Let's interview him about that another time to find out. I have a lot of apologies to make for the many bridges I’ve burned in the past. Rest assured I am not an asshole, I just have HM.
Anyhow, here’s the way Jon saw things:
Skateboarding is entirely built on inspiration. The common thread of most skateboard brands’ marketing strategies is to find a talented skater and promote them as an individual but also slapping logos all over them. This is done so that any inspiration which that talent has on up and coming skaters permanently embeds the associated brand into the consuming skaters’ psyches. Their inspiration helps the big wigs with their commercial aspirations, but whoever talks about the inspired themselves? Dan Pape.
Dan’s mission is on a page in skateboarding that is not even in the same how-to book “Getting Rich off Skateboarders”. Dan has in his past created thousands of “Inspireds” and hardly any of them even know it. Most don’t even know the list of ideas Dan has started or ran with that others jumped in on and took his to commercial success while Dan moved onto his next play to help get more people enjoy downhill skateboarding. So here are just a few:
On Shore Boards, a completely unique approach to the geometry of a speedboard whereas the front wheels were inline rather than parallel.
Dan wasn’t afraid of the convention that was already forming in the Coast Longboarding Community and stood up in the races on that quirky design and raced just like everyone else predominantly riding the lowered boards that were sweeping the era.
Team Colabo, a sponsorship of riders who were nearing the beginning of their pro careers where Dan maintained a talent membership so that no particular brand had weighted representation. Inclusive sessions on the Vancouver North Shore helped amateur skateboarding in the DH world have a neutral face. Some of the faces Colabo brought us were Kevin Reimer, Brianne Davies, Max Erwin, Nathan Lang, Mike McGoldrick and Quinn Dubois to name just a few. Even Dan himself rode to be able to properly capture the excitement of downhill skateboarding. Dan would contact their respective sponsors to lobby for expanded support and the world got to watch the ams rise to pros as time went on.
Fellowship of the Bearing, the 2010 film production that for the first time ever elevated downhill skateboard filming out of the camcorder era pulling 10 years of footage including an intense 13 month filming session with HD cameras, something never done for DH until then. Dan slaved over every image with Roman Bamburin and pieced together a revolutionary film with professional animations and crystal clear colour balance, but most importantly, very sick skating of the Colabo team. Yet, he always gives credit back to people that collaborated with him on the project like Patrick Weir and Errol Lazarre.
Lid Technologies, a Colabo spinoff in partnership with Legend Blake Startup, that really set out to get DH skaters in something safer than hang-gliding helmets. The branding took a few organizational twists and turns before they hit the market, but in the end, safety was achieved and that was the end goal. The Research and Development was a long road and some of the prototypes were nothing short of scary, but in the end a helmet was born that set the DH skate scene on its ear, safely. No longer did skateboarding need to borrow from other sports to have a helmet.
School of Riding, following the success of his film, thousands of riders were rapidly joining the sport. Riders that saw the Fellowship of the Bearing were eager to start riding like Colabo. Dan was prepared for this and immediately launched his summer program to help keep kids safe. Within a few weeks he developed an educational riding program that enlightened youth on proper practices to be able to achieve high level skills as well as remain smart about their riding.
Skate[Slate] , arguably the most influential downhill skateboarding magazine being printed to date. There was need for global representation of DH skateboarding with a professional edge taken to the print form. Many other magazines had dabbled with DH skating, but Dan co-founded the online magazine with Tim Cutting before Jon Huey, Aaron Breetwor and Max Dubler started the Magazine. The brand morphed rapidly into an incredible magazine with DH Skateboarding top contributors. 3 years after the launch of SkateSlate, Dan moved to Japan to start a Japanese version of the blog which is currently on hold.
In each case Dan figured out how to launch and produce his ideas with a fraction of the investment a conventional business model would call for. Dan has proven that hard work and a shoe-string budget can equal big budget production so long as the heart is in it and the goal is about making skateboarding better, rather than getting rich.
Since Dan has moved to Japan he has sent me probably no less than 20 concepts he was jumping into on how to promote the stoke and inspiration. A bombardment of ideas for Downhill/Longboard/Urban Cruising and even Indoor Skateboarding . Just when I think Dan has found his path he emails me a few weeks later to tell me all about what he’s REALLY going to get into. Whatever it is, it is going to create more of the inspired. More kids who will skate not to get sponsored, not to become famous, but skate to have fun. Dan will help the young and the old meet an ever growing community built on a foundation of good energy and engagement around a silly little rolling piece of wood.
Jon’s perception of the past 15 years of my life is pretty accurate in the skateboarding space. Or at least, I didn’t see a need to correct him on any of it. This site will not be all about DH Skate but skateboarding is so embedded that it may be a challenge from time to time to think outside that space. In fact, the main focus of danpape.org is to support others who intend to do help others. Here's an example of just that [Link to Skeita Interview]. I’ve always tried to support from the shadows mainly because I really dislike any competition and I love seeing others succeed. Heck, I even named one of my brands based on collaboration alone. Due to our like mindedness on skateboarding, Jon and I have known each other ever since I got into my wild and crazy creator stage(s). For the life of me, I can’t tell you when I first realized the fact that I would always be chasing novelty in my life, not money. Probably 13 or so. Or maybe 18 years old when I first moved to Vancouver from my birth place, Thunder Bay. It's all blur. I starting noticing that my disdain for a monotonous lifestyle would control my path whether I liked it or not. The next 22 years I was all over the map. Literally and figuratively, I was scattered every year. Deficit and disorderly, or just creative and passionate. You be the judge, but don’t judge me.
Maybe this blog is a way to help rebuild those foundations or to help others before they make the same mistakes. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I realized these mistakes were mostly all in my head. It was just learning. Although is should have been plain and simple, HM is riddled with anxiety and over-thinking.
For the most part this site will be about my life, what I hope to accomplish in my 40's and flashbacks into the past to hopefully help others. Another large focus will be to find ways to prop up people that haven't been given a chance because they are like me or because they do not having anyone in there corner. It’s true my pre-40 life has been very interesting. Some stories will blow your mind and some may bore you. But all have a purpose to inspire good. That is, if I can articulate my ideas the same way I would over coffee or beers. I could take the easy road like most and sit back, enjoy, age and take up fishing. Actually, that does sound kind of nice. The thing is my life is half over, the clock is ticking and there is so much more I want to do. Even unpolished, the time is now.