Why Skaters Hate Steve Berra: Unraveling a Skateboarding Controversy

Explore why Steve Berra rubs skaters the wrong way, dive into his controversial actions, and unravel his impact on skateboarding.

Ever wondered just why skaters hate Steve Berra so much? You’re not alone; it’s a question that’s percolated throughout the skating community. The answer is that it’s a cocktail of controversy, decisions that didn’t sit well, and a dose of ego. But who am I to spill the tea? Let’s dive headfirst into an honest, no-holds-barred look at the man in question, Steve Berra. More than a simple ‘whodunnit,’ you’re about to understand the intricacies and speculations surrounding him.

Who is Steve Berra?

Steve Berra, born on May 10, 1973, cut his teeth on skateboarding in Omaha, Nebraska. Far from popular in his early days, Berra spent most of his time mastering the art of skating. His rise in the domain was rather impressive, from being sponsored by Blockhead to joining the ranks of legends like Tony Hawk on Birdhouse. Despite the impressive climb, Berra found himself constantly switching between teams, a rather unfamiliar trait within the skateboarding community.

Image of a skater doing skateboard tricks on a ramp. Source: pexels
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Why skaters hate steve berra: unraveling a skateboarding controversy | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

What sparked the controversy around Steve Bera?

Two not-so-subtle decisions put Berra under the radar. The first was his joining the Church of Scientology, a path not typically associated with professional skateboarders. His association with such a controversial institution did nothing to endear him to the masses. Here is a nugget of information that might interest you: Berra got into Scientology thanks to his then-wife, a ‘Scientology Celebrity.’

The second was more directly skating-related—his part in a DVS Shoes video, ‘Skate More,’ released in 2005. To the untrained eye, the video seemed pretty legit, but it didn’t take the eagle-eyed skaters long to pick up on something – Berra’s spot seemed fake. His ‘brick’ surface – far too polished and smooth to be authentic – set tongues wagging.

“Skaters did not appreciate Berra’s blatant disregard for the sanctity of the street part.”

When you shred on the streets, the obstacles are real – the concrete, the rough surfaces, the unforgiving bricks, all playing a massive role in street skateboarding. Even with a ton of wax, such surfaces present a genuine challenge, part of the pure thrill of street skating. Skaters did not appreciate Berra’s blatant disregard for the sanctity of the street part.

What got Berra enormous flak was the fact that he tried to pass it off as a classic street part when it clearly wasn’t. This led skaters to call him ‘Fake Spot Steve Berra,’ and sadly, the moniker has stuck around.

How did Berra try to reclaim his reputation?

After the controversy, Berra founded The Berrics, along with skateboarding luminary Eric Koston. The Berrics became an iconic skate park where entry was strictly by invitation only. Sadly, the high point didn’t last long.

Image of a skater riding a skateboard on railing. Source: pexels
Why skaters hate steve berra: unraveling a skateboarding controversy | image of a skater riding a skateboard on railing pexels | skateboard salad

In 2016, Berra suffered a meltdown, going on a rather public rant on Instagram for 30 minutes, tackling everything from his fake spot saga to personal feelings. The undoing of his character was complete; he was now a figure shrouded in controversy.

My take on Berra’s controversy

As a non-expert with an affinity for skateboarding, it seems clear that Berra’s actions, controversial as they may be, have left a long-lasting impact on his reputation. It’s important, however, to remember that while actions have consequences, how we make sense of these actions often speaks more about us than about the person on whom we’re passing judgment.

“Skateboarding is about individuality and skill – aspects that Berra has undeniably contributed to over the years.”

Skateboarding, like all sports, is as much about individuality as it is about skill and finesse. Berra is a part of skateboarding history, and despite the controversies, his contribution shouldn’t be wholly dismissed. A more nuanced look at this saga can be found here.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Navigating the world of professional skateboarding and the controversies that come with it can be a challenge. Below, you’ll find answers to some commonly asked queries related to these issues, specifically spotlighting Steve Berra.

What was the primary controversy involving Steve Berra and the skating community?

Berra was involved in a notable controversy when he filmed a part for the DVS Shoes video “Skate More.” The video featured Berra performing tricks on a spot that was allegedly fake, sparking outrage in the community. In the street part of skateboarding, all obstacles should be naturally existing, not artificially made for skating. This act by Berra was considered to dilute the authenticity of the sport, leading to significant backlash.

How has Steve Berra’s reputation been affected within the skateboarding community?

Berra’s reputation took a pretty substantial hit following these controversies. Despite his skills and contributions to the sport, the negative sentiment surrounding the “fake” bricks episode, along with his association with Scientology, has led to a level of disdain expressed towards him. Skaters, who generally admire authenticity and rawness, felt cheated by Berra’s actions. Though Berra continued his journey in skateboarding, he remains a contentious figure within the community to this day.

Has Steve Berra influenced skateboarding in any positive way?

Despite the controversies, Steve Berra, along with Eric Koston, founded The Berrics, one of the most iconic skate parks in the world. Known for its exclusivity, this skate park has hosted countless legendary skaters and produced some of the most memorable moments in skateboarding. Therein lies the arguably positive contribution of Berra to the community, although even his decision to found The Berrics has its own tabs of controversy attached. Learn more about such influential skateboarders here.

Do such controversies generally affect a professional skater’s career?

Controversies can significantly impact a professional skater’s career, but they don’t always result in their downfall. The outcome largely depends on how the individual handles the backlash and their subsequent actions. The skateboarding community appreciates authenticity and straightforwardness, so acknowledging mistakes and learning from them can often help rebuild trust over time. However, controversies like the one Berra faced may leave a lasting stain on their reputation.

Final thoughts

We’ve had quite the journey rolling on with Steve Berra’s story, haven’t we? We’ve dissected his controversial moves, the community’s response, and how such happenings can shape a skater’s career and reputation. No two ways about it. The world of skating can be as gritty as it is thrilling. If you’re looking for more such deep dives into the vibrant underbelly of skateboarding, feel free to explore and delve into my blog.

What do you think about Steve Berra and his actions? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more in-depth analysis and fascinating stories from the skateboarding world. Thanks for reading and keep riding those crazy waves!

Key takeaways

This article covered the considerable controversy surrounding professional skateboarder Steve Berra. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Steve Berra, despite his undeniable skateboarding skills, faces considerable backlash due to controversial actions like faking a street part in a video.
  • Berra’s association with the Church of Scientology added to his image as a contentious figure within the skateboarding community.
  • Berra and Eric Koston’s founding of The Berrics represented a significant contribution to the skateboarding community despite its own share of controversy.
  • How a skater handles controversies and backlash can have long-lasting effects on their career.
  • While authenticity and straightforwardness are highly valued in the skateboarding world, missteps can lead to a long-lasting negative impact on a skater’s reputation.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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