Cutty Spot Sightings
During the process of filming of Debris (2012), a video that highlights less-than-perfect spots and the skaters that excel at skating them, Minneapolis skate filmers Pete Spooner & Phil Schwartz utilized their Twitter accounts in a way that I’m still impressed by several years later.
The story as I remember it goes like this: Phil secured an internship with the City of Minneapolis. This gig had him inspecting literally every alleyway in the city, and during his daily trips through the city’s lesser seen sectors (places that could be described as cutty) he began posting photos of things that might be skateable. Oftentimes these ‘spots’ might need a heavy coating of wax or a little bondo, but when was the last time you found something perfect in an alley? Pete soon joined in, and soon a list of spots bearing the hashtag #cuttyspotsighting was born.
Besides being the first list of skate spots I recall seeing curated through social media, the #cuttyspotsighting list was important for a few reasons. First, it created a directory of new potential spots in Minneapolis, a city in which the complaint ‘there’s nowhere new to skate’ is often heard. Second, #cuttyspotsighting was great as something specific to skateboarding — a kind of in-joke among those who know what it's like to find some rusty angle iron on the edge of a loading dock or a set of stairs next to a concrete bank. To anyone other than a skater these photos are likely very boring and possibly confusing.
But here’s what I enjoyed most about #cuttyspotsighting: it gave me something to look at during the day that genuinely got me hyped. Seeing a post tagged #cuttyspotsighting meant that I was about to get a break from whatever I was working on and kick my brain into skate mode for a while, going over the possible ways the spot could be skated. Looking at these posts reminded me more of what it feels like to go skating than a lot of the skate video parts that show up in my Twitter feed. That's a pretty big deal.
You can see them all here. Who knows, perhaps someone will start posting cutty spots again…