A memoir in essays of Kyle Beachy's decade-long quest to uncover the hidden meaning of skateboarding and how this search led unexpectedly to insights on marriage, love, loss, and American inventionIn January 2012, creative writing professor and novelist Kyle Beachy published one of his first essays on skate culture, an exploration of how Nike's corporate strategy successfully gutted the once-mighty independent skate shoe market. It would not be his last. For a decade and counting, Beachy has been skate culture's freshest, most illuminating, at times most controversial voice, writing candidly about the increasingly popular and fast-changing pastime Beachy first picked up as a young boy and has continued to practice well into adulthood.What is skateboarding? What does it mean to continue skateboarding after forty, four decades after the kickflip was invented? How does one live authentically as an adult while staying true a lifelong passion cemented in childhood? How does having a hobby like skateboarding, which breaks bones, abrades skin, and takes as much as it gives, shape one's understanding of contemporary American life? Of growing old and getting married?In the tradition of William Finnegan's Barbarian Days, Helen Macdonald's H Is for Hawk, and Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, The Most Fun Thing offers a deep exploration of an often overlooked, underappreciated pastime whose seeming simplicity conceals universal truths.
It is a rich account of Beachy's quest to pin down the meaning of the activity that became his life's greatest obsession and his struggle to find a place for it in an increasingly complicated life as an adult, a professor, and a husband.