UPDATE: Urban Combat Skateboard

Murdoc’s got a lot of stuff going on over the next couple of days, so posting might be a little lighter than normal. But I wanted to do a follow-up on the Urban Combat Skateboard bit (also cross-posted to Defense Tech).

The theories seem to fall into three categories:

  1. The skateboard is used for belly crawling because all the armor and gear weighs the troops down.
  2. Sensors of some sort are mounted on the top of the skateboard and it’s rolled ahead of advancing troops
  3. The skateboard is simply pushed out ahead in order to set off any tripwired devices and draw sniper fire. Sort of the old “hat on a stick” trick on wheels.

Murdoc continues to wonder if this isn’t just some completely crocked caption to a photo of a Marine holding a skateboard. Doesn’t anyone know?

The last two posts on the DD(X) have pulled in a total of 197 comments so far, many of them fact-filled and insightful. And no one has any hard info on the urban combat skateboard?

UPDATE: Looks like my cross-post to Defense Tech got Farked. And a lot of Googles are coming in looking for ‘urban combat skateboard’. If this silliness turns into a fad, don’t forget who pointed it out…

UPDATE 2: Also, a DT reader points out that it’s not “got butkus” as I wrote, but “got bubkes” or alternatively “got bupkis”:

From here:
http://www.answers.com/topic/yiddish-words-and-phrases-used-by-english -speakers

Bubkes (also spelled “bupkis”) – nothing, as in He isn’t worth bubkes (from Yiddish bopkes ‘little beans’)

I will correct the post before Yiddish speakers begin rioting in the streets. (Whew! That was close!) Noah Shachtman (who runs DT) responded

I don’t think “Murdoc,” who wrote the post, has much yiddishkeit.

I don’t have much yiddishkeit? Are you kidding me? Murdoc is “doesn’t have much yiddishkeitpersonified.

UPDATE 3: They’re on to me.


  1. Fellers, I would’ve added some more comments to the BB Vs DD(X) debate, but I felt I’d said what I wanted to say and anything else would be clutter. There’s another possibility for the skateboard, you know… The Gyrene could’ve simply confiscated it from some local hoodlum who was dissing the fellers on patrol. I suspect that even Baghdad has it’s share of Bart Simpson wannabees… There are, of course, some redeeming social values to having a skateboard. For example, my son got on a first name basis with most of the local ER staff while trying to master his board skills. He now has quite a large medical vocabulary and a new appreciation for both kinetic energy transfer and the resiliency of the human body….. Respects, AW1 Tim

  2. I remember reading years ago that the Swiss were looking into using skateboards for getting infantry into action quicker, but gave up on the idea after researching it. As for bubkes, I have a copy of a Melbourne Jewish magazine that describes a common Jewish diet in Europe: ‘Mondig bubkes, Diensdig bubkes, …’ Bubkes could mean potatoes, but there’s an obvious play on words here.