Don't Be a Squid

Don't Be a Squid

If you’ve ever cringed as a gearless rider whizzes past you on the highway, you’ve witnessed a squid. Brought to you by the colorful world of motorcycle slang, the term “squid” refers to a particular type of rider who throws common sense and caution to the wind, opting for a protection-free and often reckless adventure. But how did this term come to be? And what exactly goes on in the mind of a squid?

The Origin of Squid

The term "squid" is believed to have originated in the 90s. While the exact origin remains somewhat elusive, it’s widely accepted that the term was first used to describe riders who exhibited reckless and irresponsible behavior on the road. The association with the squid, a creature without a protective shell, implies vulnerability and a lack of proper protective gear.

There are a few other interesting theories about the origin of the term. For instance, SoCaliTrojan on Reddit says, “Squid was a combination of the words squirrely and kid and meant someone who basically couldn’t keep their lines in a turn and kind of did a zig zag.” Another Reddit user, Cleftex, says, “The origin (according to dad) is that novice riders tend to leave their feet out, dragging across the ground for balance when taking off from a stop for a few metres. They look like squids dragging their legs behind them.” Here are a few others:

Reddit post squid motorycle term explanation

reddit post with squid motorcycle term explanation

squid motorcycle term theories reddit

What is the Squid Mentality?

The squid mentality is characterized by a few key traits:

Lack of Gear: Squids are notorious for riding without essential protective gear such as helmets, gloves, jackets, and proper footwear. This lack of gear not only increases their vulnerability in case of an accident but also reflects a disregard for personal safety.

Reckless Riding: Squids are often associated with aggressive and reckless riding behaviors, such as excessive speeding, weaving through traffic, and performing stunts on public roads. Squids not only endanger themselves but also pose a threat to other drivers and pedestrians.

Showboating: Attempting to impress others with daring maneuvers and high-speed antics is classic squid behavior. This behavior often stems from a desire for attention and a need to showcase their riding skills, albeit at the expense of safety. They’ll usually be riding a more powerful bike than they can handle.

Inexperience: Many squids are novice riders who lack the necessary skills and experience to handle powerful motorcycles responsibly. Inexperience coupled with overconfidence can lead to dangerous situations on the road.

While the term "squid" initially carried a negative connotation, some motorcyclists have reclaimed it in a more lighthearted manner. Some riders use the term to playfully describe a friend who occasionally exhibits squid-like behavior or to poke fun at their own occasional lapses in responsible riding.

Whether used in a critical or humorous context, understanding the underlying traits associated with the squid mentality serves as a reminder for all riders to prioritize safety, responsibility, and to develop their riding skills for the open road.

In terms of gear, the polar opposite is ATGATT (All the Gear All the Time), but you more likely fall somewhere in between. If you want to get that much closer to being fully geared up, check out our offerings for upper and lower body protection. Upgrade from regular jeans to real Cordura, slide in some level 2 (or even just level 1) armor and you’re leagues ahead of those without an exoskeleton.