Heavy Metal Kids on Skateboards, Circa 1986

Kids Skateboards 1986

The Iron Maiden shirt on the left shows the cover from “Stranger in a Strange Land,” a single from Somewhere in Time (September, 1986). See both covers here. The artist is Derek Riggs, whose killer art nudged a lot of kids toward metal.

Another good portrait of a blossoming subculture, from the hair styles to the dark clothes—even the pose on the right. Tucking the pants into the tongue of the basketball shoes wasn’t just a metal thing, if I recall. Speaking of which, I can’t identify those shoes, and it’s bothering me. They’re not Jordan’s, they don’t look like Pony’s, and this kid wouldn’t have been wearing Reebok. Any other ideas?

The skateboards are generic deals. The one on the right might even be partially homemade.

(Photo via The Kat’s Meow Antiques)

3 Responses to “Heavy Metal Kids on Skateboards, Circa 1986”


  1. 1 leftylimbo March 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Awesome. Yeah, can’t find a way to ID that board on the right, but the board on the left seems to be a generic knockoff of “Life’s a Beach” (I think that’s what it says).

    Aw yeah, those Powell Peralta Mini-Cubics! woohoo!

  2. 2 Tintod April 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    This photo is amazing. Though I feel like those two would have scared me when I was a kid. I bet they smoked. I loved that Derek Riggs artwork. I had a bunch of the Maiden posters before I even heard the band. Poser!

    • 3 2W2N April 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Funny you mention poser, because I was a “skater” at the time and we would confront metal kids for riding skateboards, and they would confront us for listening to Metallica. It was a different time, clearly. Identities were more rigidly defined, and we were territorial about it.

      It’s nice to step back now (objectively, respectfully) and see all the kids trying to figure out who they were.


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