Archive for the 'Skateboarding' Category

Skateboarder on Homemade Half Pipe, 1981

Skate Ramp 1982-2

A better shot of the crew and their ramp is below. Both are from Bulldog Skates, where you can see more old school madness.

Skate Ramp 1982

Skateboarders, Circa 1987

Skaters 1987

One of the best portraits of ’80s skate rats and skate styles I’ve seen, found on Pinterest. Notice that the kid with the bangs over his eye (that was considered rad, kids) has a cast on his left arm—and there’s an elbow pad over the cast. The “Skateboarding is Not a Crime” sticker was standard issue, and it was not an exaggeration. There were very few skate parks around, and starting in 1986 lots of cities started passing laws making it illegal to skate on city property, which, according to the council, we were destroying. According to us, we were simply putting the architecture to good use. Who else could squeeze so much joy (and pain) out of a painted curb, a bench, a wall, a stairwell?

If you want to get a glimpse of just how fast and how insane the best street skaters were, watch The Search for Animal Chin (1987). I still idolize the Bones Brigade.

A few more skateboarding photos here.

Ocean Pacific Sunwear Ad, Circa 1978

OP 1978

(Via CalStreets)

They May Take Our Freedom, But They’ll Never Take Our Skateboards (1975)

Skateboard 1975

Los Angeles, June 10. This small group of youths, part of some 150 others who were arrested, stand handcuffed and bound together as they await transportation to the police station Monday night after police broke up a crowd throwing rocks and blocking highways. Note two boys at right, one on his skateboard and the other with the board strapped behind his back.

Hugh Holland’s Locals Only: California Skateboarding 1975 – 1978 (Ammo, 2012)

Skate 1975

Skate 1975-2

Skate 197X

Skate 1976

Skate 1975-3

Skate 1977

From AMMO publishing:

One afternoon in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland drove up Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and encountered skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. Immediately transfixed by their grace and athleticism, he knew he had found an amazing subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, for the next three years Holland never tired of documenting skateboarders surfing the streets of Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and as far away as San Francisco and Baja California, Mexico.

During the mid-1970s, Southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders. With their requisite bleached blonde hair, tanned bodies, tube socks and Vans, these young outsiders are masterfully captured against a sometimes harsh but always sunny Southern California landscape in LOCALS ONLY.

Holland’s skateboard photographs were first shown at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles. Following the success of the show, his work has been shown internationally and used in fashion campaigns for American Apparel.

The book is a startlingly definitive record of the dawning of a sport and a subculture that were long ago corporatized, declawed, and sanitized. The working-class kids in these photographs were so hungry for freedom and speed that it absolutely precluded them from giving a fuck about anything else.

You can buy the book at AMMO or Amazon.

All photos above are via AMMO and NPR and © Hugh Holland.

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)

‘Retro’ Star Wars Skateboard (1999)

Star Wars Skateboard 77

Star Wars Skateboard 77-2

Star Wars Skateboard 77-3

Star Wars Skateboard 77-4

UPDATE (8/10/13): I originally thought the skateboard was from 1977, despite the Phantom Menace C-3PO design. In fact, the board is an intentional throwback to the banana boards of the 1970s. ‘Retro’ wasn’t hip in 1999, so I’m still a little boggled at the concept, but it is what it is.

Many thanks to Troy Yeary for solving the mystery via this shot at the Star Wars Collectors Archive.

Props to Hobgoblin238, who called it from the beginning.

(Images via eBay)

Skateboarding in the Suburbs, 1975

skateboarding 1975

December 28, 1975. (Photo: Associated Press)

Denver Post Caption:

Skateboard Enthusiasm on the Go. These skateboard enthusiasts stage an impromptu race down a sidewalk in suburban Los Angeles as they try their skill at the latest sport to sweep the country. The fad, which began in California, is moving eastward at a fast pace.

The development of polyurethane wheels in the early ’70s sent skateboarding into the mainstream. Shoes? Where we’re going, we don’t need shoes. (Unless we want to do tricks, in which case we will most definitely need shoes.)

(Photo via Big Ole Photos/eBay)

Skateboarding in the Suburbs, 1977

skateboarding 1977

February 11, 1977. (Photo: The Denver Post)

(Photo via Big Ole Photos/eBay)

Quick Movie Reviews: Thrashin’ (1986)

By the time I started my freshman year of high school in 1986, I was a skater. I liked lots of other stuff too, and I’m not sure I fit the part all that well, but being a skater is what defined me in the territorial adolescent hierarchy. Thrashin’ was released the summer before school started. I must have seen it. It was the first feature film about skateboarding, many of the best skaters of the day made an appearance, and it starred Josh Brolin (Brand) from The Goonies. So why don’t I remember it?

Probably because it was a great big pile of shit. And as rotten as I thought it was this time around, I would have found it much more offensive in ’86. The movie is a Karate Kid clone in terms of plot, but lacks completely the heart and competent performances of the earlier film. Brolin’s character, Cory, moves to Dogtown to stay with his (white) skater friends and train for the big downhill event. He falls for the pretty blonde girl, whose brother, Tommy, is the leader of The Daggers, a nasty skate gang (made up mostly of minorities). Cory gets it on with the slutty blonde and incurs the wrath of Tommy. A skateboarding “joust” is arranged in which Cory and Tommy swing fluffy balls at each other while moving at speeds approaching 5 mph. Eventually the two face off in the big downhill race, etc., etc.

I concede the importance of Thrashin’ historically, and it’s fun to see the skaters of the day pulling off the tricks of the day, but the movie is clearly a cynical Hollywood exploitation of what it saw as a passing fad. We had a word for the kind of people who pulled shit like this: posers.

The scene below marks the first appearance of The Daggers. It’s all you need to see.


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