Skateboarding has become a very popular means of transport over the years. Skateboards are great, no matter if you’re a student looking for a product to help you get around, a mother of two or just a skateboarding enthusiast. Getting around can be tricky, especially if your city is packed with traffic and fumes, and you don’t want to add to the problem. If you don’t mind cruising on the side of a pavement or a relatively clean road, skateboards can be a great way to have some fun and experience a new hobby.
There were several artistic skateboarding pioneers that had an influence on the culture of skateboarding during the 1980s, that transformed skateboard-deck art like Jim Phillips, whose edgy comic-book style "Screaming Hand", not only became the main logo for Santa Cruz Skateboards, but eventually transcended into tattoos of the same image for thousands of people and vinyl collectible figurines over the years. Artist Vernon Courtlandt Johnson is said to have used his artwork of skeletons and skulls, for Powell Peralta, during the same time that the music genres of punk rock and new wave music were beginning to mesh with the culture of skateboarding. Some other notable skateboard artists that made contribrutions to the culture of skateboarding also include Andy Jenkins, Todd Bratrud, Neil Blender, Marc McKee, Tod Swank, Mark Gonzales, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas and Jim Evans.
The magazine only lasted four issues, but resumed publication as Skateboarder in 1975. The first broadcast of an actual skateboarding competition was the 1965 National Skateboarding Championships, which were held in Anaheim, California and aired on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports. Because skateboarding was a new sport during this time, there were only two original disciplines during competitions: flatland freestyle and slalom downhill racing.
One of the earliest sponsored skateboarders, Patti McGee, was paid by Hobie and Vita Pak to travel around the country to do skateboarding exhibitions and to demonstrate skateboarding safety tips. McGee made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 and was featured on several popular television programs—The Mike Douglas Show, What's My Line? and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—which helped make skateboarding even more popular at the time. Some other well known surfer-style skateboarders of the time were Danny Bearer, Torger Johnson, Bruce Logan, Bill and Mark Richards, Woody Woodward, & Jim Fitzpatrick.
A precursor to the extreme sport of street luge, that was sanctioned by the United States Skateboarding Association (USSA), also took place during the 1970s in Signal Hill, California. The competition was called "The Signal Hill Skateboarding Speed Run", with several competitors earning entries into the Guinness Book of World Records, at the time clocking speeds of over 50 mph on a skateboard. Due to technology and safety concerns at the time, when many competitors crashed during their runs, the sport did not gain popularity or support during this time.
Bianca Chandôn’s offerings can be found in high-end shops like Trés Bien and Supply, while Call Me 917, the sister company focusing on producing skateboards and hosting a skate team can be found mostly at select skate shops, such as New York’s own Labor Skateshop, but is also stocked at elite retailers like Dover Street Market. This brand duality allows Olson the freedom to explore new fields like cut-and-sew and womenswear with Bianca, while staying true to skateboarding with Call Me 917.
HUF has clearly mastered the streetwear game and has moved on to trying to master the skate shoe game. The addition of Dylan Rieder and Austyn Gillette to their roster, and their subsequent pro shoe model releases have shown that they’re a brand that’s not afraid to take risks and try something new, pushing a fashion forward image supported by a group of guys who you might feel you can wreck in a fight, but who will probably steal your girl even after you punch their face in.
Polar’s inaugural video release, The Polar Skate Co. Promo – Wallride Oh Yeah Oh Yeah Oh Yeah (2012) with the tagline ‘Inspire others to inspire themselves’ featuring Pontus, fellow Swedes Oskar Rozenberg and Davd Stenstrom, Polish rider Michal Juras, Dane Hjalte Halberg, Tjark Thielker and original rider and Polar artistic contributor Jakke Ovgren.
In the past decade, I have begun seeing the emergence of skate decks being totally or partially made from carbon fiber or other metal materials instead of solely wood. These decks typically last longer than regular wooden decks and aren’t prone to chipping or breaking like most made from wood. The drawback to these materials is that they tend to feel “stiffer” than traditional wooden decks and experienced skaters may feel they are heavier and harder to do tricks on. Carbon fiber decks are also more expensive, but this additional cost may be worth it if you tend to break decks easily. Some brands also offer warranties against breakage under normal conditions for carbon fiber decks if you are worried about breakage.
By raising £790,000, the Long Live Southbank initiative managed in 2017 to curb the destruction of a forty years old spot in London due to urban planning, a salvaging operation whose effect extends beyond skateboarding. The presence of a designated skating area within this public space keeps the space under nearly constant watch and drives homeless people away, increasing the feeling of safety in and near the space. The activity attracts artists such as photographers and film makers, as well as a significant number of tourists, which in turn drives economic activity in the neighborhood.