In what feels like a reaction to the sad demise of some print based skateboarding publications, the zine and small publication scene has blown up. Check out the publications section of Palomino and you will find a wealth of niche publications. Go to the Owl Skateboards video premiere and griptape show in Bristol, and you are met by a table of zines and art for sale. Online magazines are needed to cover the rapid and changeable nature of skateboarding in 2016, whereas tangible publications provide a more focused and dedicated look at the specifics of our culture.
The following zines and small publications are really great, and cost a lot less than a misspent evening down the local pub. Sure you can link an article to a friend, but there is nothing better than receiving a well-thumbed copy of a zine, complete with tea stains and annotations.
Words: Mersom, Kliewer, Jones | Pics: Miscellaneous
Push Periodical is edited by Richard Hart and features contributors such as Ben Gore, Aymeric Nocus, Zach Chamberlin, as well as many others. In the first three issues Push has covered London, Bordeaux, San Francisco, Taipei, and has captured the Magenta and GX crew in action. One of the advantages of printed publications over online writing is that there are often places to hide little interesting details, for example, on the contents page. Push features a ‘Sanity greatly helped by’ list in each issue, detailing songs and comedy programmes that presumably keep everyone from losing it. There are also nice bits of handwriting and scribbled lines all over the pages – which remind the reader that this is a tactile and interactive object.
The features include ‘Vaults’, which delves into Hart’s photographic archive, and ‘In a sentence’, a feature which takes a picture of a skater and captions it with a quotation from another skater. But this is a publication focused on photography, and there is plenty of double page room allowed for pictures – everything is shot on film – and the adverts blend in well.
Number 3 is my favourite so far: it takes its cue from the Of series of books, and meditates on San Francisco and the nature of “raw" street skateboarding. Check Push out here.
Skate Jawn’s zine is a lot busier than Push. The black and white pictures overlap and there are often four or five pictures per double page spread. Behind the interviews there are faded photographs and the interview questions are struck through with lines. Marcus Waldron edits the zine and includes work from friends and contributors. The zine is very inclusive, and so an issue may feature a homie doing a tail stall on a back garden mini, alongside Ishod doing a tre flip 5050 down a handrail. These contrasts add to the excitement of the zine.
The stand out features of the zine are the large page and double page spreads of artwork, and the letters. Letter topics range from angry rants against longboarders, advocating that we beat them up, so that we may keep mainstream elements out of our culture, to attacks against the commercialisation of skateboarding. They are hastily handwritten and misspelt, and entertaining to read. Special mention should also go to the skitching guide – this stuff, written from experience, is on point.
Just Wonderful Volume 1
A while back we had the Just Wonderful zine sent over, pretty much out of the blue – just announced by a photo of a hand-illustrated envelope designed with much care posted on insta. And as envelope and title indicate, Kyle Eggers, the man behind Just Wonderful has done a great job in orchestrating a rather loose collection of photos and scans by people such as Mike Blabac, Ben Colen, Zared Bassett, John Humphries, Mark Nardelli. We get to see some street photography, portraits, art, illustrations, a bunch of skating, too, laid out in a clean an simple, yet compelling style. As a whole, the collection manages to create this aura, it's illustrating the magic of simple things, the gift that pure skateboard culture really is – Just Wonderful.
Kyle Eggers told us, this had been his first ever – pretty spontaneous attempt of putting together a zine. The approach was to feature rather creative skaters – some known, some not – and show what other aspects of life their creativity might touch. Props, Kyle, we can't wait for Volume 2.
For your copy of #JustWonderful fire over a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Baustop by Arne Fiehl of Boardstein fame, has only ever come out once (so far) early 2015. But avid writer, Arne has made sure issue one, precisely clocking at the impressive number of 256 pages – some printed in type size 6 – , still has plenty of unread stories the average reader can discover to this day. And as Boardstein (RIP) Baustop is probably more a mag than zine, yet given its quirky and punk nature still holds all right to be featured here. However, contrary to Boardstein, Baustop does not highlight the subculture of skateboarding – Baustop highlights the abyss of skatepark building. "Caution!", it says on the cover on that account, "Not made for skaters and other children!" More than anything Baustop is pure builder's gold and should be present at all times in any proper site's port-o-john. And when Boardstein divided German skateboarding in haters and avid fans, Baustop will leave anyone who's never built a ramp shaking his head in disbelieve and consternation. While if you've ever knocked up a tranny or filled shuttering for a ledge, articles like “Personality test: How much in need for vacation are you really? “ or “the 40 most dreaded complaints on construction jobs“ will have you burst in tears of laughter. Arne's collection of witty stories, uncompromising articles, comic photos and plain bullshit from park building sites all over the world paints an amazing sociological study of groups forged by tough labour, harsh conditions and the silly minds of skateboarders.
Officially sold out, Baustop is a true (builder's) gem. So if you ever find a copy, get it – German speaking or not! Word on the site is you might be able to get lucky shooting a mail to email@example.com. Otherwise, who knows, maybe we'll even get to see issue two one day?
"Dear reader, welcome to our zine. This is the first issue and is about nothing and maybe something." – With Section crew, South London rude'n, punks with hearts of Tyskie, Crystal Palace as the tree trunk and the suburbs as its branches. English, Polish and a medley of roots, SO WHAT! The title of the zine which got released early 2016 in conjunction with their 28 minute video offering of the same name. Documenting the mayhem, shredding and general vibe of the crew in a ruthless onslaught of true skateboarding, the act, the approach and appropriate motives. The zine hosts photographs of many stunt burgers featured in the edit, cut and scanned with a mixture of hand written and typed scrawlings documenting the insanity the video couldn't transcribe. Gonzo journalism execution to describe their Poland trip, the Sydenham DIY spot, how to make a zine, bullshitting, unlucky stories and throwbacks; all hosting the stories you actually want to fucking read! Organic documentation bearing no fads and a potent hype inducer! Watch the video online and get a copy of the print from Parlour or Palomino.
Guy Jones...AND WHAT LAD!