Artsy on skate culture photography

For Artsy, Alexxa Gotthardt picked 9 photographers that “captured the renegade youth of skate culture“:

In the mid-1970s, teen skateboarder Jay J. Adams descended on an empty swimming pool in Southern California, with beers and board in hand. A drought had recently ripped across the state, forcing residents to drain their backyard swimming holes. For many, it was a disappointing summer. But not for a crew of misfit young skaters known as the Z-Boys. From their vantage point, those smooth concrete craters made perfect skate bowls—sanctuaries for a sport and subculture they were unwittingly pioneering.

Skate culture related: 5 ways skateboarding culture inspired modern art and Werner Herzog on skateboarding.

Tom Karangelov skating on 16mm film

Filmmaker Matt Payne shot footage of Tom Karangelov skating on 16mm film and it looks really cool. Then again, everything looks good on 16mm. Matt also did an interview with Jenkem about the film and his techniques

How much did u guys spend on 16mm film to make this?
Not that much! Tom lands everything first try!

Just kidding, it was expensive and when we rolled on a trick we really had to make it count.

But we made this project on the side over a couple of years and got some deals with Kodak / Pro8mm so it didn’t hurt my wallet all at once. And I may or may not have used it as a tax write-off and sold some b-roll.

How do we know you didn’t just film this all on iPhone and use a 16mm filter or app?
I might have. The apps are that good. What if I told you this was all a marketing rouse to unveil the newest Kodak filter for iPhone 12 Pro Max? [laughs]

How much money would it cost to make a ~10 minute skate video on film?
I would say probably $2500 – $3000 on the cheap side. Maybe upwards of $5000 if you do it proper with good transfers and real cinema cameras.

(via Jenkem)

How to make a Hey Arnold! skateboard

Making A Hey Arnold Skateboard!

North West Decks tried his hand at making a Hey Arnold! skateboard using some cool-looking decals. Before watching, I assume the decals were complete with the outlines and the colour but they were separate, meaning you need a steady hand and an eye for detail. The result is the coolest thing this side of 1998.

Follow North West Decks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Werner Herzog on skateboarding

JENKEM - Discussing Skateboarding with Filmmaker Werner Herzog

Jenkem did something unthinkable and unexpected: they tracked down Werner Herzog and discussed skateboarding with him.

He’s a guy who brings a true sense of uniqueness to an industry increasingly overrun with superheroes. But what does he have to do with skateboarding?

Technically speaking, nothing. Werner has no background in skating. But I believe he is one of us.

He preaches maxims like getting the shot by any means necessary, carrying bolt cutters everywhere, and thwarting institutional cowardice with guerrilla tactics. His entire career has been built on a DIY approach to life, his craft banged into existence through decades of trial and failure.

The result is surreal and short but wonderful. The filmmaker declared his puzzlement at being approached for the interview but found a commonality in what skateboarders do and what he does. One thing he pointed out was his seeming dislike for David Blaine which I was unaware of. In comparison, he said “skate kids” weren’t out for the publicity but did it for the joy of skating.

I think we should have more interviews like this for different disciplines. What does Ja Rule think about the imminent post-pandemic recession? What are Mads Mikkelsen’s views on comic books? How does Whoopi Goldberg feel about skateboarding? Now that I’d like to hear.

Skateboarding in Jordan

The Lost World of Skateboarding In Jordan with Tyler Surrey & Friends | CURSE OF PETRA Part 1

It’s a small world we live in. Sometimes, you have to go a little further than just down the street to find certain things in life. This time, the journey took our squad to the Middle East to check out the lost world of skateboarding in Jordan. Josef ‘Speed Demon’ Scott, Manolo Robles, Milton Martinez, filmer Edu ‘Eddy D’ Munoz, and photographer Sergio ‘Astronaut’ Alvarez hoped on board for the mission. The locals greeted them with open arms, and even some traffic control at times to ensure the boys could shred some good spots. Sit back and enjoy some banger clips from their skateventure.

(via Red Bull)

Skate-related: An empty water park In Dubai made a dope skate park and the Uganda skateboard union.

The Uganda Skateboard Union

The Uganda Skateboard Union started as an organisation for Ugandans to skate and “have a positive impact on the youth’s development and growth.” Back in 2006, Jackson Mubiru and Shael Swart built the nation’s first skateboard ramp out of bricks and cement. Later, a Canadian filmmaker named Brian Lye worked with them to build a small course beside the ramp and fundraised to create a skateboard park.

The skatepark featured in the music video for Naughty Boy, Kyla & Popcaan’s “Should’ve Been Me” (although the video description says the park was built in 2004).

Stream it below.

Hey, it's Tyler The Creator skating!

tyler the creator in a blue shirt

2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year so when you find something wholesome, you’ve got to wash your hands, wear a mask, and cling to it for dear life.

I found this wholesome video of Tyler the Creator skating carefree and it’s the right amount of relaxing. If you didn’t know he could skate, and, like me, you haven’t played Tony Hawk Pro Skater for nearly 20 years, you might also be surprised to know he’s also in THPS5 as a playable character.

And Mr Hawk holds him in high regard too:

Honestly, the best skater that I’ve seen who raps is Tyler, The Creator. He really can skate… He’s legit.

Stream the clip compilation below and watch out for that super long manual he pulls off at the end.

Tyler The Creator Skating

OH-SO: a magazine celebrating women who skate

Paola Flores in OH-SO magazine

What do you do when your child gets into a hobby but doesn’t see other children or adults like them? For Rob Hewitt, creative director and the publisher of OH-SO magazine, he decided to do something about it:

OH-SO magazine was founded after my daughter (7yrs Old) took an interest in skateboarding this past summer. We started with the board—we went to a store and looked for something that appealed to her—we both noticed that it was a male dominated selection. She asked me why she couldn’t find something she liked…so began the search to help her find something she could identify with while she immersed herself in the brief history of female skateboarding. Ultimately, this led to the development and production of OH-SO, a magazine that celebrates the global female skateboarding scene. We’ve reached out to many talented individuals, looking to contribute and collaborate along the way, and we will continue to do so to document this journey.

Representation of all people in any community is important and it’s good that Hewitt highlighted the importance of women in skateboarding. So far, OH-SO has 5 issues out featuring stars such as skateboarding legend Mimi Knoop, England’s first female pro Lucy Adams, Leticia Bufoni, and the dynamic duo Sky Brown and Rayssa Leal.

Jenkem's list of Black-owned skate businesses

A Black skateboarder getting some air time

Black Lives Matter is not a catch-all term. It represents the fight for equality, liberation, and radicalisation for Black people around the world and we will continue to challenge every institution and system until it happens.

As part of that fight, supporting Black-owned businesses is becoming more important. Black people are often denied bank loans and leases because of their race, particularly in the US. According to the ACLU, Black people are 3.73x more likely than White people to be arrested for marijuana charges. But we’ve seen a recent boom in the marijuana industry and it’s headed by White people. Unfair and unjust. Also check for the CBD legality before getting them.

Skate publication Jenkem Magazine care about Black businesses too, and with the help of friend and contributor Patrick Kigongo, compiled a Google sheet of Black-owned skate companies to support, aptly named The Black List.

At the time of writing, there are 140 different Black skate brands, stores, organisations, and media outlets to give your money and support to. There’ll be some names you recognise (like Tyler The Creator’s Golf Wang) and some you might not. But all your proceeds, shares, likes, and listens will go a long way to bring a balance to a system created to marginalise Black people.

Check out The Black List here.

Tony Hawk dissects skateboarding films for GQ Sports

Tony Hawk Dissects Skateboarding Films For GQ Sports

Got half an hour spare? No? Well, you do now.

Tony Hawk sat down with GQ to talk about movies featuring skateboarding. Unless you’re into it, you probably can’t think of many off the top of your head. But the kickflip legend runs his way through some great films including The Amazing Spider-Man, Back to the Future, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

The video comes as part of GQ’s The Breakdown series where athletes “break down” their respective sports in movies. The series has featured the likes of Brian Ortega, F1’s Daniel Ricciardo, wrestler CM Punk, and the LA Dodgers in its first season.

Featured films

Back to the Future


Gleaming the Cube

The Amazing Spider-Man

Police Academy 4


Daddy’s Home

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Rather than say stuff was good or bad, Tony dissects scenes and gives a flavour of the eras they were trying to depict. He also gives his opinion on the “realness” of the tricks performed. And he gets technical (because it’s friggin’ Tony Hawk). Imagine if Tony Hawk was the director for some of these scenes and you were an actual skateboarder!

Of course, Tony was asked what he thought was the best skate movie he’d ever seen. You can watch the video to find out what his answer was.

Something random and unrelated – does anyone else think Tony Hawk sounds like Josh from The West Wing in the early seasons (played by Get Out actor Bradley Whitford)?

Tony Hawk Breaks Down Skateboarding Movies | GQ Sports

5 ways skateboarding culture inspired modern art

Skateboard art

Picture a modern art museum. Perhaps one like MoMA with all those white paintings nobody understands. Now think of skateboarding culture. How well do you think those worlds complement each other? Very well, in fact.

Artists like Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol have lent their artistry to skateboards. From what started out as a niche collaboration became a money venture; according to CNBC, Sotheby’s sold a collection of nearly 250 Supreme skate decks to Carson Guo for $800,000. Oh, and he’s 17. I wish I had that kind of money.

But the important number today isn’t 17 or 800,000 – it’s 5. Because I’ve chosen 5 examples of modern artists who’ve inspired skateboarding culture. Or how skateboarding culture has influenced 5 modern artists. I don’t think the order really matters so let’s check them out.

Jean-Michel Basquiat


It wouldn’t be an art-related Cultrface article without mentioning Basquiat. The neo-expressionist painted and drew on any medium he wanted. But never skateboards. Decades after his death and his work adorns quite a few skate decks including Demon, on a set of 5 decks, and Skull, one of his most famous pieces (and my favourite), on a set of 3. Although Basquiat never explicitly worked with skateboards, his early days as SAMO© was certainly imbricated with skateboarding culture.

Shepard Fairey

Alva Frontside

One word: Obey. It’s primarily a verb but it’s synonymous with Shepard Fairey, the street artist who turned it into a clothing brand, based on his iconic André the Giant Has a Posse artwork. Fairey played a pivotal role in bringing skateboarding culture into the popular scene through art and clothing thanks to OBEY. His 2009 work Alva Frontside portrays skateboarder Tony Alva.

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg skate deck set

Robert Rauschenberg was an artist who pioneered the “Combine painting” style involving the mix of painted canvases and objects. He was also seen as a forefather of pop art alongside Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Much like Basquiat, he never worked directly with skate decks but they were posthumously printed onto a series of decks including his works Doubleluck, Watermelon Medley, and Sri Lanka VI.

Takashi Murakami

ComplexCon x Takashi Murakami skate deck

If you don’t already know Takashi Murakami for his solo art efforts, you might know him for his collaboration with Kanye West on his Graduation album artwork. The Japanese artist is more postmodern than modern but his style looks incredible on skate decks. They’re unique, vibrant, and exhilarating – just what you need for board used on death-defying air tricks, right?

Jim Houser

Jim Houser skate deck

The final artist in this list is Jim Houser. Born in Philadelphia in 1973, Houserʼs is well known in his city as well as galleries in Italy, France, Brazil, and Australia. Enjoi teamed up with Jim Houser to create a series of decks, showing a more whimsical side of skateboard culture compared to other artists. He also created a piece called The Line Up involving a collage of skateboards painted on a panel to complete the skate culture cycle.


Of course, there are way more than 5 artists involved with skateboarding culture in some way: Mark Gonzales, Skip Engblom, Banksy, and Keith Haring to name a few. Many had art printed on boards after death but the opposite was also true, as in their art depicted board life, whether it was on wheels or on the waves.

Postwar modern art, as it transformed into postmodern art, was the perfect aesthetic for youth culture to express itself. Skateboarding was just one such pastime that did the same. Graffiti played a part too. So it was only a matter of time before they all came together in some form and evolved through one another.

The impact of skateboarding on the arts and culture and vice versa is how countercultures thrive. Skate culture is for everyone, not just the men. It’s all about how far you can go before you land something big that’ll change the world.

(image courtesy of Tony Alter on Flickr, shared via CC by 2.0)

Nike SB's Gizmo opens the skateboarding community to all

Nike SB's Gizmo

As the first woman to become a professional skateboarder, Elissa Steamer was a trailblazer from early on. The Floridian lent her nickname (given to her by her father) to Nike SB’s new all-women’s film. Steamer features alongside other women from the Nike SB roster including Lacey Baker, Hayley Wilson, Leticia Bufoni, and Sarah Meurle, amongst others.

But this Gizmo’s appeal and Nike SB’s aim are much broader. Nike SB is an official partner of a nonprofit organization called Skate Like A Girl. They work to create inclusive communities in skateboarding through skate nights and after-school projects in US cities like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. They work with not only cis women but also trans and non-binary riders from the US and beyond.

Another of Nike SB’s influential riders is Lacey Baker. She worked with the sports brand to create the Women’s Nike SB Bruin High, their first skate shoe designed for women. She has also been a champion for LGBTQ+ representation in the sport.

“To be unapologetic about my image and who I am and then to have people acknowledge how important that is in the skate industry… I can’t even describe how that feels. To bring together girls who skate, queers who skate… and let those worlds collide. I’m lucky to be here.” 

Lacey Baker for Huckmag

Gizmo and Nike SB is for all. Stream the video below.

An interview with "Theo Huxtable"

An interview with "Theo Huxtable"

I interviewed the other Theo Huxtable so enjoy!

What is your favourite city in the world?

That’s actually a hard question to answer. It have to be New Orleans & Chicago.

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go?

Fortune cookie fortunes that I keep in my wallet.

Why do you do what you do?

To entertain myself & enrich the life of others.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

The other day. It was the 14th of February actually but nah quite often.

Where do you go to relax?

To the beach or art museums places that help inspire my creativity. 

69, 280, or 420?

69? I assume what this is 🙂 but I’m just gonna say takashi. 280, I love that Benz especially if its a black or blue 280. 420 not actually my holiday.

How do you say goodbye in your culture?

Aight !!!!

Corey Johnson's Top 5 Skateboarders

Skateboarder doing a trick in a skate park

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Corey Johnson via Twitter and Instagram over the years and I’m a big admirer of his aesthetic and the aesthetics he admires. So it seemed fitting to ask him to be part of the inaugural chapter of this Top Five series where I asked him to pick his top 5 skateboarders.

Stevie Williams / The Reason

Video Vortex: Stevie Williams, The Reason | TransWorld SKATEboarding

Terry Kennedy / Baker 3

Baker 3 Full Video

Christian Hosoi / Christ Air

skateboarding Christian Hosoi Christ air

Tyshawn Jones / Away Days

Tyshawn Jones - Away Days Part

Daewon Song / Round 3


Honourable mention

Kevin Booker / Ice Cream Skate Team

Ice Cream Skate Team - Kevin Booker

An empty water park In Dubai made a dope skate park

An Empty Water Park In Dubai Makes A Dope Skateboarding Venue

Imagine having an empty waterpark all to yourself. And when I say empty, I mean without any water. That’s what a group of skateboarders had at their disposal during a maintenance day at Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai. So that could only mean one thing: an epic session.

You take for granted just how big the chutes are in water parks until they’re drained. The video is pretty short but there are no signs of a longer version (much to the chagrin of some YouTube commenters). This would make the sickest level on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater though.

Skating an Empty Water Park | Xtreme CollXtion