The Quartersnacks webstore is now open with fall gear. Support your local skate site. Also Available from Supreme New York & LA, Labor, Seasons, Exit, Black Sheep and NJ Skateshop. Available from Commissary and Humidity later this week. Available from Lost Art later this week for Euro web orders. Available from Argument Skateshop for Japanese web orders. More shops soon.
Speaking of London, Southbank has been saved. The space is being preserved for use of skateboarders and “urban arts.” Between this and legalization at the Santa Monica Courthouse, 2014 saw big steps towards rational solutions for keeping skateboarders in the public spaces they spend more time in than any other occupants. Attn cities: The “Skateboarders = skateparks” way of thinking isn’t cutting it anymore.
We’re going to avoid the dominant topic pertaining to skateboarding across the Atlantic for now (even Hitler had a lot to say about it…), and concentrate on less controversial Scandinavian matters.
Streetmachine’s Copenhagen-based VoresKBH and the Norweigian Oslo 5 video (which we sorta reviewed in February) have been among the more interesting full-length releases in a winter dominated by Pretty Sweet Mark Suciu debates. Copenhagen obviously hosts a big skate contest and teams travel to northern Europe on tour, but an in-depth look of the scenes up there seems like unexplored territory for most American skate-video-watchers, now jaded by Europe’s more blown-out destinations. Considering the great response Polar has gotten in the States, both videos are worth a look, even if their respective skate scenes are a bit less sexy as they’re not built on frontiersman-like concrete work. Scandinavian skateboarding seems mildly reminiscent of the northeast, and it’s easy to imagine the circumstances of each video’s production being similar to that of recent Minnesota projects if you were to subtract suburban sprawl and add in the HD.
Ninety minutes of skateboarding from tall Europeans whose names you cannot properly pronounce might be a lot to take in, but each video is solid. The Abu Dhabi and Mallorca sections in VoresKBH and the section that starts at 24:50 in Oslo 5 (fakie hardflips!) are among the highlights.
Well, physical skate videos are not dead. Apple may have made it tougher to author them, but since when has antiquated technology stopped skaters? These are the people who pour thousands of dollars each year into repairing and maintaining a camera released in 1996. Skate videos are good for at least another 20 years.
If you need a change of pace from the two blockbuster videos that have dominated the winter, here are some of the more notable independent projects to come out in the past two months. With shops like Labor making an effort to carry more local videos, and the seemingly successful “put a few parts on YouTube but still try to sell the full video for $10”-business model, smaller videos seem to be doing alright these days.
After ten years, the presumed end of civilized skateboard society in Philadelphia has been reversed. The only difference between Love today and Love 10 years ago, is that there’s no three-stair ledge. Kids are now good enough to pretend that the planters in front of the ledges don’t exist; the higher ones are just another thing to prop a tile up to. A-list skaters are moving to Philly again (for “college”) and the Photosynthesis comparisons are apparent.
We spoke with Eirik Traavik, editor-in-chief of Dank magazine, an awesome bi-annual mag based out of Oslo, Norway. Dank is one of the most all-around unique skate publications we have come across — it’s closer to something you would see on the rack at McNally Jackson for $25 than a crumpled up Thrasher at your local shop. Eirik talks about the idea of a “grown up” skate magazine, independently running a print operation in the iPhone and Hella Clips era, and the future of mags in general.
What is the skate scene in Norway like? What mags do you guys read up there?
The skate scene in Norway is small and relatively fragmented. You have multiple cliques in every city, and smaller scenes in the countryside. Parks are popping up everywhere, so it seems like more and more kids are getting into skating. You can only skate street for about six months a year, so Norwegian skateboarding has traditionally been presented in parts of mags also devoted to snowboarding and/or surfing. When it comes to print, people are generally into Thrasher and The Skateboard Mag. You’ll occasionally see copies of Transworld. Print seems to be losing ground a bit, I guess most kids are more into instant gratification through Hella Clips and Skatevideosite.
Most countries in Europe have their own mags. I think the geographically closest influential magazine is Fluff from Holland. Scandinavia doesn’t have many interesting print publications. I usually pay attention to Grey, Anzeige, Kingpin and Soma.
A lot of print publications are folding or becoming online only. The magazines that do remain have big websites to back them up. You guys are four issues into Dank and don’t have much of an internet presence. What made you want to start a magazine when all signs seem pointed against printed skate mags?
The decision was based on nostalgia and personal preference when it comes to presentation of skateboarding, especially photography. We’ve all grown up with physical formats, and would hate to see good mags disappear completely. Dank is an argument in favor of slowing the pace down a bit. I can only speak for myself, but I feel completely numbed by the constant online flow of footage, ads, photos and montages. It doesn’t sink in. I think print offers an opportunity to really let photos and interviews sink in. Whenever I’m on Slap and come across something interesting, I’ll usually be looking at it with at least five other tabs open. Dank doesn’t have a big internet presence, true, but it is a product of the internet. It’s a printed mag that takes the consequences of the proliferation of quicker media outlets into consideration. We don’t run stories that are shorter than four pages, we come out only twice a year, and the materials are chosen to make the mag feel more like a book.