Recent Skate Book Round-Up: A Room With No Windows, DIY & Better If You Don’t Come Back

book round up

Written by Galen Dekemper

The previous months have brought three worthwhile additions to the skate literature canon. I present these reviews in order of least skateboarding content to the most.

A Room With No Windows by Scott Bourne (1980 Editions)

The easiest thing to say is that this book is amazing. From Scott Bourne’s “Black Box” columns in Slap Magazine, to his video parts and more recent poetry books, the man has shown a serious dedication to quality across a variety of media. A Room With No Windows is Bourne’s first novel and one that is fully worth the decade of anticipation that preceded its publication. Bourne notes in the introduction that he writes to release himself from shame. To this end, Bourne casts himself the main character in a story that is as impressive in its introspection as in its illumination of other people and places. With alcohol as a “seasoning for sin,” a single man explores the differences between love and sex while coming to understand San Francisco’s geography based on the different neighborhoods where he wakes up after going home with women. He makes these beds when he leaves them, seeks a cup of coffee and a park, then wanders back to the Webster Street apartment where he resides throughout the novel. There is a beautiful passage about installing a door that provides slightly more light into Bourne’s windowless room.

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Book Review: Tough Like You by Soma Fuller

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Written by Galen Dekemper

The good thing about that night was that I made out with a 45-year-old divorcée. The bad thing was my terrible hangover the next morning. Against hindsight’s judgment, I went straight to a perilous spot, even though it was cold and there was snow on the ground, because I had shoveled it clear the previous day. I wanted to skate this flat bar to drop before I left town.

My eventual goal was a switch front board slide, but I found the rail slicker than anticipated on my first regular boardslide attempt. My board shot forward while my body descended straight down. I was aware that my penis was approaching the end of this rail and changed my body to avoid contact. I touched ground with my left foot first, then felt my left knee bend incorrectly as my body weight compressed down. Pain indicated the mishap and I kept saying “fuck” as I bent my knee to test. I eventually walked around some and got in the car, but I knew that my life had just changed. After a spring of continuing to twist my knee, an MRI confirmed my torn left ACL. On July 7, 2011, I took a left ACL replacement surgery, the same surgery I had on my right knee five years earlier.

An additional surgery on December 7 to trim my torn meniscus was a further complication, but I used adult strength and previous experience with ACL recovery to help me heal as well as possible. My physical therapist and I developed daily exercise programs that built muscle while also allowing time for rest and recovery between all activity. Being on one’s feet at all is an activity after surgery. As I strategized for an optimal recovery, a convenient retweet from Josh Kalis led me to Tough Like You by Soma Fuller. Fuller is a senior writer at Focus magazine and Tough Like You is fruit of his 20 years of studying skating, healing and injury prevention.

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Obama For Mankind, We Ready For Damn Change, So Let the Man Shine

Can we get this stupid election over with? And preferably not elect a psycho? Put on for your country.

This is the best skate-related thing to go online in 2012: “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.” John McGuire does a wonderful Kramer homage in tune with the hair, outfits and mannerisms. While a lesser fan would have just looped the theme song, the geniuses behind this clip dug deep for the background music that was used in the scene where Kramer and Newman make their own sausages. Be on the look out for David Puddy’s 8ball jacket and a quick Death Blow teaser. “All signs point to yes!”

The most anticipated avant-Galen film event of the year: “Free Buzz.”

Another Loose Trucks Max sighting in this new teaser for Mama’s Boys, a video that Galen has been patiently waiting for.

Black Dave’s new video for “On Da Map.” Sick Power Rangers pillowcase. Chicken!?!

Should we place 540 tricks on the list for #trendwatch2013?

Another round of Death Video throwaways. Shame about that manual pad on 92nd.

More Spaniards being better at skating ledges and having better-looking flat tricks than any other country’s skater population. Back when ampersand tees had their “moment” in the mid-2000s, did anyone ever make a Jesus & Javier & Lebron shirt?

Two parts from Lawrence Ekin’s Washington DC-based video, Here and There that have a good bit of New York footage: Zach Moore and Michael Bruch.

E.J. was the token minority on a trip to China with a bunch of white guys this past spring and put together an outtakes clip.

Slap is returning to print for a special ad-free edition to commemorate its 20th anniversary. How is everyone supposed to complain about skate-related minutiae on a bunch of stapled-together pieces of paper though?

Spot Updates: 1) The building mounted chairs in the landing space for the frontside for regular three-stair ledge at “the grey ledge spot.” Going to be tough to skate now. 2) The rail is back on the backside for regular side of the FedEx six-stair ledge.

Quote Tweet From a Random Black Girl of the Week:

The QS Sports Desk’s Play of the Week: Rasheed Wallace AKA “The Walking Onion Headline” AKA the Black Scalabrine’s first basket as a Knick.


Don’t forget, NJ Skateshop is holding a clothing drive for those in New Jersey whose homes were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Help if you can.

Autumn in New York

Autumn the Season is not the same without Autumn the Skate Shop. Photo by Emilio Cuilan.

If you’re trying to get a black QS tee (sold out online), Supreme re-stocked them several days ago. There are less than a dozen white ones left in the web store, so pick one up before Rihanna wears one and they start going for $200 on the Bay.

Baker gave Los Angeles a flashback of April 1992. We’ve reached an age where riot police need to be called to subdue skaters unable to get into a video premiere.

Some more parts from the NJ-based Feelin’ Friendly video are now online. It’s been on Real’s YouTube page for a bit, but this dude Nico Magalhaes’ part is insane. Even if you’re typically not into grew-up-watching-Zero-videos skaters, it has at least five bonafide “OMG/WTF/HOLY SHIT” moments, including (spoiler alert) a 5050 on the Newark Penn Station Hilton wallride (it’s ~waist high), a cab back tail on the Trinity College ledge-to-bank, a kickflip crook on the Passaic bank-to-rail, and both frontside and backside 360s over the handrail and into the bank at the project spot in Rockaway. Eric Dermond’s part has a bit of a Quim Cardona vibe going on. Maybe it’s the headwear choices and olive chinos. Buy Feelin’ Friendly here.

There’s an official video from the Polar Skateboards “Bum Rush the Spot” event. It’s chill that Pontus Alv rocks gear from other European skateboard companies despite owning one himself. We’re all in the same gang.

The Skateboard Mag posted a Vicious Cycle-era Zered Bassett interview from issue #8 (2004?) online. P.S. QS Zered re-edit coming this week.

Some HD footage from the crew that brought you the Steady Lurking video.

While a bunch of pro skaters were in Newark for Street League this past August, Fred Gall showed the Strange Notes crew a side of town much different from the Prudential Center with Scum League.

We went ahead and switched the audio on Kevin Tierney’s Outdated part to “Scatman” and uploaded it to YouTube, so you don’t have to load two videos at once.

The G Man reviewed Cell Out, a Virginia-based skate video that stars Gilbert Crockett and is sponsored by DeWalt power tools.

Hey commenters, watch Jack Sabback’s Moving in Traffic part.

“It’s a white movie. I’m the only black guy in the movie, so it’s a white movie. It’s like a white Pulp Fiction.” — Gucci Mane. Pulp Fiction is a black movie?

Quote of the Week: “Why the fuck is Rihanna taking a train to the airport.” — Roctakon


Cruiser prices may also soon skyrocket. Support your local skate site.

Video Review: Format Perspective

Review by Galen Dekemper. Galen recently went digital with Dollar Stories, his series of ‘zine-style short stories that are available at various stores throughout the city and out of his backpack. “Two Dollar Dances” is probably the most notorious of the bunch. Buy a digital dollar story today.

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Most skateboard media displays mastery as representative of much larger voyages. Four visits to a spot results in one photograph. Four years of filming and one may have a video part. The mystique of the trick conquers all, again and again. Format Perspective is Philip Evans’s documentary of six European photographers. Format Perspective is less of a highlight reel and more of a touring anatomy of scenes and sessions. Carhartt-WIP produced the multimedia object, an hour long DVD bound with a 132 page photo volume.

The title Format Perspective refers to how every media device frames then exerts authority over the viewer’s gaze and vantage point. We must see through the capturer’s eye. Each photographer has a ten-minute segment filled with explanations, recommendations and recollections, then music over photo and video montage of shredding. Super-8 film means grainier footage and photographs that appear in sharp contrast with zooms and pans that further direct our gaze. We see how the photographers find their angles and the points at which a kickflip or nosegrind 180 is most visible as such.

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