03 January 2007
When I was about seven or eight years old, I had a paper round even though I was far younger than the legal age of eleven. My route was not far from home and I mostly delivered the South Wales Evening Post, (the same paper that Dylan Thomas used to write for) each evening after school. But on occasion I had the opportunity to do a weekend morning route, which was usually when all the magazines would get delivered. Sometimes these magazines were too good to actually get delivered right away. In other words, I often felt the need to hold on to them for a day or two before they were finally posted through the letter box of the rightful subscriber. For instance, at the time I collected dart 'flights' so if when I happened upon a dart magazine, I took it and studied it for a few days, until my mum asked where I got the magazine from and then insisted I delivered it.
It did not take me long to discover the surfing and skateboarding magazines amongst the newspapers. I think one of the big attractions of surfing and skateboarding, was the way in which the culture was documented as demonstrated by these publications. Surfers and skateboarders have always made great efforts to write about, photograph and film what they are doing in an artistic manner. The photos, graphics and stories immediately sucked me in. Bye bye Star Wars, hello Shred Sleds. Once I was hooked, people like Craig Stecyk III, had a way making me feel like I was at the center of the universe because I choose to attack life with a surfboard or skateboard.
In turn this is also why I started to write. The first short story I wrote, at about age fourteen or fifteen, was about intergalactic surf exploration and was a total rip off from a story I read in a British surf rag and it got published in the school literary magazine. I wish I still had a copy.
Anyway, the reason I originally posted this was to alert everyone to the availability of the first twelve issues of Thrasher Magazine in PDF format. Thrasher inspired countless youth to get out in the streets and engage in an activity that was physical yet artistic, unique and anti-authoritarian and, at the time, largely uncommerical. Thrasher is no longer as cutting edge as it once was but its history is deeply embedded in the history of alternative youth cultures. I hope writers, photographers and documenters continue to inspire youth to get off their arses and create their own scenes, whether its skateboarding, parkour, graffitti or whatever, and not willingly allow themselves to drown in advertising and/or become internet vegetables like myself...