TWS 10 Freaks


Words by Sean Mortimer
(As seen in our August, 2010 issue)

The straight world considers “freak” a negative label, but skaters have a high percentage woven into our DNA. These ten celebrated skaters have awesomely higher freak proportions, and without them we’d swirl a little closer to that jock drain. In no particular order.

The sole skater worthy of a Brylcreem sponsorship is word-renowned for his shocking (to some) paintings and photos. Templeton is probably the only pro whose look hasn’t changed in decades. The street icon popularized Toy Machine with disturbing mascots and hilarious but brutally honest ads that perfectly capture the reject side of skating. Ed’s hardcore fans may technically be considered a cult and occasionally show up in full costume as his popular cartoon mascots.

Ed’s part from Toy Machine’s Welcome To Hell

An internationally acclaimed artist who bronzed roadkill and helped start Thrasher. Stecyk gave that initial stir to the swill of anti-authority and black humor that is modern skate mentality. He penned what many consider skateboarding’s finest articles for 70s-era Skateboarder mag, extracting skating’s misfit motivations for all to see (and be motivated by). As a teenager he secretly buried a faux Russian bomb—complete with ticking timer—and returned to the crowded beach on Labor Day in a bomb-disposal uniform to disarm it, just for kicks.

Arguably, Alva possess the greatest freakin’ ego in skateboarding. “I was pretty flamboyant at a young age,” he admits. “I had an element of grace, but at the same time I was usually pretty cocky.” This is merely annoying if one doesn’t have the skills to back it up. Alva, one the greats, wasn’t lacking. For the 1977 World Championships, he paid Elvis Presley’s costume designer a reported $2,000 ($14,000 in today’s dollars) to create a custom one-piece outfit. One nemesis called it “lingerie.” He started the first skater-owned company and infused it with a crazed art department that made truly freaky ads like Alva posing with a plastic bag over his head.

From Dogtown and Z-Boys