Our Favorite 2012 Covers & The Stories Behind Them

Oliver Barton

My favorite cover of 2012 is Nick Garcia’s hurricane in Las Vegas. This monumental slab of concrete dropped in the middle of a downhill ditch has been around for a long time, but few people have really skated it. The first time I saw this spot was in one of my favorite skate photos of all time, a black and white image of Phil Shao ollieing off the deck into the bank shot by Lance Dawes. Slap, Lance Dawes, Phil Shao—it doesn’t get more pinnacle. Chromeball gave Keith Hufnagel a guest post and this is what he had to say:

“Phil Shao. I was there in Las Vegas the day this photo was taken. I wanted to ollie off that myself but was too scared. Phil is the man. He also ollied up that huge ledge as well. No one knows that shit except for Blanch. Most stylish skater ever. R.I.P. Phil. We miss you.”


It is amazing looking at Lance’s photo and seeing how much the valley in the background has been developed. Most people in the past have skated this spot with bigger softer wheels or a wooden roll in, Nick had the option of both on this day but he chose to roll in on some 52mm Spitfire classics, a fact that might seem a bit irrelevant here but when you’re at the spot you can see it makes all the difference. Of all the issues we put out in a year, it seems that the am issue cover is the most heavily competed for and Nick’s hurricane beat out some heavy contenders, so it was cool for that reason, but it was the cherry on the cake when the Element video Future Nature dropped and not only did Nick have the last part but this was his last trick. I love shooting photos with Nick–his skills on the board are plain for all to see but he’s such an uber human to be around that getting a photo ran of a trick he’s hyped on makes it mean so much more, I can’t wait to go out skating with him again.