Since 1964, skateboarding's most sacred tenets have been printed on paper. Our Bible—the doctrine of our guiding principles—has been preached through magazines. Not just one magazine, but through all magazines. As the digital age continues to redefine this fifty-year-old model, and more and more titles cease printing entirely—here are 10 beloved mags that already stopped the presses. Support print.
This article is from our July 2015 Issue. On newsstands now.
(1964-1965, 1975-1983, 1997-2013)
The original gangster. Skateboarder was the first ever skateboard magazine. After a stop and go in the '60s, Skateboarder rose in the '70s as the magazine of record. Having ceased publication again in '83, Skateboarder returned in the late '90s—producing some of the best content available through 2013.
Cover: Guy Mariano by Spike Jonze, July/Aug. 2000.
As Skateboarder took a break, and Thrasher and TWS became the SF/SD monoliths—Poweredge magazine was launched in '87 as an alternate voice to skateboarding's establishment. Part color, mostly black and white, "The Edge" featured charismatic skaters like Jason Jesse, Jason Lee, and Ben Schroeder in the amazing photos of Christian Kline, Sturt, Rick Kosick and onwards.
Cover: Jason Lee by Dan Sturt, July 1989.
3. BIG BROTHER
Famously turned down by Peggy Cozens at TWS for his satirical ads, Steve Rocco launched his own beautifully uncensored magazine in '92. Blessed with the photography of Spike and Kosick, wits of Cliver, Earl Parker, Tremaine, Carnie, etc… and of course the incredible talents of his World company's riders—Big Brother would go on to be purchased by Larry Flynt in '98 before closing up shop in '04.
Cover: Rick Howard by Mike Ballard, April 1999.
After a stint working in the Thrasher darkroom, Lance Dawes founded Slap Magazine issue 1 in April of '92 under High Speed Productions. Quickly developing a cult following, the magazine would spend the next 16 years (many under the amazing stewardship of Mark Whiteley) printing some of skateboarding's all time best editorial before moving to digital in '08.
Cover: Fred Gall by Lance Dawes, June 1997.
Prior to the Internet, the UK's mags—and R.A.D. specifically—were Europe's biggest source of information regarding all things skate. R.A.D. (Aka "Read and Destroy") printed their first issue in 1987 when they morphed from BMX Action Bike and was the leading EU mag through '93 under the leadership of Tim Leighton-Boyce (TLB).
Cover: Steve Caballero by Dobie, Sept. 1988.
After the staff of R.A.D. left to start a short running mag called Phat, Andy Horsley relaunched the remains of R.A.D. as Sidewalk Surfer in Sept. of '95. Shortened to Sidewalk, the new publication would enjoy a twenty-year run as the top UK mag, featuring gem photos by Wig Worland, Oliver Barton and more before finally going digital only this past March.
Cover: Tom Penny by Wig Worland, Sept./Oct. 1995.
Founded by Percy Dean in '97, Document joined Sidewalk as the UK's second major magazine through the late '90s and '00s with heavy focus on the lifestyles of skateboarders outside the mainstream spotlight. Purchased by Factory Media alongside Sidewalk in '06, the new publishers ceased printing in Dec. of '08, releasing a final issue in Jan. '09.
Cover: John Bell by Percy Dean, Oct. 2007.
Unveiled by Factory Media in '02 as the first true pan-European skate mag, Kingpin released each issue translated into English, French, German, and Spanish (with Sem Rubio as Spanish editor). Quickly becoming the biggest magazine in the EU—Kingpin produced 13 years of high-quality monthly issues before Factory ceased all print on March 30, 2015—now continuing their titles in digital form.
Cover: Samu Karvonen by Fabien Ponsero, Aug. 2014.
After becoming one of the first people to import skateboards from the US to Europe in '76, Titus Dittman birthed Europe's longest running magazine—Germany's Monster Skate Magazine along with Claus Grabke in '82. Following 33 years and some 344 issues, the magazine (acquired by Factory Media in the '00s) would print its last issue this March.
Cover: Claus Grabke by Frank Ritzenhoff, Feb. 1982.
Unveiled by Alessando Grison in May '03, Canada's Color Magazine explored a more "art book" styled minimalist design and used thicker, high-quality paper and a larger square format to cover the music, art, fashion, and skateboarding scenes north of the border and south alike. After almost 11 years of beauty, the printed version of Color was laid to rest on Jan. 16, 2014. RIP.
Cover: Antoine Asselin by Kasey Andrews, Spring 2011.
Rest in Peace to our fallen comrades. Although it’s not all doom and gloom:
– From the ashes of Monster, Oli Tielsch and a number of former staffers have since launched Solo Skate Mag.
– Former Kingpin editor Will Harmon has also launched Free Skate Mag with a bunch of other quality individuals in the EU.
– Meanwhile, Kingpin and Sidewalk are continuing with heavy focus on digital only, so don’t count them out.
– We all know where Slap still lives.
– And of course, the spirit of Big Brother lives on in Dave Carnie’s Kingshit Magazine.