At 15, considerably late in the game, I first picked up a skateboard and decided that this was the way I want to spend my time with, the way of exploring and making sense of the physical world around me.
When I’m at my parents, my old room still has that skate rat feel to it. Broken boards here and there, some cut-out photos and ads of my favourite pros, some worn-out shoes crammed in the back of the wardrobe and of course, the huge pile of magazines collected along the way.
A big chunk of my early skateboarding education, I owe to the videos I borrowed from friends on VHS or DVD and studied over and over and over again, yet my weapon of choice for inspiration were the print magazines released every month.
Now, in times of the digital word, countless blogs, social media, digesting the news about literally anything – not just the subculture of skateboarding – has changed radically, not just compared to the early 2000’s, but the pre-internet times. And still, there is demand in the physical. The written word, the printed photograph, pages filled with stories that will not get consumed by the digital maelstrom, but will live on as a tangible thing, as collectables beyond the instant. It seems like the skate mag world is well alive and kicking, ready to throw a punch and not going away anytime soon.
An extensive project that touches base with the influential people who started documenting skateboarding, cherishing and consuming, creating and redefining the medium and confirms this is suitably called ‘Devoted’. Painter and skateboarder Lucas Beaufort, whose ace magazine illustrations I’ve featured on this blog before, spent an entire year discussing the appeal, story and future of print in this wonderful 1-hour documentary with familiar faces like Marc Johnson, Michael Burnett, Giovanni Reda, Skin Phillips or Atiba Jefferson.