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Skateboarding News

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Major bummer: SkateBoarder Magazine cease its publication for the third time in its 40 year existence...

SkateBoarder Magazine goes all digital... 
Major bummer: SkateBoarder Magazine cease its publication for the third time in its 40 year existence...
SkateBoarder subscribers received a letter with their February/March 2013 copies informing them that the issue is the last print version of the title before it goes digital only.

Skateboarder Magazine was first published in 1964 as a quarterly during the first skateboarding boom by Surfer Publications out of Dana Point, California. After an initial release of only four issues in 1964–65, it ceased publication until the first big skateboard revival of the early 1970s.
Thye original SkateBoarder Magazine in the 60's with Pat McGee in the cover.

The magazine started life as The Quarterly Skateboarder, but the title was abbreviated to just SkateBoarder from Volume 1 Number 3 on.

In his first editorial, John Severson wrote: "Today's skateboarders are founders in this sport – they're pioneers – they are the first. There is no history in Skateboarding – its being made now – by you. The sport is being molded and we believe that doing the right thing now will lead to a bright future for the sport. Already, there are storm clouds on the horizon with opponents of the sport talking about ban and restriction."

Unfortunately, those storm clouds gathered, and due to poor quality equipment in the form of steel and clay wheels, which led to numerous accidents, many American cities banned skateboarding.

By Christmas 1965, skateboarding had largely disappeared, and along with it, The Quarterly SkateBoarder. SkateBoarder Magazine resumed publication as a bi-monthly in 1975 with Gregg Weaver featured on the first cover. It became a monthly publication in late 1977. It was credited at the time as "The Bible" for skateboarders the world over. In large part, its success over the other skateboard publications that were soon to follow in the 1970s boom was due to its exceptional photography and editorial content.

Warren Bolster (1944–2006) was the editor of the magazine during its second incarnation. Bolster has been credited as the key driver of the magazine attaining its "biblical" status.
SkateBoarder Magazine second coming with Gregg Weaver on the cover and the
first picture of a pool rider in a cover of a magazine in 1975. Skateboarder Magazine
of the late 70's is considered as The Bible of Skateboarding that ignited more
than 20 million people to skate at the time...  
Bolster also tapped a friend of his, artist / designer Jim Evans to be the illustrator for the relaunch of the magazine. The magazine was put to rest once again in the '80s, but was revived in 1997 with an oversize special issue, guest edited by Tony Hawk and art directed by Jaimie Muehlhausen. The success of this special issue led to another the following year, and was then brought back to life in bi-monthly form in 1999 and is now monthly and is still in production.

SkateBoarder magazines have become a staple of the industry ever since the sport's humble beginnings. This was a way, especially early on, to show the lifestyle side of the skate life. Unlike most sports that are all about glitz and glamour, people really got to see that the life a skateboarder may have not been all that appealing, but also shined through that many a pro were doing it for the love and passion skateboarding gave them. These feeling can be seen through the often underrated photography found in the industry. Skateboarding itself is considered by many to be an art form all its own, but there is something about the still image that always help emphasis the degree of difficulty of a trick, or displaying the many characters found in the industry up to devilish antics behind the scenes. Also getting on the cover of one of the industry's leading magazines to a skater is a success cherished by those who receive the honor.

GrindMedia, the parent company of Skateboarder, says in the letter that it will focus on a free “digital/online video magazine” going forward. Subscribers were given the option of trading their Skateboarder subscriptions for either Surfer or Snowboarder subs, or a refund for the balance of their subscription.

However, according to Skateboarder Publisher Jamey Stone, the print version of the magazine won’t be going away entirely. Instead of focusing on subscribers, beginning April 1, the title will be available for purchase solely in specialty skate retailers for $4.95. Stone says they plan to do six print issues and six digital issues annually, with the digital versions available for free online and featuring around 10% different content than the print mags.

According to Stone, the following letter was a legal formality and they weren’t at liberty to discuss the full details of the business model at the time. “We’re really turning this on its head,” explains Stone. “We’re thinking digitally first and print second.”

At isTia, we are fervent admirers of SkateBoarder because its means a A LOT. We have repeated that several times. We are totally bummed by this third disappearance. It's a big loss.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, February 07, 2013 




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