Skateboaring’s Early Days – Sunfaded, Sweaty, and Smiling

As a kid growing up in suburbia during the early aughts, skateboarding was a major part of my life.  My personal skating salad days were also an incredible time for the sport-El Torro, Leap of Faith, skaters as household names, the birth of modern street skating.  For all it’s merits this period also had a dark side, a side full of comically baggy jeans, sideways visors, chunky sneakers, and gratuitous branding.  While I have to confess that I happily followed suit with all these trends, in hindsight I must have looked like a cross between a homeless man and an extra in a Diplomats video.  But, that was just how skaters looked in the early 2000’s; a period that easily must be one of the least stylish of any sports.

Yet, skating was not always like this, in fact looking back on images of the skaters in the early 70′s, it’s hard not to consider these guys some of the stylish of that decade.  The days of Powell, Alva, Dogtown, and Cadillac Wheels were full of tees with logos that could still be considered art, strong colors, and denim as sun-faded as their skin.  Best of all, and I hate to simplify things like this, but these guys just looked cool.  Back in their day what they were doing was still fresh and rebellious.  Skating full speed down hills, jumping through backyards, emptying pools, having fun and not caring for anything but the moment.  In summer we all start to worry about sweating and getting hot, but these guys were running wild in the California sun, wearing their clothes in till they were a part of them.  To these early skaters it didn’t matter how they looked, that was secondary to just doing what they loved.  It’s summer, it get’s hot, so do what these guys did, wear less, but wear what works, and don’t worry about it.  If you just focus on enjoying yourself, the looking part will come along with it.

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3 comments
  1. elias said:

    Great article, I also used to skate and remember that era you were talking about. I remember when Jamie Thomas attempted the leap of faith.Andrew Reynolds and the Love Gap.The baggy clothes era startled with Chad Muska and skaters from Girl/Chocolate team.I really thought that was a bad era for skating fashion wise baggy pants are no help when skating.Which changed to skinny jeans with skaters like Gareth Stehr.Reading this article made me want to get back skating again.

    • I picked this week’s theme because I’ve always liked skating but it’s been a couple years since I’ve picked up my board, but after writing these posts I’m definitely gonna get back it. Glad you liked them too. Jake

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