On it’s way to our Longboard Loft store today is the premier issue of The Skateboarder’s Journal. I had the pleasure of carrying around a single promotional copy over the past night, and as a result, felt obligated to tell everybody how much I like it. I wish I could keep it, but I handed it back over to Rob and Ryan today so they could take it on a little business trip. Ahh bummer. As soon as they show up at the Loft, though, I’m buying the first copy.
I had enough time on the train to read four articles this morning. Skimming through the pages yesterday at work, the main thing I noticed was how few ads were in the mag. As a result, this ‘zine is PACKED full of content–awesome pictures and words, words, and more words. So you’re probably only going to be interested in this magazine if you can read. Normally, I see all those words on a page, and I think to myself, ‘self, this is going to take a long time to get through all this…’ and yes, I had those thoughts. But then, I opened up the first page and read Jack Smith’s opening article, the introduction to Skateboarder’s Journal. He tells us a little about his history with skateboarding and how skateboarding has affected him. Then he goes on to introduce the idea of Skateboarder’s Journal and how it came to be and finishes by telling us about his purpose.
The vision of SBJ is this: to respect and honor skateboard history, both the neglected aspects and the over-exposed elements, while supporting the free evolution of all skateboarding disciplines as entities unto themselves–with individual subcultures that need not be chained to Old School nostalgia nor artificially steered down a narrow course. You will find comparatively few advertisements in SBJ. Our goal is to be more reader-supported than advertiser-dependent. With fewer ads, we can devote more pages to in-depth articles about skateboarding topics that receive little attention in mainstream magazines.
People who love skateboarding will love this magazine. I only made it through three more articles, Stacey Peralta’s “I Am A Skateboarder,” the Alex Olson feature, and the Frank Nasworthy Interview. I was especially enthralled with the Nasworthy interview, as it is an awesomely detailed history of the birth of urethane (one of my favorite things in the world!) wheels and gets pretty deep into some skateboard business history, only furthering the obvious notion that the only reason to get into the skateboard business is because you love it, because it sure isn’t for the money!
And that’s really what I took from all this. Jack Smith LOVES skateboarding. Hell, he’s been doing it since the 70s, so he better. If you love skateboarding, you’re going to love this magazine and you will find that it separates itself from all of the others in such a way that you will feel more in tune with the entire industry, as all aspects are presented so eloquently that you may find yourself reading and loving something that you had little interest in before. This is a perfect representation of the shift from separation to wholeness that we all see coming, and I can’t wait to get my hands back on this magazine and fill myself with more of that vibe. The mag sells for 8 bucks a pop and has enough content in it to easily warrant the expense. Write it off as brain fuel.