As a skateboarder in 2013 we have become accustomed to constant updates on the skate world through websites (hellaclips , the Berrics , SLAP), videos, pictures and magazines/online publications (Transworld magazine , Thrasher magazine, Dank magazine, Quartersnacks or more recently Jenkem.)
This article is going to focus on magazines as I recently bought issue 003 of 43 magazine and issue 5 of Dank magazine , both new, independent and relatively small companies . After reading through both of their articles and being impressed with the minimal layout and photography of both magazines, I thought ’ both of those were way sicker than any Thrasher or Transworld mag I’ve ever bought.’ I started to wonder why I thought that Grey, Dank, 43 and Jenkem were better than the bigger magazines such as Transworld or Thrasher who have been the best skate publications in the world as they had the best resources and are both based in California - the centre of skateboarding. So if these magazines are both relatively large and could both probably conduct an interview with any professional skater they wanted , why aren’t they? How come it always seems that I am more hyped to see a new Jenkem article or a new Grey in my skateshop?
I have put it down to a couple reasons:
- The smaller publications know what skateboarders want to read about. If a skateboarder mysteriously leaves a long time sponsor and skateboarders want to know why, then they will interview them. The larger publications seem to have the same old stale interviews in all of them : hey Sean hows the new sponsor-great!- cool, heres a fisheye picture from the bottom of a large stair set of the skater doing that trick he always does but down more stairs and switch !
- Quality. Buy a Dank or 43 magazine and you will understand what I mean. Sure, they are more expensive , but you’re paying for something that is printed on good quality paper and looks amazing on your table / shelf. The fact that 43 is fully recyclable is a plus too.
- Interesting skaters and good questions . You don’t just read these articles because you bought the magazine and you should probably make the most of it. You read these articles because they are from your favourite skateboarder who is bringing up some interesting valid points. Also, do not think that because these are smaller publications they only interview skaters you have never heard of, because they interview all the skaters you care about such as Brian Anderson, Alex Olson, Dylan Rieder and many more (including filmers.)
- Photography , this mainly applies to Dank , 43 and Grey. I suppose this is a matter of personal preference , but I like to see a good mixture of film photos and digital photos. The quality of the photos are great too and are not just the standard fisheye , flash , tech trick = sequence or gnar trick = single photo. Don’t get me wrong both look great, it’s just refreshing to see something different.
- The skateboarding itself. The trick/spot selection in the smaller magazines is usually a lot more creative than some stair set that has had every trick done down it. I love how the covers of Dank are so relatable. Especially issue 4 which is of a kickflip on flatground in the middle of the road. I just find the feeling of cruising down the street and doing a kickflip is exciting and accessible. Even though the covers may have relatively simple covers, there are still hammers throughout the magazine.
It all comes down to personal preference in the end but I just thought it would be something for me to do to explore why I like these other magazines more. Thrasher and Transworld are still great and no doubt I will continue to buy them but I just wish they would do something a bit different too. Maybe it’s me just thinking I’m being cool by liking smaller things but whatever.