April 04, 2016

Skate-Punk Culture as Seen in an Epic Topside

It is not too often that I focus on the topside of a board (though there are surely some great topside graphics out there) but that is precisely what I am going to do today. It really doesn't matter what's beneath (though if you simply must know, it's an Uncle Wiggley) because it's what's on the top that is the real story here.

What you are about to see has to be one of the most epic, homespun collages showcasing 1980's skate/punk culture that you're going to see. I'm not speaking here, of course, about a top side graphic that was screened onto the board by the maker. No, the whole focus here is entirely on what the board's owner went and did with their board once they got it home: namely, plastered it with classic band logos of the likes of The Cramps, the Dead Kennedys, Samhain, Black Flag and more, covering it all with clear grip tape. Check out the end result, it's epic (and the aging just adds to it):


When I was a kid, I grew up in a small town and one of the things I distinctly recall in the skate mags were all the advertisements for various punk bands with their unique names and cool graphics. I was mesmerized by them. This was just stuff you didn't see in those days at your local record and tape shop in smaller towns -- and, of course, there was no internet in those days, so getting the stuff meant trips to special shops in the big cities which simply didn't happen very often. When you finally got ahold of it, you hung onto it like grim death. But turning back those ads and band logos in the skate mags, they were as interesting to me as were the skate ads and skate pics, teaching me a part of the skate culture that I was not yet fully familiar with in my north-eastern, small town surroundings. I drank it all in. Every jot, every tittle found within these magazines was noted and inhaled. It was like my catechism.

Seeing this topside done up this way by the board owner brings back a flood of memories.

Here are a couple more closer looks.