Before brands like DC, Plan B, and Volcom landed in malls and skate shops, before skate shops and skate parks and even most skater punk bands existed, intrepid young athletes like Danny Way took what began in the 1960s and 1970s a side hobby for surfers and forged a new sport with little more than their skateboards and their adrenaline fueled obsession for landing the next trick.
In the 1980s and 1990s skateboarding became an internationally recognized sport and multi-million dollar industry, inspiring Way's generation of skaters to go beyond the challenges of the vert and street courses and revolutionize fashion, music, art, and film as creators and entrepreneurs.
Waiting for Lightning (2012) follows Danny Way from his childhood as a skater prodigy in the early days of skate culture through his legendary and troubled professional career. Leading us on a journey that culminates with his historic jump over the Great Wall of China using archive footage and interviews with fellow skate pioneers like Guy Mariano, Tony Hawk, and Matt Hensley.
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For more on the history and culture of skateboarding check out these great resources.
Dumb: the Story of Big Brother Magazine - a HULU documentary exploring the relationship between sport and media in the world of skateboarding.
Dogtown and Z-boys - an inside look at the Zephyr team and the skateboarding scene's roots in 1970s Southern California.
Skateboard Magazine Archive - download full-text pdfs of out-of-print skateboard publications from this open access archive.
National Museum of American History - images of boards designed by George Powell, iconic covers of skateboard magazines and other great objects from the museum's collections.
XGames Skateboarding Videos - archive of footage from recent summer XGames
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Thrasher Magazine founded in 1981, Thrasher Magazine is one of skateboarding's longest running and most important publications. Check out the Thrasher Archives for great articles and images covering the last 30+ years of the sport and this article featuring The Best of Thrasher Comix
TransWorldTransWorld Skateboarding TWS, for over 25 years, TransWorld SKATEboarding has showcased some of the best photography, creative directions and storytelling in skateboarding. Expanding beyond their original magazine format, you can get immersed in skate culture on TransWorld SKATEboarding has showcased some of the best photography, creative directions and storytelling in skateboarding. Expanding beyond their original magazine format, you can get immersed in skate culture on TWS YouTube and experience it through TWS' hosted events and social media platforms via The Enthusiast Network.
Sidewalk this UK based skateboard magazine started in 1995 as Sidewalk Surfer shows the international interest and attention that skateboarding now receives. Loaded with interviews, videos, and other special features, Sidewalk rivals its US counterparts showcasing quality skate content from talented skaters worldwide.
Big Brother though no longer in print, Big Brother was a major influence in skate culture from its beginning in 1992. Notorious for its questionable taste and unedited content, Big Brother became the rallying banner for concerned parents worried about the reckless behavior skate culture seemed to encourage, even more so once the publication was purchased by Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine in 1997. Efforts to censor the print publication led to the production of iconic videos which would ultimately inspire Bam Margera's CKY videos and MTV's Jackass projects.
The Skateboard Mag independently published since 2004, this relatively new publication was created in response to the corporatization of main stream skate publications like TWS. Though The Skateboard Mag enhanced the quality of the form with digital photography and web friendly features, it does what skate publications have always done best; shows the tricks and get the story straight from the skaters.