SXSWORLD November 2014


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 35

2 6 S X S W o r l d | N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | S X S W. C O M n the beginning, skateboards were widely viewed as a novelty, just wooden toys for children. But over the years, skate- boards, along with their riders and associated skate culture, have grown to become an influential force in music, film, pop culture, artistic creativity and individuality. Deeply rooted and transitioned out of surfing (think of the 1964 Jan and Dean song "Sidewalk Surfin' "), like their counterparts in the ocean, skaters have been determined to push the boundaries of their own abilities. Through several notable pioneers, including innovators like Alan "Ollie" Gelfand (who is credited with the first no-handed air out of vert ramps and pools), to Rodney Mullen, who took the SKATE by Shaun Mefford A b ove: H ol la n d Au s t in ol l ies a cre e k . Le f t : B e n Rayb ourn p ul l s of f a n I n dy Ta il b o n e F a k ie. Ph otos cou r tesy of S h a u n M e f fo r d "ollie" to flat ground, early skaters created a slew of skateboard tricks that have served as the foundation to every future maneuver. Along the way, skaters hungrily feed on each other's innovations in the pur- suit of personal gratification, as well as the next mind-melting trick. For the past 20 years, skateboarding has gained more attention than it had during its peak in the 1980s and subsequent lull in the 1990s. For those on the outside looking in, one contributing factor could be seen as the X Games, which began in 1995 and brought big names, big air and big exposure to television sets each year. Yet for committed aficionados, the influence of skate videos in dissemi- nating skateboarding and skate culture is more important. For some time now, skateboarding has been documented on film, video and more recently, in digital formats. Each video displays the personal preference of filmmakers and videographers around the world, showcasing various creative directions. "Shiny, glossy slow- motion, or raw dirty Sony VX footage ... it all serves a purpose to give off an essence," says Corey Adams, writer and director of the feature- length film, Machotaildrop. Popular skateboard documentaries, such as Dogtown and Z-Boys, Waiting for Lightning and Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, have helped give the general public more insight into the history and influ- ence of skateboard culture, but many immersed in the skate world prefer a less widely accessible approach. "Bringing skateboarding into the mainstream means showing it in a way that non-skaters can enjoy watching it," explains Calvin Millar, TO IS TO CREATE I

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SXSWORLD - SXSWORLD November 2014