July 16, 2018
SKATEISM magazine documents the diversity in skateboarding
by Ryan Harrington
Looking around, this seems to be a Copernican moment in the writing about and intellectualization of skateboarding. The sport/hobby/crime has recently received the academic conference treatment as well as the high-brow left wing magazine think piece treatment.
Though magazines like Skateboarder and Thrasher have been documenting the scene for decades, their content can be as unreflective as it is truly rad.
Intervening in this publishing landscape is SKATEISM, positioning itself as skateboarding’s first diversity magazine, and carrying the tagline “let me be weird.”
As Tobias Coughlin-Bogue writes in the preface to his recent Vice interview with the magazine’s editor-in-chief and art director: “You’ll find articles on everything from Israeli skate yoga to the difficulty of skating in competitions as a trans woman. Notice the coverage of skate scenes in Niger, Cambodia, Greece, the West Bank, and Native American communities, and you begin to see just how broad their focus is.”
Indeed, the magazine, now in its second issue, is taking writing about skateboarding in many directions it has never gone before. It has the same world class photography and skate brand advertisements you’d find in your standard rag, but at every turn it challenges the long held belief that the scene is a monolithic So-Cal boys club.
On the goals for the publication, founder Oisin Tammas says: “I think the specific goal is to make SKATEISM not be necessary. The irony of it is that the point at which we’ve succeeded, we should theoretically not need to exist.”
Ryan Harrington is an editor at Melville House.