At the beginning of our last Faculty Initiative class, Jim G. and I started reminiscing about how we both used to skate (skateboard) and how this one activity, in many ways, had helped to define our previous/younger selves.  We quickly burned through a long list of pro skaters’ names and the “sick” tricks they were most known for; to put it simply, we were “stoked” (or I was, at least).

Since we’d both made references to having read (diligently) Thrasher Magazine, and since this week’s reading focused on digital scholarship, I decided I’d go in search of a specific Thrasher issue: coverage of when the West Coast pros came to the East Coast and skated the infamous ramp at Mt. Trashmore (Virginia Beach, VA).

So here it is, the August 1986 issue, in all of its glory:

(After reading again one of the articles, I was reminded of the City of Virginia Beach’s outlawing of skateboarding.  As one might expect, this policy created a considerable amount of tension between the city’s youth/skaters and the VB police department.  Not to mention the defacement of municipal signs and the like with the ubiquitous sticker “Skateboarding Is Not A Crime.”)

And here are many of those same pros 27 years later:



One thought on “Bailing”

  1. What’s crazy about that article on Mt. Trashmore is how political it seems in retrospect. In the first paragraph it references Pat Robertson, fanatical evangelism, and the war on skater freedom. 1986. Wow, the underground reaction to Reaganism was an integral part of that identity, and one of the elements that I so easily carried forward throughout my life :)

    In terms of the “where are they now,” the saddest for me are the stories of Gator Rogowski and Jeff Phillips. Two of the most stylish skaters of the era eaten up by the sport (although that might be overstatement). Though I think you could make the argument in Rogowski’s case that he was eaten up by the machine that Thrasher magazine has on display with all the ads in the late-1980s. It was becoming a spectacle of the biz. It certainly doesn’t forgive Rogowski of the heinous crime, but the Gator documentary is probably the best thing I’ve seen on the move of skating in the 1980s to big business. What’s more, the Mt. Trashmore incident in 1986 is featured in that documentary as a central point in Gator’s downfall. Here it is if you are interested:
    Also, how about Mike Valley on the cover? Wow, so retro.

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