photographic index

ba digital photography london south bank university

Shea Rico


Title: Just Another Skateboard Day

 Shea (Rico) Queensborough
 Inkjet Photographic Print
 Spending a day with some skateboarders
Subject: Girls, subcultures

Measurements 297 x 420

Location: London South Bank University Digital Photography Dept

ID Number: PI-RGSB-SQ001- SQ008
Licensing: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Shea (Rico) Queensborough c/o London South Bank University, Digital Photography Course, UK

Skateboarding is a world wide sport performed by millions of people from all walks of life. It is a relatively modern sport and once was called “sidewalk surfing” in the United States. (1) A 2002 report by American Sports Data found that there were 12.5 million skateboarders in the world. Eighty percent of skateboarders polled who had used a board in the last year were under the age of eighteen and seventy four percent were male. To be a skateboarder all you need is a skateboard and have the ability to perform tricks. The media portray skateboarding as an extreme sport, it can be a dangerous sport depends what ticks skateboards try to achieve and where? There are ways you can take to reduce the dangers, wearing protected gear which consists of a helmet, gloves, elbow and knee pads. Not only do skateboards use their boards for sport or a hobby but also use it for a method of transportation.

The skateboard scene was copied from surfing in the 1950s. Individuals started skateboarding with home made boards constructed of flat wooden planks attached to roller skate trucks and wheels. In the mid 1960s two companies Hobie and Makaha started building skateboards for the public to buy. The skateboard scene was expanding so a national magazine was created and championships were broadcast on television.

Skateboarding has been an interesting sport to watch no matter the place. The Skate park or in a public place skateboarding can leave you speechless with the ticks and skills boarders perform. What really interests me is the fact a skateboard can perform amazing ticks on a board with four wheels. The first invention modern tick was an Ollie done by Alan “Ollie” Gelfand. That was performed in 1976, since than skateboarders have been inventing new ticks like Kickflip, Inward Heelflip, Stalefish, Airwalk and so many more.

Setting a camera with the right settings and the getting the correct location you can take some outstanding photos freezing the skateboarder in time. Taking a photo of a skateboarder like this can tell you information about the character. Each boarder has a unique style depending on the trick some may appear stiff or others more relaxed. One way you can tell this is by getting the skateboarder to perform a trick where he or she has to jump, if the arms are positioned high then their more relaxed. If their arms are close to their body before they land then they are not relaxed.

Skateboarding has a connection with the urban life style. There is a lot of graphics linked with skateboarding; the bottom of most boarders there is a piece of graphic art. These graphics could be of a normal design which came with the board, there are millions of art work under boards some pictures consists of skulls, roses, guns, cartoon characters and more. Some skateboards have the opportunity to have a custom design a design that no one else has. In most skate parks there is graffiti on the walls to make skateboards feel at home. The dress code for skateboards is the urban style also, hoodies, shorts, jeans, t-shirts are the most common clothing. Skateboarding in track suit bottoms or suit will be difficult so the urban style is more sufficient.

Some of the public regard skateboarders as outcasts and disown them when ever their around. Their appearance might not help as a lot of offenders wear the same urban style of clothes. Some people will judge them on their appearance not for who they are. That is why a lot of skateboards go around in packs to look more intimidating also for protection. There are not a lot of skate parks around for skateboarders to use so they have adapted to the environment around them. That environment is the public zone, they are apart of the public so why are they not welcomed? When ever they try and skate in a public place most of the time they are chased away or the police are called.

Some skateboarders have found a public space and have made it their own for example in south bank. Underneath a fly over where the public do not walk skateboarders have place graffiti on the walls and floor. They meet up there almost every day just to hang out and skate.

Skateboarding has been a sport dominated by men but female skateboards are getting more notice now. Female skateboards have been skating since skateboarding was formed but skaters such as Amy Caron and Vanessa Torrs have elevated women’s skateboarding to a new level. Female skaters are as good as male skaters but there are so few in number. May be it is the fear of falling that may put them off skateboarding or because there is too much male individuals around them.

What is a subculture, (2) a subculture is a set of people with a set of behaviors and beliefs, which could be distinct or hidden, that differentiate them from the larger culture to which they belong. Do subcultures really exist if so which subculture are you? I could not tell you what subculture I belong to because I am fond of many subcultures. If I skateboarded then I would be in the skateboard subculture. If I did street dance then I would be in a dancer’s subculture. So what if I done both, skateboarded and danced which subculture would I be in? Subculture seems to describe what hobby, activity you are doing not who you are at all. Every body has different personalities because you both enjoy the same hobby does not mean you will both be fond of the same things. It seems you can only be apart of an subculture while you are executing what that subculture does but as soon you stop you are with drawn from that group. You can acknowledge a person into the wrong subculture just by judging them on the appearance. Placing a person into a subculture could lead to discrimination, you have to be careful.


1. Wikipedia, (Unknown) Skateboarding (Online) Available at (accessed 16/05/07)

2. Wikipedia, (Unknown) Subculture (Online) Available at (accessed 16/05/07)

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