Tribalism: Skate Crews and Stereotypes

ALTHOUGH WE LIKE to claim we’re all in the same gang, the individual crews of skateboarders have never been so decisively tribal and every niche has their own unique snowflake-like characteristics. We’ve taken some of the grueling guesswork out and are giving you that life hack you need to streamline your stereotypes into concise and clear acronyms. Read on!
Words and illustrations by John McGuire 

Crazy, Handrail, Out of control Maniac Piling into the Emergency Room
Possibly the smallest skate demographic due to the dangerous nature of their chosen terrain. Often gets sidelined for months due to injuries. Spends days on the couch trolling eBay for distressed vintage Sabbath shirts. Wears the same clothes for months. Extensive use of the performance-enhancing drug called P.O.T.

Favorite Skaters: Figgy, Jamie Foy, Leo Romero, Heath Kirchart

Favorite Videos: Baker 2G, Thrill of It All, Jump Off A Building

Gear and Equipment: Baker/Deathwish, Thunder, OJs, Emerica, 70s concert t-shirt, doobies
tr line1
Downhill Renegades in Fucking TrafficThese San Francisco transplants have a need for speed and a downhill death wish. No hill is too steep and traffic is an afterthought. The GX1000 Roll Up video changed the game, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats with secondhand anxiety. Bombs away!

Favorite Skaters: GX1000 crew, Frank Gerwer, Sean Young, Tommy G

Favorite Videos: All GX1000 videos, Fucktards, Sick Boys

Gear and Equipment: DLX board, Spitfire, OJs, Thunder, cargo pants, Thrasher hoody, hip-sack filled with medicinal chronic
tr line2

Curbs, Ramps, Alcohol, Banks and Slappies
The over-40 club. Quit skating for 10-to-15 years, came back guns blazing for the neo-post-punk curb resurgence. Loves shaped boards and red curbs.

Favorite Skaters: Jason Jessee, Jason Adams, Tom Knox (the first one), Lucero, Blender

Favorite Videos: Cash Money Vagrant, Grosso’s Love Letters, Speed Freaks

Gear and Equipment: Santa Cruz re-issue, rails, Independent, Slime Balls, a cooler filled with cheap beer

tr line1

Concrete, Renegade, Urchin Sculpting, TransitionsThese Pacific Northwest nomadic tradesman spend their free time building amazing D.I.Y domains for you to hone your skills at (or complain about the lack of ledges). They tend to exist solely on an Olympia/on-site BBQ diet. Lack of personal hygiene is their business card/badge of authenticity.

Favorite Skaters: Cardiel, Monk, GT, Julien, Raybourn, P-Stone

Favorite Videos: Bru-Ray, Tent City, Scram Skates YouTube channel

Gear and Equipment: Antihero, Independent, Spitfire, Vans, Dickies, Carhartt vest/beanie, a trowel

tr line2
Fat Old Skatepark Slasher Includes LapperSimilar to C.R.A.B.S. but with a lot less skill and much more safety equipment. With unlimited PayPal purchasing powers, this group spends countless hours online, attempting to rebuild every Christmas complete they received from ’83-’88. You can tell when you’re in their presence because every sentence starts with, “Back in the day…”

Favorite Skaters: Cab, Mountain, Hawk, Hosoi

Favorite Videos: Animal Chin, Public Domain, Wheels of Fire

Gear and Equipment: Powell Peralta/Santa Cruz re-issues, Tracker, Bones, 187 Killer Pads (full set), every plastic accessory you can screw onto a board

tr line2

Keyboard, On-line, Off-board KookThese keyboard-cowboy conspiracy theorists spend hours (sometimes days!) talking shit about an industry in which they’ve never worked. They run their mouths off, hunched over their laptops primate-style, arguing with people they’ll never meet face to face (hopefully). Their devious, diabolical activities are hidden behind the digital shroud of anonymity known as the S.L.A.P. message boards.

Favorite Skaters: Fred Gall, Mark Suciu, Soy Panday, Aaron Herrington

Favorite Videos: Anything Pontus makes, Magenta’s Just Cruise, 9/11 conspiracy videos

Gear and Equipment: Un-ridden Polar board, Dickies, Half-Cabs, shitty laptop covered in skate stickers

tr line1

Trap music, Reverts, Emojis, No complies and Dad hatsThis is the new frontier of Instagram super trendsetters bringing body varials, effortless shove its and step-offs to the front page of your search feed. With a passion for fashion and SoundCloud mumble rap, these guys and gals are making power moves one #LITAF fire emoji at a time.

Favorite Skaters: Versace Plug, Yung Spliff, Stephen Lawyer, Sebo Walker

Favorite Videos: Instagram popular page and exploring hashtags

Gear and Equipment: SK8MAFIA, multi-colored camo cargo pants, headphones, fannypack, flame beanie, Easter-egg-colored overalls
tr line1

Flatground, Ledges and Games of S.K.A.T.E.This under-30 crowd was raised on the free skatepark boom of the early 2000s. Spends more time on their phones than on their boards, watching archived Berrics battles and PJ Ladd’s Wonderful, Horrible Life part over and over. Holding out for the Instagram glory of a @metroskateboarding repost or a Gary Rogers’ diss on Skateline NBD.

Favorite Skaters: Shane O’Neill, PJ Ladd, P-Rod, Luan Oliveira, Diego Najera

Favorite Videos: Battle of the Berrics, Primitive’s Never, Shane O’Neill’s Instagram feed

Gear and Equipment: Primitive, Janoskis, Thunder, Ricta, Skull Candy, Grizzly, way too much wax

tr line2

Wallrides, Alien Conspiracies, Cellar doorsAnother under-30 demographic—recent N.Y.C. transplants on an endless quest for that “new” crusty cellar-door spot. Works at a vegan restaurant at night and runs a fledgling vintage Etsy shop as a side hustle. Crashes at his model girlfriend’s loft where he takes advantage of the free WiFi to research the truth about Area 51, flat Earth and the hollow moon.

Favorite Skaters: Ricky Oyola, Bobby Puleo, Jake Johnson

Favorite Videos: Static 1-5, Eastern Exposure, Lenz and anything Theories related

Gear and Equipment: Quasi, Thunder, Spitfire, Chuck Taylors, Dickies, vegan snack in messenger bag

  • John Dilo's "Red Tiger" Interview

    John Dilo's "Red Tiger" Interview
    Dilo’s been on a years-long spot-killing spree. Catch up with our guy as he talks sketchy trips, heavy rips and his 2021 SOTY pick.
  • SKATELINE: 11.23.2021

    SKATELINE: 11.23.2021
    Gary breaks down Spitfire's Scenic video, Zero's Painkiller video, Martino Cattaneo's Madness part, Mark Suciu's Spitfire part and more in today's episode of Skateline.
  • Mark Suciu's "Spitfire" Part

    Mark Suciu's "Spitfire" Part
    Mark strikes a scorched-earth campaign on NYC's rails and iconic spots. It’s that time of year again...
  • Element Skateboards' "Nature Calls" Video

    Element Skateboards' "Nature Calls" Video
    Jaakko, Madars and more escape the cities to shred the scenic fields, hills and frozen lakes in this visually-stunning journey. Answer the call.
  • Martino Cattaneo's "Madness" Part

    Martino Cattaneo's "Madness" Part
    The Swiss Scrambler sees new potential on slanted spots across Europe, transferring from bowls to trees and hitting two rails with one slide. Now you know why we got him in the van.
  • Zero Skateboards' "Painkiller" Video

    Zero Skateboards' "Painkiller" Video
    Earth-shattering slams, top-tier handrail rips and a fresh lineup of masochists bring the full Zero experience to life. Keep the Advil close and dive in.
  • Andrew Allen: People I've Known

    Andrew Allen: People I've Known
    Andrew’s been a friend of the mag since his epic Prevent This Tragedy part and he’s met a lot of characters along the way. From Phelps to AVE to Too Short, this one’s so damn funny.
  • SKATELINE: 11.16.2021

    SKATELINE: 11.16.2021
    Mark Suciu strikes again, Aaron Goure's Welcome part, Palace's Beyond the 3rd Wave video, Supreme's Mind Goblin video and more in today's episode of Skateline.
  • Spitfire Wheels' "Scenic" Video

    Spitfire Wheels' "Scenic" Video
    Riley Pavey and Spitfire’s Oz squad heat up the streets before Rowan Davis takes the wheel, unleashing on ledges and unloading a stack of certified hammers.
  • Enjoi's "Still Sucking After All These Years" Article

    Enjoi's "Still Sucking After All These Years" Article
    Having the cast and crew from Bag of Suck walk down memory lane is a total treat. Feed your enjoi craving with even more quotes, clips, facts and flicks from our November ‘21 mag.