#CCINDEX: THRASHER

#CCIndex is a compendium providing the need-to-knows of the movers and shakers of street culture, regionally and internationally.

Thrasher is a skateboarding magazine founded by Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello. Published monthly in San Francisco, California since January 1981, Thrasher is the longest-running skateboard magazine of all time. It was initially created to promote their skateboard truck company, Independent Truck Company. The publication consists primarily of skateboard-centric, music-related articles, photography, interviews and skatepark reviews. 

“Before NASA launched the first reusable space shuttle and IBM introduced the first personal computer, a group of skateboarders in a corner of San Francisco were putting together the first issue of Thrasher Magazine.”

Under legendary Editor-in-Chief Jake Phelps (may his soul rest in peace), the magazine has earned the nickname “The Bible” amongst skaters. In the skating world, Thrasher’s annual “Skater of the Year” issue is the must-read news of the season. Instead of just photos, the magazine dedicates valuable page space to telling the backstory behind every featured photo in order to document the unseen battle of skateboarding – trying a trick for hours, sometimes days, before actually pulling it off – is ultimately what garners respect among skaters. The title “Skater of the Year” is given to the skater who has worked the hardest rather than the ‘best’ skateboarders. 

While most brands naturally want their products to be worn by celebrities like Justin Bieber and Rihanna, Thrasher Magazine begs to differ. As Jake Phelps perfectly puts it, “We don’t send boxes to Justin Biener or Rihanna or those fucking clowns. The pavement is where the real shit is. Blood and scabs, does it get realer than that?” 

At the end of the day, Thrasher has played an important role in the skateboarding subculture and will continue to do so. It offers up an ideal definition of what a skater should be as it glorifies the physical and mental fight involved with skateboarding instead of the so-called ‘glamorous’ side of it.