Thrasher magazine has been chronicling the skateboarding scene for 30 years, and in that time has documented the careers of guys like Tony Hawk, Danny Way and Chris Cole. Any skater worth noting and any trick worth doing has appeared within its pages.
The magazine runs more than 10,000 photos in its print and online editions each year, and damn near every one of them shows someone doing something bordering on insane. These are the 10 most jaw-dropping photos Thrasher published this year. They aren’t the best, in that the lighting or composition may not be perfect. But this isn’t about photography. It’s about skateboarding.
“It’s really more about the stunt being documented,” said Thrasher magazine editor Kevin Convertito. “Sort of like shooting photos of car crashes.”
As Thrasher photo editor Michael Burnett would say, these are photos snapped when the skater was at his moment of “maximum rad.” And if every picture says 1,000 words, then the story here is of skaters pushing the limits of their sport in what Convertito calls “progression through focused aggression.”
Anyone who doesn’t appreciate skateboarding or can’t see the athleticism of it might look at these photos and say, “What’s the big deal?” Convertito has one thing to say about that: “You try it.”
“By this day and age,” he says, “most human beings reading Wired.com have stepped on a skateboard at one point in their lives and know in their gut that it’s a really good way to get really hurt, really quick.”
That’s a valid point. After all, the nannies at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission once said, “the act of riding a skateboard requires more complex motor skills than any other sport in history.” With that in mind, here are the 10 most jaw-dropping photos Thrasher published in 2011, with comments from Convertito about why they’re so awesome.
Above: Tom Remillard gets vertigo on a surface ripe for a tetanus infection, upside down in a fullpipe never meant for skateboarding. He's not wearing any pads, and he’s listening to reggae.
Photo: David Broach