I’ve been getting tattooed for about 13 years. Even in that short amount of time, the popularity of tattoos has exploded. Back in the spring of 1999, when I got my first tattoo, I was in Air Force and I was the only one of my friends with one. Even with the old stereotype of the only people getting tattooed are prisoners, criminals or in the military, it was still slightly underground. It wasn’t even legal in every state back then.
Tattoos have been blowing up in skateboarding in the past few years. Teams like Baker and Deathwish go on tour and their riders come back with multiple new ones. Not only do they get new ones, but they seems to really celebrate poorly done tattoos. I wouldn’t do it to that extreme, but if I was on tour with them, I am pretty sure I’d come back with some horrible, scribbled out mess. It’s a story and it’s fun. Still, just because you’re living the carefree life and killing it on a skateboard doesn’t make you exempt from jokes. So without further rambling, and in no particular order, here are five of my favorite worst tattoos on skateboarders:
1. Bam Margera – Dick-a-gram: I don’t care what anyone says about Bam as a person, it’s undeniable that he’s a good skater. I don’t know the level at which he’s skating now, but the dude destroys FDR in Philly and if you’ve ever been there, that park is pretty gnarly. But it’s not as gnarly as the stupidly named tribal “Heartagram” he has tattooed right above his wiener. It’s a heart fashioned into a pentagram and it points to little Bam. But that’s not the best part! It’s a bro tat! It’s the exact same tattoo and in the same location as Ville Valo, from the band HIM has! Maybe if they mash them together they get the lame super power of making sad, fat 14 year old girls pass out.
2. Bob Burnquist – Antihero Tramp Stamp: Probably the gnarliest dude skating right now. He launched into the grand canyon. He gapped the loop…. Switch. Like, his gnarliness knows absolutely NO bounds. He skates mega-ramps the way other dudes skate minis. He also has an Anti-Hero tramp stamp. The irony of this whole thing is absolutely fantastic.
3. Ryan Sheckler – Jock Overdrive: Sheckler is the Justin Bieber of skateboarding. I am not even sure if that’s a fair analogy, but it’s just how I view him. He honestly seems like a really nice kid and he’s extraordinarily talented but…. well…. He’s Sheckler. He’s cried on his reality show. He has target audiences. TARGET AUDIENCES. He also has some really bad tattoos. The ginormous “Sheckler” on his back not only screams, “Beer bong, bro!” but it’s actually pretty poorly done too. I think it’s supposed to be black and grey but it looks more like grey and grey and with the amount of time he spends skating with his shirt off it’s gonna be a washed out blob by the time he’s 30. But what does he care, he landed the double pits to chesty AND was in Street Dreams. His legacy is secure.
4. Chaz Ortiz – Steez Skull: Did Chaz Ortiz give himself the nickname, “Steez?” Every time I hear his name I want to say, “Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeez Ortiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiz!” like he is a wrestler or a Price Is Right contestant who was being invited to, “Come on down!” I am not knocking his sugar skull tattoo at all. I got one years ago, and now I have a trendy tattoo. Pffft, whatever. But I am knocking that he has his nickname tattooed on himself and if it really is self-proclaimed, that’s even more kooked up than his yo flips.
5. Brian Wenning – Selfish logo: I don’t know why I’m giving a pass to Mike Vallely, Jeff Grosso and Jason Adams for having their old company logos tattooed on them and not Wenning. Oh wait, I do. It’s because he rode for Selfish. I love Wenning and being from the east coast myself, I was really psyched on him. But now he doesn’t skate in sweatpants because it’s his steez, he skates in them because elastic is a must. Then he also posts ten minute videos declaring his exit from Selfish that do nothing but remind me of an intro to the show Intervention or the sad parts of VH1’s Behind The Music.
Luke Physioc is an artist specializing in tattoo, music and skateboard art, as well as a music reviewer. To view Luke’s art or read his album reviews, visit http://www.lukephysioc.com