Before you could search #skateboarding on your phone, magazines were the way into the culture. They were how a kid in Kansas, far removed from the skate industry, could feel connected to the scene at large. They were a way for skaters to communicate and progress skateboarding. There’s something irreplaceable about seeing a skate photo or interview in print, on paper that you can rip out and tape to your bedroom wall. But as the internet continues to push out physical mags, who’s working to preserve this invaluable history?

Enter Kevin Marks and his non-profit, the Look Back Library. His mission is to preserve printed skateboard materials, promote literacy, & build publicly accessible skateboard magazine libraries around the globe. Ever since Kevin got his first issue of Thrasher Magazine back in 1986, he’s been on a journey to keep the medium alive, saving every issue of every magazine he could get his hands on. There’s a special feeling you get from a physical magazine, and Kevin wants to keep that feeling alive and share it with as many people as possible.

With the support of Levi’s Skateboarding, we flew out to Kevin’s homebase in sunny San Diego, where he organizes the magazines to deliver to skate shop libraries across the USA. Even if print is shrinking, Kevin Marks is making sure that printed skateboard literature will always be thriving and available to as many skateboarders as possible.

Do you have old magazines to donate? Interested in housing a Library at your nearest skate shop? Looking for a specific back issue? Hit up Kevin directly at kevin@lookbacklibrary.org and enjoy the publicly accessible libraries he has built so far at these great local skate shops:

Launch – Community through Skateboarding – 1007 N College Ave #B Ft. Collins, CO 80524

Shrunken Head Skate Shop – 531 SE Morrison Portland, OR 97214

Aura Skatepark – 1074 La Mirada Ct. Vista, 92081

Red Curbs Skate Shop– 40923 Grimmer Blvd Fremont, CA 94538

The House Skate Shop – 637 South Santa Fe Ave #C, Vista, CA 92083

Look Back HQ – San Diego, CA – kevin@lookbacklibrary.org (by appointment only)

Skate Lab – Simi Valley, CA – todd@skatelab.com (by appointment only)

Skate Works – Los Altos, CA – skateworkslosaltos@gmail.com (by appointment only)

Kevin Marks is also currently on an East Coast tour and will be taking donations at local skateshops. Check out if he’s in your area: http://lookbacklibrary.org/p/events.

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Comments

  1. Bruined66

    April 5, 2016 4:40 pm

    No mention of Big Brother?

    Reply
  2. Red Curbs Skate Shop, Fremont CA

    April 5, 2016 8:27 pm

    Thanks Kevin! Everyone come visit our library, its a small one, but it will give a major recent history lesson.

    Reply
  3. Mat

    April 6, 2016 1:53 pm

    I have every TWS from 1993 to 2005ish in excellent condition, plus a few years of Skateboarder and Thrashers thrown into the mix but those are my babies. Dunno whether I could part with them. The Skateboarder mags I could for sure part with however, the Thrashers are pretty beat up and aren’t worth it.

    Reply
  4. paradox

    April 14, 2016 6:02 am

    amazing man, truly amazing

    Reply

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