October 30, 2015/ / ARTICLES/ Comments: 31


It’s damn near the end of 2015, and skateboarding has never been older and more mature. And what better way to show off that newfound adult-ness than with a shelf full of books – you know, real books made of paper like you might find at a library or something. Sure you could buy the collected works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, and Roth, but then you’d actually have to read them or run the risk of being called out as a literary poser. So instead of all that pretentious, wordy, mumbo jumbo, how about you check out some books about skateboarding?

Fortunately for you, this year has been a pretty good one for skaters that want to read but don’t really want to read about anything besides skateboarding. So here’s 5 books from 2015 that deserve a spot on your shelf, coffee table, or toilet.

Oh, and if you are going to go out and buy these books (or any book really), when possible, do it from your local bookstore. Amazon, even though it’s convenient, is like the mall shops of the literary world – not to be fucked with, and not to be supported.

Dylan Goldberger
Remember when you were a kid and were trying to learn the alphabet, so you got that one book and turned to page 1 and saw: “A is for abacus,” and you were like, “What the fuck is an abacus? It’s the 20th Century, I’ve got a calculator you stupid book!” Maybe that’s the reason why so many skaters hate to read, they never had an engaging way to learn the foundation of the English language. Dylan Goldberg’s See Spot Shred seeks to change that with 26 full-color illustrations and alliterative captions of dogs doing skate stunts. So instead of “A is for an antiquated abacus,” you get, “Afghan Always Airwalks Above Altitude,” with a colored wood-cut of an adorable shaggy-haired Afghan blasting an air over the coping of a mini-ramp. This one is great for dog-lovers, parents, and skater’s who still can’t read and write good.

Jonathan Mehring
There’s such an important relationship between a skateboard photographer and the spot that they’re photographing that a book like Skate the World could come out by a new photographer every week. Jonathan Mehring has been luckier than most with the places and people he’s gotten to document, and this book, published by National Geographic, is a full-on world tour of places you wish you could skate and people you wish you could skate like. The full-color photos are hi-gloss and gorgeous, and are nice enough to (almost) make you forget about the cliched quotes that border some of the pages. So skateboarding is a universal language, we get it, why not just let the photos speak for themselves? Either way, this one’s worth the purchase for the spot porn alone.

Damien Burden
Straight up, we haven’t read all of this book yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it to peruse on your own. The writer, Damien Burden (if that is his real name) hit us up a while ago with an essay submission about the relationship between skater and architect that was truly out-of-this-world. It was heady and difficult and thought-provoking and simply impossible to promote to our audience, so we never posted it. Flash forward to today and Damien has self-published his first book, an extended exploration of where memories meet dreams within a skater’s mind. Looking for something complicated and experimental to read while you canvas the inside of your too-stoned soul? This one’s for you. “Thou shall push, or thou shall perish.”

If you’ve been following what’s what in skateboarding, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with Quartersnacks, the NYC based skate/fashion/Future/Knicks/Warriors blog, that has become the arbiter of hip since it debuted on the interwebs a decade ago. For the familiar, this book gives a great retrospective of the site’s last ten years through never before seen snapshots of some of New York’s most notorious and inimitable spots and figures. And for those suburban Supreme kids that idolize all things urban but don’t want to leave the wide-open wasteland of cheap rent in their hometowns, this is about as close as you’ll get to knowing what it feels like to sit on the green wooden benches at Tompkins Square Park and shoot the shit. And really, it might be as close as you’d really want to get anyway.

Ed Templeton
Aside from his noseblunts, impossibles, and transistor sect drawings, you should know by now that Ed Templeton is an engaging, well-respected, and oft-published street photographer. His latest book, Adventures in the Nearby Far Away, is a deep dive into Ed’s many visits to Catalina Island, a favorite little tourist spot of his off the SoCal coast. Beautifully constructed, it’s an accordion book that stretches out to 26 feet of carefully composed imagery. Within the folds is a little bit of everything: journal entries, slice-of-life street shots, blurry nudes, striking stills of our fleeting existence… Fold it out and embrace your voyeurism, you sick fuck.

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  1. clem

    October 30, 2015 1:38 pm

    • CK

      October 30, 2015 1:46 pm

      Damn, you right. I haven’t read this yet, but it should be on the list regardless. EVERYONE GO BUY ANDREW BROWN’s BOOK, NONE OF THE BAD ONES!

  2. Absobloodylutely

    October 30, 2015 7:09 pm

    You cunts think we’re too thick to understand an architectural essay?? At least post a link to it you bloody sods, and we’ll let you know whether or not we can comprehend it; you elitist New Yorker pricks ;)

    • ~

      October 31, 2015 1:15 pm

      seriously; what are they scared of the comments section? Hypocrisy of the ” I don’t give afuck” ethos.

    • Rupert Taylor

      December 18, 2015 1:46 pm

      Woah anger! But in fairness, you’re not wrong. I’m only a recent discoverer of Jenkem and it seems to have the highest IQ of any decent skate site I’ve seen, so it’s a shame the reviewer thinks a more highbrow book is “impossible to promote to our audience”, kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We’re out here, skating to class or work at decent universities, stuffing classics of world literature into our backpacks along with a skate tool and a change of T-shirt.

  3. Bloody well tiffed

    October 30, 2015 7:12 pm

    Also the hyperlink for Cyst takes you right to Amazon, lolol

    • CK

      October 31, 2015 10:13 am

      That essay belongs to the writer, not Jenkem. It’s his choice whether or not he wants to put it up someplace else. Hit him up if you wanna read it so bad… @burdenism on twitter. (+ Amazon is the only place his book, Cyst, is available.)

      • Stupid Jenkem Fan #1

        October 31, 2015 5:04 pm

        wait wait wait… he submitted the essay which means he gave permission for you to publish it. but you didn’t because you think us, your fan base is too stupid for it. there is no reason you couldn’t post the essay.

      • Magnum P. I.

        October 31, 2015 6:14 pm

        He chose to submit it for you guys to publish, didn’t he? We are choosing to voice our opinion that you should have done that, instead of grandstanding like you are the only skateboarder who knows how to read.

  4. old mate

    October 30, 2015 8:57 pm

    can you please link or post Burden’s essay? sounds interesting

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