January 25, 2010

Skateboarding is not a crime....

Jim Phillips is a graphic artist best know for his rock posters and surf and skateboard art. From the mid 70's to the late 80's, Jim was the art director for Santa Cruz Skateboards. During that time, Jim dished out hundreds of designs that were used on decks, t-shirts, stickers and in ads. The selection of illustrations found in this book represent a small sampling of Jim's work and his own personal life. Skateboarding was first started in the 1950s, when all across California surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets. No one really knows who made the first board -- instead, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at the same time. Several people have claimed to have invented the skateboard first, but nothing can be proved, and skateboarding remains a strange spontaneous creation.In the spring of 1975, skateboarding took an evolutionary boost toward the sport that we see today. In Del Mar, California a slalom and freestyle contest was held at the Ocean Festival.

That day, the Zephyr team showed the world what skateboarding could be. They rode their boards like no one had in the public eye, low and smooth, and skateboarding was taken from being a hobby to something serious and exciting.The Zephyr team had many members, but the most famous are Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta.Dogtown is an area of West Los Angeles - the poorer, slum area on the south side of Santa Monica that covered Venice Beach and Ocean Park Beaches. Throughout the 1970's, the surfers in Dogtown were aggressive and antisocial. They fit into the stereotype of the time that surfers were poor dropouts. For a lot of these young people, surfing was all they had. California had a record drought in the 70's, which caused a lot of people to empty their swimming pools. The Z-boys saw opportunity, and they dove right in. They would sneak into people's back yards, skate as long as they could, and then run when the police showed up.