Now that we’re in the heat of summer and people are trying to spend time enjoying the great outdoors, I figured I’d delve briefly into the history of stickers in skateboarding.
The sport originated in the 50’s and has maintained the status of “fad” for many years, however, a lack of interest from the masses helped fuel the fire to create what has become a unique and thriving subculture of skateboarders.
Those who remained loyal during the times of declining popularity fully embraced the sport to the point where their lives revolved around it. When they weren’t skateboarding, they were hanging out in the specialty shops or custom stickering their decks.
Kids spent hours coating their skateboards with their carefully selected stickers. There were many to choose from — companies handed them out for free to build hype over their products — and so these stickers became symbols for the kids. They represented their creativity, devotion, and individuality. And their usage didn’t stop there.
I found a great quote from legendary skater Chris ‘Avi’ Atherton in the article entitled “Celebrate the Wonderful World of Skateboard Stickers,” on Caughtinthecrossfire.Com. When asked about his feelings towards stickers, Atherton responded;
”Skateboarding stickers are many things. They are art, money, trade, history, repair tape, first aid, advertising, a means of making explosives and sometimes even treasure. Although others held them in high regard, I found practical uses for all my stickers, rendering my stickerbox pretty weak. Good quality stickers smell nice and the art of sticker stretching has been completely lost.”
So there you have it! Custom stickers are useful in all manners of ways, fun or practical, and they definitely provide an insight into the identity of skateboarders themselves and the many companies and organizations that continue to fuel this awesome subculture.
Written by Tori Churchill – Guest Blogger