In the very early 1990’s I was a full on skateboarder. I didn’t care much for high school, college, or working in the video store that employed me. Those were all just things that took away time from skateboarding.
I started at Illinois State University in the fall of 1993 after driving around looking at other schools (basically scouting out skate spots) and eventually deciding on ISU. Most of my friends went there (core members of Cold Locals) and I could live at home in Clinton with my parents and save money.
It was during this time that skateboarding significantly changed. Focus was still on street skating, but the tricks had evolved to be very technical, nearly freestyle types of riding. Switch stance came into the forefront and the things I liked like fast curb work and big ollies took a minor, supporting role to late shove-its, pressure flips and flat ground switch stance work. I didn’t care so much, I could break out some switch flip tricks and still spent a lot of time on fast, waxed curbs.
This was the time when nearly all of the remaining “old school” cold local crew dropped out of the skate scene. It was also during this time that we discovered Big Brother magazine.
Big brother was helping to foster this “new era” of skateboarding. In my opinion, it was helping to shift the direction of skateboarding to a more urban, inner-city style both in fashion, music and attitude. Punk was out. Rap was in.
Personally, I didn’t care about the “politics” of skateboarding or the brand focused factions that formed (World Industries comes to mind). I normally bough what I could afford, which was usually a generic blank or a beer city deck hey, I worked at a video store for $4.25/hr). Even 22 years after I heard my first punk rock album, I’m still listening to the same stuff (as well as a wealth of newer punk), but basically I’ve not changed much in my style since youth. T-Shirt, jeans, buzz cut, punk rock anthem playing on the iPhone. Sure, I suppose I’ve become a bit pretentious. I have a good job, a great family and lots of gadgets and a lot of responsibility…..but the framework is all the same. Skateboarding game me that “question everything” attitude that I never really could focus before it. Sure, it was there, but it had no real purpose.
The big brother era was hard for me in some ways. It was during my transition from high school into college, which was a whirlwind of work, skate, girlfriend, Mortal Kombat at the arcade, motorcycles and a distant last….school.
Big brother did, however, spawn a great thing…..Step Brother magazine (more on this in another post). Step brother was the second and final skate ‘zine that I was involved in. It was far more involved, broader scope and “better made”. It was our attempt at being cool like Steve Rocco.