The Production


Isaiah Lynch, Student Journalist

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Since 1981, young, rebellious teens have been enjoying Thrasher magazine’s promotion of their mom’s least favorite activity, skateboarding. Skateboarding has existed for decades, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed the steady growth of the youthful activity. It’s common for followers of a particular interest to want to give their movement exposure and happily watch it grow, but as Thrasher has tried introducing skateboarding into the lives of curious teens, there still remains a certain stubborn demographic of skaters that seems determined to keep the skateboarding culture an unwelcoming circle.

Thrasher is a monthly magazine which includes skateboard and music-related articles, photography, interviews and skatepark reviews, and aside from their publication they also provide merchandise for their followers to purchase.This is where the problem develops. Recently, Thrasher clothing has become largely popular with the youth and is a trending brand name. Thrasher has attracted so much attention that the model industry has taken advantage of the growing popularity and many models have begun sporting Thrasher merch, whether during a photoshoot or during a trip down the street. Now all the hardcore Thrasher loyalists have come out of the shadows of social media to defend their sport and clothing and attack anyone who’s seen wearing the merchandise but doesn’t actively skateboard.

Skateboarding is one of many American sports. Football is another widely followed sport which  is not only loved, but supported, and the easiest and most convenient way to publicly show your support for something you love is through clothing. People commonly support football through the purchase of clothing sporting their favorite team or player. Athletes do not questions why people wear football merch when they don’t participate in the sport. This is the same situation many people are having with the skateboard crowd. The only difference is, when you purchase a Thrasher hoodie or other brand item for public wear you don’t receive gratitude for promoting their sport but instead are attacked by skaters for wearing it because you don’t skateboard. Skaters should be happy that skateboarding is being promoted and getting exposure without whining about how mainstream their favorite brand is becoming. Football players don’t seem to mind the promotion of the game, yet skaters have an uncompromising opinion on who should be allowed to wear Thrasher’s merch. Attacking people who don’t skate for wearing skater clothing is as ridiculous as attacking people who wear football jerseys because they don’t play football.

Nike is another example of how ridiculous the argument against people who wear Thrasher but don’t skate is. Nike is a big name brand which is widely popular around the world and is largely involved in the fashion industry. Regardless of their success, let’s not forget that Nike was originally an athletic wear company which provided clothing for athletes and gym enthusiasts. Eventually, Nike earned its rise to fame. Instead of remaining a clothing company meant solely for one demographic they branched out to other parts of society and have achieved great prosperity because of that. Nike didn’t fight the fashion industry’s adoption of their merchandise along with their brand name, which is why it’s so disheartening to witness fans of Thrasher doing it. There is nothing to gain from excluding all non-skaters from wearing Thrasher, and there is nothing the company or supporters lose from allowing them to do so.

Thrasher clothing is currently one of the dominating brand names, especially amongst the youth, and many people are slowly being exposed to the skate world which has been hidden from mainstream media for some time. Now, as they reach their peak, Thrasher disciples are determined to keep anyone who is not associated with a skateboard from wearing or even glancing at anything under the Thrasher label and are potentially stopping curious teens from diving deeper into the skate culture as a result of their exclusion. Just because a kid who hasn’t touched a board yet decides to support your main source for all skate news and buys a Thrasher hoodie, that doesn’t stop you from being able to continue skating, does it? So go skate and leave the rest of us alone.

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