There's no doubt that magazines and print media have always stood as a platform for freethinkers and independent minds to share the stories and history of radical cultural movements and alternative lifestyles. For years, print magazines and zines - punk, art, and fan zines - have been created as a response to popular and mainstream culture, and providing offbeat creatives and culture mongers with ideas and inspiration that decidedly refuse to impose homogeneity. Here's a quick list of some of the most well-created and authentic independent magazines that focus on lifestyles and ideas that reside at the intersection of surf, skate, the street, and art.
From it's usually fluorescent colored cover and irregular size, Acid magazine stands out among other surf print, if not only for it's loud exterior but it's dedication to exploring the sport's wilder waters and adventures. The Barcelona-based surf magazine does surf in a different way, more likely opting for a trip to a shivery snowy coast than stretching out on golden sand.
Each issue observes a theme, like "engineered good times," allowing for a narrative about surf and being one with nature to develop around incredible photography, long form articles, and photo essays. Acid's pages are saturated with alternative layout designs, psychedelic art, and inspiring typography. They undoubtedly spin out an authentic and unique independent publication.
Desillusion is the magnum opus of skateboarding and surf culture. Their hefty 260 pages are dedicated to the crossroads of two opposite worlds - the street and the beach - and portrays surf and skate's surrounding lifestyles with edgy content and stark design. For the last three issues, the quarterly publication has gone hardback, dubbing its new resurrected self as the ‘Tome" series. From features on legends like David Gonzalez, celebrating the immortality of skateboarding - there's an emphatic quote from Gonzales in bold letters in the last issue that reads “Skateboarding died three times since I was born” – to short video docs on ultra creative people like Chase Stopnik of Cycle Zombies.
Thanks to the magazine's ever-growing community of artists, photographers, writers, and designers, Desillusion pays tribute to youth culture and immerses readers into a rich heritage of gasoline, skateboarding, waves and a DIY approach to life.
43 is a forgotten name for the trick more commonly known as a frontside no-comply. Like the frontside no-comply, 43 "puts one foot down, and turns it around, while continually moving forward," and presents the essence of skateboarding by not complying with conventional guidelines and formulae.
Known for the fact that it's the only New York based skateboard magazine, 43 is an independent non-profit dedicated to quality, photography, and arts that launched in 2011. The magazine boasts an awesome, never before seen square size, based off a vinyl record cover sleeve. Vinyl holds a special place in 43 magazine's heart, which skateboarding photographer and 43 magazine founder, Allen Ying, explains has to do with the fact that spinning vinyl and music general is interconnected with skate culture. Ying places huge emphasis on the magazine's photography, publishing his alternative skate homage annually.
Huck is no stranger to offbeat culture. The magazine which has been cranking out magazines bi-monthly since 2006, celebrates radical culture – people and movements that paddle against the flow. Huck is inspired by DIY principles and rooted in the rebellious heritage of surf and skate.
Forget the celebrities that bombard poplar magazines, Huck roams the globe to document grassroots counterculture as it unfolds, and enlists guest-editors for it's issues including freethinkers like Dave Eggers and Miranda July to Mark Gonzales and Kim Gordon that share their endless wellspring of new thoughts and ideas.
Lodown magazine takes contemporary pop and street culture seriously without commercializing the idea. The skate and street culture magazine has a personal disregard for everything too obvious and mainstream and is devoted to overcoming mediocrity.
Through it's magazine pages and online presence Lodown attempts to transfer the freestyle attitude of music and skateboarding on to paper. Lodown has an underlying feeling of the utmost confidence and swagger; a magazine not afraid to work against the grain and show off a little. They've been around for 14 years, and if you're surprised you haven't heard of them after that long, they don't give two shits, because chances are you're just obviously not cool enough to have heard about their game.
It's hard to believe that skateboarding was outlawed in Norway between 1978 and 1989. However now, the skate scene is more than thriving and Dank is the collaborative effort by graphic designer Jørn Aagaard, assistant editor Aksel Overskott and editor-in-chief Eirik Traavik, that is dedicated to documenting it. The project started in fall 2009, when all three dudes were fed up with reading for exams and began to play with the thought of making a gritty fanzine about skating. They had all skated for over ten years, and were working in journalism and graphic design on a freelance basis when not studying.
Seeing as there weren’t any magazines dedicated purely to skateboarding in Norway at the time, the dudes behind Dank gradually began looking for ways to make Dank "into something more than a zine that our immediate group of friends could read while on the toilet."
Dank is a thorough mag with a good lay-out, and plenty of room for the nice photography and well-written stories they throw into each publication.