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The 1970s skateboarding fashion lookbooks


The summer of 1975

Earlier posts and youth culture fashion lookbooks from the 1970s are biker culture in America and the hippie’s movement, and these post skateboarders in California around 1975 – 1979. Other vital actions and happenings were the punk culture, disco and club culture in New York, 1978 and the mod revival in 1979. Recommended posts 1970s youth culture lookbooks, biker culture and 1970s hippies culture.

Inner-city gang Z-boys crew

In America, young surfers waiting restlessly for waves, and while waiting, they started surfing the streets. The summer of 1975 in California was arid, a water restriction forced most pool owners to close their pool. A group of surfers known as Z-boys crew should revolutionise and create modern skateboarding one day in 1977. Skateboarding youth culture lookbooks, skating became prominent in the 1970s; however, almost disappeared before the end of the decade. In America, young surfers waiting restlessly for waves, and while waiting, they started surfing the streets. Summer 1975 in California was arid; a water restriction forced most pool owners to close their pool, and it wasn’t long until hundreds of swimming pools across L.A fell prey and was drained to conserve precious water. The inner-city gang Z-boys crew about reinventing skateboarding it happened1977. The Z-Boys transformed skating by presupposing empty pools for vertical skating and in the act invented innovative moves like the front side air (Tony Alva).



 Skateboarding girls fashion lookbooks 1970s

Skaters did not begin to form into a consistent, visually identifiable subculture until much later than the early 70s, the first young people that influenced the sport most came from the Californian surf culture, and they brought the clothing style and attitude from surf fashion. The public, tired of dodging teens on boards, got skateboarding banned from most public places, and they were banished to remote, often desolate locations where they made use of discarded bits of concrete or created self-made ramps.


Skateboarding boys fashion lookbooks 1970s

Skateboarders are often perceived as outsiders. However, the sport allows for individuality as rules are minimal, self-expression encouraged. Skateboarding to master steep, unlike snowboarding most people will never learn to skate in a vert ramp. In the 1970s skateboarding was a sport performed by young boys, almost only in the state of California; new tricks, equipment, and the unique style created. The kids adopted the lifestyle from surf culture; music, clothing, and attitude. In 1975 came a long period without rain in L.A., water restrictions forced most pool owners to close their pool. The inner-city gang of surfers called Z-boys crew when impatiently waiting for waves started to skate in the empty pools.

The talented Tony Alva twisted his board 180 degrees landing back into the pool

The Z-boys crew pushed themselves skating on the pool and every-day new ways of riding evolved. In Santa Monica 1977, a nice guy allowed the kids slip his empty pool, a dog chased the board riders, the crew soon nicknamed it the dog bowl; One day Tony Alva pushed on the coping until his board completely cleared the edge of the pool, twisted the board 180 degrees landing back into the pool, vert ramp skating was created.


Skateboarding boys fashion lookbooks 1970s


Skateboard Culture DNA

  • EVENTS: Ocean festival 1975, Marina Pro Contest 1979, Sparks Goleta Pro-Am Contest 1979, local skateboarding events
  • FASHION: Surf style, skateboard, long and dyed or naturally, bleach hair, ugly or baggy T-shirts, dull not bright colours, stripes, hood, striped polo shirts, jeans, cutoff jeans, worn-out Levis, or corduroys, shoes Vans, hair band, different colours and patterns, high tube socks.
  • HEROES: All-time skate early and pioneers Z-boys, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Bones Brigade Rodney Mullen, Caballero, Bennett, David Z, Foss, McGill, Tim Scroggs, Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen
  • TRANSPORTATION AND PLAYGROUNDS: Skateboards, longboards, concrete skate parks, empty swimming pools
  • MAGAZINE: Thrasher Magazine
  • MUSIC: Skate rock, early skate punk, energetic, skate punks, obscure
  • FILMS: Z boys and later Bones Brigade series
  • PLACE: California, USA
  • DRUGS: Alcohol, pot,
  • ATTITUDE: Local, fun, friends, alternative, the way of living, self-expression, outsiders, dedicated, street smart

Skateboarding fashion and style is not constructed

Skaters did not begin to form into a consistent, visually identifiable subculture until much later than the early 70s the first young people that influenced the sport most came from the Californian surf culture, and they brought the clothing style and attitude from surf fashion and style. The public, tired of dodging teens on boards, got skateboarding banned from most public places, and they were banished to remote, often desolate locations where they made use of discarded bits of concrete or created self-made ramps. Skaters became outsiders when they did move into public places, they were hassled, stepped on, or fined by the police, the bulling made ‘attitude‘ the friendship glued it and became the skater identity. Skate style was not so different from Surfer style; both groups wore extra-large, brightly patterned ‘baggies’, stripes, graphic T-shirts, and Vans. This style initially created by the surfers, but it was not surprising that it was taken on by their sidewalk counterparts. The surfers had already taken companies such as O.P., Offshore or Quicksilver to be their own and the skaters started to buy from the same outlets.

Vans shoes

If you think of California skate apparel and sneakers, Vans is a brand that inevitably comes to mind. The company was founded way back in 1966 as the Van Doren Rubber Company. The kicks became a favourite of Cali skateboarders in the 1970s thanks to its rubber soles and comfortable fit. Skate legends Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva designed the Era model, one of the most recognisable, and often imitated, sneakers of all time. The iconic Vans brand has enjoyed a renaissance of late with several notable collaborations like A.P.C. and D.Q.M. The latter just opened up a joint shop with Vans in N.Y.C.’s SoHo neighbourhood.

Bones Brigade changed the landscape of skateboarding

The incredible tricks performed by the skateboarders in the Bones Brigade videos of Stacy Peralta revolutionised the sport and helped launch Rodney Mullen, Tony Hawk, and others into stardom. The Bones brigades were a super talented group of teenagers wearing high shorts, bad haircuts, and doing amazing things on skateboards. Little did they know they would become pioneers. They took the pastime to new heights, creating hundreds of tricks that are widely used in skateboarding today. 

The inventor of street skating Rodney Mullen

Rodney Mullen changed the course of Modern Skateboarding. If it weren’t for Rodney Mullen – today’s skateboard world would be very different indeed – ok sure we would still have some form of street style skating, but it was Rodney’s innovative style and tricks that changed the whole game for street skating.

He was the only member of Bones Brigade not living in California. However, Stacey heard rumours about an outsider in Florida that did tricks none even heard. Rodney started long before sunrise performing, the other boys did not understand what the hell he was trying to do. He continuously kicked the board hard, hitting the end of the board and lifted the board of the ground.  Mullen would figure out how to “ollie” into the trick by merely popping from a regular riding position, without it no street skating.

Peralta documented the wild and astonishing skating early in the 1970s. Dogtown and Z-Boys, which recorded the wild and crazy skateboarding antics of the legendary Z-Boys team from Santa Monica and Venice Beach in the 1970s; Peralta was part of that team.

Thanks to Hugh Holands fantastic book of images

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