Printed magazines are dying. It’s a fact, at least is a fact to me. I remember a few years ago when I was just starting to get really interested in skateboarding, I could walk into any newsagent and there would be roughly ten skate magazines to choose from. Now, just last week after a long hunt, I found a single newsagent in my area that had one skate magazine. I bought it just to scratch the itch. This magazine is probably the biggest in Australia and would definitely be known around the world. I was a little confused when the feature article had almost nothing to do about skating but revolved around a guy who goes to brothels and calls in fake bomb threats on police stations for the lols.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of person to judge a way another person lives their life, nor would I consider myself a “goody goody” but when I drop $10 on a skate magazine, I would like there to be some quality skate material. These magazines are already dividing “skateboarding” and “longboarding” in a way that I don’t really enjoy, but again I’m not one to judge and I’m more than happy to support an ailing form of media.
For a while there I thought skateboarding in print was always going to be separated, a divorce between styles of skateboarding. I felt like I would have to be a “skater” during the week, then see my longboard every other Wednesday (if you’re not a child of divorce you won’t get that joke) and I would have to hide the fact that I love both equally.
Enter Wheelbase Magazine.
I’ve been following Wheelbase for a while. Back when I was running my skate business they were my go-to for keeping up to date with all the cool stuff that was happening in America. A few months ago they decided to print. Big move, bold move. I am so glad they did. The skate scene in Australia is divided. “longboarders” and “skateboarders” are the proverbial Capulets and Montagues, while Wheelbase is the Romeo and Juliet (minus the whole tragic death thing) bringing them together whether they like it or not.
Flipping through the pages of Wheelbase is unlike anything I have experienced before. There is no divide, there is no snarky “wrongboarders” quips. Instead they adopt the mantra of “it’s all skateboarding” and my personal favourite “Get Rad Or Get Lost”. These dudes love skateboarding and it shows through the work they do. I have read issues 1 and 2 at least eight times and I still go back for more. It’s refreshing and inspiring all at once.
So why should you start reading it?
Well, in a nutshell, because it’s rad. As I have said above they encourage all kinds of skateboarding, which is the way it should be. Living within those pages is a transition from street skating to downhill and everything in between that is so organic, I don’t think any other magazine could pull it off. I don’t think any other magazine would even try to be honest. Not to mention that it’s all skate content. No BS, no glorifying drug culture and breaking the law. Skateboarding has a negative stigma attached to it already and Wheelbase is one of the few magazines that perpetuate positive vibes and actively encourage people to get out there and just skate.
Now more than ever we need to support printed magazines like Wheelbase. It sucks when you hear about another magazine that didn’t make it and skate magazines seem to be high up on that imaginary chopping board. So not just for skaters, longboarders, dancers, downhillers, shralpers, shredders, skidders, cruisers, carvers, sliders, slashers, sidewalk surfers or however you identify yourself and your love of the sport. Not even just for writers like me, who want to believe there is a chance at making it in print media.
But for all of us who push around on planks of wood, for all of us that love skateboarding in every form, we need to keep on getting rad, because friends don’t let friends get lost.