Skater Style Q&A: The Inspiration Behind The Look

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It's impossible not to notice the wave of skater influence in the streets, and that's whether you're an expert, a novice or just an admirer who knows the value of a top-notch trend. Catch up with our squad of skateboarders as we ask them about life on the rail and while you're at it, hop on board, literally with our handpicked selection of vintage garments guaranteed to bring an edge to your wardrobe. Shop the story now at Skater

Interview by Rhiannon Thornton

Aaron. 23. Photographer @Aaronpricephoto

Was there a certain something that encouraged you to take up skating?

Definitely my music taste, I was super into pop punk in the 90's and was always listening to blink 182 and green day, skateboarding was just part of that scene. It gave me something to do as a young guy, to go out and socialize with people who were into the same movement that I was.

What are your essential skating threads?

Dickies with a baggy hoodie and shirt to keep the air flow moving. Besides that, just whatever is clean! Shoes that I can get fucked up are essential too, Nikes and Vans.

What's has been your grossest injury?

I used to skate off recycling bins where people could donate clothes and once when it had been raining I tried to impress these older skaters, I lost my footing, came straight of the bins face first and then lost my front tooth.

What is your favourite thing about skateboarding?

It's a reason for me to meet up with old friends and in a way I can also revisit the younger side to me. When I was really into skating in my teens all my friends would get together and head to somewhere really far away or to a random park in the middle of nowhere that we hadn't been to in a while. You go and explore, and find these places that no one would ever go to for any other reason than to skate.

Elise. 28. Furniture Designer. Photo by @joycenichollsphotography

What do you like to wear to skate?

Flat shoes, specifically skateboard shoes. Otherwise for me comfort matters the most, I don't skate to look pretty, I skate because I want to skate. I love dressing up and styling myself but when it comes to skating that isn't something I consider, it just has to be clothes that don't restrict me on the ramps.

What is your favourite thing about skateboarding?

It gives me a rush and helps me mentally. Ever since I started skating it's been great escapism, I feel content and happy. It really helps with my anxiety as well, when you're challenging yourself to go down a bigger ramp or do a trick, your heart is beating in your chest because you're fighting against that anxiety.

What has been you're grossest skating related injury?

When I was 8 I fell down a hill on my skateboard and grazed all the skin of my nose and cheek. I remember when I went to school the next day one of the kids in the class said "Elise you're early for red nose day". I ran out of the classroom in tears, that was the grossest injury mentally as well as physically.

Joe. 28. Photographer, Bookbinder and Plant connoisseur @joeearleyjournal

What do you see skaters wearing now and where do you think their inspiration comes from?

I suppose fashion works the same in any area really, we see what other people are wearing and we copy. A lot of skaters now wear Dickies 874's and usually buy them two lengths too short so they sit above the shoe. If you look at a lot of the London skateboarders most of them wear Palace clothing or Polar skate. They gotta' look tip top!

Do you gotta' look tip top too?

I don't wear any labels apart from Dickies. I just wear tucked in white t-shirts and half zips or crew necks. And of course the skull cap or docker hat that sits above the ears, those are just huge now, but I started wearing mine when I was 21, 7 years ago now. Trend setter, Mate!

How do you see fashion changing within the sub-culture?

It's hard to explain, you see a lot of skaters trying to be quirky but in subtle ways, wearing football t-shirts and other styles you wouldn't typically expect. My pals wear supreme, but I personally think it's had its day. I use second hand for everything else, I haven't bought anything new in ages.

Milly. 19. Musican and pink advocate @Girlimusic

Did anything encourage you to start skateboarding?

I only started skating properly a month ago, I'd been cruising around for ages on the street but it was a couple gal pals skaters that encouraged me to come down to the skate park and try it out their. The girls monthly skate night at Bay66 in Westbourne Park was a real moment of realisation for me, watching all these badass female skaters in what has become such a male dominated sport, it was really inspiring.

What's your standard outfit of choice for a day of skating look like?

In Winter its dungarees or jeans with some pink fishnets, jumper or track jacket. For shoes it's my Nike Airforce's decorated with pink lace up wings and my Stonewall rainbow laces! ...and a shitload of padding.

What do you think skater style sets out to achieve, is comfortability more important than style?

Obviously the big skating brands have taken over and define what a lot of skaters wear but personally I think it's fucking awesome to see people skating in dresses or fluffy and colourful shit, I like skaters who dress outside of the norm.

What's your favourite thing about skating?

The way it challenges you so hard mentally. It's improved my self-discipline, self-love, my trust in myself.