Back in the Day: Skateboarding on the East End

Skateboarding has always meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some push to get away, some push to redefine the sport’s limits, and some push because, sh*t—it’s the only way we’re getting to the beach or the bodega in time to catch a fading swell or breakfast sandwich today. Truthfully, there are a million and one reasons why we skate, but few will argue its driving urge—we skate because we must.

And why must we? Because we’re human, and our innermost need is to prove our existence, to leave a mark. Something about receiving that first skateboard, or any creative outlet for that matter, communicates this awesome possibility to us. “Hey, you can leave a mark now”—be it on the perfect coping along a vacationing neighbor’s pool, on an unassuming ledge somewhere in LES, or even on the hood of a vehicle as you charge into oncoming traffic down any given hill or street in the world.

In the gallery above, you’ll be able to jump through time and examine a selection of dents, made on the East End, in skateboarding’s history. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble appreciating the timelessness or grainy details—shit is remarkable.

Words as featured in Whalebone’s seventh issue, the Throwback Issue. All photos of Johnny Desousa, scanned/provided by Grant Monahan and the Desousa family. Thanks guys.