Skateboard Stickers – A Peek into Their History and Culture

by Shaista Shaikh
Skateboard Stickers – A Peek into Their History and Culture

Skateboarding is an integral part of the sidewalk culture of many American cities and there is nothing as representative of it as skateboard stickers. A symbol of expression of urban youth and street art, stickers for skateboards are often a colorful amalgamation of pop art, postmodern imagery, original typography, rebellion, and controversy. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, skateboarding is a youth subculture with a focus on creativity and individuality. The origin of skateboard stickers is not well documented; however, we know that stickers have always been used on skateboards since their early days. Even though the craze for skateboard decals slowed somewhat in the late 1900s, many people will remember the decal fever of the 1980s that continued in the early years of the 1990s with quite a few skateboard sticker collections featuring well-known companies and brands.

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Reasons for Collecting Skateboard Stickers

For the skeptic, there are no good reasons for collecting skateboard decals, however, for the enthusiast, there is perhaps nothing better than to succumb to the fever of collecting the decals, pasting them on their skateboards, and showing them off proudly. Even though it is largely a part of the sidewalk culture of weekend warriors, there are quite a few professional skaters who enjoy collecting stickers. For newbie skateboarders, getting to know who all create and print the stickers is also an eye-opener. Skateboard stickers are designed and printed by virtually everyone who is involved with the skateboarding industry right from the manufacturers of trucks, decks, wheels, and bearings to skateboarding gear. These companies want to engage their customers and also get free publicity for their brands on where it counts the most, the streets, as well as media.

Ruled by Personal Preference 

One of the relatively uncommon aspects of skating stickers that is very appealing is that there are absolutely no rules governing their creation and use. You can choose to apply a decal on your skateboard or leave the surface empty if you so desire. If you are a fan of some brand and want to show your support, you can go ahead and put their brand logo on your skateboard. You are the only person who has the power to decide whether it is fashionable to put a sticker on your skateboard or not though peer pressure has a considerable influence. Sure, some board stickers are undoubtedly cooler than others but then you have full control over what you put on your board. Some of the stickers carry only the go of the brand, while others carry cool graphics that look great on your skateboard without promoting any particular brand. A good example of this is the legendary Jim Phillips creation “Screaming Hand,” which hit the streets in 1985 and remains popular even today as a timeless icon of skateboarding culture.

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Conclusion 

Stickers for skateboards are a part of the popular youth culture and like many other things that kids prefer they are not governed by any strict rules. You are free to choose what you like and change the stickers if you feel they do not have the impact you want.

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