Steve McElrath | Axles and Air: Skateboarding 1978-1980


Steve McElrath | Axles and Air: Skateboarding 1978-1980


9 x 6 in / 22.86 X 15.24 cm  —  76 pages | 45 photographs


Axles and Air: Skateboarding 1978-1980 by Steve McElrath presents an up close look at skating in the late 1970s / early 1980s.

These images are a glimpse into a time when skateboarding was beneath the radar of mainstream society. Influences came from 1100 miles to the south for these skaters but their lives had little in common with the Southern California pool skaters they saw in the magazines.

The Puget Sound finds itself blanketed in a gray overcast 225 days annually — 150 of those deliver rain. This type of climate turned their ramps and halfpipes into weather-beaten sparring partners.

A photo included in the edition shows an individual, proudly standing with arms crossed at the bottom of a newly constructed halfpipe. Stacy Peralta’s (Dogtown Z-Boy/filmmaker) observation of this image says it all.

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"This photo defines the 80s! What a pure time for skating."   —  Stacy Peralta