Skateboarding is in constant change and in the process, ideas and role models are changing as well. Outsiders, punk rock kids, smoking slackers in baggy pants, fearless moshers, streetwear hipsters, athletes – all these labels were or are sometimes more, sometimes less the main label in skateboarding. Nowadays, the scene has pluralized, and all kinds of characters find their place in it. If you look at Ryan Lay, he is something like a connecting link between the old and the new times in skateboarding. He went through the “classic school” and didn't get his pro status because of his Insta fame. Nevertheless, he always saw everything from a different perspective and earned his own place in skateboarding. Working at a non-profit organization, participating in an election campaign for Bernie Sanders, having his own podcast, doing self-organized tours to marginalized regions – not every pro can write that into his CV. Ryan, on the other hand, advocates a more open, tolerant, and inclusive scene, which sometimes unintentionally makes him the poster boy for a new type of skateboarder even though he still sometimes yells at his board behind a grocery store just like the rest of us. You know how it goes. To wrap this up in one sentence: there are some Ryan Lay fans in our editorial team and we’re happy to finally have him in the mag.
“Nothing so thoroughly protects us from illusions as a glance in the mirror,” Aldous Huxley once allegedly said, and because you instantly feel 10 IQ points smarter when you open a text with a quote, I did exactly that. Furthermore, the article is about Samu Karvonen's Dimensional photo series, which consists exclusively of reflections. Samu is also a friend of self-reflecting and the series helped him to do so because the reflections of the images have brought him closer to what he is looking for in photos. Lots of reflections and several levels in one through which the unconcrete becomes concrete and vice versa. It’s more than just photos we are talking about, which is why we drifted a little bit away during the interview. At some point, we were wondering what would happen if Samu suddenly started riding a scooter – clearly a moment of true revelation. If you are also looking for clarity, follow us to the mirror cabinet to get rid of your illusions. Or, to end with another great writer, Axl Rose, “Use your Illusion.”
My friends from the United States entered Europe, Paris to be exact, with one specific goal. Don’t get me wrong, all of us appreciated the spots that Santi [Santiago Sasson] had lined up for us and we were sure that the French cuisine would treat us excellently and the gin and tonics at La Perle would taste ridiculously good. Still, there was something else that had a few of us distracted. Something bigger, a life-changing step.
If the culture of street skating was born in the ’80s and went through it’s teenage years in the ’90s, then you could say it's now somewhere in it’s ’40s, getting more responsible, becoming more concerned with financial stability and giving up on it’s dream to be an artist. It’s the inevitable life cycle of important cultural movements and skateboarding would certainly be headed towards the same fate… that is, if it wasn’t for our secret weapons. A very few skateboarders who's deviant decision to truly be themselves has functioned as a pilot light for the creative fuel within all of us. Strong characters with even stronger spirits that have helped define that THING in skateboarding that is indefinable. But if it were to be defined, the dictionary would likely have a photo of Jahmal Williams as a point of reference. Because whatever you want to call it, ”it” certainly thrives within Jahmal. From Eastern Exposure III to Static IV and beyond, we’re now well over 25 years deep into being inspired by Jahmal’s skateboarding, creativity and spirit. And I certainly don’t expect him to slow down any time soon. – Josh Stewart
kiosq was founded in 2019 by Mark Smith, Marcel Speiser, and Piotr Zapasnik. Three friends, who grew up in Düsseldorf and spent most of their lives skating together. Each of them made their individual way into fashion, music, and design, but they finally joined forces again to create something in skateboarding – without being influenced only by skateboarding. We as skaters are proud to see our urban environment with different eyes, but there’s also another layer than just recognizing the fun a simple ledge can bring you. If you dig deeper and dive into the history of the place you’re living in, you can find thousands of interesting stories and inspirations at every corner; and doesn’t the saying go like, “you have to know the past to be able to shape the future”? In order to show us their roots, the kiosq team went on a trip to the Ruhr area.
We had the chance to go on this Vegas adventure right before the lockdown and, boy, were we happy to be able to daydream about this trip during the two months of quarantine that followed. The plan was to stay in L.A. for a week and then head to Vegas, but after chatting with the crew, everyone felt that avoiding L.A. traffic and blown-out spots was a better idea. So we landed at LAX and headed straight to Interstate 15. We didn’t stop in Bat Country and there were no drugs that began to take hold of us around Barstow (even though I had the right hat and glasses), but grabbing all the sugary snacks and coffees we could find at the gas stations on the way after a twelve-hour flight put us in a certain mode all the same.