I got my first real skateboard when I was 9, in 1976. It had red Kryptonics, ACS430 trucks and a maple deck with a wedge kicktail my dad made. We bought the bits in HansSport in Edinburgh in August, and for the rest of the year I ripped around on a friends Skuda and counted the days until Christmas.
For the next 9 years I skated everywhere - Gracemount, Kelvingrove, Kidderminster, Watergate Bay, South Bank. I went to meetings where the design of Livingston was discussed, and skated it almost weekly after it was built. Placenames like Del Mar, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica were more familiar to me than towns 30 miles from my childhood home. I snapped boards, built boards, painted boards and, like every skater kid, stuck stickers on boards, ramps, cars, doors and schoolbags. Compared to British manufacturers, the USA-based companies that made my boards and wheels, firms like Independent, SIMS, Powell Peralta and Tracker had fantastic graphics, distinctive typography and branding that were both fashionable and exclusive at the same time.
I think most of my interest in design, and especially typography, can be traced back to those skateboard stickers, so when I was asked to donate some artwork to the Transition Extreme Fundraising Art Auction I decided it was time to revisit my youth. With the help of Linsay Croall at Peacock Visual Arts I produced two screen printed designs based on stickers from my old boards.
The Fundraising Art Auction (September 20th) aims to raise funds towards activities at the centre, social projects and a new Extreme Art School currently under development.