'We are the Skateboarding Mods... we are the Skateboarding Mods … we are ... we are ... we are the Skateboarding Mods.'
So, sang the feather-headed faces on the hills, slopes and skate places of England's grey and concrete land. The skateboarding modernist scene famously peaked in 2012 when crews of sharp skaters formed into mod squad crews; some even sponsored skateboard events, riders and races ; but what are they doing now?
The skateboard clothes industry cottoned onto the skateboarding mod culture pretty quickly, sharper cut sk8 threads appeared more frequently on the racks, and sixties graphics adorned the shoes and shirts of skate-park dwellers as skaters embraced the tidier lines of the skateboarding mod image, rather than the generic scruffy sk8-punk look that had become tired and clichéd. Many skateboard components developed similar clean-cut styling, wheels, and decks especially; but the mod teams and crews have taken a back seat of late. We tracked down some of the original mod skaters to investigate.
Probably the most well known skateboarding modernists were the Blackheath Pandas; Jason Danger, (not his real name), a late-comer to the group, admitted that he only purchased a skateboard to be accepted by his Panda peers.
He said, when inebriated..'I carried it around, looked sharp and that, but never actually road the thing. Their f**king lethal'. Jason is no longer a member of the Blackheath Pandas.
Rob The Mod, a Panda who has competed in official UK slalom skateboarding races commented on the potential hazards of the sport. 'I've had a couple of 'offs' I crashed on my first race, cracked a rib. I was wearing my favourite Onitsuka Tiger Nippon 60 trainers, they look book but have bad grip on the board. I slid off the deck.... I won a prize for the 'best bail'.
Vans, the traditional sk8ters shoe of choice (currently celebrating their 50th year) have introduced a number of 'mod friendly' designs, cool suede's and chukka boots, to help prevent skateboarding mods, such as Rob, from similar injury.
Founder members of the Self-Proclaimed British Skateboarding Association have also embraced the slalom skateboarding culture, racing internationally as well as competing in domestic events. The spBSA have evolved from a simple skateboarding mod crew to a skateboarding mod business, launching a slalom specific skate company, Slalomskateboards.com. Based on retro design and mod friendly imagery, the multifunctional hybrid slalom deck, simply called The One (a nod to the pea-cockery and one-upmanship essential in becoming a mod 'face') looks set to introduce some modernist style into this seasons slalom races.
So, dig out that old Fred perry, turn up your 501s, grab yourself some waffle sole chukks boots and race those slalom skaters on the sharpest new skateboard in the pack; you too, can be … The One.