"Maybe I stopped because it was not interesting anymore. Because I was never into skateboarding. Not at all.”
Sidewalk Surfer, Huntington Beach, 1976
The pads were dodgy, the boards were splinted, the deck was reedy, the hair was long and of the texture of hay; the hipbone was showy, the socks were high, the kick was not there, the feet were over the fence, the shorts were… well… short, the Ollie was the routine and the skating was untainted.
These dreamers and the believers were bred by a subculture of economic and social deprivation where the usual rules didn’t apply. Part of the skateboarding movement, they represent the adolescence of the mid-seventies. An era where vacant pools were the ultimate retreat and skaters fostered the idea of being vertical. It was such an amazing period... everything was new and old.
Left Turn Only, Orange County (No. 58), 1975 (Left), Schoolyard Drop, Kenter Canyon Elementary (No. N19),1976.
Skateboarding captivated the Oklahoma photographer Hugh Holland, the non-skater, but the observer. He soon befriended the Z-boys, the group of skateboarders in the mid-1970s from Santa Monica and Venice. He drove the boys from skate spot to skate spot and began documenting the beginning of what up-to-date skateboarding has become. His photos were shot mostly in the late afternoon with endless rolls of timeworn negative movie film, leaving with his images with warmth and softness. When asked why it all ended at ’78, he says, “Well, maybe I stopped because it was not interesting anymore. Because I was never into skateboarding. Not at all.” Not that we care, but the vibe was there and always will be.