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Skateboard Magazine Subscriptions

If you're an older (or aged) skater getting back into the scene or a wild hellion who eats up everything sk8, then magazine subscriptions are the way to go. Lots of people complain that skate mags are too commercial and stem from corporate ties. Um... yeah whatever. They're chock full of good stuff and offer a good overview of the world of sk8.

Here are the two main reasons to subscribe. Price and Free stuff.

If you look at the price of a single issue and multiply it by 12 issues a year... it really adds up. Most subscription costs are about the same as buying 2 or 3 issues. So, why not subscribe and get the whole year's worth?

Then there's the free stuff. I usually get 2 or 3 free DVDs over the course of a year from each subscription. That's a lot of DVD's for just sitting around my house waiting for the mailman to show up.

Skateboard Magazine Subscription Pitfalls

With the good comes the bad. As much as I love getting sk8 mags shoved into my mailbox along with free DVDs, there are some things to be wary of... Renewals!!

Generally you subscribe to a mag for a year or two and then renew. Sounds simple and easy and a good way to keep your favorite mags coming on a regular schedule. It is, but you have to be careful not to get screwed over.

  1. You may receive a letter from the skate magazine saying your subscription is almost up and you should renew for another year or two.
    • Be sure you really subscribe to the magazine that contacts you - they might be phishing from another mailing list.
    • Be sure the "company" contacting you is an employee of the magazine. For example: Don't renew Thrasher through a company called "USA Subscriptions Unlimited". Very often 3rd party companies will gladly renew your subscription for twice the price the actual magazine publisher charges!
    • Make sure it really is nearing the end date of your subscription. Some mags will ask you to renew 2 or three times per year. Next thing you know your subscription is extended for the next six years!
  2. Never use a credit card to subscribe to ANY magazine (sk8 or otherwise).
    • Some magazines have fine print indicating they will keep charging your card year-after-year unless you contact them to stop.
    • Do you really need mag subscriptions adding to your debt?
  3. Beware telemarketers calling you up to renew.
    • They'll want a credit card for the renewal payment.
    • They probably don't work for the Publisher and will over-charge you.

I've noticed that Transworld Skateboarding likes to get you to "renew" multiple times per year. Those bastards. I've also been approached by "subscription companies" offering to renew Thrasher for $29.95 for one year - Thrasher usually costs around $12 per year. Be careful out there.

Skateboard Magazine Subscription Rates

The table below shows how much it costs to buy mags at the cover price (at the store) versus how much they cost via subscription. The right-hand column shows how much you'd save if you just send in that stupid little card with your address scrawled on it - you can even pay for it later!

Pricing was last validated Aug. 2006 based on best offers available for delivery inside the US
Magazine Title Single Issue Issues per Year News Stand Cost One Year Subscription Cost Your Savings
Skateboarder $3.99 12 $47.88 $11.97 $35.91
Skateboard Mag (The) $3.99 12 $47.88 $18.95 $28.93
Thrasher $3.99 13 $51.87 $11.50 $40.37
Transworld Skateboarding $3.99 12 $47.88 $16.97 $30.91

Check out our Media page for a somewhat complete listing of Skateboarding magazines and their web sites.

yellow Tower Records bag with logo Despite our best efforts to find info online, sometimes (although rarely) you'll find a store that has it all. Tower Records is such a store. Yes, it's more than just records. Actually, they don't sell records or LPs or 45s. Amidst tons of CDs DVDs, action figures and a myriad of assorted oddities you'll find one of the best selections of magazines anywhere!

Tower Records has an amazing assortment of magazines, especially SK8 mags. They carry all the mainstream ones like Thrasher and TWS, but they also carry Automatic, Concrete Wave and Juice. But that ain't all - they carry girl-oriented mags like Check It Out and a selection of sk8 zines like Concussion, Focus and Paying In Pain. I highly recommend a visit to TR!

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