Skateboarding Reviews - Books

Sanitation factor:
Display profanity
Remove all profanity

Skateboarding Book Review:Scarred for Life: Eleven Stories About Skateboarders

Scarred For Life Four Star Review

Author: Keith David Hamm
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Released: 2004
Rating: 4 Stars

Despite the subtitle, Scarred for Life comprises a full-blown history of skateboarding through eleven stories by those who helped establish that history. Former Santa Barbara Independent reporter Hamm, who has been skateboarding since age six and had a concrete "bowl" in his front yard, begins with a profile of Bill Coleman and the Northern California scene of the 1960s and '70s and shoots forward from there.

Some of the chapters cover favored terrains, others highlight decades, from the '60s to the present. Hamm covers everything from the perils of a 40 mph turn on wet pavement to the pitfalls of sponsorship. The color and b&w photos are amazing. The same could be said for the book as a whole, as it is beautifully designed and pieced together.

History is a difficult thing to convey in an engaging fashion. This book doesn't set out to be a history book, but through the personal stories, skateboarding's history is put in view in a way that makes me wish each chapter was a bit longer (I couldn't get enough). The author is obviously a skater unlike many traditional history books that are penned by pompous asses who feel they are bestowing something grand upon us. Hamm skates and he gets it. That alone makes this book a great read.

I wonder if any public educational systems will adopt such tomes as part of their history curriculum. I doubt it, but that's just a small part of what makes this book so cool. Go buy a copy!

Return to REVIEWS


Skate The Planet Factoid: