I’m going to be brutally honest here: I suck at skateboarding.
I love it to death but I’m just not good at it. And I’m really bummed about that. Skateboarding has been a big influence on me. It turned me onto great music and art, helped me meet amazing people, and gave me an incredible feeling every time I jumped on a board. But, like I said, I’m miles away from being a decent skateboarder. And after a nasty injury a few years back, I lost all hope of ever being one.
Even though I never took full advantage of all the beauty that is skateboarding, I feel like I owe it something. It helped me become the person I am today.
It’s why I am very proud to be part of the only printed Dutch skateboard magazine out there. It’s called Noise Magazine, and mid-January we launched our second issue at Pier 15 skatepark in Breda, The Netherlands. I was introduced to the Noise crew by Ricardo Paterno – a friend, former colleague and three time Tampa Am contender. He knew of a talented young skate photographer, Thomas Wieringa, who at the time we started the magazine was only 16 years old. Noise was Thomas’ idea, as an outlet for his photos. Something different than Instagram and Flickr. Also, there hadn’t been a print magazine in The Netherlands for years. With me in charge of the written word and Dufarge skateboards co-founder Hugo de Pagter taking care of design, in a brilliant way, we went at it and launched our first mag last summer.
Although many have stated that print is dead, and many (once) great magazines have since called it quits or are slimming down, there’s a new generation of magazines popping up. It’s almost like the comeback of vinyl (or even cassette tapes). It thrives in dedicated scenes, where people love to get their hands on a digital product, instead of looking at their screen the whole time. Combine this with the accessibility and affordability of once expensive tools and equipment like designer software and cameras – it’s now easier than ever to create a magazine, fill it with content, and actually get it published.
“[Print] thrives in dedicated scenes.”
With Noise, it was important to us to have the magazine available to skaters for free. In The Netherlands, a Thrasher mag costs you a whopping 7 euros, while a quality magazine like Grey is available for no charge. The choice was easy for us; we wanted to make a good product and get it out to as many people as possible. Young kids, old heads, and everyone in between. Free was the way to go, and we were lucky that many brands and shops supported our vision and bought ads. All that money was put into making a great magazine. We have yet to pay ourselves a dime and we don’t mind.
It’s our way of giving back to skateboarding.
Noise Magazine was founded to shine some light on the young up-and-comers in the scene. If the current rise of new, independent brands in skateboarding has taught us anything, it’s that nobody really cares about whether Sheckler did or did not BS Flip El Toro. People are more hyped on seeing other skaters do tricks that maybe one day they’ll be able to do. It’s not about how insane the spot is, or the stair count, but about style and the way it’s documented. Skating is going back to being more approachable – and that’s what we like to document.
“And there’s guys that might not even have a shop sponsor. Who just go out to skate for the fuck of it, just like our readers. They all get their shine.”
In each issue, we’ll interview a variety Dutch skaters who are all in different stages of their (for lack of a better term) “career.” There’s the “big” guy, someone who has some international sponsors, goes on trips, basically living the life many skaters aspire. Then there’s the middle guy, someone who is starting to get some buzz and coverage. And there’s guys that might not even have a shop sponsor. Who just go out to skate for the fuck of it, just like our readers. They all get their shine. We also take some time to talk with someone from the industry, like a shop owner or distributor. People who give back to skateboarding, but are no longer in the big spotlight.
Working on Noise Magazine is one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done. The support and love we’ve experienced is amazing. I’m still honored by every person who shows up to our launch events and after parties. Every like on our Instagram. Every person that picks up a mag and reads it on their way home, in-between sessions or when they sit on the crapper. The international shops that back us by getting the magazine out to people who can’t read a single word of it, but love seeing what skateboarding is like in a small country below sea level. I may suck at skating, but I’ve been able to give back to it. And that might be more satisfying than landing a Kalis-style tre flip.
“The international shops that back us by getting the magazine out to people who can’t read a single word of it, but love seeing what skateboarding is like in a small country below sea level.”
Noise Magazine #2 is now available for free at every skateshop in The Netherlands and Belgium.
All photos by Thomas Wieringa, taken at the Noise Magazine #2 launch at Pier 15 Skatepark, Breda.