“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
– Salman Rushdie
Le sigh… Whilst browsing through an article on Kingpinmag.com, we were struck by how tame snowboard graphics are compared to the far end of the spectrum of skate graphics. Seb Carayol’s coffee table book Agents Provocateurs chronicles skate artists’s flirtations with mild racism, violence, nudity, drugs, corporate life, canine cuisine, religion, conspiracy theories and, most important of all, black humour.
Meanwhile, this year Burton have made a snowboard that smells like a Fab Lolly.
It’s not that we condone any of the above, but skateboarding is obviously way more comfortable at skirting the line between light provocation and public outrage.
Seb Carayol’s coffee table book ‘Agents Provocateurs’ chronicles skate artists’s flirtations with mild racism, violence, nudity, drugs, corporate life, canine cuisine, religion, conspiracy theories and, most important of all, black humour.
Some of it is down to simple economics – it’s easier to justify a run of racy artwork on cheap skate decks than a line of £400 snowboards – but it’s probably down to all the parental influence present in snowsports. Fos has successfully run Heroin Skateboards for years in the UK (there was also a homegrown skate brand called ‘Unabomber’ – I remember my mother freaking out when I came home in a t shirt bearing the slogan aged thirteen), but put some PG-13 Playboy model shots on a board and those pesky mums and dads will soon be picketing your headquarters.
However, there have been a few valiant attempts over the years to poke a middle finger up at society from the topsheet of a shred stick, here’s some that succeeded… and some that almost did. You decide for yourselves which are which.
Burton – Love/Primo 2008/09