Above: kickflip melon in, kickflip melon out
Sidewalk Magazine in its current form has been going for 20 years this year.
1995 - 2015.
Through this time we've gone from receiving words and content via fax and long distance transatlantic telephone calls to conducting interviews over Facebook and trawling through 1000 emails per day.
Back in 1995 we enjoyed the lion's share of people's attention and a commitment to buying and cherishing each mag as if it were a golden egg laid by the UK's very own skateboarding goose. Fast forward through the invention of emails, the internet and a thousand mobile devices and we find ourselves on a very different playing field.
The advent of human's consuming instant media (for want of a better phrase) on everything from Walkmans to tiepins has put print media in a very hard place to thrive. Many advertisers want to see their newest products, riders and campaigns out there in the ether as soon as the info is released instead of two months down the line, and that is obviously fair enough.
The other battle is that in this day and age it would seem that people are less and less prepared to spend money on magazines in skate shops when there is a pile of other free skateboarding matter on the counter; again this is fair enough. BUT, this puts us in a very strange position within the history of Sidewalk Magazine.
We have been constantly building a heavy web presence since we started the Sidewalk Forum many, many moons ago and since then we have created a website and surrounding social media that continues to grow day by day and hour by hour.
In an unprecedented step Factory Media has announced that it will be backing out of the print media market for all of its magazine titles, including our sister magazine Whitelines that, like us, was born two decades ago in a dusty two-roomed office overlooking a dying goose on the banks of the Thames in Abingdon, Oxford. Factory Media will now be ploughing all of its resources and hard work into making its online products even bigger and better than they are now.
Don't get me wrong, I'm gutted that the print magazine will no longer grace the floors of skateboarder's bedroom floors. But we want to continue to serve the ENTIRE UK skateboard scene as well as we did in print, and the best way we can do that now is online.
The content that we've spent 20 years creating, collecting and perfecting will now be with you at the press of a button rather than having to hunt down the latest issue every other month.
We will continue to bring you all the content that we've been publishing in print form but in a quicker and sharper way. We will continue to track down the best and most deserving skateboarders from around the UK and feature them, free of charge, on your computers, tablets and mobile phones.
All of the content that you love from the print magazine can and will translate to digital, but with additional footage and other aspects that simply can't work on paper. Haunts, Interviews, Weekenders, First Lights... you name it, we will be still creating it – only better.
I'm sure that some of you will be reading this and thinking, "Shit, I just subscribed and now I won't be receiving any magazines every two months!" Well rest assured, you guys will be contacted and offered alternatives or a straight up refund.
I'd like to think that the immense following that we have on sidewalkmag.com and all of our social media tentacles suggests that most of you enjoy what we do online. Times that by 100 and you'll have an idea of what sidewalkmag will become if all of our efforts and hard work are thrown into building it into a pixel based monster that will continue to serve the UK skate scene way into the future. Without the constrictions of size, deadlines and frequency, we will be able to reach even more of the country and hopefully live up to the ethos and commitment of the Sidewalk brand.
All that's left to say is: please continue to support and believe in us and we'll do our best to entertain, amuse and confuse you all, whilst bringing you the best skateboarding that our scene has to offer you.