April 4th, 2013

On a Day with No Waves – A Chronicle of Skateboarding 1779 – 2009 – Raphael Zarka

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Edition B42, 80, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denise, 75010 Paris, France, www.editions-b42.com


„1779 – Resolution and Discovery drop anchor in Karakakooa Bay of the Big Island of Hawaii. Captain James Cook and his lieutenant James King are the first to describe the customs of Hawaiians, one being he’e nalu which consists of standing on a lang board of wood and gliding (he’e) ona a wave (nalu). He‘ nalu is a mixed gender and hierarchical activity. The longest planks, known as the olo, which are roughly 7 meters long (22 feet) and weigh up to 70 kg (154 lbs), are reserved for chiefs. The tribal people use smaller boards, between 2 and 4 meters long (6,5 and 13 feet), which are known as alaia.“

This is the first information you get in chapter one „1779-2005“ and I know a interesting read is ahead of me. 1819 ice skating is in fashion and Mr. Petibled invents roller skates, 1840 they are used by waitresess in Berlin, 1907 the first surf demo in Santa Monica, California, 1956 the first industrially skateboards are produced, 1957 Tony Alva and Stacey Perelta are born. I could quote almost all the info of this book, but I will not do that for obvious reasons. Zarka did a great job of resarching very detailed information but without beeing boring, the trick is to be compact but at the same time meaningfull.

You will not believe the gems he doug out, amazing. The first part of the book is super interesting and a great read, naturally after the eightys it is still interesting but has not that „aha effect“ anymore, still good fun to read filled with all the details you can think of. When what trick was invented, what company started or died, what skateboard trends happenend when, contest winners… you name it: it is all in here. A must have for every boardhousehold. Even if the chapter 2005 – 2009 (the first edition of the book came out in french 2006) is not as detailed and fan driven and the last part where Raphael Zarka uses the „diagonal science“ of the writer Roger Callois´ who classifies play or the game….. it is getting a bit too academic and I could do without that part.

Dont get me wrong, the general idea of doing this and using Callois´ in this form is great, just not my cup of tea…..a 11 page index at the end allows to use this book also almost like a reference book. Not sure if it was written like this in the orginal text or if translator Chris Sharp is resoponsible for this…. but sometimes the writing is overblown, instead of using a word like „opening“ the text goes „inauguration of a covered skatepark….“ that is not necessary and sounds pretty stilted to me. 152 pages, paperback. 16,20 Euro. (dolf)

Isbn 978 2 917855 19 5

[Trust # 158 February 2013]


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