By the end of our Tuesday visit at Kona Skate Park, it became clear there is much more depth to skating than what meets the surface. From relationships between the fellow skaters and overall culture associated with them, there is a back story to all the details.
What they wear is no exception. Most every article of clothing worn by the skateboarders had a reason behind it. Some admired the brands for what they represented as a whole, while others liked a certain item for sentimental reasons. Either way, what they dress in means something to them.
Jake Sykes, Kona skateboarding team member for seven years, kept cool with an 8103 hat. The local skate brand was formed in honor of the owner/designer's brother who died in 2003. Sykes shorts are an 8103 and Dickies collaboration.
Sykes tied the outfit together with a black Quicksilver button-down and shoes by Etnies, a brand that also sponsors him.
Grady Smith, a skater since the age of seven and another member of the Kona team riders, sported a shirt by popular skateboard brand Ezekiel and a pair of Levis. In addition to these two brands, Smith often wears 8103 to support the independent Jacksonville company as well.
Smiths younger brother Arthur paired Gap pants with a shirt he won at an Atlantic Beach Skate Park competition earlier this year.
Smith also had on éS shoes and a helmet adorned with stickers from apparel companies like Vans and 8103.
Chattanooga, Tennessee native Chris Driver said he came to the park as a pit stop when on vacation with his family because it's a legendary place that all the pros have skated." On this day, Driver rocked a short sleeve button-down by Banana Republic and an RVCA tank underneath.
Driver said skating is a way of expression that causes him to see more artistic potential in everything. As a tribute to this, Driver has intricately designed skate stickers on the back of his board. The wording across the back reads a dashing short of dignity and on the tail of his board is a design by skate brand Spitfire.
Anthony White, a skater for over six years, embraced the warm weather with a pair of jeans accented with a belt by CCS, a shop that sells their own brand as well as DC, Element, Volcom and others.
Further accessories worn by White include a Stallion hat and Nike SB Guinness shoes. White said he's also a fan of DGK (Dirty Ghetto Kids). The clothing company was created by Stevie Williams and derives inspiration from the Philadelphia skateboarding scene. What was once the name Williams and his friends were tauntingly called by local skate kids is now the name of his widely successful establishment.
John Langevin, a jack-of-all aggressive sport trades, took a break from his skateboard and enjoyed Kona ramps on his scooter. He wore a Champion shirt, Nike shorts and eye-catching Osiris shoes. Osiris is not only a well-known name in the skateboard industry, but also in BMX, MTB, motocross and more. No wonder its a brand frequently repped by Langevin.
To some outfits mean little, but these Jacksonville skaters take their apparel to heart. For them every element of skating, including the clothes, is important because its not just a sport -- it's a lifestyle.
To see more footage from Metro Jacksonville's day at Kona, check the site regularly for new additions.
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article and photos by Melanie Pagan information compiled by Melanie Pagan and Gerald Joseph