Thrasher editors past and present

Kevin Thatcher in Skateboarder Magazine

Since we’re talking about Jake Phelps, I thought I’d put up this photo I found in the June 1980 issue of Skateboarder, just a few short months before it became Action Now. I’ve got a September 1980 issue of Action Now, but I don’t know if it was the first. The June issue of Skateboarder has an ad saying a new type of action magazine was coming soon. In any case, this is none other than Kevin Thatcher, the original editor of Thrasher Magazine, appearing in one of the last issues of a magazine whose demise would soon find him employed making a replacement. Kevin once gave me an invaluable photography tip scribbled on note with a batch of negatives he sent back to me: “Use a faster shutter speed and your shots won’t be so blurry. – K.T.” I think of him every time my shutter speed dial slips below 1/400. I’ve looked through a few 1980 issues of Skateboarder, and they all have BMX coverage in them at that point already. While I was searching for an image of the June 1980 cover, I stumbled on the web site of the original photographer, Ted Terrebonne. Ted has 144 pages of recent and vintage skate photos including the Kevin Thatcher shot from Yuvis Dam in San Jose, as well as 38 shots of assorted bands. One thing odd about the site is there are random sprinkles of text links for online casinos. I can’t tell if he was hacked or he’s trying to make a little money from click-throughs.

Just a word of warning, I’m going to be mining back issues of these old skate mags regularly for a while.


  1. Estes' Ghost on February 2, 2009 - Reply

    The era of Thrasher I loved…..KT’s era. With Rick Blackheart and Chef-Pierre.

  2. Slitburn on February 2, 2009 - Reply

    “Uvas” Dam is the biggest ditch I’ve ever skated. That move might be old school but it’s still pretty dang gnarly.


  3. 1/500 minimum, better off at 1/1000 for no blur if you can do it

  4. I think he mispelled it so it wouldn’t get “blown out”. I used to skate there a lot in high school, but with all the skateparks around I don’t know that we would see a rush of people going to “Yuvis” spillway. It’s fun to experience, but most old barney type dudes would probably just go to Lake Richie Cunningham anyway if they were visiting San Jose.

  5. That is when Thrasher had an editor that actually skated…

  6. I’m stoked for you to mine the old mags. I was blessed that my elementary school library had skateboarder and action now. skating was dead, but I had accsess to the mags.

  7. backwardsbernie on February 3, 2009 - Reply

    I love that era of magazines too. probably because skating was so dead and being in new jersey it was my only link to skateboarding. also i was so young and impressionable that i did whatever thrasher told me to. it was my bible. remember when you had to figure out how to do a trick from one still image? even sequentials were hard to understand sometimes. i remember one of gator doing a “roto rooter”. i still don’t know what the hell he was doing. maybe an eggplant? and K.T. was a class act for sure.

  8. enemy combatant on February 3, 2009 - Reply

    “as well as 38 shots of assorted bands.”

    That’s interesting because it marks the time that skateboarding started to really go into the sh*tter. Clueless fucks who were more interested in punk rock than skating started to take up the sport. Skaters with roots in the eighties are the problem not the solution.

  9. I have to disagree, it’s the guys who listened to Do Wop that really ruined skateboarding, yes, the people who had their roots in the 50’s.

    Way to contribute Daddy Yo, oops, I mean, Barry. Oops, I mean Enemy Combatant..

  10. enemy combatant on February 3, 2009 - Reply

    Sorry ‘wag but ever since you banned DY there has been a lack of an undefineable something on the site. I just thought I’d step up and help out! 😉

  11. hey man dude on June 26, 2012 - Reply

    hey man, dude, do you have any of the first couple of
    Skateboarder mags? If you do, can you post the pics
    of those killer old school reservoir/banks/ditch/spillway
    spots? California had the most killer arrangements of
    unique concrete confirgurations. Escondido Reservoir, The
    VC Bowl, La Jolla Pipeline, The Toilet Bowl, The Superbowl,
    the Runway, Brea Spillway, Uvas Damn, Baldy Pipe, Bombora

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