I’ve always lived by the ocean where surfing and skating are a way of life. The skateboard park in Hermosa Beach is small. The ramps and rails are not too large or challenging, and so it attracts beginners and generally no one over about the age of 13. I noticed that the skaters there had a certain innocence and sincerity that older and more experienced boarders leave behind as their skill levels advance. As an homage to the great portraitists I admired when I began shooting, I used a mottled canvas backdrop and rendered the images in black and white. My conversations with these kids were peppered with the jargon of ‘boarding’. Dude, Ollie, Pop Shove-It and Drop-In are a few of the most used.
The bravado mixed with vulnerability of these super heroes is tangible, even as their voices are changing. Boys into Men!