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Review—Push Periodical issue 1
Written by Max Olijnyk — 1st October 2015

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Push Periodical is a new skate-focused publication put together by UK-born, SF-based photographer Richard Hart. There are quite a few skate magazines out there and this is one of the good ones; I’ll tell you why I like it.

Most skate magazines talk down to their reader. They over-explain things as if this is the first time you’ve ever picked up a skate magazine. It sucks because most skaters are obsessed with skating, so they already know lots about it; either that or they just caught the bug and want more of that energy. When things are dumbed down, neither of these readers is satisfied. It’s actually the problem with a lot of magazines, I reckon, and I think it happens because the publishing industry is in trouble and everyone’s over thinking everything and being way too careful.

Push looks its reader straight in the eye. The photos are predominantly black and white, of street skating and street life. It’s a particular breed of photography, with minimal lighting and lenses employed (perhaps a 20 and a 50mm)—the kit of a street photographer, as opposed to an architectural or commercial photographer. That stuff is jazzy but it often fails to communicate the spontaneity of skateboarding.

I really like the feature on San Francisco professional skater Ben Gore. Every photo is a trick over a parked motorised scooter—all different scooters—a cool idea for a series. ‘Ben didn’t hit shit’ concludes the introduction text—so cool. The fact that Gore is a photographer himself isn’t mentioned, but it’s a nice little sidebar that informs the whole thing. If this was in any other magazine, they’d labor that point, and it would be a waste of time.

There’s an interview with Matt Field, a 40-year-old ex-professional skater. Field’s skating is inventive (a handplant kickflip on a bank!?) and his take on things is really interesting, particularly his behind-the-scenes take on the shoe brand I-Path.

There’s a bunch of other stuff and it’s all really good. Push is a magazine that makes me excited in the same way skate magazines used to do when I was a kid. And I don’t think I’m being nostalgic; it’s just that it looks me straight in the eye.

Push Periodical issue one is available from The Good Copy shop.

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