Our previews of interesting/fun local happenings.
Jul 24, 2012
04:17 PMBe There
Celebrating the pure fun of skateboarding
To some, skatboarding is simply an after-school activity for kids. To Larry Ransom, it was, and is, pure fun. He is the creator of the Pure Fun Zine, a unique magazine meant for anyone that has a special bond with the sport. This year is the twenty-second anniversary of the magazine and in its honor, Ransom has created a “best of” issue. A launch party will be held at 7 p.m. on July 26 at the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, 210 Market Street in Lockport, and will include a photo exhibit, T-shirts, and other memorabilia. Spree asked Ransom a few questions about the zine, and how it came to be.
What inspired the magazine?
Larry Ransom: I originally started the zine in July 1990. I lived and breathed skateboarding as a kid and loved getting my hands on any skate media I could. The skate magazines and videos couldn’t come out fast enough for me, so I had to make my own.
This is the tenth issue, and the twenty-second anniversary. How long does it take to put the magazine together?
The original run of the zine (nine issues) was from July 1990 to June 1991. It didn’t really take me long to put the original issues together. I was just cutting and pasting them together in my bedroom. I had a camera, a typewriter, scissors, a glue stick, and a marker. That was it. I did an issue every month for eight months. Issue No. 8 turned out to be our best one, and I think I decided to call it quits after that, but lots of people kept demanding a new issue. So I did one more in June ’91.
Are the people that first started the magazine still working with it today?
Yep, same people making it—it’s just me. I recruited my best friend Eric Shugats to help me with issues two through eight. He helped me shoot photos and decide who we should interview, and who should be on the cover, and he laid out the cover of issue five. We pretty much split the duties.
Discuss the anniversary issue.
Two years ago, I decided to revisit my old photographs, and decided I needed to do something with them, as I was pretty sure most of the original copies of the zine haven’t survived. I wasn’t sure if I should do a book or make another documentary film, but once I noticed it was the twentieth anniversary of the zine, I decided I should just keep it all true to form and make a new issue, a “best of issue,” of the originally zines. I had to put the project on the back burner a few times, so that’s how it ended up becoming the twenty-second anniversary issue.
Was the Lockport scene different from others locally?
The Lockport scene was probably similar to just about any other grassroots skateboarding scene in the country. We would skate all around Western New York and would always end up finding a crew of skaters in a town that would take it beyond the act of skateboarding. There were always packs of skaters who would put on their own contests, print zines, make their own T-shirts, build ramps, anything to help nurture their local scene and get people stoked on skating.
The story of the name “pure fun” is interesting—you say it came from an empty swimming pool that had graffiti on the bottom.
When I saw the graffiti, those words just stuck with me. At the end of the day that’s all skateboarding was to me and most of my friends. You could easily ignore the tricks, the fashion, competition, and lame attitudes, and just skate for the pure fun if it.
For more info, call 588-1130 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.