Thrasher was founded in 1981 by Fausto Vitello and Eric Swenson, primarily as a way to promote Independent Truck Company, their skateboard truck company. The magazine’s first editor was Kevin Thatcher. Mofo became the second staff member, joining Thatcher in mid-1981.
In 1993, Jake Phelps was named editor of the magazine. With him, he brought the punk-skater ethic to the world through his photojournalism, changing the essence of Thrasher, and in turn changing the sub-culture of skateboarding forever. In 1999, the magazine sponsored a PlayStation game called Thrasher Presents Skate and Destroy. Vitello’s son, Tony, took over as owner of the magazine after his father died of a heart attack in 2006, and Swenson committed suicide in 2011. On March 14, 2019, long-time editor Jake Phelps died.
Presenting iconic series like King of the Road, awarding Skater of the Year, and giving skaters their weekly news with Skateline, Thrasher is the epicenter of skate culture. This year they celebrate 40 years of defining the skate culture. The magazine also maintains a website, which includes segments with names such as “Firing Line” and “Hall of Meat”, an online store, a video collection, a radio show, and a forum for registered users. The company also owns and operates the Double Rock indoor skateboarding facility, and the San Francisco skateshop, 66 6th.
Today, Thrasher is bigger and better than ever, its name synonymous with both skateboarding’s roots and constant evolution; its staff dedicated to defining this evolution and the adventurous spirit of their readership. International corporate big-wigs try to buy into our credibility, while kids tattoo the magazine’s mantra, “Skate And Destroy,” into their skin. Like those tattoos carved into the arms of skaters worldwide, Thrasher is forever. Here’s to another 40 years and beyond!