DOWNTOWN NYC WOULD NOT BE WHAT IT IS TODAY without skateboarding. Since back in the early 1980’s, the tenacity, creativity, and irreverent attitude of skaters has shaped the city, adding a vibrance and raw energy that’s especially come to define neighborhoods like the East Village. With that history as their backdrop, skrrt NYC–a new digital zine and collective of skaters–aspires to make their own unique impression on the city. Yet rather than exclusively showcasing impressive tricks or “lines,” under the leadership of designer Bradley Afroilan skrrt has focused on the personal side of skating. On moments when friendships are formed and everyday life comes in. We spoke with Bradley for a closer read on skrrt and skateboarding in NYC today.
interview Nathan Zack
Video Bradley Afroilan & Cesar Fuentes
Editor Bradley Afroilan
Photography Bradley Afroilan
Where are you from?
Originally from San Jose, CA, but NYC has become my second home. Everyone else in skrrt is from all over NYC.
How would you define your personal style?
Anywhere between early 2010 skater to more recently, the mid-90s. So think Dylan Rieder to Oski. My style hasn’t changed much. I do credit my older sister for my sense of it.
Why did you decide to start skrrt?
Skrrt started as my way of practicing graphic design because I didn’t go to school for it. Eventually, it became a major piece in my portfolio which got me my job at Revlon. Now it’s a zine and a collective of creative skaters wanting to leave their mark in the world.
What are your biggest ambitions for the zine?
Escape from my 9-5 and have fun XD. Nah, but for real…Project wise, a few more skate videos, putting out a few printed zines, and getting in Thrasher.
How does being from the west coast inform your viewpoint as a skater and as a photographer in NYC?
Being from the west coast, the word that best described NY skateboarding before I moved was aggressive. NYC has taught me, if you want anything in life, not just skating, you have to trust your gut and go for it headfirst. New York is the place where you’ll get your ass kicked, but you’ll get what you want most if you work for it.
What do you hope your readers and viewers will take away from the zine and “skrrt” mixtapes?
I hope viewers get that we’re just like you and we’re making it up as we go. It’s ok to break the rules in something that you don’t have mastery over. Skrrt started as a personal project, a small group of people got interested, and now we’re here.
“Skrrt” is a digital publication. Are there any plans to move toward print down the line?
Print is in the works. Just gotta watch us now.
Favorite meal in NYC?
Before the pandemic, Shu Jiao Fu Zhou. 5 bucks for peanut noodles and dumplings.