Steve Douglas (skateboarder)

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Steve Douglas
Born London, United Kingdom
Occupation Vice president of Dwindle Distribution
Dwindle Distribution

Steve Douglas [1] is a retired professional skateboarder from London, United Kingdom (UK). He is credited with inventing skateboard tricks such as the fakie, the lay-back, the tail-slide, the front side hurricane, and several Caballerial-based variations.[citation needed] He is the current vice president of Dwindle Distribution as of April 2014.[2]


Early life[edit]

Born in 1967 in North London, Douglas began skating aged 10 at various skateparks in the city, such as Uxbridge, Skate City, Rolling Thunder skate park, Crystal Palace Vert Ramp and Harrow Skate Park.[3] Douglas was skateboarding at the Harrow park from opening day, alongside Rodga Harvey, John Sablosky, Jeremy Henderson and, later, the 'H-Boyz' crew,[3] where he was one of the original founding members.


At the insistence of skate-photographer Tim Leighton-Boyce,[4] he began entering English Skateboard Association contests in 1981 and won all under-16 events he entered. This success attracted the attention of American sponsors such as Madrid Skateboards,[5] Vans Shoes, Independent Trucks and later Quicksilver Surf Wear.

Throughout the early 1980s,[6] Douglas wrote and published a skate fanzine called 'Go For It!' (named after a Stiff Little Fingers record), covering the UK skate scene in the absence of any official periodicals. A total of 16 issues were produced, the last three of which were in a glossy, printed form - however, the penultimate issue, entitled the 'Swindle Issue', had only a glossy cover.[citation needed]

At the end of 1984, the ESA managed to convince their US counterparts, the NSA, to label their contest series as a 'world championship', thus enabling the ESA to obtain government grants to send a UK team to participate. The first-ever UK team included Douglas, Harvey, Lucian Hendrix and Sean Goff.[7]

In 1986, following the release of a Go For It! calendar, Douglas prioritised overseas work commitments and GFI was ceased. By this time, Tim Leighton-Boyce's 'R.A.D.' publication was available,[4] followed by Shane Rouse's 'Skate Action' and Steve Kane's 'Skateboard'.[citation needed]

Douglas was assigned professional status in 1987 by his skateboard deck sponsor at the time, Schmitt Stix. The company released a Douglas signature model deck in 1988, which featured graphics of a spoofed beer bottle label: 'Imported from Crystal Palace, London, England'.[8]

One more signature model was released by Schmitt Stix before Douglas convinced company owner Paul Schmitt to dissolve Schmitt Stix, and then relaunch under a new name, New Deal Skateboards, with a new team, new product line and renewed focus. Schmitt, a notable skateboard manufacturer at the time in the world, proceeded to create the new brand with Douglas and Andy Howell.[9] Douglas used the 'New Deal' name to co-found a skate shop in London, which was originally in a retail unit in Harrow and Wealdstone shopping mall, but was later relocated to Harrow Solid Surf Skatepark.[3]

Along with Tony Magnusson's H-Street and Steve Rocco's World Industries, New Deal developed into a successful skateboard brand of the early 1990s by embracing the emerging street-based skateboarding revolution that favoured new skateboarders such as Ed Templeton, who appeared in New Deal's first promotional video, Useless Wooden Toys (1990).[10]

Bolstered by New Deal's success, Douglas co-founded the Giant Distribution skateboard company in the early 1990s,[11] and eventually became the company's president. Hugh "Bod" Boyle, Douglas' UK friend and also a former professional skateboarder, joined the company after his career was curtailed in the early 1990s by a debilitating knee injury. Boyle won the skateboarding World Championship in 1990.[12][13]

In 1992, Howell decided to form his own skateboard brand and, with the help of Douglas, founded 'Underworld Element'—later shortened to Element Skateboards, which is a prominent skateboard company in 2014.[14]

John Lucero, Douglas' teammate (first at Madrid, then at Schmitt Stix) started his own skateboard brand in 1988, initially as 'Lucero Skateboards', but then renamed Black Label Skateboards. However, by the mid-1990s, Black Label was run out of a garage and Douglas restructured the company to facilitate its further growth.[14]

Douglas also co-founded both 411 video magazine 411VM and later the On Video series, both crucial to skateboarding's development through the 1990s and the new millennium. He also founded a new truck company, Destructo Trucks, in the late 1990s with the usual success, and took over production of Bam Margera's notorious CKY video series way before Bam's TV fame came calling.

In 2004 Douglas accepted an offer from Burton Snowboards to be general manager at their clothing subsidiary, Analog.[15] A year later Douglas was reunited with his old friend 'Bod' Boyle when they both came to work at Giant's rival Dwindle Distribution, Boyle as president and Douglas in an advisory position.

Aside from the business side of skateboarding, Douglas is also a committee member of both the IASC and USA Skateboarding, the National Governing Body of American skateboarding.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Steve Douglas". Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  2. ^ "Bod Boyle and Steve Douglas to join Dwindle Distribution". January 12, 2005. 
  3. ^ a b c h-boyz
  4. ^ a b When We Was Rad
  5. ^
  6. ^ "10 YEARS OF BRITISH SKATING". 10 YEARS OF BRITISH SKATING. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  7. ^ Skate and Annoy: DVD Reviews - Rollin' Through The Decades
  8. ^ "Schmitt Stix - Steve Douglas Ad (1988)". Skately. Skately LLC. 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "New Deal Skateboards". Skately. Skately LLC. 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  10. ^ SkimTheFat - Your Guide to Skateboarding Videos
  11. ^ Giant Skateboard Distribution
  12. ^ Hugh "Bod" Boyle
  13. ^ "Bod Boyle and Steve Douglas to join Dwindle Distribution". Surfers Village. Surfers Village. 11 January 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Analog Names Steve Douglas New GM". TransWorld SNOWboarding. TEN. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  15. ^ SURF Magazine

External links[edit]