Chipped

Writing from a Skateboarder's Lens

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Pub Date 16 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 29 Mar 2024

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Description

A memoir-in-essays about how skateboarding re-defines space, curates culture, confronts mortality, and affords new perspectives on and off the board

Chipping a board—where small pieces of deck and tape break off around the nose and tail—is a natural part of skateboarding. Novice or pro, you’ll see folks riding chipped boards as symbols of their stubborn dedication toward a deck, a toy, and aging bodies that will also reach their inevitable end. 

In Chipped, José Vadi personalizes and expands upon this symbol. Written after finishing his debut collection Inter State: Essays From California, Vadi used these essays to explore his own empathy in aging, and to elaborate on the impact skateboarding has had on culture, power, and art. From tracing a critical mass skater takeover of San Francisco’s streets, to an analysis of visceral ‘90s skate videos and soundtracks, to the solace found skating a parking lot during a global pandemic, Vadi expands our understanding of the ways skateboarding can alter one’s life. 

Vadi acts as a “ethnographer on a skateboard,” writing, living, and animating an object, likening the board and skate ephemera to the fear of being discarded, wanting to be seen as useful, functional, living. These essays analyze the legacy of seminal texts like Thrasher Magazine, influential programming giants like MTV, and skateboard artists like Ed Templeton. They imagine jazz composer Sun Ra as a skateboarder to explore sonic connections between skateboarding and jazz, obsessively follow bands, chronicle tours, and discover the creative bermuda triangle Southern California suburbs have to offer. Chipped is an intimate, genre-pushing meditation on skateboarding and the reasons we continue to get up after every fall life throws our way.
A memoir-in-essays about how skateboarding re-defines space, curates culture, confronts mortality, and affords new perspectives on and off the board

Chipping a board—where small pieces of deck and...

Advance Praise

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR CHIPPED

“A medium for dreaming, for chasing down histories of public space and private rebellion. Chipped is a treasure.” 

—Hua Hsu, winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Stay True


“The essays are poetic, compassionate, and vulnerable, drawing rewardingly original connections among a host of seemingly disparate topics. . . Vadi clearly takes great pleasure in the vocabulary and syntax of skateboarding; at times, this pleasure feels contagious, even for non-skaters. . . [A] largely illuminating collection about skateboarding, race, and relationships.” 

Kirkus Reviews


“Continue the line that runs from Sun Ra to contemporary skateboarding and you'll arrive at the brilliant, searching essays of José Vadi. Chipped is a masterpiece of both the form and his subject.” 

—Kyle Beachy, author of The Most Fun Thing 


Chipped is a paean to a time before subcultures could be found with the click of a button. In this chronicle of the joyful, humbling, lifelong work of discovery, José Vadi shows how skateboarding can redraw the map of a city, a life, a world.”

—Nina Renata Aron, author of Good Morning, Destroyer of Men’s Souls


“In these vibrant texts, José Vadi shows how skateboarding is not a sport, but an attitude, a culture, a way of thinking. A compelling collection of insights, musing and observations.” 

—Iain Borden, author of Skateboarding and the City: A Complete History


“A luminous reflection on the many ways that skateboarding changes the way we see the world from one of our most attentive eyes and ears.” 

—Ted Barrow, writer, art historian, and skateboarder 


“A skateboard is a simple plaything from which a vibrant global culture emerged. With Chipped, José Vadi takes us under the hood of its animating force, deftly weaving the personal with the world to show us how all the infinitely beautiful and complicated things that make us human coalesce to breathe life into this toy. A piece of wood with wheels that can, if you let it, take you everywhere and show you everything.” 

—Cole Nowicki, author of Right, Down + Circle and Laser Quit Smoking Massage


“In Inter State: Essays on California José Vadi provides us with a portrait of California’s past, present, and future, often through family and personal history and sometimes on a skateboard. Now, with Chipped, Vadi is firmly embedded in skateboarding’s ecosystem: the circulation of culture through VHS tapes, zines, and magazines, the well-document but nonetheless clandestine history of skate spots, the transgressive use of public space and the often painful integration of one’s body with the build environment. More than this, Chipped reminds us all —skater and non-skaters—that failure is inevitable and that the ultimate tragedy is to not try, to not push forward. Chipped will establish Vadi as an essential voice in California letters.” 

—Romeo Guzman, Assistant Professor, Claremont Graduate University, Co-editor, UC Press’ Boom California, (2019-2023)

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR CHIPPED

“A medium for dreaming, for chasing down histories of public space and private rebellion. Chipped is a treasure.” 

—Hua Hsu, winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Stay True


...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781593767556
PRICE $26.00 (USD)
PAGES 256

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