Title Thumbnail

Right, Down + Circle

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

128 pages
Ecw Press

Right, Down + Circle is a lightning-speed time machine held together with grip tape and wallet chains. It immediately transports to an era of CD collections, ripped band tees, and sibling video game rivalry.” — Sarah Berman, author of Don’t Call It a Cult

“A tender tribute to a fragile time, a frontside 360 ollie that feels like a hug.” — Elamin Abdelmahmoud, author of Son of Elsewhere

“With incisive and heartfelt writing, Cole Nowicki unlocks the source code of the massively influential cultural phenomenon that is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and finds wonderful Easter eggs of meaning within. Even non-skaters will be wowed by this examination of youth, community, risk, and authenticity and gain a new appreciation of skateboarding’s massive influence upon our larger culture. This is my new favorite book about skateboarding, which isn’t really about skateboarding — it’s about everything.” — Michael Christie, author of the novels Greenwood and If I Fall, If I Die

In 1999, the bestselling video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was released, and a new generation was exposed to skateboarding culture and everything it embodied, including its tumultuous history with popularity, outsider status, and rebellion. Kids and adults alike could now spend hours in their own homes playing as actual skateboarders, learning the vernacular, listening to the music skateboarders loved, and having fun onscreen before trying to skate IRL in the driveway.

Right, Down + Circle explores how a video game starring the most famous pro skater in the world brought skateboarding culture — and its ever-shifting markers of music, subversion, and coolness — to the masses and ultimately transformed the culture it borrowed from in the process.

About the Pop Classics Series

Short books that pack a big punch, Pop Classics offer intelligent, fun, and accessible arguments about why a particular pop phenomenon matters.

Author Bio

Cole Nowicki is a Vancouver-based writer, producer, publisher, and lifelong skateboarder. He was a columnist for King Skateboard Magazine, lead writer for the acclaimed skateboarding documentary series Post Radical, and writes the skateboarding and pop-culture newsletter Simple Magic. His freelance work has appeared in The Walrus, Vice, Maisonneuve, and more.