There’s much dispute over the origins of the humble skateboard. One of the many legends is that it began in 1960s California, where a group of surfers, impatiently waiting for the surf to rise, stuck some wheels on a board and took to the streets instead.
Fast-forward to the present day and skateboarding, and in particular what skateboarders wear, is now a worldwide phenomenon. Regardless of how the carefree sport with an equally laissez-faire attitude to clothes began, it has now become a multimillion-pound business.
Never one to miss a trick, this month sees the department store Selfridges launch a shopping concept called Board Games in which the retailer will immerse itself in skateboard culture.
On the ground floor of its London headquarters, there will be a designated “Board Room” where, instead of high-powered meetings, you’ll find 1,000 skateboards available to customise and buy.
Naturally, as one would expect from such a famous shopping emporium, some of the boards will be extremely stylish, having been created by designers such as Dries Van Noten and Neil Barrett. Such eye-catching designs pose a novel dilemma: whether to buy a skateboard as a piece of art, or as an old-school way of getting to work?
In pictures: Skateboard essentials
Once you’ve bought your board, you might want to splurge on a few new skating togs, too: sweats, T-shirts, backpacks and baseball caps are all available throughout the store. And if that’s not enough, a quick skate across the road to the Old Selfridges Hotel brings you to a temporary skatepark where you can try out your moves to your heart’s content – or until you’ve skinned your knees. Here, you might want to take as your point of reference a very fresh-looking Josh Brolin in the 1986 skateboarding film classic Thrashin’.
The project runs for six weeks, so if you can endure the inevitable scrapes and bruises, that’s plenty of time to perfect your kickflip.
All items are available at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1; selfridges.com