“Tattoo.” Just let that word sink in: Tattoo. What’s your gut reaction? Surprise? Disgust? Judgment? Admiration? Excitement? Tattoos elicit strong and varying responses and are often a subject fraught with pre-conceived ideas of social norms, morals, and values. Often we forget that permanently marking your body is a tradition as old as the human race itself, similar to piercing your ears or decorating your clothing. Yet few people feel as viscerally about ear piercing or clothing styles as we do about ink.
The edginess of skate culture and tattoos go hand in hand. Non-conformity comes in many shapes and sizes. From the tattoo hidden by your 9 to 5 business suit, to the girl longboarding down a long, winding road, to the teenage kid attempting to kickflip in the corner store parking lot. There’s an element of rebellion there. It’s the same silent something in the tattoo and the skateboard saying, “No thanks, I don’t want your opinion. I do me.”
If you’re having trouble deciding on a style for your ink, or just kicking around the idea of a tattoo someday, we are here to help. Today Board Blazers is rounding up ten sick skate tattoos for your viewing pleasure. If you’re considering some ink, read on – we’ve got inspiration! If you’re a little sketched out (pun intended) when it comes to permanent changes, don’t worry. We’ve included a few temporary tattoos so that everyone can get in on the edgy fun too.
Simple and Clear
People tattoo their favorite person’s name on their body, why not tattoo your favorite board? A tat of a skateboard, longboard or penny board placed on the inside of your wrist, elbow, behind your ear… It says, “I skate,” plain and simple. Minimalist tattoos are all the rage, so why not join the tat trend?
Permanent and Elaborate
A full sleeve is a legit statement maker. It’s also an incredible opportunity to incorporate many your favorite designs into one cohesive work of body art. While you’ll need to invest a boatload of time (and money) going this route, the effect is jaw-dropping and allows for even more self-expression than a single image.
Less-permanent and Elaborate
If you’re not ready to commit to a full sleeve 100% of the time, try one on for size with a literal sleeve. These nylon arm-covers let you have the tatted look you want, with the ability to leave it at home for dinner with grandma (unless your grandma loves tats, which is legit and we are jealous).
Moody and Meaningful
Is it just a coincidence that a broken board can be so easily arranged to create a heart? There are infinite versions of this tat, and you'll find quite a few skaters with their own variations. It can express love for the sport, brokenness that skating is healing, love for a fellow skater, or just about anything in between.
Playful and Flirtatious
Sometimes you do something just for fun. Whimsy and fun-loving tattoos are growing in popularity, and is it any wonder? With all the serious trouble in the world, sometimes it’s nice to look down at your tattoo and have a chuckle. The softer side of tattoos can be just as legit without being as mentally heavy.
Inspiring and Expressive
Quotations as tattoos aren’t exactly groundbreaking, but there’s a reason for the longevity of their popularity. As Dumbledore once said, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible form of magic.” You could choose a quote that inspires you or words from a friend that push you to do your best. Maybe you have a saying of your own that holds a special place in your heart? Whatever you choose, it will make it easy to remind yourself of these meaningful words when you see them every day.
Intimate and Somber
Some use tattoos as a way to remember what they’ve endured or a loss they suffered. Remembrance dates of a person’s life are a typical example of this since, in a small way, the person who passed is with you wherever you go. Angel’s wings and religious symbols are similarly sober-minded and intimate tattoos.
Flashy and Exciting
If subdued and subtle are your least favorite words, then there’s a tat for you out there too! Flames are a common choice with skateboarders. Sometimes they accentuate a skateboard icon, and other times people go full-on branded like this sick tattoo of the Thrasher logo.
Colorful and Temporary
If you’re the person always switching styles, trying new trends and experimenting with new looks, maybe the idea of permanently inking something to your body makes you a bit nervous. Thankfully there’s a massive world of temporary tattoos out there! And you don’t have to stick to the standard tattoo colors – these stick-on tats come in every color of the rainbow and are fully customizable to you just like permanent ink!
Original and Personal
None of these strike your fancy? Why not draw or design your own tattoo? Creating something of your own is a surefire way to ensure that your ink is unique to you. Most tattoo artists can recreate a tattoo from a drawing or photo. Whatever your choice of artistic medium, you can show off your creation as a tattoo of your personal design.
Tattoos are an opportunity to express ourselves. We communicate victory, defeat, and rising from the ashes. We ink love, passion, loss, adventure, longing, pain, and strength. Some people, maybe even the world at large might not understand tattoos, but we do. And even if ink isn’t your jam, you can still respect the art and the reasons someone must have for deciding to carry it around with them for the rest of their life. Around here we are proud to be part of skate culture. A place where you can wear your heart, and your ink on your sleeve.
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