#OnTheGrind Sticker Stash is like the Hot Tub Time Machine of skateboarding. Every trip takes us back to a simpler time when fun was fun, skate was skate, and real was real. So strap in, kick back, and open your mind as we demystify some of the culture’s most profound graphics.
Words and Photos by Ray Llanos
It was May of 2013 and I was headed to DC for a skate trip when I got word that Ron Allen was coming to roll with us for the 45 Mile Skate-A-Thon (which is a whole other story). So I grabbed some of my H-Street and LIFE Skateboards stickers to share and reminisce.
When the time came and we were chilling at Hojin Chang’s place. He’s an OG Pulaski skater that was an Am for LIFE Skateboards. And I asked Ron to pick out a sticker from my stash to sign. He chose the chair sticker and signed the back “NOT IN TROUBLE.” He then explained that when he was a kid, he often got in trouble and would end up in the chair. Like many of us as skaters, we often take something meant to deter us and use it to propel us. The sticker is on the iridescent vinyl that was popular at the time (circa 1990).
Chair model sticker frontside
Chair model sticker backside
The chair artwork is originally from a woodblock print from the late Jeff Klindt, who designed a lot of graphics for H-Street including Ron’s first pro model graphic. According to the story behind it, Jeff created a character based on Ron named “Ben Outlook,” always positive in his mentality and outlook, despite the straightjacket and padded cell. And you can see the chair there as well – a reoccurring theme in several of his graphics.
Jeff Klindt’s “Ben Outlook”
Ron Allen, at age 51, still shreds daily and is still very much a part of skateboarding culture to date. You can find him on Instagram (@ronallensk8) and lookout for a lot more from him coming soon.
Ray Llanos is a skater/photographer with roots from Washington, DC. You can catch more of his work and photos at skatechronicles.com