Pg 9 – Book: Skateboarding, Power and Change

Skateboarding, Power and Change by Indigo Willing and Anthony Pappalardo white text on dark background.

New book and website in development: ‘Skateboarding, Power and Change’ (Short working title) by Indigo Willing and Anthony Pappalardo with art/illustrations by Adam Abada. Contract with Palgrave Macmillan.


The project aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of how change happens through the insights of key change makers, activists, role or possibility models, and social equity movements in skateboarding. The sense of solidarity, self expression, fun, care, resistance, and constructions of identity and belonging that are also a part of skateboarding are also themes of significance.


Research was conducted as part of a university approved project ‘Skateboarding and Social Justice: Activism, Power and Change’. The research team is drawing on historical archives, contemporary sources and in-depth interviews with over 50 individuals who are emerging, leading and historical social change makers in skateboarding. This includes people working in the skate industry, community programs, inclusive brands, non profits and individuals from skating’s DIY and cultural scenes (e.g. writers, artists and photographers). 


The US is the key focus for the book. A wider focus was changed due to the pandemic and its impact. The team aims to share more global content plus interviews, stories and relevant information that, due to the word count limit and final scope, was unable to feature in the book on the project’s website as it evolves plus social media and other publications in the process.

Participation consisted of a questionnaire and/or 60 minute face to face online interview (via zoom), and was subject to a selection criteria and informed consent. This project has ethical clearance from Griffith University, Australia – GU ref no: 2021/066.


Sociological research for this project began in October 2020. Delays have been caused by fires and floods in Australia, then covid-19 and its impact on USA travel being restricted for Indigo with international borders closing from 2020 to 2022 and authors also being mindful of people’s health and safety, interpersonal and family needs, USA travel restrictions for Anthony and lock down, and events such the Olympics being postponed. The release date of the book is currently planned for 2023.

Acknowledgement of Participation:

The authors recognise the valuable time and wisdom of all the participants who were interviewed and are deeply thankful for the insights they shared. As this is a community project that was unfunded, and in line with the project’s ethical clearance, all participation was voluntary. There was no payment for general participation. Thank you contributions were made to some interviewees in recognition of First Nations sovereignty and for expertise as readers. All interviewees will receive a special thank you art gift (e-versions or hard copies by request) such as a postcard sized skate art print by Adam Abada (New York), a special ‘curb art’ print by Sarah Huston (Australia/LA), whimsical poster from the @werewolfcatsskating zine or stickers from community campaigns like Consent is Rad (international). Examples below.

Brooklyn banks black and white sketch.
Brooklyn Banks by @adamabadart @gnarcotics
Curb art by Sarah Huston in red, yellow and black saying 'slow down, adults skating', 'drive like your parents skate here', and mock traffick signs design.
Curb art post cards by @thesarahhuston of @yeahgirlskateboarding
Consent is Rad text on black skateboard sticker
Sticker from @consent_is_rad design by RT Signs Chinchilla

If you would like to know more about this project please email Dr Indigo Willing and Anthony Pappalardo using the Contact Page Form