One of the goals when I started this blog was to find books on various sports. Even 10 years later I still find new sports - this time I found one on skateboarding. Here is my review of Cole Nowicki’s tribute to the video game that got him hooked on the sport, “Right, Down + Circle”
“Right, Down + Circle: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” by Cole Nowicki
4 of 5 stars (very good)
Finding a book on the history of skateboarding can be a challenge. Writing a book that not only incorporates the history and culture of the sport, but also to write about the video game series that helped push skateboarding to the mainstream sounds like an even bigger challenge, but author Cole Nowicki does a good job of blending the two items together in this quick but fun read.
Nowicki developed his love for skateboarding through playing the video game in the title and he talked not only about this game’s series (there were five editions) but also other video games in which a player would control a skateboarding character. While one does not have be a video game player to understand the text, it certainly helps.
The same goes for Nowicki’s description of the subculture of skateboarding. I didn’t know the difference between a 720 and a 900 before reading this book, and frankly I still will admit to not being fully understanding of the sport. But that doesn’t take away the very good storytelling Nowicki puts on display. He also does a fine job of chronicling the progress made to make the sport more diverse and inclusive from its beginnings as a largely white male activity. That is still the case but there are now more women, people of color and non-binary skateboard enthusiasts, per the book.
At about 100 page, depending on which version one reads, this is a quick read and not one that goes into a lot of detail - but for a quick look at the world of skateboarding and the video games it inspired (or is it the other way around), this is a worthwhile endeavor.
I wish to thank ECW Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.