Backyard skateboarders: Empty pools and an illegal underground skate scene

Tino Razo backyard skateboarders

The posher ends of Surrey might not be short on swimming pools, but you can’t imagine that any of them are empty for long.

Not so in Southern California, if a new photography book is anything to go by.

Tino Razo’s Party in the Back captures what feels like a uniquely American scene, illegally skateboarding empty swimming pools.

Tino, who currently lives in Los Angeles – where he skates every day and hangs out with his dog Chunk – felt compelled to document the excitement of discovering, exploring, and skating these pools with his friends.

Commenting on his motivation, he told The Guardian: “I would like to say it was the architecture or the missions or the views or trying to learn each new pool, and how to skate it, but it’s all of it; from scouring Google Earth to finding spots by driving around looking for yellow grass, boarded up windows, big dumpsters out front, fences around houses or whatever signs of abandonment one can find; from cleaning the pools right down to skating them and cracking beers with the crew. All of it was my shrink, my therapy, my escape from myself”

The book’s publisher’s Anthology Editions describe it as “juxtaposing renegade sessions by world class skateboarders with dramatic architectural photographs of a lost American dream”.

It may well do that. But it also shows off a lot of really cool pictures.

View: A selection of Tino Razo’s skateboarding swimming pools images

On a side note, Anthology also do a really nice looking God Save Sex Pistols book that offers an unseen visual history of the legendary UK punk band.

From manager Malcolm McLaren’s handwritten letters to never-before-seen photographs of the band, Jamie Reid’s iconic album artwork, and a range of ephemera from concert tickets to fanzines, it too looks to be very interesting… if you can spare the cash.

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