Posted in music on June 23, 2011

Eric Swensen (left) at the Independent foundry in 1983
Eric Swensen

The man who ended his life in front of the Mission Police Station on Monday was a skateboarding icon and co-founder of San Francisco-based Thrasher magazine.

Skaters worldwide are mourning the loss of Eric Swenson, 64, of Potrero Hill, whose local manufacturing and publishing ventures helped launch a massive and lasting subculture.

Swenson shot himself around 8:30 a.m. without going inside the police station or talking to any officers. Loved ones believe the longtime San Franciscan's struggle with a debilitating motorcycle injury led to the suicide.

A "very private person," Swenson may have chosen the police station to end his life in order to spare his loved ones from finding him, said Gwynn Vitello, Thrasher's publisher and wife of Swenson's business partner, the late Fausto Vitello. - [SF Examiner]

If you grew up like me, then you probably took in your share of Thrasher magazines and skated on Independent Trucks as well. Swensen co-founded both, as well as both Juxtapoz and Slap magazines as part of his High Speed Productions Inc. magazine company. Swenson left behind a wife and daughter in the wake of his suicide. - BBG

R.I.P. Eric

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Comments (18)

Damn.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:16 PM

Damn.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:25 PM

Such a shame. Respect! R.I.P.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:28 PM

Crazy. Thrasher and that era of skate culture holds a dear spot in a lot of us. RIP!

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:34 PM

They always come in 3's

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:38 PM

RIP and SHRED...you made it happen, rest in peace sir!

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:38 PM


Real sad, see U man.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:48 PM

Oh, that is just too sad. RIP Eric. You played a major role in my having ankles that snap with pretty much every step I take.

Posted by Klaus Kinski | June 23, 2011 4:48 PM

Rest in Peace. Terrible that someone has to get to that point where they have no hope.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 4:57 PM

boneless

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 5:29 PM

I mis-read this thinking he was a famous figure skater. Anyone who can ollie on a skateboard has my respect. I tried like 100 times and almost broke an ankle everytime- shits fucking impossible.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 7:28 PM

I collected Thrashers for most of the 80's and 90's, skated for many years, and loved those original old skate videos they put out and skate rock cassettes. The pages use to be like newspaper and rubbed off before about 1992.
The great old photos like Mark Gonzales doing a large ollie over a deep pool separation stick in my mind clear as day with those great step by step photos. And those excellent photos of Jesse Martinez, Eric Dressen, and Natas in Venice among other places.

Sounds like the physical or head trauma maybe from the motorcycle accident left him in rough shape which can of course happen all too often.

Thanks Eric for being an original pioneer in the skate world.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 10:18 PM

7:28... an ollie is the easiest thing you can do..

try, you know, actually landing tricks..
ollies are basic as hell.

Posted by Anonymous | June 23, 2011 10:41 PM

RIP man, my first pair of trucks and first skate mag were your doing

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2011 8:08 AM

He left behind a wife a daughter in the wake of his suicide. What a pussy...

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2011 10:17 AM

Definitely not a pussy if you actually realize you're moments away from non-existence.

It's a possibility that he thought long and hard about his wife and daughter and about not being a burden to them anymore. Just some food for thought.

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2011 10:43 AM

Possibile yes. But it's a fact that he gave up on his family and friends while making his wife a single mother and leaving his daughter with no father. Suicide is for quitters.

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2011 1:00 PM

Damn.

Posted by Taylor | January 8, 2013 6:50 PM

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