Skateboarding Icon Commits Suicide
Eric Swenson shot himself in front of SF police station
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2011 2:13 AM CDT
Eric Swenson is seen in this undated photo from Thrasher.   (Thrasher Magazine)

(Newser) – The skateboarding world is mourning a man who played a major role in creating the huge subculture that exists today, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Thrasher magazine co-founder Eric Swenson shot and killed himself in front of the Mission police station in San Francisco. Friends believe the 64-year-old could no longer cope with the pain from a debilitating motorbike injury he suffered years ago, and chose the police station to spare loved ones from finding his body, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Swenson, an accomplished mechanic, helped revive the skateboarding scene in the late '70s with a company making skateboarding equipment, clothes, and accessories. He founded Thrasher in 1981 with his friend Fausto Vitello. "Before Thrasher, skateboarding was just another trend like yo-yos, rollerblades and hula hoops. But now it had its own music, dialect and its own fashion style," the magazine's ad director tells the Examiner.