Review: Essay Zine Issue 1 and 2

  • Review: Essay Zine Issue 1 and 2

    I first became aware of Sander Rodenhuis' Essay Zine when he messaged me for a copy of Hangup Zine 1. Essay Zine is out of the Netherlands and focuses on; "worldwide skateboarders and photographers, but also on other content like art and non-skateboarding photography."  You can order yourself a zine at as well as check out their Tumblr at where they post live updates and occasional event coverage such as this recent one from Rotterdam Pooligans

    Essay Zine 1 was shot between October 15 and April 16, but mainly features (what looks like) one session in Thialf, Arnhem skating a combination of launch ramps, benches and ledges, and it looks like the cover was shot here too, Fabric's Douwe Macare with a typically solid Back Smith.

    Other photos in the issue include a shot from those downhill stairs popularised by Mark Baines etc, and a standout shot of Sebastian Vijverberg at a rad looking skatepark. Stoked on the border that's used on a couple of the images throughout the zine! 

    Moving onto Issue 2, the difference between the two is substantial! Where Issue 1 is more of a traditional photozine, Issue 2 is a perfect-bound, professional looking monster! 63 pages of multiple interviews, checkouts, galleries and even adverts with a much wider-reaching scope.The zine opens with an editorial about how much longer than expected this zine took to produce, however with Issue  1 being shot between October 15 and April 16, Issue 2 seems to have been produced very quickly! Especially considering the increased size, printing cost, and scope of Issue 2!

    The issue kicks things off proper with a large Gallery section featuring Wouter Molenaar, Robbin De Wit and a whole host of other rippers, ending on a particularly amazing handrail 5050 from an elusive dude just called "James" shot by Antony Allison, who has his own feature later on in the zine.

    Following this is an interview with photographer Daniel Munchnik featuring rad shots of Matt Lane, Matty Hunt and even a couple of hand-coloured photos (spread below)! I love how Sander has laid out this page, with the photos real small and text surrounding, it really makes you study each photo more, and gives more value to them on the page for this.

    Following features on photographer Ruud Rijkers and Loose Skateboard Company, we reach my favourite part of the zine. The display section is filled with non-skate imagery, with Sander providing the first couple of spreads himself with some collage-style work (examples below). Great use of colour in that second spread! The section goes on to show Ethan Rhoads' contemporary photography, including a shot from what looks like some kind of light installation! The final contributor to the display section is Jeroen Kooren with a selection of paintings, something not often seen in a skate zine. These remind me of Van Gogh but I wouldn't say I know much about painting! However I will say they are photographed / scanned in very well for the zine!

    You can buy Essay Zine here, and follow them on tumblr and instagram!