York resident launches magazine featuring skateboarding community through beautiful photography

YORK – Eric Eckert, a longtime resident of York, has launched a new magazine titled, “fiftyfifty“, featuring the community of people enthralled with skateboarding – mostly in Nebraska but throughout the nation – with his new annual magazine showcasing beautiful photography of the sport.

Eckert, who spearheaded and designed the skate park in York, has been involved in the skateboarding world for decades and as his own knees started giving him trouble, meaning he could no longer partake as much as he wanted, he chose to stay more behind the lens to capture the artistry, athleticism and intricate details of those who love it.

He was already an award-winning photographer and found himself spending more time behind the camera than on the ramps.

“That’s when I realized I have all these really cool photographs,” Eckert said. “And I know people who are involved in this activity would really love to see themselves and their friends and others in some sort of publication. So I started looking at an artistic way to showcase them.”

He also utilized peers who were photographers, taking amazing photos in the same type of settings . . . and found there were too many photos to choose from. He narrowed them down, secured some advertisers, laid out the pages with an editorial eye.

“After 20 years of being part of the skateboarding community I started having more problems with my knees and I was skating less,” Eckert said. “But I still wanted to interact with the friends I have, see the beautiful skate parks, so that’s when I just kept going but using my camera instead of my skateboard. Last fall, in 2023, I thought I should do something with all these cool photos.

“I talked with another friend who had been doing the same and we thought we should just go all in,” Eckert said. “In October, I decided to create a skateboarding magazine for a release in January. We wanted to create a high-quality magazine, and if it was well received, we’d try to make it an annual magazine with photos from the previous year.”

In the 2024 publication, featured are mostly Nebraska skateboarders in locations within this state, including in York.

“I just did my own creative art, I had no idea how to put together a magazine,” Eckert laughed, although he spent many years working in public media and now has his own business creating and servicing websites, as well as doing social media work.

When the graphics work was completed, he took the project to York Printing for the final product.

And in January, a launch party was held in Lincoln, to showcase the final product.

All the profits were given to a nationally-known skateboarder, who had been an editor of a skateboarding magazine in the past and is now battling cancer.

“Initially, we printed 150 copies and those sold out at the launch party,” Eckert said. “So we printed another 100 and those have almost sold out as well.”

He said advertisers helped with the cost of production and he plans to expand that for the 2025 venture. “And this next year will be fun because more people are involved and interested.”

One important aspect of the magazine, he said, is to make sure it shows how inclusive and diverse the skateboarding community is in Nebraska.

This year’s magazine is 40 pages – next year, he’s planning for 80.

The name of the publication is fiftyfifty – for those not familiar, that is a skateboarding term for a trick, which apparently all skateboarders know.

“It was just a creative outlet I hope would be well received by enthusiasts, and it has been,” Eckert said. “Now, we will start working for the next, in 2025.”

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