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Can BMX Riders Wear Thrasher?

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There are entire Reddit threads and forum posts dedicated to whether people can wear Thrasher clothes.

It’s something a lot of new skaters or fans of the sport run into when they get deep enough into the hobby or their appreciation for the sport and decide they want to start wearing some skater gear.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who claim to be skaters feel like they can pass judgment on other people wearing brands like Thrasher.

To them, the brand is synonymous with the skater ethos, and only people who are at a certain skill level or who have given enough to the sport are allowed in the Thrasher merch club.

If you’re a BMX rider and want to wear Thrasher clothes, is it allowed? Sure, there are no clothing police out there, but you may run into one or two skaters out there who take issue with you wearing Thrasher shirts as you ride around on your bike.

It’s a weird world in which people throw around words like “poser” and “loser” when they see people they deem unworthy wearing what they think belongs to their community.

Two young guys outdoor riding bmx

What Is Thrasher?

Thrasher is one of the original skateboarding magazines. It was founded in 1981 and contains mostly photos of skaters, interviews, and spotlights on pro skaters, and a lot of information on local music scenes. It’s tied deeply to the punk-skater vibe that the community loves.

Skating has long been associated with a rebellious segment of society, and many skaters consider themselves outsiders. As such, they form close bonds with other people in their community, and they have strong feelings around the brands that represent them.

Sometimes, this passion for what they do and the “me against the world” ethos of the skater world goes a bit far, and skaters hate or resent when people try to co-opt their looks or clothing without putting time into what it takes to be what they deem a “real” skater.

Thrasher’s Marketing Approach

Thrasher has always catered strongly to the skater and punk rock communities. It’s understandable because for decades those communities were what kept the magazine afloat. Thrasher was a sort of banner carrier of the skating community, and many people want to maintain those strong roots in what got them where they are today.

When people like celebrities wear Thrasher-branded apparel for fashion reasons, a lot of people have strong emotional reactions because they feel like it is diluting their brand and eroding the strong sense of community that skaters have.

However, skating and other extreme sports are more widely accepted today than in years past, and skating has an enormous fan base compared to just several years ago. It’s more international, and skating fans know who their favorite athletes are and follow them online and in competitions.

To express support for the growing world of skating, a lot of casual fans and non-skaters buy Thrasher clothing and other apparel because they want to be associated with that world.

Skater training in a skate park in New York

Skaters Vs. BMXers

There is a long-running theme in the skating and BMX worlds of dislike between the two communities.

Why do some skaters hate BMXers? Well, there are a few reasons that the skater community says they dislike BMXers.

We’ll list them here and leave you to judge. Maybe the most important thing you need to realize is that this is by no means the entire skating community. For the most part, you’ll run into skaters who are very friendly and welcoming.

That said, here are some of the common reasons for the hate that you’ll run into.

  • BMXers get in the way – Bikes are bigger than skateboards. In a crowded skatepark where there is limited space, skateboarders can be a bit territorial. Bikes take up more space, and therefore some skaters will resent the fact that they feel like they always have to be watching for a huge bike coming their way.
  • Pegs damage rails – Some skaters say they don’t like BMXers because their bikes damage rails, ledges, and other obstacles at parks. When you’re moving at high speeds, something like a dent in a rail can inflict serious injury.
  • They earned their spot – If you don’t know the history of skating, then you may not be aware that skaters had to pave a rough road to get where they are today. They’ve had cops called on them, gotten in fights trying to skate in cities, and faced other hardships. There may be some resentment or a feeling that other people are riding their coattails.
  • People form groups – In a lot of areas of society, people gather in like-minded crowds and treat others more poorly than those in their community. There may be some natural competition between skaters and BMXers just because you’re doing different things.
Young man practices with BMX bicycle.

Wear What You Want

What line does a skater have to cross where they can officially call themselves a skater or wear Thrasher clothes? No one knows, and there are jerks everywhere.

In the end, if you’re a BMXer and want to show support for the skating community, love punk music, or just like the look of the shirt, then you can wear it!

It doesn’t matter if you’re at the gym, the skate park, or at work. There is always going to be a jerk somewhere trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Just look at the way people argue over how to live with COVID-19, politics, or who the best musician of all time is.

There is always something to argue about and someone there to tell you what they think you should do or what clothing you should wear.

If you’re a BMXer and you’re wearing a Thrasher shirt, you may get a sarcastic comment or some looks at the park, but if you like the shirt, who cares?

Hopefully, other people, and especially skaters, will appreciate the support that you’re showing for the community and focus on the fact that it will draw more people into the sport.