Chicago’s Underground Skate Scene

By Natalie Jacobs

Today, we’d like to take a minute to focus on skating. Every city has a scene and they’re all slightly different based on terrain, weather patterns, city officials’ attitudes toward the sport, and overall vibe of the community. Even scenes within cities can get broken down by crew if animosity starts brewing on the streets or in the skate parks. While we’re sure everyone strives to be friends, it doesn’t always work out that way. 

Dude Life

I was recently in Chicago staying with a friend who’s brother is very involved in the skate community there. He and his friends, now solidly in their 30s, dubbed their crew Dude Life a long time ago and are now starting to get tattoos to make sure they never forget what they’ve been through together. It started with skating and when each began working on their own creative projects, it morphed into something with a little more art and soul. Occasionally they still keep up their blog, which chronicles their individual and group efforts through photos and videos. 

This kind of camaraderie seemed rare to me, so I asked my friend’s brother what the rest of the scene is like. Skating in Chicago is pretty popular, but the city itself tends to be segregated by neighborhood which could cause problems if you feel like skating in a place you don’t usually skate in. He said there used to be tension between crews, but now, perhaps since they’re older, everyone gets along. Many of them run their own blogs to chronicle their exploits in the same fashion as Dude Life, and their footage is a lot of fun to watch/look at. So here are a few more skate blogs that you should check out if you are at all interested in the underground scene.

Such Luck

Mostly a photo blog, Such Luck features some seriously cool shots of places in Chicago only skaters would go, with funny captions and reminders of what snow looks like. They also post some of their own videos along with roundups of other people’s videos from Chicago that they think are cool. 

The Beerics

Now that they’re spread out between Chicago, North Carolina and New York city, The Beerics are capturing footage of skating all over the place. This video blog is a compilation of lots of different contributors, which keeps things interesting for the rest of us.


You’ve heard Chicago referenced as Chi Town before, right? Well this name is a brilliant play on that, because it can get pretty shitty there sometimes. This is also mostly a video blog, which is great because these guys are wild. I’m almost certain that skating in snow never makes sense. 

Pretty Skateboards

Seemingly the most oft-updated of the bunch, Pretty Skateboards is a more traditional blog in the sense that it posts all kinds of shit, from videos and photos to birthday and wedding announcements which makes it a very personal look into this group’s lives together, apart, on wheels and off. 

Skate Illinois

These guys are not afraid to get weird, which makes them awesome, if not slightly creepy. But there is skating to be found here, to be sure.

Got any we missed? Tell us about them in the comments. 

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