A founding father of skateboarding photojournalism, Warren Bolster will always be remembered as the man who revived Skateboarder magazine in 1975. The only skateboard magazine printed nationally at the time, Skateboarder played a crucial role in spreading the message of the sport following its near death in the ’60s. Having grown up traveling the world with his father, a US Foreign Service diplomat and later Consul General to Australia, Warren fell in love with skateboarding and surfing at South Bondi in 1965. After returning to the US in ’67, his interests in both blossomed along with a growing interest in photography. Migrating to San Diego in 1970, his first published photos appeared in Surfer in ’72 and he became associate editor by ’76.
Tasked with reviving Skateboarder, Bolster is credited with pioneering the use of the fisheye in the sport, along with high-speed motor drive sequences. Along with Kurt Ledterman and Chris Maxwell, Warren’s efforts at Skateboarder succeeded in bringing the publication back to prominence. By collaborating with the likes of Glen E. Friedman and CR Stecyk III, the magazine became an outright bible for skateboarding’s cultural evolution, documenting the emergence of Dogtown and the Z-Boys and broadcasting their new direction to the world at large. After moving to Hawaii in 1978, Warren continued to pursue innovations in surf photography, remaining a staff photographer at Surfer through 1992. In 2006, Warren took his own life following long bouts with depression.