Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:08 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 29948
Location: Somewhere in time
Plook wrote:
Plook wrote:
Plook wrote:
It’s probably time for me to enter this conversation since I was one of the original skaters that issued in the modern era of skateboarding.

In the Beginning

We first started skating when we began surfing in 1970, the boards were not very good and the clay wheels caused many an injury due to their unreliability. We finally got a hold of a suitable board about 1972 and found that it rode like a surfboard and we could ride it up and down a banked drive way as if we were surfing.

I had the most passion and ended up with that board (I can’t even remember who owned it originally), I worked that driveway day in and day out and found I could get the front wheels off the ground at the apex of a turn.

One of the pluses of growing up a skateboarder in Southern California was that almost every riverbed and ditch in the area was paved. Less than two miles from my house was the San Gabriel riverbed, well paved and with utility access roads that allowed vehicles to enter. These access roads created what looked like a telescoping wave and were a natural to ride, although the clay wheels caused many losses of skin.

Enter the urethane wheel about 1973 or 74 and we were in business, these wheels while great still had loose ball bearings but allowed us to go faster and create maneuvers that simulated surfing. I skated almost every day in the riverbed with a friend that was as dedicated as I was, we favored the ramp near the railroad bridge that crossed the river, and we named the location Trestles.

There was another ramp less than a half mile north of there that drew throngs of people because it was by “Golf ‘N Stuff” a “putt putt” golf course with video games and go carts (made famous in the movie Karate Kid).

The big and most important advancement in a skateboarding came next, the game changer was the sealed precision German bearings. Along with the almost simultaneous introduction of the wide Bennett Trucks, we could now trust our equipment and the advancements came in leaps and bounds.

Like test pilots we were taking huge drops as fast as we could in steeper angels than we could have imagined. New maneuvers were being invented literally ever week, slide turns front and backside, hand plant turns, and what turned out to be the granddaddy of skate maneuvers that ushered in modern skateboarding…the kick flip.

My buddy had a horrific accident at Trestle one day and I had to save his life (the first of 9 through-out the years, but that’s another story) and an ambulance was summoned by a bicycler and he was in a coma for a couple days…he never skated again.

It was at this time that I took my well-honed routine public since we had a rule (probably a good one) never skate or surf alone. I made my way to Golf ‘N Stuff and skated with the top local skaters. It was there that I met the biggest asshole, most arrogant, and best skater…Riverbed Ed also known as Headwads (you must be a big deal if you get two nicknames).

He was on me like a fly on shit when he saw me pulling shit he never saw, but Ed was the King and the hazing was relentless. He would skate up on me all the time talking shit. Everyone knew it would come to a head and it wasn’t long until he approached me with a “New Drop” that no one else could do. I said let’s see it, he took me over to a spot just beyond the end of the ramp and spray painted in little letters was the words “Waimea Drop”.

This was a good 25 feet straight down where there was transition the full depth of the riverbed at the end of the access road, unheard of vertical drop at the time. I asked “You made that?” he said “piece of cake, watch.” He gets a good ten pushes of speed and over he goes, the dust trail off his board enhanced the apparent speed and it was incredible.

I said fuck it and got back and pushed towards the impossible drop and just before going over thought wow, I make it down and ended up at the bottom next to Ed looking like a guy that just got a glimpse of God. I asked Ed how long have you been doing that, his reply “Oh that was the first time, I wrote that name on there last night before I left”. I was like what the fuck, him and I were best friends and skate buddy’s for many years.

To be continued… :arrow:



The Early Discovery Years

About this same time I began to meet more skaters, many had tales of awesome skate spots in the surrounding area. One of the first spots we visited was in Sears loading dock at Cerritos Mall just one city over, a long wide slopped ramp, great fun for slalom runs, with the added bonus of trucks trailers parked at the bottom that you could go under like a tube ride.

The next spot was Putnam Street in Whittier (also close) a true asphalt bank, very smooth shaped like a wave with a well sloped entrance rode alongside allowing for the achievement of good speed before riding the bank. We developed excellent skills at kick and slide turns there, the smooth asphalt allowed the rear wheels to release easily and the fact that there was a fence along the top of the bank forced you to really control the slide in order to not end up in the chain link.

The bonus at Putnam street was the trash would have huge empty boxes in it that could be hung over the fence to create a simulated tube ride. The drawback was where the trucks backed into the bank and made gouges in the wall that had to be avoided at all cost.

We then heard of a crazy scary spot the Vermont drop a steep riverbed service rode that had wave like banks on both sides, we could not get there fast enough. Near the old Ascot raceway we arrived to find a huge amount of skaters and many very skilled.

You would come raging down the entrance road and gather enough speed to get two huge carving turns one on each wall. We skated it often and became top dogs at this spot when a professional photographer showed up one evening. He snapped a shoot of me making a huge front side carve on the east wall which I had blown up to a two foot by three foot poster that graced my bedroom wall and blew people’s minds.

We then heard of something completely new, a ditch paved as a perfect half pipe, we were not even certain something like that could be ridden. We followed the directions to what was then the outback of Fullerton and there it was a serpentine half pipe ditch with a convenient two foot wide street runoff gutter leading into it, the perfect drop in. The Euclid U, later called the Euclid V, everyone eventually rode this spot…she was pretty much a virgin when we got there.

We were very hesitant with this spot but mastered it, but about two years later we realized it was better to ride it in reverse in order to end up doing side walls in the perfect little half pipe that existed just as the ditch passed under the road. Which then made us realize we needed to dig out the ditch on the other side of Euclid Street, this archeological dig paid big time.


To be continued… :arrow:



More discoveries

After meeting Ed I started to hook-up with many skaters from my town and the surrounding area, Allen Ed’s brother, Ron also road trial bikes(we went to my first Zappa concert together in 77), Wally Inouye who broke his arm Moto crossing and it healed funny and gave him a distinctive look while skating, Waldo Autry the ultimate surf/skater free spirit, Robin Alaway sometimes known as Riverbed Robin (her and Ed had a thing), Becky Anderson best girl bank skater of the day and no one probably remembers her, and many more.

The Norwalk crew tagged ourselves the NSB (Norwalk Skateboarders) with the ‘S’ being a lightning bolt. We discovered the Brea Spillway an awesome huge skate spot a little late. It was completely over run with skaters (too accessible) and after a skater was killed with a head injury, they filled it in with a deep layer of dirt…that spot came and went quickly.

We next discovered Suicide Alley situated in between two sets of projects off El Segundo Blvd in the hood. It was named for a utility pipe probably natural gas that crossed the two sided ditch with the words Suicide Alley prominently spray painted on the black pipe, if you did not duck under the pipe…it was suicide.

The urban dwellers of the government housing had the best seats and would watch us skate for hours, they literally would hang out the windows of the multistory units and yell “you white boys are going to kill yourself”. You could always tell by the cheers if you performed well and if someone ate it there was a collective “OOOooo”.

The ditch was on an intensely steep Grade and the transitions were sever and tight (only about 5 feet across at the bottom), we called it a “cli-clunk, clunk” (the sound it made when you transitioned from one bank to the other), the banks were perfect.

I saw one of the original BMX’ers there and he failed to make it under the pipe, he got leveled and received the group gasp, thank god he wasn’t hurt because it looked funny as hell and when he got up and dusted himself off the laughter echoed through the alley…this was a fun spot to skate.

I personally suffered a sever injury there when I lost my balance on the lower end of the run making the bottom transition after an intense slide turn. I didn’t fall but my rear foot came off the board and I used it to brake causing the cement to cut through my vans tennis shoes and grind off my bunion on my right foot…that really hurt.

We were next introduced to the Mount Baldy Dam pipeline, the first full Pipe ridden, we got there after a guy severely broke his leg and they hand poured a mound of asphalt down the middle of the bottom for the entire 200 feet. But you could still ride the last 15 feet of the opening and it was a half pipe with what seemed like an unsurmountable amount of vertical wall. Waldo owned this spot and got way higher than anyone else at that time.

Many times we would make the long arduous trip up there and there would be water in the bottom and we could not skate it. This lead to us free climbing dry waterfalls, another modern adventure sport, but that’s a story for a different setting.

We ended up going to the west side of LA and skating many spots there, there were bowls in the Hollywood hills rather than riverbeds and there were some good ones. Toilet Bowl and Super Bowl were among the best, though they did not last long because the city had cement speed bumps put in to stop the skating.

One bowl stayed intact up there for some time, probably because they thought no one would be crazy enough to skate it, the Killer Wall. This bowl was basically a very large rectangle, you could skate the left wall head around both corners on the short wall. After you made the second corner the wall gradually became squared off with no transition.

We would skate here and see who could get the furthest out on the square wall but still make it back to the sloop wall, we had not invented the vertical wall transition yet. One day Ron who was a pioneer of making a fast smooth ‘U’ turn on a banked wall, went so far out it was incredible. His turn on the sheer vertical wall was unsuccessful and he ended up falling in the prone postion striking the right side of his head on the wall as he dropped 8 feet to the floor below. This was second life I was credited with saving, I stabilized him after he went into convulsions and sent a fellow skater to flag down a car (no cell phones then), fortunately the first car that came along this lonely location was driven by a doctor.

Ron was hospitalized overnight but was fine, he continued to skate for many years and invented the roll back which lead to the Fakey. We remained good friends for many years and both loved Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren, we had a unique pool experience which I will get to later.


There were also some great asphalt banks there at Kenter and Bellagio schools, we often had to skate against the Dog Town Skateboarders there, it was considered their turf. We held our own with them easily and it would get heated at times, I always thought they were punks and I believe they owned that image, good for them not my cup of tea.

Then someone found an empty pool in Norwalk that the owners said we could skate…

More to come… :arrow:



Bump...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 29948
Location: Somewhere in time
Amazing Finds and Friends

When we dug out the ditch on the west side of Euclid Street we found an amazing smooth and symmetrical half pipe about 8 feet deep with a perfect grade that curved its way into the tunnel that went under the street. It offered an insanely good ride that finished with half pipe effect that allowed for side wall action that include vertical awesomeness.

It took a crew of people to perform the clean-up and random skaters would join the effort daily, we had to build a wooden entry ramp (which constantly needed to be repaired) since it was dirt on either side and no one wanted to waste time and energy pumping up to speed for every ride. This type of entry led to the “over the side” drop this is so common today.

This spot on a main road very visible was packed daily and it was very intense skating with a crowd of your peers and random on lookers at all times. Yes it can go to your head and you would plan each run to elicit the maximum “Ooo’s” and “Aaa’s”.

One thing you must know about the type of skating we were doing is it had a certain lawless aspect to it, because about 75 percent of the places we skated required us to violate trespassing laws. Also most places had a fence and usually a good one, there was no fence that could keep us out, we could climb anything (maybe that’s why I have done some type of climbing my whole life).

While Euclid Street East had a fence, the West side we dug out had none, it did not take the city long before they posted no skateboarding signs and while we could avoid the cops 99 percent of the time we eventual got caught in a sting type of ambush in which they planted an undercover as a skater.

Thankfully after 3 months of the threat of a “serious” jail time, the judge through our case out laughingly while admonishing the DA and Officers to please invest their time more wisely pursuing real criminals…Yes! It was awesome!

I met so many skaters skating Euclid Street I can’t even begin to try and remember them all, but a few stand out and one was Randy. We became fast friends and he had what seemed to be an endless supply of Thai stick…Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay.

Not as good a skater as us but proficient and he fit in, he also knew of a Spillway in the desert that some dirt bikers found while riding. It was like someone telling you a tale of Eldorado, could it be true?…is it even possible?

The resume read like a Flo & Eddy routine from the Fillmore East album…3 miles long, good slope, great angular walls, perfectly smooth concrete, funneling, dished bottom, 6 possible drops, front side, back side, 70 foot drop, ever narrowing…No Freaking Way!!!

It took a while to get the tight nit group of riders to finally say we could go, they were keeping the secret and doing a good job of it for good reason…Remember the Brea Spillway was the Mantra like it was the skateboard equivalent to the Alamo.

So one fine Saturday morning a van picked us up before dawn and we piled in van with all our gear and several other skaters. The drive was long well over an hour, maybe more than two, the last 20 miles or so we had to wear blindfolds.

When they took them off we were driving along an awesome ditch with 15 foot walls, we said “is this it pull over now!” the regulars laughed at us and I was about to know why. We could not believe how long this ditch was we followed it for over a mile and now came the trick, the service road we had been on had a vehicle barricade with a lock, what now? The word came from the driver, “everyone on the left side”, he needed all the weight on that side to help hold the tires down since he proceeded to drive along the spillway wall to get around the fence…honestly it was kind of scary.

Not much longer and we saw it, she had a steep grade because the mouth was sitting above us like a city on high…it was everything I heard and more so clean, dished bottom, massive drops smooth finish, wrap around walls at the top…what the F#ck, who built this and why did they do such a good job.

It indeed had three possible take offs from both sides and one was the infamous 70 foot drop, the wrap around walls allowed for a full complement of kicks to full speed over you went in a full crouched fairing thru the dish which made a slight gun shoot like sound at the bottom, you were hitting between 30 and 35 mph (with a tail wind we were reaching speeds of up to about 40 mph). Your first wall carve covered a hundred feet, the average ride length as the crow flew was 600 feet or more from the top of the spillway to where you finished your ride, but the distance you covered was between ¼ and a ½ of a mile.

You could do every maneuver you knew 3 times each in one ride and everyone was breaking out there best moves. This spot was made for me and even if better skaters came along, I owned this place. We had a maneuver that was a series of 360 kick turns that if you drew it like a dance step would appear like the white icing on a hostess cupcake. The move was up the wall instead of a front side turn in the direction you were traveling you performed an opposing backside turn with your hand touching down and continued in the original direction you were traveling into another and then another of these hand down backside pivots as you progressed down the wall. The object was to do as many as possible before reaching the bottom. This was a maneuver invented by my buddy Ron and one day we had a contest to see who could get the most. Ron was over 6 feet tall so at a bit of a disadvantage, but managed to set his personal record of 6, I got 9 that day on one of my runs. Barely squeaking out the last turn before the bottom and managing to stay on my board when I transitioned the flat bottom, no one ever came close to that record and I could consistently pull 5 to 7 when I performed that maneuver at the Spillway.

Over time we developed rides and techniques that were enhance in this place, the locals, well decent skaters could not believe what we were doing. They would sometimes park vehicles at the top of the spillway mouth off the concrete and break out home speakers system and jam some classic 70’s music to skate too, no personal music devices back then.

I met many amazing people who did amazing things during this period. I had the opportunity to meet and watch Kenny Means, while not the first in-line roller skater to ride banks, he took it to a new level (thanks to Rahdley for sparking that memory with his video clip).

During this time I was making skateboards for myself and friends, I was an air brusher and many people brought boards to paint, if someone had a cast they would come over and I would airbrush it (I even airbrushed flames, one of my specialties, on a hydro plane race boat for a guy).

I was contacted by a sporting goods company who saw some of my “Guns” (long boards designed for high speed and big banks) and made several proto types for them. My brother Ollie who was certifiably crazy had me make him an (8) wheeled skateboard known as a “Pig” due to its width. There was another skater riding these named Lonnie Toft, my brother was unique in that he could ride it standing up and kneeling like a knee board. When the Sporting Goods people saw one in my garage on a visit to pick up some boards they were intrigued and wanted one immediately.

While I rode my own boards often I was really in love with an old 32” Sims board I had and eventually moved down to a 28" Sims Pure Juice. Due to my riding long boards I could perform all the long board tricks and maneuvers, I was able to do them all on my 28” board including a nose walk at full speed in the Hemet Spillway, not an easy feat.

Equipment had now become key, we could easily be severely injured or killed at the level we were skating and equipment reliability was of the upmost importance. We were buying sealed bearings by dozens and changed them regularly, fresh bearings at the spillway regardless of how recently you changed them and if you skated there all day (8 hours no kidding) maybe another change out half way through the day. Trucks and hardware was in your kit, it would not be unheard of to put new trucks on if you had any doubt that maybe you had stressed one during a ride. Adjustments like a pit crew took place regularly also.

Sometimes the locals would bring a keg out, we had a rule that if anyone drank more than one beer, we took away their skateboards. One time Ed who was not a big drinker had three and we stashed his boards and he freaking flipped out, but in the end thanked us. You could smoke as much pot as you wanted that never seemed to hinder anyone’s skills, it confuses me how that seems to be a big selling point for not smoking, and I would have to disagree with that.

One day we were in the middle of a Spillway session I took the 70 foot drop from the North East side hit the west wall for my backside 100 foot carve at 30 mph and a guy’s dog strolled down the wall in front of me. I bailed out by jumping up off the board while still being propelled forward by my speed, tucked my legs up like someone clearing a high bar. I had projected myself towards the asphalt and gravel service road that ran along the top side of the spillway, I hit the ground running. Unsure that this could be ran out, I was scared, I was going so fast my first few steps my feet were reaching the height of my chin…but slowly and surely I slowed to a jog, then a walk, and stopped…a wave of relief rushed over me as well as an intense rush of adrenalin, sometimes the things that are avoided are more exciting than the things you intend to do.Like when you almost get in a car accident and it catches up to you and your heart starts beating fast, mine was almost coming out of my chest, everyone clapped and cheered in relief.

Our body safety equipment was lacking, we had helmets but almost only used them at skate parks where they were required. The knee pads and elbow pads were the old volley ball one’s that were gone after the first hit. No slide pads like now, you had to run it out or bad shit was going to happen.

The Spillway can be seen on Google Maps, put in Hemet Ca and when it comes up look in the 4 o’clock position on the lower right you should be able to identify it by the long line of the ditch projecting up towards Hemet. Zoom in at the head of the spillway and be amazed at its grandeur.

During this vital times there were ideas being exchanged by skaters from all over meeting at these different spots and an idea or maybe I should say a concept started…why not a skate park?


Stay tuned, its going to get really good!... :arrow:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 29948
Location: Somewhere in time
Plook wrote:
Amazing Finds and Friends

When we dug out the ditch on the west side of Euclid Street we found an amazing smooth and symmetrical half pipe about 8 feet deep with a perfect grade that curved its way into the tunnel that went under the street. It offered an insanely good ride that finished with half pipe effect that allowed for side wall action that include vertical awesomeness.

It took a crew of people to perform the clean-up and random skaters would join the effort daily, we had to build a wooden entry ramp (which constantly needed to be repaired) since it was dirt on either side and no one wanted to waste time and energy pumping up to speed for every ride. This type of entry led to the “over the side” drop this is so common today.

This spot on a main road very visible was packed daily and it was very intense skating with a crowd of your peers and random on lookers at all times. Yes it can go to your head and you would plan each run to elicit the maximum “Ooo’s” and “Aaa’s”.

One thing you must know about the type of skating we were doing is it had a certain lawless aspect to it, because about 75 percent of the places we skated required us to violate trespassing laws. Also most places had a fence and usually a good one, there was no fence that could keep us out, we could climb anything (maybe that’s why I have done some type of climbing my whole life).

While Euclid Street East had a fence, the West side we dug out had none, it did not take the city long before they posted no skateboarding signs and while we could avoid the cops 99 percent of the time we eventual got caught in a sting type of ambush in which they planted an undercover as a skater.

Thankfully after 3 months of the threat of a “serious” jail time, the judge through our case out laughingly while admonishing the DA and Officers to please invest their time more wisely pursuing real criminals…Yes! It was awesome!

I met so many skaters skating Euclid Street I can’t even begin to try and remember them all, but a few stand out and one was Randy. We became fast friends and he had what seemed to be an endless supply of Thai stick…Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay.

Not as good a skater as us but proficient and he fit in, he also knew of a Spillway in the desert that some dirt bikers found while riding. It was like someone telling you a tale of Eldorado, could it be true?…is it even possible?

The resume read like a Flo & Eddy routine from the Fillmore East album…3 miles long, good slope, great angular walls, perfectly smooth concrete, funneling, dished bottom, 6 possible drops, front side, back side, 70 foot drop, ever narrowing…No Freaking Way!!!

It took a while to get the tight nit group of riders to finally say we could go, they were keeping the secret and doing a good job of it for good reason…Remember the Brea Spillway was the Mantra like it was the skateboard equivalent to the Alamo.

So one fine Saturday morning a van picked us up before dawn and we piled in van with all our gear and several other skaters. The drive was long well over an hour, maybe more than two, the last 20 miles or so we had to wear blindfolds.

When they took them off we were driving along an awesome ditch with 15 foot walls, we said “is this it pull over now!” the regulars laughed at us and I was about to know why. We could not believe how long this ditch was we followed it for over a mile and now came the trick, the service road we had been on had a vehicle barricade with a lock, what now? The word came from the driver, “everyone on the left side”, he needed all the weight on that side to help hold the tires down since he proceeded to drive along the spillway wall to get around the fence…honestly it was kind of scary.

Not much longer and we saw it, she had a steep grade because the mouth was sitting above us like a city on high…it was everything I heard and more so clean, dished bottom, massive drops smooth finish, wrap around walls at the top…what the F#ck, who built this and why did they do such a good job.

It indeed had three possible take offs from both sides and one was the infamous 70 foot drop, the wrap around walls allowed for a full complement of kicks to full speed over you went in a full crouched fairing thru the dish which made a slight gun shoot like sound at the bottom, you were hitting between 30 and 35 mph (with a tail wind we were reaching speeds of up to about 40 mph). Your first wall carve covered a hundred feet, the average ride length as the crow flew was 600 feet or more from the top of the spillway to where you finished your ride, but the distance you covered was between ¼ and a ½ of a mile.

You could do every maneuver you knew 3 times each in one ride and everyone was breaking out there best moves. This spot was made for me and even if better skaters came along, I owned this place. We had a maneuver that was a series of 360 kick turns that if you drew it like a dance step would appear like the white icing on a hostess cupcake. The move was up the wall instead of a front side turn in the direction you were traveling you performed an opposing backside turn with your hand touching down and continued in the original direction you were traveling into another and then another of these hand down backside pivots as you progressed down the wall. The object was to do as many as possible before reaching the bottom. This was a maneuver invented by my buddy Ron and one day we had a contest to see who could get the most. Ron was over 6 feet tall so at a bit of a disadvantage, but managed to set his personal record of 6, I got 9 that day on one of my runs. Barely squeaking out the last turn before the bottom and managing to stay on my board when I transitioned the flat bottom, no one ever came close to that record and I could consistently pull 5 to 7 when I performed that maneuver at the Spillway.

Over time we developed rides and techniques that were enhance in this place, the locals, well decent skaters could not believe what we were doing. They would sometimes park vehicles at the top of the spillway mouth off the concrete and break out home speakers system and jam some classic 70’s music to skate too, no personal music devices back then.

I met many amazing people who did amazing things during this period. I had the opportunity to meet and watch Kenny Means, while not the first in-line roller skater to ride banks, he took it to a new level (thanks to Rahdley for sparking that memory with his video clip).

During this time I was making skateboards for myself and friends, I was an air brusher and many people brought boards to paint, if someone had a cast they would come over and I would airbrush it (I even airbrushed flames, one of my specialties, on a hydro plane race boat for a guy).

I was contacted by a sporting goods company who saw some of my “Guns” (long boards designed for high speed and big banks) and made several proto types for them. My brother Ollie who was certifiably crazy had me make him an (8) wheeled skateboard known as a “Pig” due to its width. There was another skater riding these named Lonnie Toft, my brother was unique in that he could ride it standing up and kneeling like a knee board. When the Sporting Goods people saw one in my garage on a visit to pick up some boards they were intrigued and wanted one immediately.

While I rode my own boards often I was really in love with an old 32” Sims board I had and eventually moved down to a 28" Sims Pure Juice. Due to my riding long boards I could perform all the long board tricks and maneuvers, I was able to do them all on my 28” board including a nose walk at full speed in the Hemet Spillway, not an easy feat.

Equipment had now become key, we could easily be severely injured or killed at the level we were skating and equipment reliability was of the upmost importance. We were buying sealed bearings by dozens and changed them regularly, fresh bearings at the spillway regardless of how recently you changed them and if you skated there all day (8 hours no kidding) maybe another change out half way through the day. Trucks and hardware was in your kit, it would not be unheard of to put new trucks on if you had any doubt that maybe you had stressed one during a ride. Adjustments like a pit crew took place regularly also.

Sometimes the locals would bring a keg out, we had a rule that if anyone drank more than one beer, we took away their skateboards. One time Ed who was not a big drinker had three and we stashed his boards and he freaking flipped out, but in the end thanked us. You could smoke as much pot as you wanted that never seemed to hinder anyone’s skills, it confuses me how that seems to be a big selling point for not smoking, and I would have to disagree with that.

One day we were in the middle of a Spillway session I took the 70 foot drop from the North East side hit the west wall for my backside 100 foot carve at 30 mph and a guy’s dog strolled down the wall in front of me. I bailed out by jumping up off the board while still being propelled forward by my speed, tucked my legs up like someone clearing a high bar. I had projected myself towards the asphalt and gravel service road that ran along the top side of the spillway, I hit the ground running. Unsure that this could be ran out, I was scared, I was going so fast my first few steps my feet were reaching the height of my chin…but slowly and surely I slowed to a jog, then a walk, and stopped…a wave of relief rushed over me as well as an intense rush of adrenalin, sometimes the things that are avoided are more exciting than the things you intend to do.Like when you almost get in a car accident and it catches up to you and your heart starts beating fast, mine was almost coming out of my chest, everyone clapped and cheered in relief.

Our body safety equipment was lacking, we had helmets but almost only used them at skate parks where they were required. The knee pads and elbow pads were the old volley ball one’s that were gone after the first hit. No slide pads like now, you had to run it out or bad shit was going to happen.

The Spillway can be seen on Google Maps, put in Hemet Ca and when it comes up look in the 4 o’clock position on the lower right you should be able to identify it by the long line of the ditch projecting up towards Hemet. Zoom in at the head of the spillway and be amazed at its grandeur.

During this vital times there were ideas being exchanged by skaters from all over meeting at these different spots and an idea or maybe I should say a concept started…why not a skate park?


Stay tuned, its going to get really good!... :arrow:



They had a swimming pool…

Jeff was a very good friend I made in High School who had done some surfing and skating, when he hooked up with me he completely immersed himself into both sports. He was as quick a learner as I ever saw and he became very skilled very fast.

One day he showed up and said he knew some gal who had an empty pool and her parents said we could skate it, and best of all it was a kidney pool. We had tried some square pools but they sucked we had heard other skaters were trying to skate them . We got to the house and we had some work to do, first we cleaned it, then we ran it.

Running a spot was something we did often when we first tried a location, this led us to run up walls and bank off buildings, I see where it has become an extreme sport, it never ceases to amaze me.

Little by little we were carving the pool, we would get a few quick kicks in and up and around the bowl. We soon discovered the deep end light had to go, we removed it fashioned a piece of cardboard for the opening and used Duct Tape to hold it.

We instantly knew what we needed to do next, go over the light! With what we were accomplishing at Euclid and other spots, we made quick work of figuring out how to ride a pool, the incredible thing about it is skaters all over So Cal were doing the same thing simultaneously and coming to the same conclusions.

The next step was “would the skateboard slide out if we rode up on the tiles?” Getting tiles was accomplished rather quickly and yes the wheels held. We decided we had to now figure out how to skate the side walls like we could skate the bottom of the U.

About this same time a couple of skate buddies who were not as good as us but were from a couple of construction contractor families built a ramp, and a mighty fine ramp it was. They had mad skills with wood and built an awesome frame and used a ping pong table to cover it. The flexibility of that surface was a genius touch because it was perfectly curved.

It wasn’t long before we knew that we had to extend it vertically and we added some tall studs and sheeted it with 2 feet of vert. This ramp was kept across the street from my parents’ house and some skaters from a couple blocks over built one also and brought it over, both had removable wheels so they could be moved easily and there was a street light in front of my neighbor’s house. So every night out the ramps were place squarely under the street lights and a session ensued, the neighbors put up with it but it must have been torture for them because it was awesome and loud.

How could we get to the pool side walls so we could pump them, it was a dilemma, but good old Ron who had mastered the roll back and the misdirection turn on banks showed us the way to the Promised Land.

We would carve the pool by starting off center right or left depending if we were going front side or back side and straight down straight up over the top. Ron got off center all the way to one side in the shallow end and diagonally to the opposing side, go up the side wall backside and away he went.

We all had it mastered in a few days and we were pumping side walls backside. Now can we do this front side, everyone knows it is easier to stay on the board with your heels, but on vert a front side turn would require your toes to do all the work. It was scary but we were not going to let that stop us. It did not take long for us to realize the centrifugal forces we were creating was making this much easier to do than we thought and the front side rush was like flying. This pool can be found on Google maps in Norwalk CA at Studebaker Rd and Belfair St 3rd house on the northeast side.

At this time along came a guy from school named George Orton, he was built short and husky and was a state championship wrestler. He just walked up to me one day and said I want to learn to skate and I heard you could show me, no problem dude. We dragged him around with us and he became very skilled very quick, some people are just wired to be really good at stuff and George was one of those guys.

One day George said he found a pool and it was really good we should come and check it out, so we did. We knew this spot it was one of the crappy square pools, those did not offer much. We go in the backyard and ask George why he is wasting his time here, there were better pools all over the place. He said he wanted to show us something he was working on.

Now George was a pure skater and more into the mechanics of what he was doing, this would serve him well in the future, we were surfer skaters and did everything with style or what some called soul.

So George gets off a few quick kicks and goes straight up the deep end wall out the top front side grabs the rail of his board turns in the air and heads straight back down doesn’t make contact with the pool wall again until near the bottom and eats it. He gets his stout self up dusts himself off and goes again with the same result.

We ask him what is he doing, does he have a death wish...he responds “when I pull this off it will change everything”, little did we know how right he was and that we were watching the invention of the modern aerial. This pool can be seen on Google Maps in Norwalk Ca at the corner of Studebaker Rd and Maze St.

We took George to the Hemet Spillway and he was getting quit a reputation as a go for it skater and a photographer from Surfing Magazine showed up and shot hundreds of pictures of us skating. It wasn’t an ideal day, while the locals kept it super clean there had been some recent rains and there was a lot of dirt and dust. We always carried brooms, shovels, and buckets with us since that was sometimes part of what we had to do to skate, clean up.

Due to the size of the place we choose to clean areas that allowed for certain runs (that was quit the democratic argument since everyone had their favorites) and we even had a tail wind that got us to max speeds. We went to the Photographers house about a month later to view a slide show and it was awesome. Due to the dust we had trails coming off our boards that were 10 to 15 feet long that only enhanced what were obvious high speeds. I regret to this day not buying those pictures.

While riding pools, we found by accident that we could ride up onto the coping and eventually we were doing one wheelers. The spills started getting tougher but we developed good instincts for when to bail out, running out those aborted pool rides have left my ankles permanently jacked up.

We had another awesome pool in Norwalk and it had just perfect side walls and a very unique feature, coping that hung out 4 inches over the edge of the pool. You were truly inverted when you were up on that coping and front side was just a pure rush. We kept this pool a really tight secrete since the owners were very touchy about it, so only a handful of people knew about it. They eventually filled it in and I was unable locate the house on Google.

We visited many pools, the Fruit Bowl, was named after the closed sanitarium where it was located, that pool was crazy nuts and the crowd was intense. We were also invited to ride pools in other skater’s areas, they all had some distinctive feature that would give it its name.

One day someone asked Ron and I to skate a pool at a party, we said why not nothing better than showing off and having a captive audience. So we show up ready for action and this party is rockin, we wanted say screw the skating and join the fun, but we stuck with it. It turned out to be the most awesome thing.

Once we figured out the pool, we were shredding it and the side walls were sweet and the coping was little more than a bump and we were catching one wheelers left and right. They had a killer stereo system and they decide that they want to see who could do side walls the longest. Ron went first and just killed it, I wasn’t sure I could top it.

Some guy decides I should take my turn while he played the guitar solo from Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold, well I got going and I was mister endurance back then, my motto was I could run all day. I made it through the whole solo killing one wheelers the whole way, the crowd was cheering, I was in the zone...definitely one of the best feelings ever.

One day we got a call, there building a skate park in Anaheim… :shock:

The adventure continues… :arrow:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 29948
Location: Somewhere in time
Park It, Park It…

The concept of a skate park was the thing skaters dreamed about, talked about…and in case of the artist like me, would draw endless sketches of. The ideas changed over the years from endless banks and snake runs, to swimming pools and clover bowls, and final logical progression would be half pipes and full pipes.

Although my Father was a traditional sports guy, he appreciated exotic sports and we watched Wide World Sports every week, they would showcase unusual sporting events. When we became hardcore surfers he would always let us know when the surfing competitions would be shown. Although he never went surfing with use, anyone with a broad understanding of the athletic endeavor clearly can understand and appreciate the technical aspects and the beauty of it all.

Skateboarding on the other hand came to our front door when the skateboard ramps were brought to my street. Also skateboarding in the 70’s was much easier to capture on film photographically and on home movies, we did both. We would explain to my parents all the development over the years and use our moves we captured on film to explain in painstaking detail what we were doing. I would also show my parents the endless drawings of the magical skate parks myself and my fellow skaters were constantly dreaming up.

My Father was an excellent golfer and won many amateur tournaments, he was a member of the Elks Lodge and golfed with many people, he knew some business men and would tell them about our surfing and skateboarding exploits.

It should not have come as the surprise it did when one day my Father said that one of the men he golfed with was involved with a recreation company and they were interested in building a skate park. So one fine day I slicked my long hair back in a ponytail and dressed appropriately, then drove to their headquarters with some drawings and did a presentation to the companies head engineer Nick Hi.

What a character Nick was, east Indian with a stereo typical accent. He had done his research, after reviewing my drawings which impressed him for being technically correct, he told me to loss the outfit. I looked at him quizzically and asked what he meant, he dropped 4 or 5 issues of skateboarding magazine on the table, and various skateboard icons graced the cover pulling various maneuvers long hair billowing, shorts and a shirt carrying a name brand logo.

He said that this company had done their research and they were looking for the skater image and he pointed to a cover with Tony Alva, the notorious leader of the Dog Town skaters, like Mad Dog (his nickname). Are you a Mad Dog he asked, I said that’s not my nickname but if you want that image, I am that image.

The next day I made my way back to the headquarters hair flowing to the middle of my back wearing board shorts, a SIMS shirt, Vans tennis, and two pair of tube socks with different colored strips…just what I would be wearing if I was skating.

The scene was right out of Mr. Potter’s board room, a variety of old men, mostly fat, literally smoking cigars and cigarettes. Nick came armed with magazines laid them out for the dozen board members (my dad’s buddy was there), he gave recap on the growth of skating and income potential for the skate park and then handed it over to me.

I jumped up in all my skater glory and showed them my sketches and threw down some of my own stats and numbers for the board to chew on (I to came prepared). After a 20 minute presentation and a good half hour Q & A, they decided to vote right then and there…a unanimous yes!

I met with Nick the next week and he gave me the lot size and wanted a scale drawing by the following week. I had quite the round table of skaters come through my place interjecting ideas and we went big! The lot was approximately 250 feet deep and 200 feet wide, I had a 14 foot deep half pipe running down the north side the entire 250 feet making a left turn running the full 250 feet across the west side and ending in a round bowl, tucked in the rest of the park was a clover bowl (3 round bowls connected making it appear as a 3 leaf clover), a 8 foot deep round bowl with a banked snake run with ever increasing wall size leading into it, and a massive snake run leading into a 25 foot wide bowl with the last bank turn reaching full height for the entry.

After spending many hours day and night working on the scale drawing I showed up and they were stunned. They said no way the whole thing was advanced and that at least two thirds of the park needed to be devoted to beginners and intermediate skaters and it looked like a liability hazard.

I reworked my plan and came back the next week, half the park was beginner to intermediate. The clover bowl was reduced to small banks adjacent to a series of various easy banks. The small bowl got even small coming in at 6 feet and the snake run leading into it made it an easy sell as intermediate. I lost the back end of the half pipe which made it come in at 250 feet, starting from zero with the walls growing to 14 feet deep wit 5 foot of vertical for the last 50 feet. I did not let them touch my baby, the large snake run finishing in the monster bowl.

They said good to go, start working here Monday you have 30 days to create a scale model in clay. Hmm never really worked much with clay except some excursions in art class at school, but being an artist I figured I could pull it off.

I returned on Monday and Nick had full size drawings showing all the depths and angels with exact measurements. I began the mold and completed it before the 30 days was up.

Over the next month I worked diligently on the scale model and with Nick ever present pointing out the positive and negative features it was completed. After everyone at the headquarters got enough time to Ooo and Awe over the model we took it to the Grand Prix.

Everyone was pleased so we drove out to Pomona where they owed a Putt-Putt course, an Arcade, and a grand prix track with ¾ size grand prix cars. The location for the skate park was nestled in the North West corner of the property. I had never actually seen the site before and was stunned at how small the Skate Park portion of the lot looked in person. The company supplied a table for the scale model right in the middle of the main entrance lobby and it looked awesome, many a youngster questioned us about it.

The ground breaking of the Skate Park would be months away due to the endless barrage of city, county, state required paperwork and permits. It was now 1977 I would be graduating High School soon and there was a lot of skating to do.

Some Skate Parks had already opened in different parts of Southern California and word was coming in concerning Parks in other states, we started to visit these conceptual locations in So Cal.

More to come…


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:52 pm
Posts: 13678
Location: LumberTruckCentral
I owned skateboards in the 70's. I never got all that good at it. Always keep a skateboard and a gas can it your van, man.
I still cruise around a little these days. I bought this longboard about 10 years ago. It needs trucks and wheels badly. Someday.

Image
Image
Image

_________________
ImageImage


Last edited by coevad on Thu May 07, 2015 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 3:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
a fun and interesting read regarding one of my heroes:

http://www.skateboardermag.com/features/16thgsgnz/

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDg1vDUp3us

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:45 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zG1SLr09jg

i always thought that street skating was like a form of the blues

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 4772
Gonz is always entertaining. Ray Pettibon up in there as well.

Someone in the youtube comments wrote: "He's as right as any of us", which, of course, is a Bukowski quote from Barfly.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
speaking of/more gonz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A96BHplQdss

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:02 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Oregon
Oh man, that Gordon & Smith is so nice looking board Rahdley, don't look like its been used much,..lol lol, But Thats ok ! we don't trash elder skatesmen, But for real.
VERY NICE looking board in deed dude. I had a Sims Concave Kamikaze with some 85 serious Rathbones, but just scored a One off older Arbor Shark Tail Board, For the wall of course,
at my age- its far to painful to do down hill but, I skated my ass of back in the days of DK and Moto Still Birth, would be killer to have a Zappa Indorsed Board,..lol lol


IA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
Amazing 55 Year Old Man is Still a Gnarly Skateboarder!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbWomrZXIus

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:06 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
THIS
FUH
KING
THING...

i just found this and i can't... just... how in the... are these guys... i .......... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5alEehUwsRs


#pinchmeawake

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 2:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
lapsed maps wrote:
speaking of/more gonz


Krooked "Pure Evil Beemer" Skateboard by Mark Gonzales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC0zNHqc__4 :!:

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
question is...
can plook do THIS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCFoHjmKBfA

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
this is just...
i can't even

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB5iIwktPpo

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:28 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 29948
Location: Somewhere in time
Dam I need to finish the last part of my skateboard story... :smoke:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:19 am
Posts: 12690
Location: the siege perilous
coolbeans... did you watch the clip?

_________________
el mapian poetry sucks


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group