Brother Dave and I acid droppin’ in Round Rock, Tx. 1980s. Photo: Mom.
I started skateboarding way, way back in the 1980’s in Round Rock, Texas. There was no real or defined genre of street skateboarding at this point and most everyone skated ditches, backyard ramps, neighborhood hills, and anything else we could find or fashion with what we had around us. The older skaters taught us about the importance of being a well-rounded skater and of embracing the outcast. Shit, we were all outcasts back then! Ha ha! The OGs taught us that if we were gonna be skaters we needed to know our roots and how to skate anything in your path. Not everyone grew up in the time or place I did, nor with this type of mentorship I mention above, and that’s perfectly okay—everyone in skateboarding has their own story and their personal approach to ripping. That said, I’m proud and thankful for my experience—good and bad. The important thing my journey has taught me is that you gotta stay skating and remember to keep the fire lit in new skaters coming up—that’s what gets the heat rockin’ onward!
Smith grind basher in Compton, CA. 2016. Photo: David Ruano.
Y’all know I’m old as dirt and my hip is about to turn to marrow dust, but I’m still skating for now and searching for the feeling captured way back then when my lil brother Dave and I used to acid drop off of shit in the parking lot of our local city mall—at that time period that acid drop was a critical move. Ha ha! To this day, I try to get critical whenever I can and make sure I stay smiling in the process!
Boardslide at the Corridor Ditch in Round Rock, Tx. 1980s. Photo: Uncle Jon.
I still roll every single chance I get and I make it a point to remember those old days when I first started and everything was new—not because I wanna be nostalgic—naw, but more so as a reminder that pulling a simple acid drop was EVERYTHING. Some call it a search for Animal Chin, or stroking’ the Stoke Donkey (Actually, nobody calls it that except for me, ha ha!). regardless of what ya wanna call that feelin’, it is crucial to remind myself of why I started to ride skateboards in the first place: It’s mine, I make the rules, there’re endless possibilities, flow, speed, it’s my transporter, it’s all that and a bag of Chips A’hoy, there’s always unique opportunities to see an otherwise mundane and bureaucratic surrounding as actually flexible, it’s open for interpretation, and it is a canvas to create. My escape! Thank you skateboarding!
Frontal ollie at CM5, Harvard, Mass. 2015. Photo: Khaleeq Alfred.
Anyway, I just wanted to quickly share a few memories and mental meanderings of my life as a skateboarder and to touch on why I’m still in love after all these years. The story continues. . .
Thank you Bustin Boards and all my friends for the support and inspiration. Hell yeah skateboarding!!!!!
SF homie bomb in the Sunset. 2015. Photo: Yvonne Byers.