We all try to portray the special side of ourselves to the world. We all wear masks. People don’t have relationships then, the masks do….its strange. I am not averse to wearing a mask if it fills the need at the time. I’m an ass. I’m a village idiot. Funny guy, serious guy, learned guy, the ‘man’, one of the ‘elite’, a buffoon….yeah, I got em’ all. I heard recently that someone referred to us ‘Badlanders’ as “Elitists”. I won’t take offense to that. First, I am from PA, but have lived in California many years & I’ve recently transplanted myself there……I am a Badlands parasitic bastard! There! I said it. We ride pools ….we prefer them to all else…the skaters out here have cut their teeth riding backyards. In their formative days, they learned about backyard pool riding & it has been handed down generationally. Look at the Serna Skate Clan, the Alba’s, and on and on, ad infinitum. For someone to call us ‘pool snobs’ or ‘elitists’ simply shows me that they must have missed the entire point & purpose of Stacey Peraltas, ‘Animal Chin’. Such ideas & comments should remain inside the empty head they originated from. Again, fun is where you find it. If you want to ride skateparks , then surf with your crew, knock yourself the fuck out! We won’t be calling you a ‘goon’, because we’ll be much too busy riding backyards with our pool pals searching for the mysterious, ‘Animal Chin’. You have a good day….skate strong-Ozzie (pics by Peter King/Shae Cooper)
I bet that Aaron doesn’t recall the first time we skated together, but I will never forget. In ’94 or ’95, I was visiting Cali from Woodward Camp for the ASR trade show, & Andy Mac took me to Bellmars pool. Astorga was there. He rode padless & had a cast on one arm. He was ruling! I talked about the guy for weeks. With a bag of sick tricks & super style, Aaron is a standout anywhere he rides. I asked him to give us a rundown on the state of skating, the “Ultimate Boarder’ contests & life. This is what he wrote. Thnks to JGrant Brittain for the photographs.-Ozzie
I really didn’t make any serious preparations for this year’s “Ultimate Boarder” contest, I just wanted to try and get a few more days of snowboarding in before the contest and better my snow result this year–which I did.The few extra days of snowboarding really helped me feel solid on the snow, and I increased my snow result, so I was just stoked to improve in the snow segment of this year’s contest. I surf whenever there’s waves, and I skate at least a couple of days a week, so there’s nothing I really do in preparation for that contest. I try to just think of it as another fun day of shredding with my friends.
Winning last years “Ultimate Boarder” contest was really a surprise to me after finishing 17th in the first segment of last years contest snowboarding. I didn’t think I even had a shot at winning the contest at all, so I just went into the rest of the contest wanting to have fun and just surf and skate to my ability. I ended up getting some good waves in the surf segment and finished in 7th place, which really bumped up my ranking moving into the skate segment of the contest. The skate segment of the contest was really fun. The ramp was good, and I had a couple friends in my same heat, so it was just fun ripping the ramp with my friends. I really didn’t expect to win, but when they announced the the skate results, I was just blown away. It was a really cool feeling, both surprised and super stoked, to have come out on top of a respectable group of rippers.
These days it’s really nice you have so many options to go skate some really good skate parks, and I think it’s growing a whole new generation of skaters out there. Everywhere you go there’s kid’s just ripping, and it’s really good to see all that young talent out there. Skateboarding is only growing stronger and really putting all the traditional team sports and activities in the back seat. It’s about time the world should take notice of what we’re doing and how amazing skateboarding really is. There’s millions of people out there who can play sports and stuff, but there’s only a handful of truly talented people who can really ride a skateboard on a high level. It’s just an incredible thing that most people can’t even understand, but its better that way because people don’t really need to understand exactly what we’re doing. Hopefully that helps keep skateboarding our own.
It’s just a blessed life we live, and I owe everything to skateboarding. Its allowed me to travel the world doing what I love to do. It’s truly a gift, and I thank everyone who’s helped me out along the way to get to where I am today. Thanks to the good folks at Hurley who have supported me and my skateboarding for the last 10 years, also my friends and the good folks at Powell skateboards and Bones Wheels; Don and Danielle Bostick for having me on the World Cup Judging panel and giving me the opportunity to participate in some of the best skateboarding events around the world, and special thanks to Christian Hosoi, Chicken and the guys at Hosoi Skates for all their support. Last but not least my lovely wife Desiree who’s been instrumental in my life the last ten years. Love life and follow your dreams where ever they may take you. AA