This picture taken by William Sharp back in 1979 brought back some nice memories. Not so much about the mini invert I’m doing or the contest I was in but memories about all the great influential skaters in the background. I thought I would share some fond memories of the fellow skaters in the picture.
I remember fellow Bones Brigade teammate Rodney Mullen when in competition would perform his whole freestyle routine while staring intently right at the judges. He would never look down at his board as he flipped it all over the place defying physics. Skateboardings David Blaine. So amazing, it was sort of freaky but certainly magical to watch.
Jim Gray I knew for a long time and skated with him a lot at Big O. Jim was hands down the skater that would generate the most speed and power in his lines. Jim expressed pure speed and power in that capsule pool at Big O. Amazing to watch him fly by. Pat Ngoho breathed style. One of those skaters that just had a naturalness and fluid quality to his skating. Pat skated like an Yasujirō Ozu film.
Early skate legend Steve Cathey became the team manager of G&S Skateboards. Managing Neil Blender and Billy Ruff. Like Stacy Peralta, he played the roll of big bother and baby sitter, but most of all he was a committed friend to the kids on his talented team.
Freddie DeSoto has the best smile out of any skater I’ve ever met. I always remember feeling good when I skated with Freddie He skated for Variflex and we were always at the same contests competing against one another. Always a kind soul even in competition. I can picture that smile right now.
I competed against Neil Blender all the time as an amateur while he was on G&S and myself on Powell Peralta. Certainly a very creative skater but what I remember the most was how graceful he was. It’s not mentioned much but Blender was an extremely eloquent skater. Each trick smooth and relaxed always with the Blender artistic stamp making it his own.
Jay Smith not only had one of the best styles in the history of skateboarding he was also extremely wild and funny. Jay would also act as our manager from time to time if Stacy was busy. I remember about five of us Bones Brigaders, Caballero, Ray Bones, David Z, Mike McGill, and Scott Foss all packed into Jay’s Chevy Malibu with three surfboards in the roof driving to Del Mar Skate Ranch for a contest. We were pulled over multiple times between Huntington Beach and San Diego. We all crashed near the beach at Tracker Trucks manager Lance Smith house. Surfing, skating, and lots of wildness of which the details of that I won’t mention. Amazing times in an amazing era.
Thank you Ozzie for your relentless commitment to skateboarding and to William Sharp for your documentation of skateboarding culture. Also thanks again for letting me share a few memories.
Deep Bows – Teddi Dean Bennett
Thank you to William Sharp for the image and Teddi Bennett for the words. Skate – Ozzie