I met Shaggy in Oceanside, during the fall of 1998. I had stopped by Tony Alvas’ shop –off Wisconsin Ave– to pick up TA for an afternoon pool session. Shaggy was there & he ended up riding with us. Driving along, TA held forth about pool riding, music, women & the state of things in ‘Alva-land’. TA was telling us about a bunch of stuff.
He spoke about Vans shoes, Bunker Spreckles, , the World Championships in 75, Tunnel Rocks wheels, Craig Stecyk III, Canyon pool, Devonshire pool, Rabbit hole pool, the desert pipes, a few books he had read recently, and a few things I’ve since forgotten. It was only the 5th or 6th time that I was around TA, so I didn’t really know him yet. I was fascinated. Shaggy sat quietly in the back seat, smiling to himself, as if he knew some inner secret.
We got to the pool, and swept it down. I never saw Shaggy skate before; never heard of him at all. I asked him where he was from, and he softly answered, “Arizona.” Then, he pushed along the deck toward the deep end and proceeded to roll in frontside. I was astounded! He had never even carved it once. That was my first introduction to Shaggy. When I asked him about rolling into pools like that, he had a ready answer. “In Arizona there are many pools, but the yards are smaller. This makes the pools tighter. I grew up skating all those highway project pools in Phoenix. There were miles of houses being demolished. We would just go from yard to yard…skating. Now, when I get to skate a bigger pool, it just seems easier; more is possible.”
As he was living in Oceanside at the time, I would pick him up on weekday mornings when I was off work. We would drive to Salbaland, looking for pools, draining for the crew, or just ripping backyards together. I came to know Shaggy well, and he was the guy who got me to start dropping into every pool. He also started helping me with my shallow end carves & speed lines. He told me that it wouldn’t be cool, continuing to avoid the shallow wall & push across the flat like I had been doing.
Its been years since we rode together. He was at my Gonzales birthday party in 2000. He has since moved on. I heard that he is building concrete skateparks around the country. Shaggy rules! Thanks to Bryce Kanights for the image. Skate-Ozzie