Almost without exception, the pioneers of our sport will claim ignorance when asked if they had any idea that what they were doing in the 1970’s would make such a radical impact on the world. Sure, there are a few individuals flushed with pride & filled with themselves that will say different. There are those that remain bitter for what they feel they never received. Ego. I feel sad for them. Some advice- ‘Greatness’ can only attach itself to humility. Most of the early pool riders were just having fun & doing ‘their thing.’ They had no real concept of the ripple effect. They–collectively–threw a pebble in a large pond & those ripples spread from the sunny beaches of California, across the feilds and farms of the midwest and into the cold industrial northeast. The ripples continued on across the world. TA told me that for the longest time, they just skated. They finally did notice that what they were doing was special. They came to realize that nobody really did it like them… empty pools were mostly a drought-stricken California phenomena. There were pool crews all over. San Diego, San Fernando Valley, Badlands, NorCal, Ripperside… just to name a few. Waldo Autry, Jerry Valdez, Kent Senatore, Kevin Worm Anderson, Gunnar Haugo, Lee Gahimer, Doug Schneider, Rick Blackhart, Mike Weed, Curt Kimbel and a long list of early rippers were out there doing this thing we do.
Guys were doing airs simultaneously in different areas. Tricks were landed, legends were made. Skateboarding arrived, blew up and quickly changed rapidly. One thing that didn’t change though, is the feeling one gets when carving across the pure white plaster of a backyard pool. It feels perfect everytime. Thanks to all those that came before us. You helped define our lives. Thanks to Warren Bolster (R.I.P.) for the image of TA and public domain for the others. Skate- Ozzie