George Orton – Protec

George- FS Air in Malibu

George has been around forever. He was a pioneer in doing aerials. He was one of the first to ever fly through the air out of a bowl. He was a SIMS team rider, a contest winner and a few things in between. George knew how to make his presence known. He is back on board and riding the round wall. In the past few years, he has done various things with his life including racing downhill and other adrenalin related activities. I asked him about his being back in competition and what it feels like to be back in the skateboarding world.- Ozzie

BTO-  How does it feel to be riding pools again?

George- “It feels great to be back on the urethane and carving the walls of the Combi. It is nice to be loosening up that skateboard serum that’s been laying dormant in my body for thirty one years.”

BTO- Have things changed a great deal from contests of old?

George-“Wow what a change there has been in pool technology and board design. Everything is smoother, faster, more precise and the talent out there is unbelievable! Skateboarding has certainly come a long long way from back in the day!”

BTO- What are you doing to prepare for the Protec?

George- “I’ve been practicing my old ass off and trying to get down the lines. It is not easy at almost fifty three years of age. The biggest change is in deck choice. I went from a pool deck style to a popsicle deck and drastic wheel base change. WOW!  What a totally new language!  All in all,  I feel good. My legs are getting skate strong, my stamina is good and I guess the main goal is to get out and have fun. I try to be an example to my generation. Anything is possible! The bottom line is, you gotta get off your ass and skate brother!”

BTO-  How has the vibe been with you returning to competition?

George- “The vibe — my friend — has been absolutely awesome. I have great respect for the now generation and for the past generations coming out of the wood work! All those dudes who always dreamed of meeting and skating with you back in the day… Its been overwhelming and humbling to shake the hands of those who tell you their personal stories and recollections … its been a great experience. There are no words to describe the respect I am getting from the young and old. It truly is a brotherhood like nothing else!  I consider myself fortunate to be a part of it. Who said that ADHD was a problem?
ADHD is why we have skateboarders!”

Thank you to George Orton for taking the time with us and for the images from his archive. Skate- Ozzie


7 thoughts on “George Orton – Protec

  1. Pure inspiration George . . thank you ! I’ll be cheering for you as loud as I can at the Protec, so rad !

  2. I’m in Sweden and we se a tremendous come back of what I call “first generation skaters” – guys who where in their early teens when skateboarding became big here for the first time. Go to a skate park on weekends or evenings and you can be guaranteed that there is a “first generation session” going on. And the vibe is – exactly as Orton says – absolutely awesome! It’s a joy (and I feel a bit sorry for the kids because they don’t seem to have nearly as fun as we do…). The interest is huge, I’m 47 and it’s more of a rule then an exception that I get approached in the skate park by someone my age telling me how much they loved skating and wondering if it is possible to pick it up despite a 30 years brake. I tell them it’s absolutely possible provided you did some skating as a kid and you are willing to pay the price to get back into it again – pain and injuries. And so, many of them do turn up in the skate park, padded up like crazy! 🙂

  3. It’s inspiring to see old cats from my generation still out there ripping! Orton, Bowman, Strople, Inouye & many more. I’ll be 53 in January & have never stopped rolling…feel a little rusty at times from working too much, but the spirit lives on!!!
    Thanks for all of the great posts, Ozzie! Keep’em coming!!!

  4. The first time I saw George Orton do a frontside air in that gnarly vertibowl at Skatepark Paramount, I was blown away. Glad to see dude is still at it. Good luck!!!

  5. wow , 53 it’s nice hear guys in there 50’s coming back to what they love. around here i am the old guy at 42 , so i need to look up to the older guys and point my head in their direction , knowing that you can ride into your 70’s??

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