I must preface this article with a few words. First of all, this is MY opinion. I started skateboarding in 1973. I’ve never been pro, I’ve never been sponsored, I’ve never been anything and I’ve never quit. I have received boards, trucks, wheels, shoes and clothing over the years and I am eternally grateful for the flow. I entered an amateur vert contest series in the early 90’s. I ended up 3rd Overall and have a trophy somewhere. I’ve only ever been able to do about fifteen tricks in my entire life. I ran Woodward and it can be argued that I didn’t do that very well sometimes. I’ve been a mess and I’ve been in my own way on countless occasions. Yet, I am the truth. This is my voice. How far can it reach? I wonder…
I have seen the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame inductees for this year. Gregg Carroll, Jim Muir, Steve Olson, Lance Mountain, Natas Kaupas, Laurie Turner and Ellen O’Neal. I wondered about the criteria involved. I thought about it on the drive home after the first Hall Of Fame when Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Danny Way and Bruce Logan were inducted on the floor of the Vans Skatepark in 2009.
Some inductees are a ‘no-brainer’. At least, I would think. Skateboarding isn’t very old. I have done a bit of research into the whole thing and this is basically what I think the deal is. We currently have a committee of several knowledgable skateboarders and industry main-stays. I know almost all of them. I trust that their hearts are pure. They have compiled a list of just about anyone that has ever been in the magazines, contests and involved in skateboarding as an Am or a Pro. I believe that there has been a long list of criteria written out that enables the committee to evaluate whether a person makes it into the Hall Of Fame that particular year. Contest placing, influence, coverage, longevity and what the particular person gives back to skateboarding are all considerations. It should be this way. Then there is a voting group of about five hundred industry main-stays, past Pro’s and Am’s that are sent the list of those nominated. These five hundred vote on that list. One of the things that struck me after the first Hall Of Fame was this: there are 1960’s era skaters but there are actually two or three separate 1970’s era skateboarders. It could be argued for example that Greg Weaver was a huge influence for a short two or three year span in the 1970’s before he disappeared completely from skateboarding. Duane Peters is a 1970’s era skater. Duane never quit skateboarding, was inventive and as gnarly as they come… for decades. Does Greg Weaver go into the Hall Of Fame before Duane? They aren’t quite at the same level in influence, style or longevity. These are the things I think about. Questions.
It must be a tremendously difficult and thankless task. I think that they are onto something. They’ve been inducting several skateboarders from the early generations and era’s. This will enable the Hall Of Fame to get some very deserving skaters in much faster. After all, we are all growing older. We lost Waldo Autry, Baby Paul, Polar Bear Agnew, Bob Biniak… the list goes on. I think that the Hall Of Fame people are trying to do a positive and inspiring thing. I am glad to be seeing it happen in my time. Do you think that I want to see, Kent Senatore, Jerry Valdez, Shreddi Repas, Brad Bowman, Doug DeMontmorency, Dave Hackett, Henry Hester, Arnie Hauge, Tim Marting, Arthur Viecco, Lonnie Toft, Jeff Phillips (R.I.P.), Gunnar Haugo, Gregg Ayres, Steve and Micke Alba, Steve Picciolo (R.I.P.), Moses Padilla, Wes Humpston, Jim Cassimus, Jim Goodrich, Stan and Bill Sharp, Ted Terrebonne, George Orton, Kevin Worm Anderson, Scott Foss, Jay Smith, Shogo Kubo, Wally Inouye, Pineapple, Dennis Martinez, Bert Lamar, Billy Ruff, Tex Gibson, Tom Groholski, Gator, the Altieri brothers, Bobby Valdez, Darrel Miller, Rod Saunders, Art Dickey, Chris Strople, Tay Hunt, Doug Schneider, Curt Cortum, Steve Hirsch, Eddie Elguera, Jim Sigurdson, Jeff Tatum, Scott Dunlap, Rick Blackhart, Paul Constantineau, Mike Weed, Mark Lake, Kevin Reed, Mike Folmer, Skitch Hitchcock, Bob Mohr, Alan Losi, Pat Ngoho, Dave Andrecht, Eric Grisham, Robin Logan, Vicki Vickers, Peter Kiwi Gifford, David Z, Jami Godfrey, Kirk Talbott, Eric Halverson, Brenda Devine, Howard Hood, Lonnie Hiramoto, Marc Hollander, Darren Ho, Deanno Mueller, Kelly Lynn, Shawn Peddie (R.I.P.), John Warneke, Ray Flores, Eric Dressen, Dave Ferry, Marc Smith, the Godoy’s, Jeff Grosso, Neil Blender, Eric Nash, Tony Magnussen, Billy Yeron, Ray Bones Rodriguez, Jimmy Plummer, Chris Miller, Jimmy Murphy, Fred Smith, Dave Duncan, Curt Kimbel, Jeff Kendall, Jason Jesse, Lester Kasai, Adrian Demain, Kim Cespedes, Steve Cathey and many, many more… do you think I want to see them in the Hall Of Fame?! Absolutely. Every molecule that makes up my body longs for such a thing. After all, when all is said and done, they and those that came before, are all in the Hall Of Fame as far as I am concerned.
I asked David Hackett about the Hall Of Fame and he answered directly. “Eventually everyone will be inducted. To be fair, there is a criteria of not only what skateboarding did for you: fame, money, esteem, but more importantly, what you gave back. Moves, tricks invented, brands, designs that helped revolutionize the art form and lastly, how many other skaters did you help or give back to over the course of a lifetime in the game? There are those riders who were great for the ‘Boom’ years and then quit for twenty or thirty years. Some have started started skating again and this is awesome, but they probably won’t receive the same weight of votes of a 100% Skateboarder for Life.”
This process will take time and it is evolving as we go. Changes are being made each year. It is becoming better and better. Big things have small beginnings. Perhaps those who are candidates for the Hall Of Fame, (past Pro and Am skaters) should provide current email and contact information to the committee and become involved in the voting process. Everyone will then be a part of the solution which will only enable the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame to continue to grow and be the special thing that it is.
Thank you to Glen E. Friedman, Lucia Griggi and Jim Goodrich for the images. Skate- Ozzie