CREW

sidewalk surfer crew (200dpi)

Sidewalk Surfer Crew

Skateboarding. Since its earliest days, everyone that has skated has had one. Every era. A crew. Most skateboarders belong to one. It consists of the group of people we normally skate with. People who push us, inspire us or have a similar mindset. At other times, it is convenience. Who happens to be at the park, pool or ramp on any particular day.

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Lonnie Toft and friends. El Rio Pool

In the forty plus years that I’ve been skating, I have ridden with quite a number of people. I’ve been lucky to have the friends I have. I’d be less than honest if I said that riding a pool with Tony Alva is anything other than inspiring. I grew up in the farmlands of Pennsylvania. Looking over and seeing that guy beside me in a shallow end is a pretty surreal thing. It is not lost on me. The same applies for so many others that I’ve had the privilege of riding with. It is hard to stand idly in the shallow end as Salba throws himself over the deathbox. He makes me want to progress. Conversely, I have even more fun skating pools with my best friend Jim Howell. We’ve been skating together since 1977 or so… Just driving into a dirty afternoon together on another skate mission is all it takes to make my day perfect. History and friendship. Brothers.

John Zask, Billy Rix, Salba and Adam 12

John Zask, Billy Rix, Salba and Adam 12

I’ve watched skateboarding change dramatically. I have watched it die. I have seen rebirth. In recent years, I looked on as Brad McClain, Ben Raybourn, Cody Lockwood, Chris Cole and other young guns completely change the way I saw pool skating in the time frame of one single session. It is an evolving world and it is good.

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Back: Josh Borden, Kyle, Cam, Ben Raybourn, Willis Kimbel, Chris, Front: Me, Lance Mountain, Skreech, Mason Merlino

The good thing about skating with a crew is that you have all of the history to go with it. It adds to every session. The crap talk, the stories…  Hell, some dudes just come to the pool and tell stories. They barely skate. It matters not one bit. They are there and that’s what counts. The Old Bro’s in San Diego are one such crew.  I’ve noticed that they always try and ride together. They have set days and times. They make a space on busy schedules. Mandatory. They have a rich history in the San Diego area. Bill Billing, Doug Marker, Kyle Jensen, E.R. Gilmore, Adrian Demain. These names and the other guys in the Old Bro crew have been mainstays on the San Diego scene.

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Old Bro Crew- Adrian Demain, Joel Tarquin, Doug Marker, Bill Billing and Kyle Jensen.

Bill Billing

Bill Billing

Joel Tarquin

Joel Tarquin

Kyle Jensen

Kyle Jensen

Patrick

Patrick

Adrian Demain

Adrian Demain

Doug Marker

Doug Marker

E. R. Gilmore

E. R. Gilmore

These guys have a collective history within the skateboarding community and it stands as a testament to the power of their longevity and a hardcore love of skateboarding. I’m happy they are here. Gather your crew together this weekend and go skate. This life isn’t dress-rehearsal. We only get one go around. Make it count. Thanks to NAKA for the images. Skate and love your crew- Ozzie

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4 thoughts on “CREW

  1. Sounds about right. I love my skate crew brothers. We have a lot of fun skating together and our inside jokes are stupid but really fun for us. We skate on the regular to grind the work week off. Skateboarding makes life good. Having a good crew to skate with makes it even better. If you ever head up to the PNW hit us up. http://ohmyback.net

  2. Great to see you boys ripping…. Hopefully we can go skate in the next couple weeks….

  3. Thanks for this article Ozzie. Bill Billing is really a connector, through his welcoming personality, hosting of sessions and frankly, large gatherings at this home and Old Bro ramp with his lovely wife Pat, and his pure love for skateboarding he’s brought a lot of people together and strengthened the fabric of the SD skate community and beyond. I feel fortunate to know him, and my skateboarding life is far richer because of him. Patrick Emerick, Carlsbad.

    • Awe, your too kind Pat. It really is about the crew. I rarely skate alone, why would I with such a great crew around? I love skateboarding because of how it makes me feel. Sometimes I could be down with one of the many injuries that have plagued me over the years but to just be with the crew and throw a few grinds, I feel good.

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