Brad Bowman / Guest Post II

Brad Bowman

Brad Bowman

Salad Days

We all have them. It’s a part of life every human must go through on our journey forward. Although as we’re doing it, we usually have no idea where we shall end up.  It is these formative years that we can hold dearest to our hearts for no other reason than we did things for the sake of love and passion. Having something we are passionate about at a young age seems to be on the outs in our new, digital robotic generation. With all information given (practically force fed by advertisements and social media) rather than earned. Where are we headed as a species? Only time will tell.

For a lucky group of us outsiders, loners, rebels, misfits- there was a magic rolling board that captivated our imagination. Because of this board we were taken out of our comfort zone. We were shown new people in towns that had differing holes in the ground covered in beautiful smooth cement.  We sometimes feared and adored laboring to find our personal patterns in which to paint, invisibly, the walls with our wheels.  Like most, I always had to rely on my older friends with cars to get me around. Guys like Peter Gullah, Stan & William Sharp, my neighbor Brian, Pinto Pete (who dared the two hour drive to Carslbad with four wound-up skate rats in his seats food fighting and spit warring). If we were lucky or excelled-we were given equipment.  In that era of natural progression things were moving quite rapidly and some manufacturers were often slow to stay on point with the trends.

The current Pro’s of the day were the ones to have the latest and greatest equipment that had just come from the factory. I was blessed by the generosity of Pro’s on several occasions during my salad days and even in my sponsored times as well.
As a high school local at SkaterCross in Reseda, California I was witness to the skateboard elite coming through the doors. Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, Jay Adams, etc.
Lonnie Toft from Sims was a regular. One fine day he bestowed upon me a set of shiny new wheels (with bearings!) Months later on another lucky day Gregg Ayres gave up a set of gently used Tunnel Rock wheels. I was riding Sims Comps at the time, the ones Lonnie had given me. The Sims had the white writing on the flat back of the wheel. These new Tunnel ones looked just like them or very similar but with no logo. I exited the pro shop after mounting up these new, harder wheels to find an astonishing speedy glide to them. My lap times around the snaking circuit was immediately cut by twenty percent. What? How? They look the same!

 

Brad Bowman

Brad Bowman

I was amazed at how much faster these were than anything I had ever ridden before. A similar thing happened with the skate deck in this photo here. Yes, I am proudly bedecked in my first pro teams logos and colors of Gordon & Smith.  That’s just smoke and mirrors. The wheels are the very Tunnel’s given to me by that generous pro at SkaterCross.  The deck is a Val Surf PPP Kent Senatore model that Kent gave me after weeks of my craving one. Looking at this gift in my hands, it didn’t matter that he had already ridden it for weeks-I was psyched! It carries a certain pride with it actually being ridden by the name printed on the bottom. Kent would show up and just destroy the walls with stylish lines on his latest prototype decks. My trusty, splintered G & S Fibreflex’s were no longer at par in those fast paced moments of progression. One weekend I took the two hour bus/skate journey to Val Surf to buy a brand new PPP deck only to find they were sold out and on back order. Wow, there goes four hours and seventy-five cents for nothing. Life lessons. Painful yet memorable.

These moments make us who we are today and who we want to be tomorrow. Plus, it shows you how well that PPP deck rode since I was willing to shell out bucks for my friends pro model while getting free stuff from the G & S factory.  I always hold those generous people in the highest regard whom have helped me along my journey. Never forgotten. Pay it forward. Many thanks to Blue Tile Obsession for allowing me to share the stoke and stories. Thanks to G. E. Friedman for exposing some frames on me and these unpublished images. Also, big thanks to all those generous humans that have shown me some love along my journey. Skate for life.  B.B.

Thank you to Brad Bowman for the words and Glen E. Friedman for the images. Skate – Ozzie

For more of Glen E. Friedman- BURNING FLAGS

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One thought on “Brad Bowman / Guest Post II

  1. Brad Bowman, one of the most stylish skaters of my era. It’s great to see you still riding the magic rolling board! Always wanted one of those BB Superman decks, but somehow never got one.

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