I remember sometime in late nineteen seventies, I was at Skatopia in Buena Park trying to skate. Suddenly, there’s this dude coming down the halfpipe edging and tapping at will. His style was noticeably intense and his hair was long. I thought he was a crazed hippy. I was hypnotized by his level of commitment. Another time, I was at the Concrete Wave in Anaheim, trying to skate the pool there. It didn’t seem like they finished the surface very well as the deep end had weird transitions. You had to pump three times, in order to get up the wall. It sounds weird but it’s true. The pool seemed about ten foot deep with about a foot of vert and more on the hips that led up to the shallow end.The coping was kind-of burly and there were tiles too. A few people could pump the deep. I couldn’t but a dude named Andy Helps could and so could Duane.
I was walking out of deep when all of the sudden, here comes Duane straight at me. I though he was pissed but it’s what he does all the time, I later found out. He went past and started “working” the deep. Once again, I was mesmerized by how easy — yet super critical — he made it look. I remember standing at the bottom of hip and watching his tail slide up the tile into a perfect tail tap on the coping, no axle touching. I couldn’t believe how that had just happened. Steve and Mike Hirsch were probably there too that day. Later on, the Big O opened in Orange and that’s when I started to realize just how intense DP was: 1- The Layback Rollout, 2- The Sweeper, 3- Fast Plants, 4- Fakie Footplant (fakie thruster), 5- Acid Drop, 6- Invert Revert, 7- Sliding Fakie Hangup, 8- Indy Air and various slide moves too. There’s probably more, but those are the roots to most vertical moves.
People shit themselves, when he did an Acid Drop, especially at Upland. Duane was the first guy that I saw, ride Big O’s Capsule end to end. That really helped me to understand the importance of distance between walls. One time a guy was taking too long to walk out of the capsule and Duane just shook his head and said to him “Are you for real?” The dude was slowing the session down and DP gets pissed at that. When you skate with Duane, you feel like you have to start making something happen out of your comfort zone. I feel he influenced everyone that skated with him or simply watched him. If you see one of his current Potato Grinds you will know.- Neil Blender
Thank you to Neil Blender for the Guest Post and William Sharp for the previously unpublished Duane Peters image. Skate- Ozzie