1.) How did you first discover skateboarding and how did you get on Walker
Well, I started skating when I was in middle school – that goes back to
about 1974-75. I was inspired by several local skaters that ripped it up back then –
especially this guy named Tom Krause who was sponsored by this local shop
called “FireFly” Skateboards. I remember him rolling these long nose wheelies at
high speeds down our street and he was the first person I personally witnessed
As for the Walker sponsorship, I owe that to Joe Ayers (a.k.a. “JR”). He and I
competed at the local contests as Ams and eventually became good friends and,
when we could, we would catch up to skate together. He lived about 25 minutes
from me but back then and, at least for our parents, that was a long drive! He was
one of the first sponsored skaters in Maryland. He skated for a local company
called Sundancer then later in the 70’s he hopped onto Walker. JR became
famous because he was the first to “dethrone” Tim Scroggs at Clearwater. Scroggs
back then was THE big honcho in east coast freestyle. He was the main freestyle
pro for upcoming Powell-Peralta. So, JR had pushed Bruce (Walker) for several
years to sponsor me. However, at that time Bruce had all he could handle teamwise
and but he flowed me a few Jim Mc Call decks but that was the extent of the
help he could give me. Then, sometime around 1884-85, video recorders came
out and Denny Riordon and I rented one and shot several hours of video. From
the raw footage I made a demo (VHS!) tape that I sent to Bruce and, at that point
I believe, he then decided to give me a “full ride.”
2.) A lot of freestyle decks from the 80s had weird graphics. Yours always
intrigued me and I'm surprised I haven't asked you this question. Why the
space rocket? How many different versions did this deck come in?
Ah, the Saturn V… well first of all the end graphic wasn’t exactly what I had in
mind but I do remember creating a rocket type of graphic blasting off into space.
There were 2 things I had in mind when coming up with the graphic concept: First
– I wanted something that reflected on the state of Florida since that is where
Bruce’s company was located. Second, I had this idea that since 1985 when Denny
and I did shot a promo video and I sent it out – my “career” in skating had shot off
as well – at least in my opinion…
I think there were 4 board colors – white, black, blue, and natural.
3.) Not a lot of 80s freestylers still skate today - at least not often. Not only do you still skate; you still have a lot of your old tricks on lockdown. How often do you skate these days?
Last spring I started to get back on the board more consistently. The inspiration, in large part, was due to the sudden passing of a dear friend and skate companion Bobby Asthon. By last summer I was getting out about 2-3 times a week.
4.) You recently suffered an injury while paying baseball. Is it all healed up
now and does it affect your skating today? Any other past nagging injuries?
Please don't list 'age' as one. :)
Back in 2010 I did “destroy” my left knee. Before then, since about 2005, I
had really gotten back into riding and pretty much got back all the tricks I
had done in the 80’s. Last year, 2016, was the first year since that injury
that I decided to see exactly how much my knee would tolerate.
This past fall (2016) I did something and had severe sciatica that locked me
down for 7 weeks. I’m still in “recovery mode” but the pain has gone away.
I’m hoping by end of March I can get back on the board. Getting old sucks!
5.) Why did you stop skating in the 90s and what motivated you to get back
The early 1990’s was a crossroads time for me as well as the sport of
skateboarding. Contests and demos were slowing way down and, personally, I felt
it was time for me to start contemplating my future beyond skating. I decided to
go back to college and since I was living on my own I was working so therefore
between school and work I had little time to ride on a consistent basis. Thus this
became, more or less, my “official” retirement from competitive skating.
I got back into riding around 2005. I think I just dug out this old Walker prototype
(it was Bill Robertson’s) and got to thinking about starting back up… That is when I
contacted you to ask about getting on of Joe’s (Humeres) boards and you told me
they were sold out but then offered to do a board for me and from there most of
the rest is history! Re-connecting with my great friend Bobby Asthon – who at
that time had a 10-11 year old grommie named Greyson…was also a big part of all
that - it was like old times! Bobby’s mom lived up in PA (where he grew up) and
we hooked up there several times as well as out at Louisville where he lived at
that time. That was one of the coolest things that happened in my life! I had
thought many of the guys that I rode with back then (and Bobby and I went back
to 1977!) were long gone acquaintances…. It was like life had come full circle!
Then, through that, it turned out JR was right across the river in OH and we all got
together for an awesome sk8 reunion in 2006.