Skateboarding, My First Love Affair...
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Where to begin when I think about skateboarding? It's been my life for so many years. Was it 1986, maybe 1987? My buddy down the street, Ryan Stucky, and my cousin, David Krogle? Skateboarding just came up out of nowhere and grabbed me by both shoulders. First deck, Tony Hawk; grandma bought it for me for Christmas. Mike McGill's skatepark in Carlsbad, got to meet him and skate with him. My true fan-freak moments were always for Lance Mountain; I finally met him at Vans Orange in the early 2000s. Before I noticed he was there, Ryan got him to roll up to me and say, "Hey what's up, Kit?" Freaked me completely out that he said my name, and then I put two and two together.
So many afternoons and weekends skating around South Orange County. At some point skateboarding and music came together. Punk rock, Pennywise. Primus. Metallica. Nirvana. The guitar entered the picture some time in the early 90s and the first band was formed with local skate rats. I still have our demo, Ryan was in on that one, too. That's a post for a different day. I remember the jerk kid who's dad owned the skateshop I would frequent. I was young and gullible and he said he'd sponsor me on the spot if I did a pressure flip. I don't think I landed the trick anyway...
High School got weird, as is often the case. Skateboarding faded, music came clearly into focus. In college, I always had a skateboard with me at Cal Poly, but didn't skate often. A little bit around campus and at the rickety skatepark in downtown SLO. They've since put in a proper concrete park. It really wasn't until I graduated and moved north to the Bay Area that skateboarding became an all out passion again. The thing that did it was discovering the Vans Skatepark in Milpitas. The place was perfect, and I was all in all over again. So many new tricks, so many risks. I was mid-twenties then and could still take a hard slam. Man I miss that place. It closed when I was in my late twenties and I tried to keep the passion alive at the local concrete parks; Sunnyvale and Menlo Park. By my early 30s it started to fade again. My daughter was born when I was 32; free time was for the family. Plus, Redwood was in full effect by then and any left over free time went to the band.
Then we bought the house in Capitola, and we were staring at a blank space in the backyard. My wife, the most amazing woman in the world, looked at me and said, "You should build a skateramp in that space." I was like, seriously?! She said, yep, and I dove right into planning. We maintained that thing until about two years ago, when the barrage of coastal elements just made it too dang hard to maintain (and costly). Still, taught both my kids to skate on that ramp and had so many good afternoons with friends.
It's funny, I named this blog Bottom Brackets & Basslines. Truthfully, skateboarding is far more foundational in my life than biking, but cycling occupies a new love in my life and my punk rock ethos blend well with Santa Cruz Mountain Biking culture. As for the basslines, yes I'm a guitar player, so perhaps that's a story for a different day, as well.