Monday, February 22, 2010

My Remnants of the Downhill Slide PT2

The "Jelly Pits" got it's name from it's normal inhabitants who smoked a lot of dope and hooted along with the rest of us during heated sessions. In this pic it's looking like a slow day in the world of teenage contraband as we are obviously alone. I'm riding a Vision Old Ghost here with dogtown wheels and Indys - the only truck we ever rode. Love the graffiti - "Hoover" was the school this ditch was hidden behind and if you were caught using any type of padding here you were laughed right out of the ditch.

Home made board circa '85. Hard ass Powell freestyle wheels were the ticket before wheels became smaller in the early nineties. The "LT Boys" were who we called ourselves - we were dorks but we stuck to a heavy surf style based on speed, fluidity and a low tuck when that was VERY unpopular (read many fist fights with guys who road like fucking robots).

I took this pic outside of the skate shop we were all sponsored by -"Skateboards" in Dearborn Michigan. I remember being blown away when the new Arron Murray deck came out of the box at the shop. I ran outside with it and snapped a pic with a camera I had borrowed from high school before Ron Arsenault snagged it and rode it into the ground.

I was riding a cutdown Dogtown longboard here because being a taller guy I could always use the extra lumber especially in the pools. I probably went through 3-4 of these decks in my time. They started out at about 36" and I cut them down to about 34" with a squared off nose and then adjusted the wheelbase. The pool was in Ann Arbor at an abandoned Holiday Inn - a total bust so we began skating it late at night when the moon was full. We even brought a shit load of candles and lined the coping in the deep end. Good nights.

Ron and I in 1984-5 posing with a north bound quiver and my indestructible ScoutII. Snowboards were not allowed ANYWHERE in those days so we rode Thunder Mountain near Boyne which was de-funct and closed up. A total back country hiking kinda of situation but the powder was knee deep. We slept in the truck and ate peanut butter and bread. Check the early Burton Equip. Wish I still had all those now...the only survivor is the wooden performer which now commands a corner of my basement.

I don't recall where this bank was but it was very typical of a spot we would drive an hour or so to get to - it looks like total crap. We rode in the dark ages in between the booms - parks just did not exist at this point. Every spot was shit, no one else rode, information was word of mouth and totally sketchy at best, you were considered a loser if you did ride and equipment was fucking expensive - I LOVED those days.

Ron Arsenault at the "Porno Bank" in Rochester which is still there. So named because of the adult video store it was in front of. This bank was GNARLY at about 7' in height with a killer hip which Ron is taking advantage of in this pic. He is at least 2' off the lip here and eyeing the landing in his typical relaxed manor. I climbed up a light pole which stood right over the hip and got this shot. Ron was FAST smooth and always went big. He set up the best boards, had the best hair and got ALL the girls. Fucker.

Steve Bock pulling the prerequisite front side grind in the Ann Arbor bowl in a rare daylight session. I think he was riding an Alva Chris Cook. Steve was the first guy to consistently Ollie huge in our area and in doing so landed the sponsorship with the shop. I still ride with Steve to this day.

50/50 at speed in the Ann Arbor bowl.

One of us at the UofM Dearborn bowl which was ridden once a year in the fall just after they drained it for the winter. Another total bust. Very mellow but ultra smooth with some nice hips and beefy coping.

Some of the boards from the day in my basement. I have HUGE stacks of boards which I love to go through every couple years for the memories.

I while back I ran a post about my early days on the boards. Well this past weekend I found some even earlier pics from the early to mid eighties. I've included some of them here along with my first post showing some of the pics from the nineties along with the text from that old post.

The original post.

My friends and I road mostly Alva and Dog Town equipment, indy trucks and the hardest wheels we could find. I have HUGE stacks of old boards, I kept every one of mine and most of the ones my friends pitched. Those were good fucking days for me and my friends and I miss them. Skateboarding kept me out of trouble and jail (most of the time) during my first 30 years and if I ever have children they will no doubt roll with their papa.

Regular visitors to this site have no doubt seen a few skate bent posts. This is because, until the old bikes, nothing meant more to me than skateboarding. I've been doing it since the summer 1978 (I was a wee lad). Anyway, old Harley's and skateboarding seem to make for a popular combination judging from the amount of blogs dedicated to both. I believe it's because the rush and stoke are so similar. You also conjur up the same looks from the straights. Well I'm throwing my hat into the ring, I have the same disease. Here's a little taste of my skateboarding life.


motoguru. said...

Great post! My friend Rich (dude on the white suzuki we rode with this summer) just told me that he recently realized that you two used to roll in the same skate crews back in the day... Or something.

Rivet said...

Awesome Stuff D!

Johnnyspacewaster said...

Yep dude. I agree my life would have been empty without skateboarding and the friends I met along the way!
But at least we discovered motorcycles :).

Anonymous said...

hey ronnie! summer '86! me & ghost jay devlin, p. ebner loved hanging w/you & the heavies! may your next plant be as big as Texas!