When I was growing up reading the various skateboarding magazines it was pretty frustrating not being able to see the events. Occasionally there might be something on television, but that was rare. When I read the second Stacy Peralta interview in Skateboarder Magazine, he mentioned this banked freestyle contest. Man, I wanted to see it! Then a few years ago this showed up on youtube, and man, I have watched it every so often since then. Stacy Peralta, Mike Weed, Dennis Martinez, and Ty Page. So cool. It was especially weird to see this as a 50-year old man, because this is the way I skate.
Over the last five years there are a number of old skate images and video I’ve been obsessed with. Things that just hit me so hard at the time I originally saw them in the 1970s or in the case of the videos just a few years ago, when they were finally put on the internet.
I’ll start with this image, from Skateboard World Magazine. The skater is Steve Day, who was a pro freestyler at the time for the Russ Howell team, and then later he skated for the short-lived Bad Company team. Steve was a top freestyler for a while, and while he is usually remembered for the handstand kickflip, this simple, beautiful image of him doing a 1-footed nose wheelie was on my wall when I was a kid, and it still hits home for me today. Steve got 4th place at this contest, the 1978 Oceanside Pro Freestyle. The results were as follows:
1. Doug Saladino
2. Matt Barden
3. Steve Cathey
4. Steve Day
5. Dan Ewell
If footage of this even evert finds its way to video I think some third eyes are going to be opened.
Why this image? Well, first it’s just a great full-page shot. His positioning on the board is superb, projected strength, balance, and control. The Howell freestyle wheels look really cool. He’s riding a flat fiberglass Howell board with a “foot stop” attached to the top of the tail to keep his foot on while spinning 360s. There is a real crowd there to see the skating. Man, it must have just been fantastic to be there.
Everyone on that list of placings was a great skater. There were lots of great images from this event. Soon I’ll be going on and on about Doug Saladino at an even earlier contest, but that’s for a different post.