“What can one say about my best friend? He eats sleeps and breathes skateboarding. If he couldn’t be enveloped in skateboarding, I truly believe he would dry up and turn to dust. His entire life has been dedicated to progression through ideas and fruition. It all started with exploring on his bike with a milk crate and to this day, he is still constructing skate obstacles and teaching people how to take their skateboarding destiny into their own hands through doing it themselves…”
Intro and interview by Kim Cook
What was the first thing you ever built to skate?
Honestly, the first thing I made was a piece of plywood on a milk crate. I made this at 11 to jump my bike off.. Ha ha! Then one day, while playing hooky, I came across a ramp tucked in the racketball courts at ASU. I rode my bike on it for a couple turns, then rode straight home to get my Logan Earth Ski. Upon my return to this ramp, there were skateboarders riding it. I was so blown away….
I asked them if I could try, and they replied, “Only if you drop in”… Well, I wanted to taste what this was all about so badly, that I jumped up on the deck and stuck my board out on the lip. I was so nervous, but there was no way I was gonna puss out in front of these guys, so I stepped down on the front and proceeded to drop in. I ate shit.. Ha ha! But I was so stoked that I actually went for it, that I jumped back up on the deck, and gave it another go. I made it… The older guys gave me props, and said I was welcome anytime. I was officially hooked!!
The next few weeks would be examining and figuring out how I could get this type of ramp at my house. Eventually I talked my Dad into helping me make a quarter pipe. I had found some plans in a BMX Action magazine in the library at school, and ripped them out to take to my Dad, and said, “this is what I want to do”. We worked together, and made a six foot quarter pipe. I was hyped!! ‘We made this, and now I’m skating it.’ That was the first real project..
How did you get into skatepark construction?
Munk and Mark Scott started it all… Munk came down with Grosso and Joey Tershay to skate some pools we had going back in the early 90’s. Munk had these photos and newspaper clips about the revolution happening in Portland. That was the turning point for me. We always made stuff out of wood, and these guys opened a new doorway. I wanted in!! And they were like,” Just fucking do it”!! So we started pouring lumps and shit. Eventually I wanted to figure this concrete thing out, so I started working concrete construction to acquire all the knowledge as I could. Everything just kind of escalated from there..
Why do you think it is important for skateboarders to get involved in building things to skate?
I don’t think it’s important, I know it is!!! If you want something to be done right, you need to be a part of it. You don’t hire an electrician to do your plumbing do you? Then there’s also the accomplishment factor. It’s always more rewarding to ride something you sweated and bled over. Not too mention it brings the society doing it much closer and instills pride of accomplishment. That is the best feeling!! Plus, if you let non-skaters decide what you’re gonna’ ride, I guarantee you’ll be bummed on it…
What do you love the most about building stuff to skate?
There are several things I absolutely love about it!! Making something out of nothing just feels really good, and when I see kids getting tricks, and feeling the hype when they ride it, that just stokes me out the hardest. We helped start a spot in Memphis in a neighborhood that has no future, and is extremely sketchy. The outlets for the youth just aren’t there. We started to build and cover graffiti, and the neighbors saw the productivity going down, and were noticing the change being brought to a hobo hideout that resembled a junkie haven. Soon the kids were showing up to watch. So we’d start bringing old boards and parts to get them rolling. Every time we’d come back, the kids were getting better. Rolling over the bumps we poured, and up the ramps. That was the best feeling ever to see these kids eat it up like candy, and feeling a sense of accomplishment to every push and every turn. Soon the neighbors were thanking us for cleaning up the area and giving the kids an outlet that wasn’t gang oriented, or another gateway to becoming a dealer or thug. They even started cutting the grass for us out front so we didn’t have to go through the weeds to bring in more material and enjoy the ride. That was an epic moment for me. Being a punk skater, you know how it’s just unaccepted and outlawed, but these folks knew better, and were becoming a part of the movement. That’s when I got the sense of community for the first time, and not just within the skateboard community, but the community around the neighborhood. It was overwhelming. And it’s things like this that keep me going. Not too mention, I get to skate them when we’re done…
Out of everything you’ve built and helped build, which one is your favorite(s)?
It’s very hard to point out one particular thing or spot that I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. For me, I’d have to say it was that plywood on a milk crate when I was a kid. It’s what got me away from my GI Joes, and got me stoked on riding things I’ve worked on. It was the first thing that I caught air on, and made me want to make it bigger, and better..
kim your stupid, altown is still there
This is the attitude that exists at Al Town. Tried to reach out to help fellow skaters, and all we got was attitudes and egos… We have since moved our efforts to other areas and are currently working with 3 other projects. The progression will go on, and the revolution wil be poured… Anyone that spits at our efforts will be passed like a cone…
altown is dead.
you’re right “Altown lives” — the spot is still there but nobody acknowledges it or takes care of it until they see a “pro” walking out of it in an ad in a magazine. so I guess we did pretty good if u can only pick out a few words to complain about in an entire article.
I liked the article, some of those spots look(ed) fun to dork around at… sounds like there’s some entitlement issues with some people, though, and that’s a bummer.
I liked mucho, Sk8&create is the way, also makes me happy. Doing it for the past 24 years and keep going.
Altown lives, go eat a dick.
Don’t you ever call another lady stupid again.
There are alot of good people that still pour at altown. It is not dead. And i never came to either of you with attitude. You had problems with some of the other skaters so now you throw us all under the bus. Holding a resentment does nothing but harm you. The ones you are beefing with arent hurt by it. Dont lump all of us in that category hell i dont skate as much as others but i and a few others who dont skate have bled and sweat for that spot. For others to enjoy
Hi Jed, yes you do and have always respected you for that and everyone else that helped out. But you kind of prove my point at the same time…altown is dead to me, who cares?!?! It hasn’t stopped it from growing right? So who cares how I feel about it, no one. And hello, how long have we NOT lived in the midsouth yet people continue and continue to talk shit, point fingers, and call names. Get a fucking life…If altown is so great, then why even bother with what kim might say? This article is two years old!! Move on! And really does my one tiny sentence really carry that much weight? No. But the negative bullshit certainly does. You’ve all proven your point! I’m in a happy place and all you internet shittalkers can kiss my ass! Have a nice life! 🙂