I'm back and was enjoying the memories of the good old skool days of Whittier, being amateur and making my way up the ladder to the pro level of the Bones brigade. I have to say that Stacy Peralta was the biggest thing since peanut butter. Everyone got nervous when he showed up to the park. I remember buying a neon Powell deck from him at Upland in the parking lot. I was sooo stoked. The Brite Lite Series was the most exhilarating memory of that era for me. Make's me so happy to even think about it. Caballero's Caballarial was not even real. I saw him do them in the original combi pool at Upland and it was gnarly. Still can't believe it. Once I became the manager at Whittier and started skating with Lance, Blender, Kasai, Lucero daily, I began to understand the concept of you're a product of your environment. The energy was just insane and so positive. Whittier had to of been the best scene ever. Tracker trucks was the truck company to ride for then, lol oh how things have changed. Larry Balma was an awesome owner. Being on Tracker trucks was the best.
Once getting picked up by Powell, I became electrified and starting learning on a super fast rate. I was the amateur from hell lol. I skated in every event, freestyle, slalom, bank slalom, bowl, pool. It didn't matter, I entered it. That really helped me to learn how to skate under pressure or when you had to skate. I love going fast, speed is my addiction. So the faster you go means the higher you're going to go, so that in turn means everything is going to be on a big scale. Christian Hosoi was always the smoothest and went the highest. He really inspired me to want to blast. Christian is a super nice person also. Always was mellow and easy to talk to. My first contests started with Kevin Staab always beating me barely. Lol. I always laugh at that though. Even at my home park- Whittier I let him beat me by falling on my last trick which was a frontside invert.. lol.. that makes it even worse lol.. I love Kevin Staab, though. I was always mad at Stacy because Kevin and I where the next Ams in line, who were supposed to get Pro Models. It ended up I was the only one and I had to force Stacy to give me a model. Kevin ended up riding for Sims. I almost went to Vison, but decided to start my own company with Jim Ball from sure grip. Steadham Design SGI instead. Anyways my last Am contest was at Upland. I won every event, pipe pasting, bank slalom, longest carve, highest air, longest boardslide and the next day was the Pros.
Told Stacy I was turning Pro the next day and he said "No" lol your staying Am. I was like wow, Really? He said if I'm turning Pro, I had to pay for my own entry fee. I was devastated but said yeah wtvr, I guess I'm paying for myself tomorrow. Stacy looked at me like he had seen a ghost.. lol a black ghost hahahaa of course not a white one hehe. He couldn't believe I went against his plan. I think he is a brilliant mind and knew how to tune us to succeed. So the next day I turned Pro. Stacy actually stood beside me and talked to me during the prelims. Even though he didn't want me to turn Pro, I sensed he was impressed that I made up my own mind and did what I knew was the right thing for me. I was the top amateur with nowhere to go but down. I ended up skating the best I have ever skated. I fell on 1 run out of 8. Ended up in 4th place and was in the top 4 the entire contest. I won the longest carve, boardslide, pipe pasting and bank slalom that day. I think I was the best skater on earth that day. Not to sound stuck on myself at all, just stating the facts. I have never skated that much in 2 days in my entire life.
I must state being on the Bones Brigade has been the best experience of my life. To be on the same team with Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain and Rodney Mullen and being black was surreal. I mean I had dreads and was so different than everyone else. I bring up the color card because back then, it wasn't even realistic to win in front of the entire industry and consistently. You had to perform being on the Bones Brigade. If you didn't want to try 100%, your mind still made you skate 110% because of being a major part of the Bones Brigade. I lived skateboarding. Chose not to go to college to skate and I have to say, it was the best decision I ever made. I never for 1 second ever thought I could ever be a pro let alone a top pro and win against the best. I have to mention my first inspiration - Marty Grimes, Tank from Upland and Freddie Desoto. All of these guys are awesome and made me see something. Skateboarding is something you do, doesn't matter what color, ethnic background or financial class your in. For my last comment to end my 2nd blog. God is Amazing, Without him, I would be nothing.