Bio (SkateD)

I started skateboarding in Cupertino, California back in 1967. My first board was a Super Surfer wooden board with clay wheels. Back then I was barefooted most of the time on or off the board, I think I was trying to be a hippie or something. The house where I lived had a garage and a slanted smooth cement driveway where I practiced standing up while rolling and “carving” before I even had the word in my vocabulary. The driveway drop met up with a sidewalk that wrapped around the block and the entire neighborhood. I would noisily skate along the sidewalks and give myself and good push to get up each driveway as I went around. The corner of the cul de sac where I lived had a larger area of concrete which is where I would fool around trying to do tip taps and 180s, I only dreamed that one day I would be able to do “a” 360. I loved and cherished my wooden Super Surfer board. At one point I actually put some carpeting on it so I could knee board down the driveway and paddle as fast as I could  then try to make the bend at the sidewalk where I would then try to slide to a stop. My preference though was to stand up on the board and try to freestyle. I was the only skateboarder on the block so I was a loner all those years developing my own little way of skating which I continued up to the middle of my junior year in high school 1972. Through the years from 1968 to 1972 my barefoot practicing payed off; I eventually managed to start doing end-overs  a 360 and eventually even a 720. I was so stoked to be able to do that and had absolutely no one to share it this enthusiasm with.

Edboy 1969

In 1972, right in the semester break of my high school junior year my family moved me and my board to Irvine in Southern California. In Irvine I continued going to high school but my free time ambition and love was skateboarding (although I did like playing the guitar too). That very same year I discovered that the new urethane wheel that was coming out and taking everyone for a better ride. But it wasn’t until the summer of 1973 that I desired to get a better board setup with the urethane wheels. So I went to a surf shop called “the Frog House” on the Coast Hi-way in Newport Beach and bought myself a fiberglass board with Nasworthy’s Cadillac urethane wheels. It was an amazing change and sensation to feel the silky ride of the revolutionary wheels for the first time, I couldn’t believe it as I rolled into a new era!

EarlyFreestyleBoards_resizeTransfer_B

One day in the summer of 1973 I went to Huntington Beach, near the pier, to try a bit of body surfing. I hadn’t brought my skateboard with me that day because I was still a little too shy to do what I liked in front of people. I still had a tendency to be a loner all those years but I eventually got over it. Anyway after being pounded by the surf I dried off and I went up on the pier for a walk in the sun. As I was walking I happened to see someone spinning around on a skateboard in the sun just below the pier. I didn’t know this guy but I was in the future to meet him and even compete against him, his name was Fred Flavell…I had never seen anyone else in the flesh do a 360 or other maneuvers on a skateboard before, he totally blew me away! My life kind of changed that day. I was determined and made a decision to really practice and try to become good like that guy Fred. I worked out alone for the next year in Irvine, skating around the neighborhood, parking lots and school playgrounds. While still living at home with my Mom and Dad I managed to land some part time work at the loading docks of Sears in South Coast Plaza. During my lunch hours at Sears they would let me skate (only with shoes) on the loading ramps after the trucks had left. That was cool because the ramps were wide and slightly steep! Talk about “carving”! I really became comfortable with that because I learned to pump and tork which became useful in developing more continuity when free-styling on the flatland!

After I graduated from high school I moved from my parents home to an apartment in Huntington Beach that I shared with a school friend and guitar pal of mine Mark, good guy and still we’re in touch. Anyway, in my free time I started to not be such a skate “wall flower”. I would routinely practice freestyle near the lifeguard station at Lake street, I stayed away form the pier, that was where that guy Fred was and I didn’t want to be humiliated !!! Down at Lake street I learned all kinds of stuff and developed a style that I was comfortable with. I loved being barefooted with my board under the sun just really getting in to seeing if I could learn the art…I even dared to do a handstand. I just thought that it would be nice to feel the blood rush to my head and eventually one day I perfected the rush…I was always athletic as a kid in the 60s, anything from baseball to fooling around on the Jungle Gym. I loved swinging upside down on the bars, so that came in handy when I attempted my first handstand on the skateboard. I actually did a handstand on a skateboard before I ever attempted it on the ground. Lake street was my hang out but I eventually rolled under the H.B. pier and started to mingle with the locals and have the pleasure of watching the likes of Bob Neishi carving the little cement bank under the pier and Russ Howell with his power and might free styling on the flatland cement adjacent to the bank under the pier.

+Ed The Tunnel master 3B

I eventually caught the eye of several surfers from Huntington Beach who would turn out to be my first sponsors as an Amateur skateboarder. One was Steve Boehne of Infinity Surfboards, the others were Dan Walters and Henry Larrucea (inventors of what would soon be known as Speed Spring Trucks & Power Paw wheels…) When Henry and Dan saw me they approached and asked if I wanted to go and see a new prototype of wheel and truck they were working on. They asked if I’d like to take the stuff for a test spin. They lived just across the Coast Hi-way so we walked over together. Little did I know how that moment would change my life and free-styling days forever. They set me up with some gear and I started testing it out for them down at Lake street. They ended up being one of my first official sponsors together with Infinity and I was grateful for all of them believing in me. I was slightly out of the skateboard scene but I soon knew about the legendary Russ Howell because he was one of their choices as well to recruit to try out the new gear. My ideas and views about skate ethics changed when I met Russ. I respected his human spirit, fluidity, strength, extraordinary skateboarding skills and dynamic personality. He still to this day remains a very good friend. That’s where my skating started to take a different shape and attitude. Power Paw sponsored my first competition as an amateur in the 1975 Hang Ten World Pro-Am where I placed 1st. Soon to follow I entered as a Pro and won the Northern California Pro-Am contest at the Cow Palace.

 

Once I had these competitions under my belt Jim Freeman (RIP, the director of photography for “Five Summer Stories”) approached me and asked for my collaboration on his new skateboard documentary “The Magic Rolling Board”, which would later be an additional iconic segment in the surf film of “Five Summer Stories”…. Jim and I organized to go to the Ventura State championships in 1976 where I was going to compete. It was an important competition for me. At the time I was sponsored by a small company called “California Pro”. That name came in handy in Ventura because I won 1st place over Bruce Logan, Bob Mohr, Gordie Lineman and nonetheless the guy I had admired a few years before in Huntington Beach, Fred Flavell!

+1976 California State Championships in Ventura I remember being elated to have gone so far in freestyle in a short time to actually win. I’ll always be grateful that my spirit didn’t give up on me through the years to reach for the top. Jim Freeman got quite a bit of footage in Ventura which was only just a small part of his other footage shot during the year and so he eventually went to work on his “to be” award winning documentary “The Magic Rolling Board”. I followed Jim’s incredible talent and immense job of editing. He printed everything and put it up on the screen to start selecting the dailies to be edited and that’s where my career as an editor began and it’s never ended to this day. I didn’t edit with Jim but I followed every move he made through the meticulous and painstaking process of editing and right up to the final matching with the music and commentary. Jim never got to see the premier in L.A. because that very same year he unfortunately died while doing something he always loved, aerial photography. He died in a helicopter crash up in Bishop. In Jim’s memory an insert was made at the end of the Documentary that said ” He lives in eternity’s sunrise”. I’m very indebted to him for teaching me his art and craft of editing and also for teaching me to enjoy watching clouds.

The documentary gave me world exposure and in 1978 I was called to do a TV commercial advertising “Jeans West” in Rome, Italy where I ended up living  for close to 30 years and eventually becoming a European Citizen. Everything seemed to be pointing in the direction of remaining there, that is until I met Michelle, my now new wife, who has changed my life for the better once again. I found myself making a decision to uproot my life once again, only this time coming back from the old world to reestablish my life back to my native land here in the United States. Michelle and I married in October of 2013 and through that I acquired her son Kai, who I eventually and enthusiastically adopted. I have settled down and I’m enjoying my new family life…

Life certainly rolls on…

 eD  
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