"I had no other plan. At that time the city was Mecca for skateboarding, and skaters from all over the world were making the pilgrimage. From skate videos and magazines, SF beckoned us with its exciting variety of terrain: hills, marble ledges, embankments, and smooth city streets.
I knew that I could get a job here and I didn’t care what it was, as long as I could skate. And I did. Seven days a week, before work, after work, sometimes all day long on my days off. I didn’t skate with the dream of becoming a professional – I skated just for the love of being on a board. The thrill of going too fast down Bush Street, the feeling of grinding the now-defunct brown marble ledges on California, and the clickety-clack of carving over benches on the brick “China banks” along the footbridge to the Chinese Cultural Center over Kearny. The whole city was there to explore. One could find a spot to session for hours, or until being chased out by security or ticketed, and sometimes, arrested by SFPD. Back then, skateboarding was a crime.
Most of the skaters that you see in the photographs moved to San Francisco to take part in the pre-ESPN skateboard culture that made this city the epicenter of skateboarding in the 1990s. Like me, they’ve skated through the many rises and falls in popularity of the “sport” – all despite broken bones, torn ligaments, and concussions. The responsibilities of adult life limit the time we get to spend on our skateboards, but when we do get that time, we feel the same joy as when we first stepped on a skateboard – only the slams hurt more now."
-As featured on the The Bold Italic.