We used to take the Omni-bus to the top of Euclid and skate through the neighborhoods then, walk across "no-mans land" to the pipe. Afterwards, skate and walk back to the top of Euclid. Afterwards, skate the 25th & Euclid pool then finally ride downhill all the way back to Montclair on Benson & Kingsley (which in those days was a trudge for sure). Becaause I lived the farthest away if I wanted to skate I would take the Omni -bus everywhere to get around. Back then it only cost a quarter for the one way trip.
The Original Bad Landers
All the Badlanders skated there such as Lee, Mike Cantu, Pat "Muck" Mullus, Buddy Allred, Curt Kimball, Steve Evans, Charlie Ransom, Spiff, Rick Howell, Don Hoffman, Pablo, Drug Doug, Mark the Nose, Tay Hunt, "Chuck" Tay's friend, The Alvarez brothers - Dino and Steve, Kenny Shriver, Jeff Lorrigan from Chino (Cowtown), Tracy Robar, Rich Ernst, Garret Chick, Roberto Tarin, Scott Dunlap, and a whole host of others who I don't remember their names. Oh yeah, yours truly. Our scene was so rad that word quickly spread and the "Worm" Kevin Anderson and Doug Schneider came all the way from Hermosa Beach just to skate Baldy and the L-pool.
These were the raddest times ever!
First Place... a Case of Beer!
Even though my mom knew the older guys there were drinking and smoking the "ganj" she still let us hangout there because we loved to skate it so much. Because she was cool I just skated my ass off and learned to get better and better and craving vert big time.
Buddy was the master and he rode out over the spit-gutter coping onto pieces of wood that we propped up next to the lip. Anything would serve our needs from discarded washers & driers to refridgerators. This is how Stan Hoffman came up for the idea of the 15 foot bowl with 10 foot trannies and 5 feet of vert. When Stan and Don showed up one day to scope our scene we blew their minds. They had W.P.O.D. (The Tubes song "white punks on dope") written all over their boards - that was the rage! Stan also saw us at Baldy pipe and wanted to build the first pipe in a skatepark - which happened in 1977.
As time went on I met more and more people like Kurt Ross, Martin Texiera (who lived in Ontario and had cars to drive us around to skate the Skull Bowl and Roll Bowl). During Jr. High, the Pepsi Team came to my school and I won the little contest there as they gave away Mountain Dew. Afterwards, I took Stacy Peralta, Gregg Aryes, and Rod Saunders to the Bel Air and Santa Anita pools (Rod totally remembered all this at the OMSJ last year - he even brought it up!).
Where Were You in '77
I got sponsered first by C&D wheels then by Pete Gonzalez (who later ran Pomona Pipe and Pool skatepark on Garey) of Paved Pacific skateboard shop in Covina (they saw me rip the Fruit Bowl charging the stair lines and getting on the wood exstensions like the D.T. guys) and then the Pipeline park team. We rode all day at Pipeline and yeah I will admit the Dogtown guys went higher than me at first but, Lee and Tay gave those guys a run for their money.
You only saw the Dogtown guys in the mag then and not in person. Stacy came around a lot and was not into the "crash and burn trip" all the other Dogtown guys were into. It was guys like Stacy, Schneider, and Blackhart that I really dug outside of the Badland boys. They really inspired me back then and I must have done something right because they included me on some of the first pipe trips to Arizona for the CAP pipes that Ameron built. In fact, I was on the first real pipe mission to the mother lode of all skate spots back in Texas back in 1978 and 1979 with Blackhart, Schneider, Craig Stecyk, and Cassimus.
The Badlands Boys were the only guys to give Dogtown competition in those early days along with Rick Blackhart. Keep in mind we did as much as the Dogtown guys did albeit alittle later in the game. We did just as much and carried the tradition even farther as far as skating was concerned in my book. Our scene rivaled their scene slightly after them (77-80') exposure wise. Both areas had tons of pools, a major drought, and neighborhoods on the brink of destruction. They did beat us to the punch (75-77') though because traditionally L.A. was quicker and hipper and much more revelent in trendmaking than any other area. Their influence was vast but so was ours. Not all of us surfed, but alot of us did - me included (athough I never spent enough time in the water to make it worth my while). We did live 34 miles from the nearest beaches so sidewalk surfing became our savior and new religion so to speak.
I should also mention that Chris Strople and Wally Inouye were honorary "Badlanders." These guys actually moved into the Badlands for the sake of skating! Specifically, to ride the rad terrain like Skull Bowl, Egg Bowl, and the Pipeline park. These guys were the pioneers that nobody ever knew about outside of our beloved area.
Dogtown and Badlands - A Comparison
The similarities between Dogtown and the Badlands are numerous. Wes Humpston made hand painted boards that have inspired thousands but it was Rick Howell who made his famous "Ick Sticks" for vert and slalom which are some of the most sought after boards in that world. Dogtown legend Jay Adams went to jail for supposedly killing somebody while Badlander Harvey Hawks actually did and is still serving time in Federal Prison. Jay's dad made the "Z-flex" while Tay's dad made "Pool Tools." We all started as local guys riding local brands but looked else where for sponsership when the original companies started declining and the big companies swallowed everybody up offering bigger exposure and pro models and salaries. But we all had our teams,dreams and places to skate.
Jeff Lorrigan was the first Badlands pro to travel outside of the U.S. to England. Along Lee Gahimer, Tay Hunt, Steve Evans, Garret Chick, Charlie Ransom going pro slightly thereafter. Harvey and Curt Kimball quickly followed for not only vert but, for slalom and banked slalom as well. We were a well- rounded group. What was visible was only the tip of the iceberg. After them it was myself, Scott Dunlap and a couple of others who rode for various companies before I settled riding for T.A. It's kind of ironic that Tony Alva and I share almost an indentical last name. I rode for Alva for almost 2 years but decided to leave after Kryptonics offered me a pro model and Alva did not. Later I went to Santa Cruz (thanks to Steve Olsen). The Bevel came next the first real concave board to be mass produced. Then the Witchdoctor board that was modeled after my tattoo and a Playboy pin-up, the Tiger model and then the Angry baby model which was influenced by a trip to Norway and Gustav Viglands' " Angry Boy" sculpture at Vigland park in Oslo.
The Alba influence doesn't end with me. My younger brother Micke won the second Hester Series overall championship back in 1979-80. Ten years later Micke took skating to another level with greats like Christian Hosoi, Tony Hawk, Jeff Phillips, and Gator for the top 4 slots for four years running in ramp skating.
Badands Roll Call
John Nakama was another fine example of Badlands pool riding who ripped all kinds of terrain from pipes to pools to parks. Chris Ortiz (you should see his little brother Steve skate!) was another skater whose influence is still with us. Currently, he runs the 411 skate video machine. He was rad as shit and a great photographer to boot. There were lots of guys who rode Pipeline and learned their craft there as well like Steve Gable, Mark Duran, Scott Frailey, Nick Lacota, Jeff Badders and cousin Scott Tidwell , Billy Braden, Greg Teal, Dennis Hill, Dave Espinosa, Vince Dennis, Bill Renney, Marcus Solomon, Rick Kenner, and Mike Serna (whose son Michael is ripping the new Upland and Fontana parks). And the pools we rode; Egg Bowl, Dolphin pool, Sir Bloomy's parents pool in Upland, Dave West's parents pool, Central pool, Groid bowl in Pomona, Grape bowl, Andy's pool in Chino, Prime Evil in Chino hills, Arnies pool in Montclair, Upland high School, Montclair high school, Fish bowl #3, Los Roble's Jr.High School, Kitty's pool in Claremont (where Steve Olson got taken to jail for using Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols name), various pools in the dairy lands (where the smell would make you puke in the summer heat), 18th & Euclid pool right near the Hoffman's house, ,the Archibald square (where the new Rancho Cucamonga library now resides), The P pool, the B pool, Sapphire street, Double Death box, Sycamore pool, Dodger pool, the Butterfly, Pepper pool, Pepper #2 , Jacuzzi wall, Samuri, Pomona Swim Club, the golf course, Pink Tile lounge, Howard Johnson's, and hundreds more that I never gave them names.
Flamethrowers and Barf
The Future is Now
Dogtown was then... Badlands is now!