It’s kind of weird how we end up becoming friends with our friends. It’s sort of a cosmic lottery that I have been winning since 1986. I have been very fortunate to have met and skated with a ton of amazing humans and have made some real solid friends in the process. One of those friends was introduced to me at my middle school when he was part of a demo put on by Rad Sports (Phase II’s older and now closed brother). Picture a scrawny kid in some hot pink short-shorts with a bleach blond flat top doing some real good early grab 360’s off a nipple high launch ramp and you have the subject of the following top 3’s. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you;
Vert Pros 1988:
Vert Pros 2008:
-Juergen Whorebath (Juergen is a real person…but I think I have the spelling of Whorebath wrong…)
Street Pros 1988:
Street Pros 2008:
Reasons To Live In Kentucky:
Reasons Not To Live In Kentucky:
-Bars close at 4:00 am.
This mini ramp that Paul is doing a backside noseblunt on also doubles as a still for making moonshine. Bourbon county, represent! Photograph by Andy Collins.
Milwaukee Skaters Of All Time:
Milwaukee Spots Of All Time:
-Greg’s ramp in Port Washington
(“What?! He didn’t say the Turf?”)
Worst Assignments For The Mag:
-Interviewing kids that “can’t remember” how they got sponsored.
-Trying to get in touch with pros who don’t have a place to live…or a phone…or email.
-Anything where the deadline is tomorrow.
Dew Tour Perks:
-Getting paid for talking about the same things I talk about all the time anyways.
-Best seat in the house.
-All the free Dew I can drink…I mean slam.
Dew Tour Drawbacks:
-Cole, Reynolds, and Rowley don’t enter.
-Calling tricks wrong, predicting scores wrong, and getting tongue tied on national TV.
-Trying to look cool while holding a microphone.. Have thus far only managed to look like a total nerd.
Retarded Board Shapes:
-Mark Lake Nightmare.
-The Skull Skates boards that were lopsided depending on whether you were goofy or regular.
Things Your Dad Has Shimmed:
-My old mini ramp.
Dudes To Have At A Session:
-Anyone that’s happy to be there
-People that skate
-People that don’t talk too much….so I can babble away.
Vert Slams You Took:
-August 1998. Vans Triple Crown Finals in Huntington Beach. I’d had a few beers to calm down. And in the middle of a 360 indy I was thinking “I’m ripping!”. The next thing I know I’m waking up on the flat bottom with Barry Zaritsky hovering mere inches away. He nursed me back to full conciousness by making me take increasingly difficult runs and icing my whole head down between each one. And of course he administered a piping hot moustache compress.
-Summer 2006. Boom Boom Huck Jam tour. We had to do a bunch of different doubles runs. At one of the shows I forgot my line. I thought I was supposed to do a high speed backside 5-0 under an airborne Neal Hendrix, but in reality I was supposed to be airing over him. Long story short, I did a high speed backside 5-0 directly into Neal’s high-speed frontside 5-0, sending both of us into backward summersaults to flat and bringing the show to a screeching halt. Thankfully no one was killed.
-Fall 2006. I hadn’t made the finals in a vert contest in a long time so I went to see a hypnotherapist before the last Dew Tour stop of the year in Orlando. The first run in practice I was thinking, “I going to win this thing easily. Bucky ain’t got nuthin!!” After five minutes I tried a kickflip indy back d. and landed unexpectedly in a noseblunt. I immediately did a double chimp flip to flat, landing on my left shoulder. The medic checked me out and said, “Your shoulder is separated. It’s going to hurt, but you can keep skating.” So that’s what I did for the next three days. Two weeks later, still unable to lift my arm up, I went to the hospital and learned I’d separated my shoulder AND broken my collarbone. Boo hoo.
Here is Paul and Neal Hendrix caught in a rare moment when somehow not running into each other during the Boom Boom Huck Jam tour. Photograph by Tony Hawk’s 3rd or 4th wife.
Vert Slams You Have Seen:
-You remember when Brian Schaeffer tried the loop? That was a bad slam, but two minutes before that Peter Hewitt tried it switch and did the exact same thing. His tougue was hanging out of his mouth when they scraped him up and wheeled him into the ambulance still snoring. It was so bad I left the scene and missed Schaeffer’s triple lindy. Wait, does the loop count as vert?
-Every day that I skated with Mike Frazier over an 8 year period. Slam, slam, slam, slam, slam, slam, slam. He’s had 13 or 14 knee surgeries. He’s broken his back…twice. He’s been knocked unconcious more times than he could ever hope to remember, or forget. Broken wrists, disclocated ankles, multiple shoulder reconstructions, etc. etc. He should get a Purple Heart.
-Bill Weiss trying a padless 540 while holding a boom box on his shoulder. Slid out and slammed and the thing exploded. Batteries rolling all over the ramp. Probably had to be there.
-Top three? How about top million.
-Plan B Questionable.
What range! What scope!
When not changing diapers, chasing down elusive interviews of homeless trolls for the “Mag” or talking about the consistency of Chaz Ortiz, Paul might actually get a chance to huck jam himself off a loading dock into a rough little bank. Another lovely photo courtesy of Andy Collins.
-I liked the one where people were too cool to skate.
-I also liked matching the wheels to the lapper, rails, short ribs, copers, nose guard, tail skid, rip grip, etc.
Reasons To Stay Away From Milwaukee:
-Geoffery Dahmer’s ghost.
-The “lake effect.”
-You have to drive through Chicago to get there from here.
Swear Words You Wont Say:
I’ll say them all…I just don’t like typing them.
Reasons To Have A Rebel Flag In The Background Of A Video Part:
-Your board sales will blow up in Tennessee.
-Set yourself apart from the crowd.
-So people forget how bad your part was but always remember you’re a rebel.
John McGuire Quotes:
-“I don’t do goodbye’s. I do hello’s”
-“Don’t talk to me about your dreams, or how much gas costs, or what you’ve eaten recently.”
-“I don’t understand grabbing.” (In response to why he doesn’t care too much for vert skating)
Names For Chip Van Ham :
-Chip Jean Claude Van Ham
-Chippendale Vanana Hammock
-Morceau Fourgon Jambon (Chip’s French Doppelganger)
Bonus Name: Moons Over My Chip Van Hammy