Lance Mountain is another guy that I was never too excited about growing up. My first exposure to him was in the Flip videos, where he does… inverts, and airs. It didn’t really blow me away. But Lance is from the olden days, and he was around when this stuff was being invented. So you have to watch his footage with that perspective. And I walked away from this one with a lot more appreciation and respect for the guy, a lot like I did with Gino. Except for all the bullying and the time he shot someone.
Robert Lance Mountain was born in 1964, and he started skating at 11 years old. He started by learning stuff from magazines, like handstands and 360 spins. Eventually he got into pools and backyard halfpipes.
It’s hard to picture what skateboarding was like in the mid 70s for those of us who weren’t alive yet. Here are a couple of quotes to give you some perspective:
“We just skated – not very good – up until about sixth or seventh grade. We started playing skate tag after school. We played tic tac tag where you couldn’t push off. In seventh grade I did a demonstration speech where you have to show how to make the cake or whatever and I showed how to skateboard. I took this ramp that me and my dad built and showed them the forward fakie, backward fakie, backside kickturn, and frontside kickturn. It was this big ramp, pretty big for back then – about eight feet tall. It went up to vert”
I’m assuming a backward fakie is just rolling up fakie and coming back down forward. So he didn’t claim to be amazing at skateboarding at this point, but still. That’s what tricks were like. Here’s another interesting one:
“I got to grow up during that time… Well, when skateboarding was just being learned. And like kids will ask me: ‘What were the first tricks you learned, ollies or something?’ And I’d go: ‘It’s hard to explain, when I started skating there were no tricks.”
Just imagine that. Picture when you first started skateboarding. There are no magazines, no internet trick tips or anything. You’re just learning stuff from your friends. You learn your first 5 tricks. Maybe it’s ollies, kickflips, pop shove its, 180s and half cabs. You get them all down, maybe you start doing them up and down curbs and stuff like that. Then you ask your friends, “What’s next?” And they reply with, “Next? That’s all that’s ever been done.”
And sure enough, you start looking at magazines and videos and stuff, and that’s all everyone is doing. Maybe some people are doing them on banks or down some stairs. But those are the only tricks. Then someone invents a varial kickflip, and it blows everyone’s minds and they all have to rush to learn it too so they don’t get left behind.
“Everything’s been done. It’s so easy to learn off somebody, you know. Like back when we learned inverts, they were just easy to learn because someone had already done it… it’s a lot harder to keep up, [than] to catch up.”
He said that a lot later in his career, but it’s true. In reality, you learned those 5 tricks, and you knew of a whole world of other stuff you could do. You could learn new tricks based on skaters you like, and what you see them doing. But becoming a pro and suddenly having to learn new stuff to keep up is a lot harder. And Lance did that for about 30 years.
By the mid to late 70s, Lance was on the Skate City Whittier team and he started entering contests, like a high jump that he won. There were also bowl contests, but not in any way you’ve ever seen before. This is what it was like.
“Back then, there was a snake run and they had taped off boxes down the run with numbers on it. That was the first bowl contest. You would ride over the numbers and collect points. This guy name Louie just shredded. He used to do rollouts. He was the only guy that ever did rollouts. There was a number 5 up on the deck, which he put there because he set up the contest probably, and he just did rollout, rollout, rollout. He had about a hundred and something points. We had about ten. I got fifth in that.”
It’s a shock to me that Lance went on to have a full career as a pro skateboarder, because he was very accident prone. He had 3 concussions as a kid. He had a pirate themed bedroom, with a bed hanging from the ceiling and a metal cannon on the ground. He fell out of the bed when playing with a friend and smashed his head on it and ended up in the hospital.
Here’s Lance’s story about his second concussion:
“One day my parents came to watch me skate [[at a pool called the Dust Bowl]]. So I got out, ran in the gate ahead of my parents, and they came in and found me knocked out at the bottom of the pool. I got a concussion. They had to take me to the hospital and I was unconscious for five hours. I came home and lost my memory. I don’t even know what happened. They said that I kept asking for ice cream that night. I had an ice cream and would ask for another one. They’d go, ‘You just had one.’ I wouldn’t remember. That was my second concussion.”
He also got a third one slamming on a bridge. His parents actually forbade him from skating, but it didn’t stick. And that second concussion had repercussions too. It ended up causing that local pool to get shut down. That didn’t make him very popular with the older kids. He also wasn’t that popular at the time because he wasn’t into drinking or smoking. Sometimes the older kids wouldn’t let him skate at certain pools because he wasn’t in the cool kids’ club yet. A tradition he upheld when he got older. But here’s a weird story from those backyard pool days:
“There was a pool on Sixth Street right by my house we skated. I hadn’t taken a ride yet and six cop cars pulled up. It was on a lot that was pretty much open, you know, so they could see us right there. All these cops came up to us and looked at the pool. It was all spray painted and they looked at me and said, “Go ahead, take a ride.” I thought they meant as soon as I took a ride they’d say, “Okay, you skated; we saw you!” I didn’t want to do it. They said, “No, we want to see what you can do.” I didn’t believe it. Finally they talked me into it. I started skating and they were just all stoked – they were going, “That’s pretty rad.” Then they said, “Well, it’s trespassing so you can’t be here. You’re going to have to leave ‘cause the neighbors complained.”
But as time went on, Lance got better and better at skating, and started placing well in contests. He got a sponsorship offer from Variflex, but he was holding on for Powell Peralta, because that was his dream sponsor. But that offer never came through, so he started skating for Variflex. He won a contest series called the Gold Cup, and finally turned his parents’ opinion on skateboarding. Lance ended up going pro for Variflex really quickly and he was making the big bucks….. Sort of.
If you’re not familiar with how skateboarding went in the 80s, it was kind of like this. Skateboarding was blowing up in the late 70s and first couple years of the 80s. Skateparks were everywhere. But they all started to go out of business. And as the skateparks went away, skaters went away. Lance believes that this is because street skating hadn’t really come out yet, and people didn’t know what to do without skateparks.
But either way, skateboarding essentially died for a while. All the big pros at the time had to retire and get real jobs. The only people skating full time were young. Why? Here’s a Transworld quote for you:
“Not only had all the skateparks Lance had grown up skating closed their doors, to make things worse there were months when he received board royalty checks for sixteen dollars. But Lance wasn’t the only one feeling the effects of skateboarding’s implosion: ‘At that time, Tony Hawk got a [board royalty] for 98 cents,’ Lance recalls.”
When people talk about wanting skateboarding to not be so mainstream anymore, I think they need to think about this time in history. How much did this period set back pro skateboarding? What if the big names from the 70s could have skated professionally throughout the early 80s instead of retiring? Suddenly an 18 year old like Lance is one of the best skaters in the world. In fact, Action Now called him exactly that in 1981:
“Besides one of the top amateur vertical skaters today in the world, Lance is close to being nothing short of a creative genius. An artist, illustrator, graphic designer and writer, Lance has solely and soulishly produced SkateBoring Magazine and more currently, Awful Now. Both tabloids have a comic book tone to them and have pieces that are nothing short of brilliant.
A talented individual, Lance sees drafting in the future and advertising art. His creativity is solid and his drawing knack is sure to put him in good standing come the day he has to work for a living. Until then, it’s just skate and goof on anyone that has a sense of humor. Even those that don’t.”
Note that it assumes that he will have to get a job eventually. There wasn’t even the idea that you could go on to be a pro skater for a couple decades. But it was essentially right. He did go into advertising and art. It just happened a lot later than it was expected.
But it mentions the zines he used to do. I’ll show you some scans of what they looked like. Lance drew all kinds of cartoons, and hand wrote interviews. It’s interesting to take a look at, but it’s so full of inside jokes and stuff that it doesn’t mean much to me trying to read it now.
Funny story about this though. Lance was working at Skate City, which was a park with a pro shop. Lance and Neil Blender used their money to make one of their zines, but sold them and kept the money for themselves. And while they were ripping off Skate City, John Lucero somehow got himself banned from going there. And reportedly invented slappies because he had to skate in the parking lot outside.
But speaking of being a dick, here are some terrible stories about Lance from this time. If you read any interview with Lance, even back in the 80s, he talks about not drinking and doing drugs, and it’s not that long before he brings up Jesus. But his actions weren’t always so great. Listen to these stories from his own mouth as recorded in Transworld in the 80s.
“I believe Bubbles was one of the new guys and the day I got there they go, ‘Get this guy! Get Bubbles! He’s the guy to get!’ I was all, ‘Okay!’ because I was like, the local guy – you know, locals are the mean guys or whatever. He was dropping into the little egg bowl and I’d go, ‘Coming!’ and he’d have to jump out of the way. We did that about four times. Finally he went in and I ran his toe over and broke it. He was in the pro shop hiding out because everyone was beating him with ice and they go, ‘Okay, go get him!’ He was hiding there because he knew no one would throw ice at him inside the pro shop. So I walked in there and threw ice in his face in the pro shop.”
Ok, so he snaked kids a lot and broke a kid’s toe. That’s pretty not cool.
“They used to have this B.B. gun at Whittier, I packed it with ice and we were shooting it. It was shooting water because the ice would melt. It was hot; I was doing it to everybody – shooting ice water with a B.B. gun. I packed it up with ice and I was about three feet away from this guy named Log and I said, ‘Ha, ha, ha,’ and fired it in his face. Instantly blood was just dripping out of about nine holes, streaming down his face. I was so scared. It was gnarly. He was going to get my job. It got infected. It was the worst thing ever.”
“We used to trash everyone, man. It was so easy. It was so hot, dude. There was a little local kid named Mark Poots-he was eight years old; and just a manic little kid. Everyone trashed him. At one point, they put him in a trash can and dropped him in the keyhole down the vertical-eleven and a half feet deep. We had another hot one where we taped his hands and legs behind his back and put him in the kidney-left him in there.”
Lance uses “hot” in a slightly different way than we might these days. I don’t know if I’d call tying up an 8 year old hot. Phrasing is the least of my worries though. This is some legitimately terrible stuff. Imagine that kid having an instagram and posting a video of his bloody face and Lance running around with his BB gun. This would have blown up. Luckily his extremely over the top hazing and “pranks” didn’t seem to go on forever…..
But at least for a couple years. This is what happened in 83.
“I went to work at Variflex, silk-screened boards for about two months, and that’s about when I decided to quit. I said, ‘Never again.’ My mom talked to Stacy to see if there was any way that I could get a future in skateboarding, ‘cause that’s what I wanted really. Stacy said they needed someone. So I quit Variflex at the Palmdale contest, waited a few months, then got on Powell. I wasn’t really too liked’”
I wonder why! He didn’t shoot anyone there, but he was at least pretty annoying:
“We were playing with the little lizards. [Mike McGill] got really mad at us so I put one in the exhaust pipe of his Porsche. He got really mad at me. I said ‘No, don’t worry. I was just joking. We didn’t put it in there.’ He was all afraid that it was going to burn and make his car smell bad. He started up the car and this lizard came rolling out of the exhaust pipe with this big, sooty nose.”
Man, let’s add animal abuse to the rap sheet. We can technically add in homophobia too, but that’s really overstating it, if you consider the language at the time. Lance is directly credited for co-inventing one trick. I’m sure he invented some variations of inverts. But he and Neil were having trouble learning Caballaerials, which is a fakie backside 360 ollie. They couldn’t keep it with them, so they were trying to do it with an indy grab. Neither got it, and they both went home to skate their local parks, where they both landed it with a stinkbug mute. They didn’t like how it felt, saying it felt gay. And they called the trick a gay twist.
But anyway, he joined Powell Peralta as a worker who happened to skate. Not as a team skater. At least for a little while. And his pay went way way up from Variflex. In fact, he reached $200 a month. Today, that’s about $515. But it was enough to get married and take his wife on a honeymoon. They had a kid that year as well.
Despite not joining Powell as a pro skater, Lance kept getting coverage, like his first Transworld cover in January 1983. He got some coping named after himself at Skate City. But overall, he was burned out on trying to skate professionally.
“Some of the skaters act professional, I don’t think I do that much. Like I said, I just skate for fun. If it becomes real professional-oriented, I’ll try to skate real professional. I don’t think it can be like that right now. You have to skate for fun or it’s not going to be worth it. Most of the people that quit did so because they didn’t have fun at it and they just did it to make money, or whatever, and you really can’t make money at it. I’ve just skated for fun ever since I started it.”
But he won a Thanksgiving Day contest at Pipeline in California, and he ended up talking to Stacy Peralta about feeling reinvigorated and excited about skateboarding again. And he got his first pro model with Powell Peralta. In another account, he said Stacy just randomly gave him a board, but I think the first story was a little more accurate. Also, this is off topic, but this was a funny quote from an interview in 1983:
“What do you think about growing old?
That’s my problem. I don’t like it. It’s bad.”
This is 36 years ago! He was still doing video parts over 30 years after this and he already thought he was old.
Time goes on, Lance wins more contests, gets more coverage in magazines, and gets his first pro model with Powell. Then he stars in the Bones Brigade Video Show, and his board gets incredibly popular. He becomes one of the biggest names in skateboarding. What kind of tricks does it take to get to be one of the biggest names in skating?
Ok, keep in mind, video parts were different at the time. You’d basically film for a couple days and that was it. And I’m not making fun of Lance because he’s currently in his mid 50s and he’s 10 times better at skating than me. But still. Let’s take a look.
- So, he slappies up a curb and rolls across some grass.
- Early grab.
- A street plant thing.
- He does a no comply grab, which to be fair, was still a new trick at the time.
- He does powerslides on a bank here. It looks pretty good at least.
- Here are a couple tricks on a curb.
That’s about it. This video made him one of the most popular skateboarders on the planet. But keep in mind what I said earlier. Street skating essentially didn’t exist. Lots of kids didn’t even think of skating on curbs and finding those little gaps that you could early grab. No complies were new, and this might have been the first time a lot of skaters got to see how it worked. It looks really confusing in pictures. So this part really helped kick off street skating and inspire imaginations for a lot of people.
A few more years go by, and he gets a pro spotlight in Transworld, and he co-stars in Animal Chin. The level of skating goes way up by this video.
- The whole team does some airs at Wallows.
- There are some good launch ramp wallrides here that look like a lot of fun. A street plant section. Some stuff on a launch ramp, like this method.
- This wallride down a gap was pretty sick.
Speaking of sick, I always assumed this was just slang when I was in high school. But I learned from this video that the term ‘sick’ is actually a skater term from back in the 80s. I had no idea.
- Lots and lots of vert stuff in this section, like this pink motel pool. Lance has a lot of stuff here, including turning into an ethereal ghost.
- Next up is the famous Chin ramp. This ramp was made solely to film this video and then destroyed immediately afterward to maintain the mystique. Woodward built a copy of it, but we’ll talk about that later. This was apparently the first vert spine ramp ever built. But Lance has some good stuff here.
These guys were on the top of the world. Public Domain came out the next year, but it wasn’t quite the sensation that Animal Chin was. I’ll show you some footage from that. But board sales were actually doing really well finally!
“Lance remembers, ‘The same month I got an 11,000-dollar [board-royalty] check, I think Stevie [Caballero] got one for eighteen [thousand].’”
After inflation, that’s $24,000 for Lance and $39,000 for Steve. Lance knew this was the peak though.
I mean, I remember sitting there talking with Stacy after Animal Chin going “What are we going to do now?” And we were like “It’s the beginning of the end”. That was WAAAAY before …that was 4 years early but we knew it was the beginning of the end.
The big checks kept coming until about 1990, throughout a couple more videos, namely Ban This and Propaganda. Lance was really getting deeper into street skating, even hitting some handrails. Lance says that he wasn’t really accepted into street skating at this point. But another trick he does in this video is a McTwist. He learned them in 1985, but keep that in mind as we look into this interview quote from 1990:
“Do you think you will still be doing what you’re doing now, when you’re 30?
Definitely, definitely I’ll be doing what I’m doing now when I’m 30, unless I’m completely destroyed. But I think there might be a point when you get old… Well, no one knows how long you can skate, but I think there might be a point where you might not improve anymore. But I think you can stay at your same level because you see Alva; he’s so rad, he’s still doing’ it. He’s 32 and can still do his airs and stuff in the pools. You know, maybe he hasn’t improved, but he stayed at that point and he can still skate pools. So if he had learned inverts, I imagine he would still be doin’ inverts.”
Ok, so he was doing mctwists. Let’s see if he could still do them when he turned 30.
This is really funny to read about now. I’m 31, and I feel really old too, but there are skaters who are still big names like Chris Haslam, Chris Cole and Daewon Song who put out footage who are a lot older than that. But skaters getting old was a new concept. Like we talked about earlier, the last generation of pros had to quit and get jobs because there wasn’t any money in being a pro skater. So guys like Lance and Tony Hawk and Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero were the very first guys who were able to live out the longest possible career, even up to these days. But the idea that Lance is thinking about being washed up at 26 is just foreign to us now.
But I don’t blame him for feeling that way. This is around the time when all the exciting new brands were coming out, and the older generation got very little respect.
“I like street skating. I’m not just limited to going back and forth on a ramp. But what about these weird new street tricks? We didn’t develop this stuff… we were 10-year-olds again. We were once again trying to do what we saw in the magazines but we were professionals at this point.
Did we feel awkward about it? Yes. Filming it as well? Yes. What about when you hear other up-coming pros who are telling people that we suck and that we should go away? Yes, that’s awkward.”
So street skating was getting bigger, but there was a lot less money in skateboarding for a few reasons. First, there were more brands that had to share the available revenue that was coming in, but also, the number of skaters was actually going down. The Transworld from 1990 actually mentioned that there were fewer teenagers now. Which is really interesting, because I never thought about it, but it’s true.
After world war two, for a while, there was a big spike in the birth rate. The people born during this spike were called baby boomers. This boom of kids became teenagers in the 70s and on into the 80s a bit. And now, as they all start to retire, they’re going to collapse our economy. In the 1990s, there were actually fewer teenagers than there were before. Even if skateboarding was getting more popular by percentage, over all, there were fewer people to start skating.
He got deeper into street skating in Powell Peralta’s ‘Eight’ video.
He did some street gaps and a lipslide on a curb. Still mostly vert though. He never stops being a vert skater. But things were really starting to die out at Powell. Stacy Peralta was getting burned out having to find and groom new kids. Brands like Blind were taking off. Tony Hawk was planning on leaving. They were talking about having Lance run his own brand as well. Lance really really didn’t want to do that though.
He tried to ask Colin McKay and Eric Koston to ride for his new brand, and they said no. Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta left. It looked bad for him starting a brand with Powell, and he didn’t want to join a smaller brand.
Because Lance really hated those little brands, didn’t he? He made an ad with Tony Hawk and Ray Barbee making fun of little brands and implying that they’d all go out of business. This must have been long before antiperspirant was invented.
“And it was making fun of small companies. It was a direct thing against World and Blind and everything probably. And if I would have known that I wouldn’t have done it. I thought Blind was great. When I saw the Blind video I was like ‘It’s over for us’.
“It was more…when we talked about it, we heard it was more going to be making more fun of clothing. I mean, if you look at it we were wearing crazy weird clothes, and glasses and it was sold to us as if it was going to be a clothing stuff. I mean, why were we wearing those weird clothes if we were making fun of small companies? I don’t know what went weird on it or what happened at that point but when it all happened I was like…I was so disinterested in skateboarding right there anyways. I was just lost like …’man, times are weird’.”
He wasn’t opposed to small companies in general, it was because World Industries had such wicked graphics. This is what he said:
“I couldn’t do a company-I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to! I just wanted to do what was right and decent. I looked to the Lord for what to do; he forced me to rely on him, and I did. I ended up doing it [starting a company] myself, even though, to be honest, I tried every way I could to get out of it.”
The name of the company The Firm is based around the idea of holding firm to his integrity to Jesus….. And the mob.
“That’s what the name The Firm meant-to stand firm in what you believe. The British mob was also called The Firm. I always liked the hooligan soccer firms from the U.K., and they’re renegades, kinda like skateboarders, so it all linked in.”
The mob also shoots people in the face, I bet.
He ran The Firm out of his house for 9 years and then 6 more through Blitz Distribution.
I won’t talk too much about the Firm. It wasn’t the most exciting company to me when I started skating. The graphics were fine, but they weren’t remarkable. There wasn’t a strong brand to it, as far as an attitude or anything. It didn’t appeal to me much at the time. And it wasn’t greatly successful. Lance talks about wanting to stop it, but he couldn’t because people’s lives were tied up in it and he couldn’t let everyone go. He was able to get Blitz to do most of the work eventually, then he himself left for Flip later down the line. He said that he did that mostly out of disinterest in the industry side of skateboarding, and the fact that the Flip offer was good. Several guys on the team were set up, and it worked for as many people as possible.
Funny story though. John Lucero, of BlackLabel, heard about the Firm closing, and made Lance a board, not knowing that he was already on Flip. If you’re looking for a rare, collectible deck, check this story out:
“I didn’t tell him before. He didn’t know everything. When I stopped doing the Firm we already knew that we were getting on Flip. Like I didn’t just stop and go ‘Oh what am I going to do?’. I knew a long time ago what the plans were. I stopped it to do Flip. But I didn’t tell anybody. So when I did, they were like ‘You’re riding for Label!!!!’. Which would be awesome cuz John is awesome. Black Label is rad but I was like ‘nah nah. I’m actually riding for Flip’. So they were like ‘Whoah, We already got your board anyways’. Just a fun thing you know? So he made 50 boards to give away to his friends and shops and stuff. I think there are actually only 30 out there cuz he gave me some…so there’s only like 30 that are actually floating around.”
But remember when I was talking about Lance thinking he was old and worried about whether he’d be able to do 540s when he was 30? Well guess what. He had a Transworld Pro Spotlight come out in 1997 when he was 33 years old. And still, he’s worried about being washed up and old.
“When I tried to reassure him that his plans sounded well worthy of a Pro Spotlight, he added, ‘I want this thing to be good, you know? If I were a kid, I wouldn’t want to open up TransWorld and see some so-so interview.’ I translated that statement into, ‘I don’t want this interview to look like a 33 year old who’s past his prime.’”
But during the photoshoot for this interview, he does a 540. As far as I was able to find, this was his last documented one. I’m sure there were more, but he absolutely could do 540s in his 30s. And I found that really inspiring because I’m in my 30s now. And researching Lance and watching stuff he does later, even in his 50s, shows that you can still skate better than most people at a skatepark when you get older. So he actually inspired me to get out there and skate more often, even though I’m falling apart.
But he keeps skating for the next 20 years. His part in the Firm’s video isn’t mind blowing, but he does lots of airs and inverts and grinds and stuff, like you would expect. He was of course managing the team and doing all of the art and producing all of the hardgoods, so this doesn’t necessarily represent the best he could possibly do. It’s still good though.
Next was Nike SB’s Nothing but the Truth in 2007. He’s just in the credits, and he does a couple of tricks. He got on the team right when filming was wrapping up, which is why it’s just a cameo. Can’t blame him for that one. 2007 also saw Lance being honored with the Legend award. And honestly, it makes sense. Almost nobody had been in skateboarding as long as him and had been a pro for as long. Remember, the group of guys that came out before him all pretty much stopped skating and pursued careers. He’s one of the first guys that had pro models consistently for 25 years or so.
“I think it’s absolutely insane that I have the opportunity to be in a magazine and a video when I remember being 17 and sitting with Neil saying, ‘Oh man, our careers are over. Now what do we do?’” Thrasher, 2008
Lance’s next major video part came out in 2009’s Extremely Sorry. Flip paid to have this pool built in his backyard. And it’s really interesting to hear him talk about his specifications for a pool. Essentially he wanted it to ride like an actual swimming pool, and not like a skatepark pool, which is made a little bit more ideal for skating on. He also has a rule that the vert be at least as long as a board’s wheelbase. That way when you clear the coping, you’re going straight up. These days, with everyone learning ollies, you can pop back in a little bit and not worry about hanging up. But doing stuff the old school way with early grabs makes it important to have enough vert. That’s something I never would have thought of. But he planned all of that out, and had this built. He does some good stuff here, like ollieing over the ladder, the switch crook, and the lien 360. But there’s no 540. In a chromeball article, he says,
“I must’ve tried 540s a month straight. I have no guts anymore (laughs).”
Was this his last part? Nope, no way. He’s still killing it. A couple years ago in 2016, there was an Animal Chin reunion. You may have heard of this. They got Woodward to rebuild the Chin Ramp, and have it as a permanent installation. You may remember that it was built for the video and then destroyed. Well they got the crew together and everyone got to skate the ramp. It’s a video worth checking out and watching, but since we’re focusing on Lance here and this video is 85 hours long, we’ll just take a look at the tricks he did.
Also in 2016 comes my favorite Lance part of all, Nike SB Chronicles. His backyard pool gets more of a workout, but he actually does a fair bit of street. He’s 52 years old! He boardslides a handrail. He does a 5-0 off of a kicker. And the trick that really blew my mind is this frontside crook. Are you serious?
I’ve never even landed a front crook before. They just don’t make sense to me. I could never get one to lock in. And yet Lance has a son 5 years older than me. Just imagine this. Picture a guy at the skatepark in his mid 30s. He skates when he can, but with his job and family, he doesn’t get out as much as he’d like to. Sort of like me, but, you know, I don’t have a family.
Anyway, you get to talking with the guy, and he says his dad is going to come pick him up because they’re going out to dinner together. Dad shows up. He’s in his 50s. He looks like maybe he could carve around a pool sometimes, but that’s about it. He borrows your board and does a frontside crook on a ledge.
Lance will always be better at vert than me, even when he’s 85. That’s a given. But to see him go out and do a STREET trick I’ve never landed really inspired me. I recently started a series where I go back and land tricks that I did a long time ago called Tricks and Tribulations. Of course I started it right when winter started and I’ve been buried in snow, so I haven’t been able to do much with it. But it’ll come back. That whole concept, and me skating more in general, probably comes 90% of the way from that front crook. Honestly, I’ve said some less-than-flattering things about Lance in this video, but he gets a big thumbs up from me for still killing it after all this time. Go find this video part and watch it.
He did suffer a pretty bad injury or three around this time though. He has injured his knee a few times, and he also tore both of his biceps. Was that a sign that he should maybe stop?
In Tribe from 2017 he’s got a couple tricks. These could potentially be throwaway clips from Nike, but they look like they were shot in standard definition. That can be faked I guess. But it’s probably not.
And even as late as 2018, Lance was out on tour with Nike, where he did a wallride on a bank, and skated some pools. He’s 54 in this video.
Most recently, Lance was working on making Anti-Hero graphics. This was mid 2019, but I also worked on this video for like 4 months so this is as up to date as I was able to get.
But that’s Lance! Another guy whose skating I wasn’t in love with when I started this video, but someone who I definitely got a lot of inspiration out of.