On the whole, we’re a pretty peaceful crew. We do a decent job governing ourselves. And considering the astounding ignorance displayed by those around us, we’re not too shabby at keeping things civil, whether it’s elderly pedestrians, small business owners, gang bangers, security guards, cops, the homeless, small children or the last four Rollerbladers. However, in those rare instances when a smile or taking the high road won’t get the job done-these are the ten dudes I’d want in my corner if the shit hit the fan. Here is a list of the top ten skateboarders you don’t want to mess with.
Is known as The Floridian Workshop O.G. came up hard in Memory Screen (91). His personality quickly became as well known, if not better known, than his skating. By the time Timcode (97) dropped, with a part consisting of four tricks, Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire:, and the slow-mo shot of him casually watching his arm burn, dudes like Chris Gentry, who had a mop handle snapped over his head for sucker punching Scott Conklin learned that Turner was not the type of guy to shy away from defending his friends, beliefs or opinions.
Say what you will about Iron Mike, but he will always let you know where he stands. The fact that he’s in skateboarding’s corner is great as far as I am concerned. Are you really going to tell me you’ve never felt a tingle of glee as he squares up to some contest security krook? The fact that his one-on-four TKO (which was caught on film by Bam Margera) is better known than pretty much anything on Youtube puts him on this list on Google Analytics stats alone.
The stuff of a legend. Sheffey reigned supreme at all skate-related functions over the span of the late 90’s. Watching him skate was enough to recognize the raw power he exuded since skating Pulaski In A Rason For Living (90). But watching him strut through an ASR event or grab the mic off Method Man, shirtless and in tinted shades was enough to make Antwuan Dixon look like Curren Caples.
Mic-E is another hall of famer. He’s a pillar to skateboarding, and I’m not just saying that so I don’t get beat up. Well, maybe I am. The stories you hear about the guy since his days in Sick Boys 9’88), the SMA/Cadillac Tour, his tenure on the SFPD, and his early days as a Deluxe Team Manager, lead me to believe I should be very afraid. But the dude is such a nice guy that it’s hard to believe he is the same dude joyriding a cop car in Cardiel’s Epicly Later’d. All the same, I’d venture to say that he is not a person to be taken lightly.
You may have heard the story of Kenny and Double Dragon Plaza in Barcelona. From what I understand, it goes something like this: Four Moroccan gypsies pulled knives on Kenny whilst he and Strubing were skating the Barca bump late one night in ’04. Rather than hand over his wallet and his board as demanded, Kenny beat the four dudes so badly that one of them was seen a week later on the Rambles with a cast on his arm.
Jeff’s one tough individual. He’s been central to the NY skate scen since Skypager(’93). He garnered respect as one of the East Coast’s illest at the dan of Zoo Your, kad a cameo in Kids (’95), later run much of Zoo as the Team Manager, and has since headed up the DC skate along with UXA. For the sake of this article, I can best attest to Jeff’s strength by the fact that he was able to choke me at a Hong Kong airport gate with a broken arm. Firm but fair.
In the infancy of Lockwood’s heyday, people like Chuck Wampler, who was shot several times at point blank range but survived, learned that some of the gangs on Virgil Avenue didn’t care to understand why white kids with skateboards were coming to their East L.A. elementary school. When the local gangs learned that Fabian Alomar, a neighborhood kid with family ties to the gangs, was amongst the skaters, they reportedly tolerated our presence.
During his tenure as the Think Team Manager, Greg notched campfire stories of “hands-on talent management” that became stuff or lore. Carroll’s prototype became standard issue amongst other aspiring team managers across the industry. While quitting Think may have sounded like a novel idea at the time, certain hidden costs made the idea slightly less appealing. Let’s just say your severance package may have to come in the form of a head butt.
The Mess has run Venice since Abbot Kinney passed. This article isn’t about highlighting tough guys for the sake of glorifying violence. Rather, it’s about saluting dudes who stood and fought when it came time to hold our ground. I saw Jesse throw a crew of gangbangers out of the Venice Pavilion circ ’95. He called every skater over and we lined up behind him. There was no violence, but we showed we had some backbone. Thanks for the skatepark, Jess. VSA represent.
EMB’s Godfather needs little introduction. Kelch is widely known to have laid down the law, handed out or revoked passes, and spear-headed the hustle during the height of the Justin Herman Plaza, circa ’90-95. After making his bones skating the brings since ’86, Big Dirt was Commander In Chief to skateboarding’s most notorious crew. For that alone, Kelch, I salute you.