Ten Skateboarders You Don’t Want To Mess With

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.

Bo Turner
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.

Mike Vallely
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.

Sean Sheffey
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 Reyes
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.

Kenny Hughes
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 Pang
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.

Fabian Alomar
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.

Greg Carroll

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.

Jesse Martinez

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.

James Kelch
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.

View Comments (2)


  1. Heidi Lemmon

    February 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Jesse is a stand up guy. We worked on the Venice park and VSA for 14 years. He designed that park with Zack and thru in the snake run for the long boarders, to include everyone. That snake run is the #1 feature in the park and Jesse is there every day making sure the park is clean and managed. He hosts events and is Venice.

  2. Jay Sinclair

    September 1, 2013 at 1:09 am

    You forgot Caine Gayle who after he retired from skating became a Muay Thai kickboxer, and is now a highly regarded trainer. You also forgot Tom Knox iwho has been a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter for the last couple of years. And Greg Carroll? Please.

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