Friday, April 3, 2009

b. ferdinand 1990

when i was about 13 my
mom would take me to this shitty beach
in Alameda, Ca. Not a beach with waves but just
where some land ends
on the shore of the bay. Sludgy
muck sand that lays on the edge of filthy bay
water. Alameda is one of the towns that butts up
against Oakland, 5 minutes away.
The beach is fairly deserted in the winter
and on weekdays,... but come summer it becomes
beach party USA. Sorta.
Not really.
Picture a ghetto beach
5 minutes from
Oakland and blue collar towns
like fremont, san leandro,
and hayward. What I'm getting
at is the mix of people is
bizarre. At the time there were
brothers with the stove-top afros
playing frisbee with their chicks
sportin the crazy neon 2-live
crew bathing suits. Right next
to them was some dude probably named
Gary that drove a bitchin tubbed Nova
and was downing Coors lite
like water...and next to that some
goth kids that hate their parents
huddled up under a black umbrella...... somewhere
in the mix was my Mom
and i pulling up in a light blue pinto
station wagon with the words "chavo"
spray painted across the hood. At the
time my Mom had long black hair on
one side of her head and the other was
a combination of dreadlock and shaved
patches and some small braided strands
with copper wire wrapped around the
ends. When we showed that whole mix of
people, that i mentioned above that
had nothing in common,....suddenly had
one thing in common. They were all
staring at my Mom.
At this time i wanted a skimboard real
bad. Cause this beach was flat,
had no waves, and was pretty boring in
general the one thing it did have
was these massive shallow puddles when
the tide went down. So if i had a
skimboard i could fly across them. My
Mom explained to me that skimboards
were to expensive and we could easily
make one. So she took an old piece
of 3/8" plywood (i remember it was 3/8
cause it was spray painted on the
piece of wood) and cut out the shape of
a skimboard. She handed me a piece
of sandpaper and told me to sand the edges.
So i did. When i was done i told
her "i think we need wax".
she handed me a candle. I didn't know
which side to wax and
my mom didn't either so she told me to
wax both a sides. So i did.
So it was a hot summer day and the
beach was filled with people
and we showed up. Mom and me with our
bathroom towels and a "new"
skimboard equipped with some pretty
killer graphics that
read 3/8 across the bottom. i boogied
as fast as i could down
to the longest most shallow puddle i
could find. held the skimboard
by the tail and the side and ran my
little ass off.... when i dropped
the board down and was thinking i was
going to jump on it, it nose
dived and i endo-ed over the front sliding
face first into the puddle.
But after some time and flipping it from
side to side to see which
worked better it started to work.
somehow.... a flat piece of shit
cut out of left over plywood, waxed
on both sides....worked.

That's the day I met Brian Ferdinand.
He came up and just stood
at the edge of the puddle watching me
struggle with this thing.
He wanted to try it... so he did.
We quickly figured out that we both skated.
He wanted to show me his board. A black Christian
Hosoi with indy's and four different color wheels.
Only a pro skater had four different color wheels at
that time. Brian could already ollie and tear around
and was already part of some skate crew. We parted
ways and didn't see each other again for a couple
years.... but that's a whole other story.

brian- seven years later.
with one of my favorite spitfire


Armpit Studios said...

That's an amazing story. I always wished I grew up in CA instead of IA. I had Gullwings and Bones on my homemade 3/4" board, but I had no idea what to do with it. Looking at photos in Skateboarder didn't help. So I just went up and down our flat driveway, thinking I was having a blast. Yee-fuckin-ha. I'm going to go Google Earth that beach and pretend I'm there.

RyGar said...

Killer story. Why "chavo"? Maybe yer mom was a big Black Flag Fan? My friends and I did the homemade skimboard outta plywood, too. My friend Butch's dad suggested he make his a circle for some reason, and that shit was almost unrideable. We put some sort of shellac on the bottom, and those fuckers were fast. Butch broke his toes trying to be cool guy and chucking his board into the sand to stand it up. Skimboarding seemed perfect for me because I can't swim for shit, but I've always been super into the beach and the ocean. This was all in Santa Cruz. Once we found out Derby was only a few blocks from our skim spot, that all fell to the side and we went back to our skate roots. Spitfire needs to use that classic logo more often. Even though I've got the standard flame guy logo tat, but it's just too omnipresent these days.

B. Ferdinand said...

My mom had a "poodle perm" and Carole King "Tapestry" playing in the 8-track deck.

Doug said...

Yeah Max...Great read..Growing up in the Bay Area was fun for me to, my Buds and i used to ride our StingRays up Prospect Road in Cupertino right before Saratoga and we found this house for sale and empty..looked like some rich fuck used to live there and we snuck over the fence and found a drained Kidney shaped pool, we did our first skate in a pool just trying to be like Tony Alva or Stacey Peralta...anyhow if you went farther up the hill you could do a downhill run and get going like 40 miles an hour..but it was bennet trucks right before trackers became available and you'd get the shakes BAD..anyhow..Great to hear about that stuff..we had a white pinto wagon that we used to slide way sideways on the way to school

Unknown said...

Amazing Max. Funny how a similar experience can ocurr in polar opposite conditions. Had just moved from San Jose with mom after the divorce, to shiny Del Mar CA. She's confused, i'm scared. First day at the local beach, only this one is fronted by multimillion $ beach homes and lined with white 90210ers. All eyes on my mom too--cause shes sportin a string bikini and an egregious layer of butter oil. Your ply skimboard is my foam boogieboard. Your run in with Ferdinand is my encounter with Powell rider Lori Rigsbee, with red bikini bottom and rare factory second Lance Mountain T. Her brother stares at my mom and sis. Next day I'm at the DM Skate Ranch for the 1st time. Rest is history.

drsprocket said...

Your journeys down memories varied lanes are the best Max. After it's all said and done that's all we have. The Sporty fires in the morning. Your due a visit next week to view the results if all goes as planned tommorrow.

scotthn said...

love the old'n'days storys!
if you keep blog'ing them, i'll keep reading them!

Unknown said...

What a rad picture that painted n my head. Great story.

Ferdi is still just as tall as when you met him!! Just kidd'n.
Ferdi rips on them skateboards still also.

mindpill said...

nice... like i said before maxie.... keep writing, it`s fun to drag up old memories or crazy stories. therapy.......

LUCKY said...

I so remember that ad! Bitchin story Max! The first summer I spent in cali with my aunt she took me to huntington beach I think,I got ta surf which ruled I took to it fast and got to skate some bitchin spots! Corse livin in a small town where ya gotta drive 45 mins ta Portland to skate a good park depressed ya ta come home!

Davidabl said...

Max, I am not too surprised to find out that your mom wasn't the typical suburban mom.

Unknown said...

i busted my face open one day at lori rigsbee's ramp. if it's the same greg, we lived in the same neighborhood and skated together some at tad's nature ramp incarnation. thanks for the memory.
chris a.

Anonymous said...

max, keep telling killer stories. always enjoy reading the blawg.
-rob e.

Brad said...

That shitty beach is still there.

Kris Bennett said...

Max - Love your stories brother, always make me feel like I was there too. Thanks for sharing.

Revolverkiller said...

I went to high school with Brian (he also lived down the street from me for a while) his ramp in his back yard was small and crazy, never could get the nerve to drop in.