John Cardiel Good Stuff

Just yesterday John got stabbed with a ski pole, taking a nine-stitch chunk out of his face–some old man lookin’ for a beatdown.

One time somewhere in South America I couldn’t go into a Japanese restaurant and eat dinner with everyone because you had to take your shoes off–the smell of my feet could kill canaries. So instead, me and John went and sat on the edge of a pool with a six-pack. Sitting there, we saw a guy get hit by a car–hard. He flew. The two guys in the car jumped out, picked up the guy, threw him into the backseat, and sped off.

We finished our six-pack and walked back toward the restaurant. While we were waiting, we got into a soccer match with some real fans of the sport. By some misunderstanding, tempers exploded and fists flew. John took the first one on the chin and retorted with the gaze of an eagle, “What are you gonna do now?” His enemy had lost.

We must live the specific to experience the whole.–Julien Stranger

John Cardiel … that name always brings up motivation when I hear it. I first saw photos of John when he was Skater Of The Year in 1992, ollieing the beach gap in San Francisco. I loved that sequence, the houses in the background looked like a painted background. It was a surreal picture being skated by a very real skateboarder. One-hundred-percent skateboarding is the feeling you get when skating with Cardiel.

I’ve never skated with anyone like him before–his love for skateboarding is as thick as armor. Sometimes I wonder if John is even human. I’ve seen him take slams no one else could live through, then stand back up, and try it again. He either makes what he’s trying and skates home, or he kills himself doing it and has to be taken to the hospital. Cardiel … Cardiel … Cardiel.–Bob Burnquist