The pride of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Jim Gagne has been on the outside looking in for a long time. His name has resounded throughout the Northeast as an outlaw hero for almost a decade, but the pretty-boy sunbathers of the West Coast, those who run the show, have all but ignored his talent, heart, and persistence. True, through the years they’ve thrown him a few bones, a sponsorship here, a photo or video clip there, but he’s always tossed their skeptical adoration right back in their faces. This dog wants respect.
On his back he wears the tattooed words “Death Or Glory,” and by the way he lives his life, there seems to be no other choice. His peers look upon him in reserved amazement; he’s technical, yet few are burlier. He travels from spot to spot without hype or fanfare, unleashing his own mix of “techgnar” skating, dropping jaws and leaving skaters scratching their heads. But in the backwoods they understand; they always have and always will. There are pro skaters, those with pro-model shoes who have their own action figures and own houses, and then there are skateboarders like Jim, who skate until their body breaks, drink Bud Light, and who have nothing but some empties and a broken body when the day is done. – Mike Vallely