Pat Duffy back 50 at School Q while Mike Ternasky films for Plan B’s Questionable, 1992. Photo: Dan Sturt
I’ve been posting my #skatenerdstarmaps installments on my Instagram account for almost a year now. I just notched 300. In the simplest sense, they are basically just photos of old skatespots. It started as a way to pass time while my baby daughter napped and we drove past various LA proving grounds of old, and now serves as a way to pass time between interviewing skateboarders for a living. Without waxing too philosophical about it (that’s what you say when your about to wax philosophical about something), I like to think skateboarders have a really unique relationship with their surroundings. It’s all been said a million times, but we interact and exploit architecture in a way different to pretty much anyone. Where others see drab empty parking lots, dilapidated benches or deserted schoolyards, we see the promised land.
Meanwhile, the backdrops in our favorite videos and photos have also always seemed critical to the equation. Where most pastimes or sports make themselves synonymous with just one field, stadium, or court, our stadium is the world at large—Las Calles Son Nuestras. The locations of some of our most beloved photos or parts become legends by proxy—they are the frames around our gold—down to the shape and color of surrounding architecture, the street signs in the background, or even the texture and imperfections of the asphalt. To the terminal skate nerd (guilty as charged), the magic that skateboarding breathed into these spots years ago never fades. To visit them today, or even just see a present day photo of them, transports us back immediately into the heat of the battle. It transports us onto the sets of some of the greatest memories of our lives.
That said, I wanted to begin expanding on some of the #skatenerdstarmaps into blog posts. Not only to reach people who might not be on Instagram, but also to post the images in full desktop glory and be able to go into more detail than the tight confines of an Instagram caption might afford. First up, here is a brief photographic/videographic recap of skateboard history at “School Q” in San Diego, AKA San Pasqual High School, Escondido, California. This isn’t a complete record, just what came to mind as the broad strokes.—Mackenzie Eisenhour
First up, here’s a present day photo of the bank and rail from the Duffy photo above. A second rail was added at the bottom of the bank to skatestop it in the mid ’90s. Click for XL. Photo: Blair.
Meanwhile, this was Duffy’s make in Questionable along with a present day front angle by Blair.
Going back, prior to the ’90s, Matt Hensley had already shot a ton of classic photos further down the bank. Here is the classic October 1989 TWS cover of a melon to fakie. Photo: Brittain.
Back on the other side, here’s a present day view from behind the rail. You can see the same hill in the distance as on the Hensley cover. Photo: Blair.
Here’s another Hensley photo from the same day as the cover. ollie out from the bank to 5-0, TWS ’89. Photo: Brittain.
Another angle of the cover shot. Photo: Brittain.
One more, this one backside. STP. Photo: Brittain.
This was the side where the Hensley photos were shot. You can see the main crack in the asphalt in all the Hensley photos. A little up from there was also where people would ollie out over the can (Brennan Schoeffel ollied two cans on top of each other in the Life video ). At some point during the ’90s they added a curb at the top to further skatestop it. Photo: Blair.
Maps 303: Here’s a Hensley backside flip melon over the can from H-Street’s Hokus Pokus (1989/footage from ’88).
Rick Howard also opened his part in Blockhead’s Splendid Eye Torture (1989) at School Q. From top right: front board to fakie from the bank, tailgrab one-foot the less skated hip, and front 180 the can into the bank.
A little bit later, here’s Sean Sheffey’s late bigspin over the table from Questionable.
One more Hensley melon, this one over the can. Staple puffy cheeks. Photo: Brittain.
Maps 305: John “JTMR” Reeves also went the other way. Here’s his part ending ollie over the rail from his shared part with Donger in the Life video (A Soldier’s Story, 1990).
Maps 304: Another off the bank gem; Hensley’s fakie 540 ollie from his retirement part in Plan B’s Questionable (1992).
Here’s Brian Lotti’s “Spin Off” (body varial 360) from Planet Earth’s Now n’ Later (1991).
Dan Peterka, late front 360 shove the corner rail from H-Street, Next Generation (1992).
Full straight on shot, present day. Photo: Blair.
Sean Sheffey’s lipslide attempt from Questionable (’92) and GSD’s Handrails and Stairs feature the March 1992 issue of TWS. Photo: Sturt.
Out front of the school, you can also see the now sealed off super steep rail that Duffy notoriously 50/50s twice in Questionable (92).
Front angle of the rail, present day. Photo: Blair. Airwalk ran an ad with a photo of just the rail at the time (Duffy was on Airwalk).
Two years before the Duffy 50-50, I only recently realized this was also the same set of rails (rail on far left) that Rick Howard boardslid to end his part in Splendid Eye Torture (1989).
Meanwhile, after they put in the lower bar in the ’90s, skaters still did tricks over the skatestoppers. Here’s a Donny Barley back shifty from Toy Machine’s Welcome to Hell (’96).
Finally, most recently, here’s Robbie Brockel going over both rails from flat. TWS Wallpaper, October 2012. Photo: Muller.
For more #skatenerdstarmaps, follow me on Instagram: @deadhippie