Tim O'Connor. Switch krooked grind.
About a decade ago, back in Northern New Jersey, me and a bunch of my friends were skating our asses off, getting sponsored (which, of course, is nearly every skater's dream at one time or another) and having some pretty damn good times. In the mid-nineties, NYC, NJ and Philly blasted onto the radar of the skate industry and TransWorld decided to do a 27-page (yes, 27 freakin' pages!) article on the NJ scene for their November 1997 issue, alongside a Tim Brauch interview and Danny Way's first record-breaking high air and helicopter bomb drop. Not too shabby for 'ol Dirty Jerz huh?
I was scanning these photos for a friend and tripping down memory lane and thought it would be cool to post 'em up here. Of course, there's no photo of me. Although I had some sponsors and competed a bit, I was never quite as good as the rest of these dudes. I spent far too much time working overnights in a bagel shop and in college working on the writing degrees to bring my skating to the level these guys did. But it paid off because I ended up getting some of my first writing gigs for TransWorld a few years after this article came out. Maybe these guys aren't all pro skaters now, but they have come pretty far, each in their own way. I'm proud of 'em. So here's some of my long-time NJ friends:
Panch Moler. Smith grind.
Nick Protopappas. Switch 50-50.
Leo Fitzpatrick. Hurricane grind.
Andy Bautista. Kickflip.
TransWorld Skateboarding, November 1997.