The pain was a new one for me personally, almost interesting if it wasn’t so ominous. An innocuous bail had morphed into a game of twister and my left knee wasn’t on the right color. Several options (most not good) raced through my mind when I recalled a short conversation with Dave Hackett the previous day. He had a recent back injury and I asked him how he was doing, he stared at the bowl and said “dealin with it” then dropped in. I now realized what I had known all along and I dropped back in.
The El Gato Classic is the celebration of an era when the leaders of the skateboard world were all like Hackett. That moment in time, when the foundation of modern skateboarding was layed, the character of these tribal leaders was the steel that gave it strength. The Hester Series brought these people together and helped hasten the process. That is, in my opinion, the greatest legacy of that series. The Gold Cup Series brought in the trade specialists who began building the walls.
All analogies aside, skateboarding as we know it was forged in the crucible of this era and reflects the character and attitude of the founding fathers. I saw the El Gato Classic, I was there and I can tell you one thing … these boys still charge as hard as ever. Some moves have faded, others have disappeared completely but when you watch Brad Bowman pull off a frontside air with his style none of that matters at all. The inner drive and raw passion are still intact. This, combined with the fact that there were a lot of younger skaters there obviously digging the vibe and energy ensures that the spirit, the soul of skating will carry on and that is really something to celebrate. The boyz are still dealin.
Words by Duhaus
Photos by Lorrie Palmos and Todd Fuller