Monday, September 7, 2009

A classic time in skating-TAMPA the early years

Fun times.
Back in 93 skateboarding was a rough ride if you were looking to pay the bills.
This ad reminds me of how much fun could be had earning a whopping $300 bucks a month.
This was just after vert skating had fallen off the face of the earth and street skating began to take over the world.
With all the vert ramps gone Brian Shaefer, Leonard Trubia and Paul Zitzer wanted a ramp to skate so they got a warehouse , gathered what ever money they had and built a place for them and their friends to ride.
It was a private ramp and donations were appreciated. Sooner than later a few minor street things were put next to the ramp and all the Florida street skaters would come and skate.
The warehouse quickly became too small for the building sessions and the guys took the next step and got a bigger warehouse right next to Ybor in Tampa(a perfect location to focus on skating). I am not sure if it was ever meant to be anything more than a place for friends to skate but as soon as the new warehouse opened people started migrating from all over the states including a heavy North of the border migration from Toronto Canada.
The vert ramp was moved into the corner so that a proper (and probably the first) real street course could happen. The original pyramid that they built was the best one ever. To this day it is still the staple design for a perfect pyramid(Fluke or ahead of it's time design by a bunch of vert skaters)?
For anyone that was there during those days it was absolutely awesome.
Street and Vert skateboarding took huge progressive leaps forward with new shit being invented on the daily by the likes of Mike Frazier, Bo Turner, Mike Daher, Brian(late shove it) Shaefer, Leonard Tubia, Scott Conklin, Justin Bokma, John Montessi, Paul Zitzer, Brian Howard, Tas Pappas, Ben Pappas RIP, Matt Milligan, Kenny Hughes, and so many more.
Partying also took some serious leaps forwards, back and sideways as a few bars in Ybor offered $5 all you can drink. The proximity of the skatepark to Ybor city was a perfect and unperfected situation for skateboarders.
It kicked the shit out of all of us for years good and bad but without Brian and those guys taking the initiative to make something happen back then I do not know what skateboarding would be like today.
They gave a lot of people somewhere to come together and skate at a time when no one else would or for the most part could... we were all too drunk.
So hats off to all the SPOT crew and for all those who have not been there to skate make the SPOT in Tampa one of your travel destinations in March or December to catch the Am and Pro or anytime for that matter.

P.S. Any one remember when Humpty Hump came by to check out the late night festivities?


  1. Bill...those were some good times. The night Shock G aka Humpty Hump came to the park is still very fresh in my memory. That was after the Kenny K benefit in Ybor....there were definately some wild nights that went down...i love seeing some of the old photos...........i hope all is going well with you..........great article....... Much love..Chris Clouse

  2. good times bill!
    too many stories from those early days!
    -j reeves