guest post: jeremy wray #1

Jeremy couldn't decide on a concept for his guest post... 

so he did four.

Welcome to Jeremy Wray Week on the Chrome Ball Incident. 

"Debbie Does Chrome Ball"

First off is Jeremy's take on the traditional CBI Mash-Up.


Let's begin with this classic pic of the one and only Mark Gonzales doing one of the most picturesque bonelesses ever shot. Let's all thank Grant Brittain for this one, too.

Everything about this image is a time capsule back to my childhood and earliest memories of skateboarding. From the wildly-patterned pants, the Chucks, and the yellow shirt to the small nose, square tail, risers, rails and big wide wheels. This photo actually makes me feel happy and makes me want to go skate the nearest bank with some old friends. It seems like you rarely get that kind of emotion when looking at current photos of skateboarding. This one has a soul and a life of it's own.

My other, and equally-favorite, inspirational figure from the early days is Natas Kaupas. This photo, also captured by Grant, gives off some really dynamic energy. Gotta love that paint pen grip, the super high tops, the ultra classic board shape and the balance between power and grace that only Natas and very few others are blessed with.

I can't even imagine how crazy these years must have been when literally every day Natas was doing something on a skateboard that had never been done before. Anything must have seemed possible and impossible at the same time. Natas and Gonz truly got to write the book on street skating and were unparalleled for many years to come.

This photo of Christian Hosoi and Scott Oster is pretty awesome. I love how symmetrical they are... Hosoi is blasting in this one, too!

Jonas and I used to skate the Venice boardwalk every now and then in the late 80's and stumbled upon this whole skate scene completely by accident. It must have been pretty close to the time this was shot because they were still running that raw plywood quarterpipe backed up to this same wall.

I remember us coming in on a jump ramp session that was in full effect. Probably the first time we ever saw skating of this caliber in person.

Jason Lee boosting a frontside Ollie at Beryl banks. Anyone who ever skated that spot knows how difficult it can be to do anything on. The bottom of that bank hits so hard both on the way up and on the way down.

Jason was always a big influence because of his natural style and trick selection. I loved that he could skate everything, too. Stereo was one of my favorite companies when they first came out. Their video A Visual Sound was a breath of fresh air at the time. The few times I got to see Jason skate in person around this time were a real treat... so fluid and in control. He also had the best backside flips and 360 flips hands-down.

The Swing Flip by Daniel Harold Sturt. This one really tripped me out the first time I saw it. If this is your first time laying eyes on it, don't just skim past it because it's tiny photos in a sequence. Take the time to appreciate how amazing this really is. Those dismount frames when he's flying through the air can stand on their own but you really need the rest to tell the complete story. One of my favorite sequences of all-time performed by one of my favorite photographers of all-time. In the next photo, you'll see why.

Matt Hensley, Frontside Ollie on the Cowbow Hat shot by Daniel Harold Sturt.

Like most of Sturt's photos, this one gets permanently engrained in your brain the moment you see it. Epic spot, legendary skater and Sturt behind the lens: always a recipe for success. I've never had the chance to skate or even see this spot in person. If it still exists, I just may have to put this on my to-do list.

Here's my brother Jonas doing a lofty shifty off a natural bump on the Salt Flats, shot by Jody Morris. He was actually riding Jody's board in this photo because the bigger wheels worked better on the rough salt.

When this cover dropped, everyone thought it was fake. No one could figure out how he was able to ollie on the snow so they figured it must be photoshopped or something. Jonas and Jody lived together around this time and they shot lots of photos over the span of those few years. Jonas never went out of his way to call up photographers or try to get coverage so after they moved out of that place and parted ways, it became increasingly rare to see photos of him.

We just recently linked back up with Jody and went on a skate/road trip... just like old times. Super fun!

Brian Lotti with a sweet yellow jumpsuit! This one always stood out to me. Lotti had lots of memorable photos... and video segments, too, for that matter. He is such a super creative and innovative skateboarder. Just an interesting person all around. I think that comes across in his coverage. Skateboarding needs more free thinkers like Brian. It keeps everything fresh and pushes skateboarding in new directions.

I do wish I could clip that one little branch out of the way of his face and make this the perfect photo but that's just the perfectionist in me.

Kris Markovich with the first flip trick ever to go down at the infamous Carlsbad gap. This gap was a beast, but then again so is Markovich. Skating faster, bigger, and further than anyone that came before him, he pushed the limits of what was considered possible and paved the way for all the next generation of skateboarding daredevils to follow (myself included).

He inspired so many and did it all for the love of skateboarding. One of street skating's true legends and pioneers. Respect your roots, little jumpers.

Geoff Rowley with huge pop shove off a launch ramp well after the jump ramp craze was over. This photo is pretty incredible. There is something about just plain going as big as you physically can. Geoff is definitely part of an elite crew that can push it that far and keep going at that level. His skateboarding commands respect and gets it. Any time I get to skate with Geoff is an inspiration and a reminder to keep pushing myself. Never give up, never give in, never say die.


I couldn't be more honored and humbled to have the legendary Jeremy Wray sitting in with us all week. Thanks once again, Jeremy.

And be sure to stay on the lookout for more Wray Bros goodness coming soon.

Respect your roots, little jumpers


Royce said...

VERY nice.


so stoked. people seem to forget unlike organized sports, and i use the term loosely cuz i look at skateboarding as individualism expression. what we do cannot be labeled. i mean, you only get a hundred yards on a football game and four bases in a baseball game. so if you go back and look at the history of those sports its pretty symmetrical. skateboarding on the other hand has a rich history of transcending boundaries.i wish more skateboarders took the time to see what a amazing thing we are part of.no rules. no boundaries. just have fun and fill your soul with happiness............sorry for the barney rambling.

Ricky Flip said...

Yeah! Sick lil history lesson Jeremy!

Ricky Flip said...

Yes! Sick history lesson Jeremy! Definitely some influential figures you highlighted.

t.a. said...

This is gonna be a good week! Dang that ollie, Jonas! Lotta talent in that family. It's not difficult to see how Jeremy was influenced by these guys - creativity, pop, power, etc.

Aside: the Cowboy Hat got moved to a public park and revamped some, like ten years ago. I'd say it's still worth a go for the story and history alone.

HBGabe said...

Rad, I grew up in Wrightwood where there was no scene and no parks at the time. First park I went to was the HB park in 96. Witnessed my first pro, Jeremy Wray...the tricks he did and how he did them would still stand up today, nice as hell too and answered my stupid little kid questions. Few years later, after skatin Baldy for the first time, we stopped at Pioneer surprised to see Atiba along with Jeremy and Jonas getting towed doin tricks over a Lambo or Porsche, I don't recall(we were pretty baked) What I do remember is they turned the car longways and Jeremy ollied it. Never seen a photo or video ever, always wanted to know, why? Wray's always been rad in my eyes growin up to the present, good to hear his thoughts... Sorry for the lengthy rambling too guys

Jorge Ramos said...

I remember seeing that swing set flip sequence when it came out. That was nuts. I thought about trying it, but it was too scary.

stephen said...

Also, why isn't this dude on the current plan b lineup? Jeremy Wray should always have a deck out... Forever. Anybody who's been skating for a while knows that. Dude is a fucking legend. Sucks that element did him like that too. I know that there is money in skating now and I'm surprised that companies who are raking it in don't pay more of a homage to pioneers in the sport. Especially since, apparently, the guy is still ripping! I guess it just comes down to dollars and cents, but I remain surprised that a decent board company cant make sense of putting this dude on the roster.

Keith said...

Looking forward to this week! Nice start.

Great selection of pics. Double judos is on another level.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the little jumpers of today will never give a fuck about anything that came before Baker 3. Oh well, it's their loss. Jeremy Wray is a hero to me, same with Markovich. Skateboarding in the 20teens is a bummer sometimes, but I'm a lifer. Thank God for Chromeball!!!

Sleezy Bone said...

Jeremy, The Hat still exists somewhere in Seattle/Washington state, but has been moved to a new location. I'm not from around there, but I remember seeing an article about Nolan Johnson skating it in The Skateboard Mag, and have since seen it crop up in some Seattle area videos. If I remember the article correctly, it's more of a bust these days...

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