Sacto Street Damage

Posted on September 1, 2009 – 5:31 PM | by OldManFoster
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skate It’s hard to believe that those skateboard decks hanging on the racks of shops like Go Skate some 30 years ago would be fetching hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars today on Ebay. Nostalgia is a fickle bitch, and collecting those tchotchkes from your salad days could easily break you financially.

Thankfully, Artifacts’ August exhibition covering Sacramento’s skateboarding heyday won’t cost ya nothing.

It’s hard to believe that those skateboard decks hanging on the racks of shops like Go Skate some 30 years ago would be fetching hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars today on Ebay.  Nostalgia is a fickle bitch, and collecting those tchotchkes from your salad days could easily break you financially. Thankfully, Artifacts’ August exhibition covering Sacramento’s skateboarding heyday won’t cost ya nothing.

(S.S.D.) Sacto Street Damage collects a wide range of local old school skateboard memorabilia- including decks, photographs, and videos- zooming in on skateboarding’s ‘Golden Age,’ defined as 1979 to 1989. This exhibit is the brainchild of Artifacts’ co-owner Jerrad Fiore, himself a product of Sac’s skate scene. Enlisting the help of “too many friends with too many good memories tucked away in shoe boxes and garages,” Fiore’s idea spread like wildfire within Sacramento’s tight-knit skate community, and contributions came pouring in.

“I grew up in the area, went to high school in the ‘80s, and had a whole bunch of friends that were pro or semi-pro back in those days,” Fiore remembers. “Over the last couple of years, I’ve been seeing [skateboarding] stuff over at friend’s houses from that time period…videos or photos or whatever.” This wealth of material begged to be seen, and soon Fiore was enlisting his friend and co-curator, Curtis Franklin, to help put together a Sac-centric skateboard exhibition.

skateFranklin’s love and enthusiasm for skateboarding is rivaled only by his knowledge of Sacto’s scene. He has tracked down as much vintage material for this show as he could get his hands on. “I’m a super stubborn person,” Franklin laughs.  “I want this to be good. I don’t want this to be some half-assed representation of something everybody loves.”

“I wanted to get the boards that had been ridden’” Franklin continues, describing the aesthetic he wants the show to convey. “I want to get the pictures of people skating back in the day, and I want to be able to have that board – that exact board – on the wall next to where we have photos of it.”

Unlike Southern California in the 1980’s, which was the epicenter of the skateboarding movement and the industry, Sacramento was an entirely different, gnarlier beast. Bred from mostly lower to middle class families, and fueled by Budweiser and bands like Bl’ast, Fang and Tales Of Terror, Sacto skaters couldn’t give a shit less about the latest pastel ‘street wear’ or gimmicky doo-dad fads being foisted on skate rats in the 80’s. For guys like Randy Katen, Rick Winsor, Snaggle, Troy Clower, Troy Miller, Ronnie Marshall, brothers Randy and Curtis Stauffer, Ross Goodman, and Sam Cunningham (to name a few), skating was all about hanging out, ripping it up and living the life, day-in and day-out.

“It was always so different in Sacramento as far as the style,” recalls Fiore. Sacramento’s image- rowdy, beer-drinking skate-punks in Levi’s vests, homemade studded bracelets and beanies- left quite an impression on many skaters from other regions, most notably Sac’s near-twin, San Jose (home to such pros as Todd Prince, JJ Rogers, Jeff Grosso, Salman Agah, and Jason “The Kid” Adams). “I think that style was influenced directly from Rick Winsor.”

“Sacramento’s always had this thing about it where everyone always had this sick-ass, haulin’ ass style,” recalls Winsor. “I never knew anyone from Sac that went out of their way to get sponsored. You just skated and went balls-out and there just happened to be people there that saw you and would say ‘Hey man, my name’s So-and-so. I’ll send you some crap.’ And you’re like ‘Oh cool. Whatever.’”

Today, Winsor is his own boss, restoring old jalopies, and still rolling. “I just kinda go out and try to skateboard every now and then just to scare myself and keep the blood going,” he laughs. “I love skateboarding and I’ll do it ‘til I can’t walk, and I’m almost there now.”

skateSacramento’s skate scene during the ‘80s spawned its own homegrown commerce. Dave Bergthold started Blockhead Skateboards out of a small house in Roseville, which featured the stylized artwork of Encina High School student, Ron Cameron. Onetime Go Skate employee Nathan Carrico drew several Santa Cruz Skateboards board graphics, including Ross Goodman’s pro model which introduced “Emily the Strange” to the world in 1991. And before it was purchased by Transworld Media, Heckler Magazine covered the Sacramento region’s skate, snowboard and music scene.

As the late 80’s and early 90’s saw the rise in popularity of street skating, a new generation of local skaters elevated Sacramento’s reputation to the skate Mecca that it is today. “You see dudes like Matt Rodriguez, Stefan Janoski, Omar [Salazar] and John [Cardiel] and they can do all the crazy-ass tricks there are, but they do it with the sickest style,” says Winsor. “You watch ‘em and you just want to ride a skateboard.”   Even today, risking life and limb in the pursuit of having fun trumps sponsorship, money and accolades in Sac.  “Those guys would do it for free,” reiterates Franklin. “Skating’s all that matters.”

“I just want this show to be a journey into your childhood,” says Franklin.  “There’s a story behind some of these things that without being told what it’s about, people might be going ‘okay, whatever.’ But once people discover the history behind all this stuff, it’s like ‘no way!’”

As S.S.D. illustrates, skateboarding in Sacramento is raw, original and creative. While other so-called ‘action sports’ might ape the superficial qualities of skateboarding’s style, they can never imitate skateboarding’s heart and soul. Likewise, no other skate scene in the world has the kickass reputation that Sacramento does.

“If you’re from Sac and you skate, you’re a badass,” concludes Winsor. “I guarantee it.”

S.S.D. (Sacto Street Damage) runs August 8 – September 5 at Artifacts, 905 K St, Sacramento. Hours M- Sat, Noon – 6PM. Admission is FREE.
Opening reception 7-10PM, Aug 8

  1. 13 Responses to “Sacto Street Damage”

  2. avatar

    By Brenda (Clower) Strait on Jun 25, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you for mentioning my brother, Troy.

  3. avatar

    By Jose Cerda on Jul 26, 2011 | Reply

    Major props to S.S.D. / Ricky Windsor and all mentioned above.

    I don’t need to bring some other skate scene down to bring mine up, everybody has thier originals, inovators, followers and posers.

    Skateboarders live by thier own rules.


  4. avatar

    By curt stauffer on Oct 2, 2011 | Reply

    oi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to all spikes and daggers i’m sure if those names caught your attention ; you can remember skating to the punk shows trying not to break the twelve pack of bottles in your hand while curb stomping to the show,jumpimg over the fence at the cattle club to see MINOR THREAT,CIRCLE JERKS,SWINGIN UTTERS ,MOJO NIXON GREEN DAY AS ROOKIES ,ADOLESCENTS ,GANG GREEN,SOCIAL DISTORTIAN, AND MANY MORE; JUST TO GET KICKED OUT,GO CHANGE YOUR SHIRT AND JUMP THE FENCE AGAIN to hear a few more songs,how i remembered where i stashed my skateboard is beyond me;and falling through the roof at a RAMONES show ;well oi! to WINDSOR and CUNNINGHAM for that.RICKY ,REMEMBER THE BLUE CURB? I’ll never forget that curb

  5. avatar

    By little josh knight on Mar 31, 2013 | Reply

    wow this shit takes me back whats up every one im still livin

  6. avatar

    By Hobbs on Mar 25, 2014 | Reply

    Wow, just sorta stumbled across this.

    Still think about those days, still miss all you fuckers!

    And I still have boxes & boxes of all the old spleen zine pics &I stickers.


  7. avatar

    By LoloMaka on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    What I Wouldn’t Give to Skate SacSavings, Arden Fair, Best, Tel-Comm., L-pool, the Cleaners alley door boosty hip behind McDonalds corner Arden n Howe(guarenz still there), every god damned POOL in the 1990-94 slot and all on a Blockhead full set up, Hard Times of course !!

  8. avatar

    By Greggo on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    K-St Mall at night, skating Sam-the-Man Cunningham’s ramp, Mather ditch, Folsom High School’s diving pool (when they were plastering it) Sierra Wave, Rainbow Skatepark’s Kidney pool, downhilling at Saratoga and Wilson Blvd in El Dorado Hills… Great memories of Sac-town.

  9. avatar

    By Spemacidal on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    Skate or die fag

  10. avatar

    By Mike Culver on Aug 30, 2014 | Reply

    Hobbs get in touch with me.

  11. avatar

    By Hobbs on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    I wouldn’t begin to know how to get to you brother. Snaggle knows how to find me.

  12. avatar

    By Mike Culver on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Hobbs check your f.b.

  13. avatar

    By Curtis Bryant on Dec 24, 2014 | Reply

    Ahhh those days at the Mather ditch,the N bowl sessions the Organic tube, skateboard Ect Skateboard city and my home spot with Dan Grady Cal Central Skates. Some how not getting cancer at the Skateboard Palace Elmos ramp Folsoms ramp Neals Rosemont ramp Downtown parking lots.

    Nmen rule the world !!!!

  14. avatar

    By Steve L on Feb 4, 2015 | Reply

    The kidney pool at Rainbow Skatepark was the first pool I rode (big kink in the left side if I remember right). A couple of useless snake runs there, too. Skateboard Palace was fun… weird surface with all these add on vert sections in the bowls.
    But I was from Lincoln, so I had to ride ditches or drive.

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