NorCal style means a lot to me. It has shaped the way I ride and think today. Summed up in a few words it is: smooth, simple, and stand-up. I remember watching Rizzo, Duran, and Sakamoto bomb some hills right when I started skating. My mind was blown, nothing looked kooky, nothing was forced. Fluid, like water. There were some things I noticed during those sessions that I would never forget. If you’ve seen em skate you know what I mean:
1.) Pterodactyl arms like JM Duran.
2.) Keep that tuck loose like Noah.
3.) Don’t take corners like “that”; stand that shit up and surf it like Rizzo.
4.) Doing three stand-up speed-checks down a run is more fun than doing ten—you go faster.
5.) What is a “drop-through” board?
That kind of NorCal style is what I saw when learning to skate, so to me that is true NorCal. But nowadays those dudes barely skate and have almost no direct effect on the current state of style in the downhill skateboarding community. So how do they relate to what’s going on now? I mean yeah, these dudes left some marks on skateboarding that I hope will never be covered up, but I think style is passed from rider to rider, with each rider adding his or her own unique touch. So when watching NorCal skaters now, I see hints of the O.G. 3, but also a lot of fresh new stuff out there. Perfect example is Byron Essert—killing it with big slides, all stand-up; but then getting super tech and hitting 360s, no-complys, and shuvit slides. I haven’t been skating forever but this is what I’m stoked on. Remember your roots.
GENERAL DISCLIAMER: The statements, comments, and opinions expressed by Liam Morgan through Notes of a Greasy Young Man are those of “Mr. Greasy” himself, who is solely responsible for them, and they do not necessarily represent the views of Wheelbase LLC. Questions or comments regarding any information listed in this particular column can be addressed by contacting aliens, or channeling the spirit of Isaac Hayes.