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Skateboarding News

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Did you really say Jim Fitzpatrick?


Jim Fitzpatrick
Jim Fitzpatrick
If you ever though that the granddaddy of skateboarding was Tony Alva, you are off by only 12 years. Tony Alva was at his apex in 78-82, during the Dogtown era of widespread available-skateparks and empty pools; although one might argue that he has been at his apex to date…

But before Tony Alva, a flurry of skateboarders launched the first wave ever of skateboarding. That was in the 60’s. That story is definitely less shared than the TA story.

Among the champs was a guy named Jim Fitzpatrick (known as JFitz). Yes, JFitz was already ripping the concrete sidewalks of Topanga Beach when your father was not even born. He started skateboarding in 1957. He was the first member of the clay-wheeled Makaha Skateboard team. In 1964 he traveled throughout Europe. He was the first person to skateboard beneath the Eiffel Tower, outside the Prado Museum, and through Piccadilly Circus. His early surfing exploits were chronicled in Surf Guide Magazine. In the 80’s, he became Promotions Director at Powell Peralta Skateboards in Santa Barbara. He worked with Stacy Peralta and Craig Stecyk on Bones Brigade video productions, while also traveling throughout the United States and Europe with Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, and dozens of others.
While working in the skateboard industry Fitzpatrick was named to the board of directors of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA), and in 1994 he founded the skateboard industry’s own non-profit trade association, the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC), and was quickly named its executive director. Fitzpatrick has authored several books, including biographies of Tony Hawk, and Shaun White. He has been vice-president of USA Skateboarding; the sport’s National Governing Body (NGB) and is working with the USOC, the IOC, and NBC to secure skateboarding as a permanent sport in the Summer Olympic Games.
I interviewed JFitz a couple of days ago and the encounter yield a 42+ page interview (the largest so far at isTia).

The interview with JFitz is shared with my buddy Claude Queyrel that owns a French website http://www.blogger.com/www.endlesslines.free.fr/ about the history of skateboarding. And I’m in charge of the translation! So even though the English version is almost done (just a touch-up here and there), I need more time before I post it since the idea is to launch at the same time the interview on the French and the English websites. During the time I’m translating the interview in French, I won’t be able to post a lot of stories here. But grant me just one week.

In the meantime, bookmark isTia to be sure to be able to come back in one week to read that awesome interview.

See you…

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, November 10, 2010 




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