On The Wall with Jake Griffin

At some point everyone has opened a Thrasher, Transworld, Power Edge, etc and saw a picture that floored them. There’s going to be that one shot that made it on the wall above all others. There may have been an entire wall covered in pages pulled from magazines or posters but, there is always one that will stand out 20 + years down the road. I asked five people from Aces Tattoo to recall their favorite image of all time and discuss why it made such a memorable impact. Five skaters, all different ages, different generations, and unique personalties sharing their favorite photos that made it on the wall. First up is Jake Griffin.

1. Jake, it’s a tough question because skating is so unique and styles reign supreme in so many different eras but, what photo would you say is your favorite of all time?

This took all of about five minutes for me to choose this photo, the one of Matt Hensley doing a frontside ollie on the underside of a freeway overpass bridge. 

2. Damn, great shot. Legendary for sure, what was it is about the image that made it your favorite.

The thing about the photo is pretty much the danger involved, not to mention it shows the kind of “seek and destroy” attitude that helps define what skateboarding is all about. There’s the risk of Hensley himself shooting off the side of the bridge to a most certain death and there’s the possibility of his board shooting out into unsuspecting traffic. It just looks like the whole lot of those dudes were having a fucking blast on the bridge that day.

3. Is this photo more about the trick at the time, the actual photography, or a blend of everything?

It’s a bit of both, any Hensley trick in a magazine back then was a treat…even the basic ollie. As for the photography, Sturt took (takes) some of the best pictures in the business. I dig how he incorporates the danger involved in skating…and none more dangerous than this one, or at least it’s perceived that way. 

4. There was nothing safe about this one, gimme danger! Was Matt Hensley your favorite at the time or was it purely based on the photograph?

Hensley? Hell yes he was one of my favorites! The dude was a beast, not even in the gnarly sense either, he just oozed skating and style. I remember each time a new issue of any skate mag would come out I would dig deep, hoping there was something new from him. I can honestly say that I rocked the cut off cargo shorts and royal blue tee because of him, but on the same token I never fell into the chain wallet craze that he seemed to influence.

5. I thought it was cool he rocked the chain wallet because Jason Jessee did and then influenced everyone because of it. How about an advertisement? Was there one particular skate ad that made you run out and buy it up?

I was never really influenced by ads in skateboarding. I was usually broke all the time so buying into advertisement was never really an option as much as trying to get a hook up was. Fortunately I had a few friends who worked at shops or a friend who actually worked at H-Street who would kick down product, which was awesome because at the time H-Street was the shit.

H-Street was the business until it wasn’t, thanks Jake. Great choice. -ERL

The simplicity of style and danger comes through with a legendary shot by Daniel Harold Sturt.


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