John Lucero and Jeff Grosso were two of the first Pro Skateboarders I met. It was 87 and it meant a hell of a lot more to meet a Pro back then. There weren’t a trillion Pros like now. I went with my friend Cade to a skate contest at the Donner Ski Ranch. We rolled into the parking lot and saw a ton of kids. At the time if you saw a skater you’d always approach him and chill. Skateboarders were still outcasts at the time so you always stuck together. We watched the contest and made our way to the lodge. I’m pretty sure we both saw John Lucero and Jeff Grosso on the deck at the same time. We immediatley freaked out. I mean why would two Pro skaters be at this little parking lot contest? The illusion that these guys were living the dream in California complete with mansions and swimming pools had me fooled. Jesus, we all assumed the Bones Brigade all lived together and skated everyday like our crew. The ignorance of youth is bliss.
I had only seen them in the mags and was fully fanning out. A ton of kids were around them and we made our way closer. I asked Lucero if they were going to skate. Grosso replied, “Yeah, maybe if someone buys me a hamburger or something”. Although he was being a dick, I could care less. I asked Lucero if he was giving away his board and he told me, “No way dude, that’s my board”. The one question you don’t ask a Pro I asked in hopes of getting that board of his. The same question he was asked a hundred times I’m sure. I asked Lucero why they were at the contest and they both said, “we’re here to see him”. They pointed to Riky Barnes who was pretty gnarly. To a small town white kid, he looked like something out of the Sex Pistols. He was all punked out and ripping the course. Spiked hair, leather jacket, bondage bracelets, and pushing around like a demon. After the contest Lucero skated and was doing fakie tail slides on a metal curb. Pretty mid blowing at the time. Pushing fakie and smashing his tail into the curb and coming out forward after sliding what seemed 100 feet. Lucero pretty much put on a one man demo without even trying, he was just skating around doing moves we had never seen yet.
Grosso was asked if he would sign an autograph to which he responded, “You can only sign your name so many times before it gets boring”. Being surrounded by kids and being that pretentious would have rubbed me the wrong way if I’d been older, Grosso was being a dick all day and we loved it. He just had his street model come out and he’s not going to skate? We were bumming and I never wanted to suddenly see a vert ramp so bad. Cade and I both noticed Lucero’s board had little grooves routered into his nose. I assumed it was for nose grabs and a better idea than Ripgrip. Total prototype set up that I had never seen and never saw again. He was riding a purple stained Schmitt Stix Street Thing, white Thunders, and Saw Blade wheels. Seeing those guys made such an impression that stuck to this day. Cade and I both had Lucero and Grosso boards not long after. We also found a good curb spot where Cade learned fakie tail sides pretty quick. From Schmitt Stix, Lucero Limited, John Lucero Skateboards, to Black Label, I always rode and supported the original blue collar Pro. Curb skating is the foundation of street skating and it’s still my favorite things to skate. Grab a few friends, a boom box, some brews, and there’s no way you’re not having a blast. Slap it up! -ERL