Let’s start this little historical piece out by letting you know that the Del Mar Skate Ranch was not the best built skatepark of it’s era. Got it?

Greg Goodfellow

Greg Goodfellow 8.9.02

When was the first time you went to Del Mar?
My “first” trip to DMSR was actually a 3-stage process–one that I•ve learned is common for kids growing up right in Del Mar. I think it all began in about 1986 at the age 11 with a birthday party at what was, at that point in my mind, just a family fun park. After a game of organized mini-golf with the parents, I remember being set loose into the arcade with a handful of quarters each. That’s when a friend and I realized there was something else, something different, going on beyond the hi-ball courts. We snuck off to the entrance of the skatepark, with a view of the roll-in to the keyhole, but never actually entered. I don•t remember what we saw, but I do remember a different vibe, or energy. I was curious.

Stage two was exploration about a week later, this time without a birthday party but still with no skateboard. I went to the park with a friend and walked right to the keyhole bleachers, where we sat for 2 hours. The session was big, but what stands out as the first skating I remember was Steve Steadham, rolling in to his signature boardslides around of keyhole. I was awed, and knew I’d return.

Within a couple months that friend and I were back with boards, and found out that others from school we already skating: Kevin and Lori Rigsbee, Chris and Bob Latko, John and Derek Schultes, etc., most of whom I still keep in touch with.

What was your first impression?
What stands out the most about Del Mar to me are the non-skating activities that went down, because it was at that point that I was just beginning to understand that skating becomes a lifestyle, and that the skatepark wasn’t just a place at which Mom dropped you off to skate and then picked you up when skating stopped. It wasn’t like soccer practice, and DMSR is where I first realized that. I remember Bruno Herzog, Weez, Reese Simpson and others playing doing sock runs and playing sock ball in the keyhole, and then running right to the Hi-Ball courts to continue. I remember Chris Latko having to be fed and watered as he played Galaga for hours at a time on one quarter. I remember being picked up at closing and realizing that the older had no intention of leaving.

What was your favorite thing to skate? What is your most vivid memory of Del Mar?
My favorite thing to skate was definitely the Kidney pool, probably because its shallow end was the first coping that I had ever dropped in on; I like skating tight transitions to this day. In fact, the day that I skated it with Gator stands out as one of my most vivid DMSR memories, along with others: seeing (and hearing) Josh Nelson skate the curbs on the top of the south side of the banks, watching the Rigsbees do corner carves in the square bowl right into inverts and frontside airs on the shallow end wall, as their Mom ate a sandwich, drank a Kearn’s Nectar and looked on.

Do you have any other stories to share?
It’s interesting. DMSR represents my introduction to skating; I was more a 13 year old observer at that point than a confident insider. However, I’m pretty sure that the energy I witnessed there was just as important as the skills I collected there in motivating 15 more years (at this point) of skating.

Incidentally, many of the guys listed above were invited to their 10-year high school reunion last year at the Del Mar Hilton. It sits on the property of DMSR.

Del Mar Interviews done via email 2002 by Mark Waters

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