I had just crested a rise on the 57 freeway. I saw red lights and a wall of metal. I pumped the brakes as the phone rang. I fumbled for it, turning the volume down on the stereo. Salba checking in. “What are you doing?” I clued him in on my current parking situation on the 57/60/91 freeway tangle. He laughed. I downshifted and listened as he told me that some Santa Cruz team riders were visiting town this coming weekend. “We are having a Salba Cruz session on Sunday. I need to get a few things drained… can you help me Saturday morning?” I agreed and we made plans for an early morning draining mission. Saturday dawned early for me. It was cold and had rained a few days earlier. I drank strong dark coffee and loaded up the truck with the pump, hoses, buckets and assorted tools. Salba phoned and said he was headed my way but was checking on a few ‘possibles’ while enroute. I smiled knowingly.
Salba is the ultimate Recon man. He would’ve made a kick-ass Marine had he chosen to go that route. He is a master of memorization, details and surveillance. We met up at Ridiculous and drained a few for Sunday. At one, a tarantula floated ominously on the surface… bumping twigs and leaves on the water. It looked like it was swimming–but on closer inspection–I found it to be long dead. I scooped it out and shuddered in spite of myself. I actually fear little on this earth, but big hairy spiders still fill me with loathing and dread. As we drained, Salba told me about Salba Cruz. I asked him when he actually thought of the name and the idea.
Pulling the hoses out of the truck, he responded- “Back in 1988 or so, I had a graphic of a guy sitting on top of the world. On that graphic I wrote ‘Salba Cruz’. About the same time, I had a postcard and posters made up of me in a Santa Claus suit with “Salba Claus’ on it. It all started there.” Salba told me that he’d always wanted to go ahead with a board line called Salba Cruz. It took many years for it all to come to fruition but the time had finally arrived. Salba Cruz was a reality. Salba designed the shapes to allow for a wide range of choices. Lance Mountain drew up one of the graphics and the board line looks incredible.
We finished cleaning out a few muck pits and made plans for the next day. Salba helped me put all of the tools and the pump in the garage. “I’ll call you in the morning first thing.” - he stated. I phoned him later that night and asked if Ray Zimmerman could shoot photographs or if the Santa Cruz team had someone with them. Salba wasn’t sure. He phoned the team manager - Jordan - and got the go ahead. Salba asked me to see if Ray would come. The next day was an awesome one. Ray Zimmerman showed up and when we saw the Santa Cruz van pull up and empty out… we knew that it was going to be a stellar day of pool riding!
Click the link for more on the Salbacruz line- www.salbacruz.com