Skateboard life in Southern California is many things for many people but the one thing we have over most other parts of the world is a vast variety of backyard swimming pools. And because it is expensive to live in this state and we are constantly in some sort of drought emergency a good percentage of pools in older residential areas can be found with little or no water—plus for any diehard pool skater who isn’t afraid to search and knock on doors. The pool in which Darren Navarrette is hovering a back D in was located in Anaheim and obviously in a skater friendly backyard. The paint scheme made for an attractive photo and my Hasselblad 501C and 30mm lens caught the action at its peak with crystal clear quality. The days of film were as good as it got!
Ghetto hotels in urban areas often have dilapidated pools made useless due to lack of care and maintenance. This left hand kidney was located in the flight path of LAX and many pool rats skated its cancer-ridden walls in its final days in the fall of 2003. I had the privilege of shooting Lance Mountain, Alex Horn and Omar Hassan on a cozy October afternoon just as the sun was setting over the ocean. One last hot move by Omar, a tweaked air to fakie, and the day was done.
Some pools come up, go away and return for years and this Santa Monica gem hit hard in the 70s, came back briefly in the 80s, late 90s and one last time a couple years ago before it was laid to rest. Skaters knew the pool as Gonzales Pool and Tony Alva, Jay Adams and pretty much all the Dogtown crew rode it in the mid seventies. Oh, if that coping could talk the stories it would tell. My session at the Gonzales Pool had a variety of legendary skaters—Tony Alva, Lance Mountain, Matt Moffett, Andy MacDonald and Chris Miller. Yep, the latter is pictured here as stylish as can be, lightly holding on to a rail as he heads back in to the depths of the freshly painted pool while TA and the rest of the boys look on.
Thank you to Dave Swift for taking the time to do this and providing the images. Skate- Ozzie