Skating has had a rough few weeks. First up Van Wastell passed and then Johnny Romano’s star quit shining in its own bright fashion. Both of those guys will be missed but I wanted to shine a little light back on somebody who took a long road down and appears to be on the long road back up. Now say what you want about skating but if nothing we are a loyal breed. Yes, for it’s general foundation in all things counter culture we have our own set of rules and loyalty is baked into each Dan every one of those. This comes in many aspects from this past weekends Tim Brauch Memorial contest, to remembering Keenan Milton in the Gina episodes of Epicly Later’d. But one guy who sank to the depths is Vans, Emergency, Indy and Atwater rider Jeff Grosso. From appearances on the Captain and Casey Show to new sponsors. He went down a long road but is coming back a little bit more every day.
I was pretty pleased to hear about Vans giving Jeff a shoe in the form of a skate low and a skate high with some classic designs courtesy of Jimbo Phillips awhile back. What I didn’t have a full grasp of was how rough he let life get. Over in a recent Skateboard mag Grosso recounts his battle with addiction and how his life has taken a turn for the better. Over on Thrasher’s Burnout they recounted Jeff’s good fortune with Vans with a bit of ramp jam. From skaters who had classic Grosso graphics to legends like Lance Mountain showing up to hang out you can see the loyalty continues. Gross continues to stack up backers and the latest comes in the form of rising clothing company Atwater. Again, respect for his past accomplishments and the foresight to know he has years of good skating left in him put Atwater in a place where they can now back the Mothra. Nice to see new blood in the market watching out for our own.
With this past weekend having been all-day Vans programming on Fuel TV I caught the Pro-Tec pool party special again. Having been there it was bit weird to watch it sliced and diced. The event was also weird because Jeff couldn’t skate and he was visibly bummed. I managed to catch few minutes with him and we talked for a bit. Humble, quiet, but there was a little bit of something different lurking. You could tell he’d rather be out there skating than talking with some hack writer wanna be like me. I can’t blame him. Hopefully next year he won’t have the time and will be back in the Combi. Here’s to hoping the darker days are left behind us while looking forward to better things to come for skateboarding and skaters everywhere…Including Jeff.