"...with added hand steeze at the end."
Brad Smith is a smart kid. He's an old soul with a good head on his shoulders. He's also very opinionated, but, in a good way. He's the kind of kid you could trust a secret to, and the kind of kid you can expect to be completely honest about how he feels on a touchy or controversial subject, and the kind of kid you can get to know very quickly. He was a little kid when I met him, and it's kind of strange to imagine Brad beginning his last year of high school this year, considering he has the mind of a mid-40's Ian Mackeye groupie. Regardless of where I was planning on going with that last sentence, the point is this : when I met Brad, he was a little kid, he's still a little kid, but he's got an interesting way of playing on that skateboard of his.
- Allen Dillard
"...rolling down the sidewalk on my ass..."
Well, I don’t even know where to start when it comes to skateboarding. Sometime around the ages of four and seven, I saw some kids around the neighborhood using them. After many, many hours of bothering my parents, I got my first board : an X-games fishtail board from Meijer. The first few years were just rolling down the sidewalk on my ass, but once I bought those Tony Hawk games, I saw all of these tricks that I thought were impossible for any human being to do.
Fast forward to 11 years old. I learned how to Ollie off of my curb, a feat that I thought only the pros could do. I had my sister take out her 3 megapixel camera and film me doing it over and over and over again. Theres probably 15 minutes of footage somewhere on my old computer of me ollieing off of that damn curb, with added hand steeze at the end. At 13, I learned how to kickflip, and that’s where all of the progression started. I would get rides to Elizabeth park every weekend just to skate the small part of the t box. I had a blast just doing back 50-50’s for hours on end. I had met Allen there a few times and being the dumb 13 year old I was, I could see how you would not want to be seen around me. [Editors note: this was true at the time, but we've all been there.] That’s basically the history of my skating.
"It's home. It's the only thing I can remember doing for as long as I can remember."
Rock and Roll --- Photo : Dillard
"I can’t remember a time when I was upset skateboarding..."
What skateboarding means to me is more than what I can put into words. Its home. It’s the only thing that I have been doing for as long as I can remember. I can’t remember a time when I was upset skateboarding in my childhood. It was all about having fun, and still is to me this day. Whether or not my “part” in Babanga sucks or not, all I know is that I had fun doing it with some of the best people in the world.
"All I know is that I had fun."
Wallie to manual --- screengrab : dillard
I want to personally thank Allen for being the person that he is. Thanks for all of the wasted tapes, thanks for all of the miles driven in your car, thank you for all of the cigarettes I bummed when I was 15, just thank you man. I thank skateboarding for introducing me to all of my good friends, all of the good music I listen to, and all of the good times I have stored in my mind. This plank of wood with wheels means more to me than the entire world.
"The more skateboarding grows, the harder it becomes to skateboard."
Wallie --- photo : ???
To be honest, skateboarding is growing into such a beautiful/horrible thing at the same time that it’s hard to describe. On one hand, you have more than 13 million people who own a skateboard in the world. You have organizations feeding the hungry through skateboarding, and also giving kids who would otherwise be gang bangers something to focus on.
"Skateboarding is growing into such a horrible/beautiful thing..."
Sweeper --- Framegrab : Dillard
On the ugly side, corporations are infringing on skateboarding. Whenever the world sees something free, they try to stop it. We put dams on rivers, we cut down forests to build parking lots, and we put knobs on otherwise perfect marble ledges. The more skateboarding grows, the harder it becomes to skateboard.
Thank you skateboarding, for everything.
Brad is currently filming a full part for the Babanga video, which should be out next year. I'd like to thank Brad, also. It's not like I hazed the kid. When I first met him at Elizabeth Park, he was skating the T-Ledge curb, and telling me he wanted to get on Vans flow. I don't know if I told him he was stupid for expecting that, or what, but I'm really really glad that he's still skating and returns my calls, text messages, and answers interview questions for me. Love ya, bud.