14 years old, unattached
Arthur Lake figures he started skating two years ago when his father decided to drain the pool conveniently located in his backyard. "It was just sitting there empty, so I decided to try it. I had to try it." Actually, Lake had ridden "occasionally" since age six when he began to negotiate the road at Malibu’s Corral Beach on his clay composition-wheeled Black Knight skateboard. The only things Arthur recalls from that period are "rocky roads and skinned knees."
From the beginning, Lake felt the correlation between skating and surfing. (His father had introduced him to surfing a year before the skater’s initial black Knight adventures.) Currently, this association is underscored by the fact that Arthur’s home, in addition to having the aforementioned pool, is located at the beach. If you take years of surfing and skating exposure, add a good pool in the backyard, and toss in constant jamming with all of the best skaters in Dogtown, what results undoubtedly is a stylish, aggressive and technically proficient rider. Arthur Lake fits the bill, and then some.
Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Bob Biniak and jay Adams all rate him as being in the contemporary pool-riding vanguard. In view of his abundant abilities, some may find it strange that he doesn’t yet have any commercial affiliations. Lake has received offers from several manufacturers, but has not found an organization he feels comfortable with. "Teams are bad because they try to push you into doing too much stuff. . .they expect you to ride their products, but a lot of times their equipment isn’t very good." Reservations like these caused him to recently turn down membership on a highly prominent team. "Their boards just wouldn’t work for me; I could never get them to happen." Arthur obviously takes his choice of equipment very seriously. His present lineup consists of:
For pools: a 27 ¾" long Dogtown Skate. "It’s my main board. . .very light in weight." Dimensions – 8" wide at outlines fullest point, 5 ¼" wide tail with 1 1/8"rise, rear truck mounted 4 ½" up from the tail, a 5 ½" nose with the forward truck positioned four inches back from the tip. The thickness is 7/16 of an inch.
For running gear: Half Tracks with Tunnel Rock wheels and keinholtz precision bearings with open faces ("must be blown clean after each session").
For parks: The 28" standard Adams Z-Flex mounted with Bennett Trucks and road Rider 5 wheels, with keinholtz bearings (open faced).
He uses Minnesota Mining manufacturing Diamond Gut Adhesive (3M-1j604) on the decks of all his boards.
Bob Biniak, Paul Cullen, Tony Alva, and James Muir are Arthur’s favorite skaters, and he adds that he’s been particularly influenced by Biniak. "I’d just watch him and try to do what he was doing." He says that young D.T. local, Bela, is the most up and coming skater he’s seen. "He’s 4’ tall, and rips pools and banks." At 5’ in height himself, Lake thinks that the shorter skaters have definite advantages over their taller counterparts. "Being smaller, you can expand your skateboarding a lot further. . .you can fit into tighter spaces, and you also can do some things a lot longer."
On the topic of skating environs, his favorites are: Bel Air (for backyard pools), Canyon Pool, Daley City Pool, Los Gatos Pool, San Francisco City College, Pipeline park, Reseda Park, and the San Jacinto Tunnel.
Talent-wise, Arthur rates the Santa Monica region as "the hottest. . .we’ve got the number one riders," and adds that "D.T. rules the pools." The " up north" locals hold the best future prospects, in his estimation. "Marin’s the new hot spot; they’ve got a great drought going, and all the pools are drained."
For general advice, Arthur offers, "go all the way when you ride pools, and don’t think about falling. If you’re scared, then you are going to fall and hurt yourself."
Lake’s usual activities revolve around skating and surfing, "up north in the winter, down south in the summer," and, of course, school, where he is eyeing an art career. Immediate future plans include getting a new Stinger swallow, and obtaining a Screen Actors Guild "A" card. This card will allow Arthur to work at the major studios doing "background and possibly stunt work." Considering his wealth of theatrical background (his great grandfather was a circus performer, his grandfather and grandmother were both well-known actors whose parts included the title roles in the Dagwood and Blondie films; his great aunt Marion Davies was a famous leading lady, his godfather, Johnny Weissmuller, is a former Olympic Champion swimmer, and was the screen’s most distinguished Tarzan, and finally Arthur’s dad, who is a stuntman). It might not be long until we will be hearing of the skater’s cinema exploits.
Like we were saying, the kid is going places.
Vol. 4 #2