Pool riding is the state-of-the-art skating style of the 70's. No other type of riding offers such radical departure from the past. And no other form progresses so swiftly towards the future. Pool riding has the juice. No artices in SKATEBOARDER have generated reader interest as greatly as those dealing with riding the cement basins.
At present, Southern California is the vanguard of the poolriding movement, due to its proliferation of extant swimming holes. However, as skate parks expand, they will undoubtedly offer pool-like situations tailormade for skating in all regions.
In view of the proceeding, we offer the following comments by skaters who have been picked by their peers as being hot in the pool. This is not a "best of" list. These guys are from different places and spaces, with each employing different approaches and equipment. A lot of them don't even know each other. Each of them has friends who are probably just as good. Dig it for the information.
How long have you been riding pools?
Tony Alva: Three or Four years.
Arthur Lake: One Year.
Stacy Peralta: Nine months.
Jim Muir: Nine months.
Bob Biniak: A year and a half.
Favorite type of pool?
Tony Alva: I like the big, shallow ones where you can push really far. It it’s an old-fashioned pool with banks, I like to be able to bank off the shallow ends.
Arthur Lake: Roundish, goofy-foot pools about ten-feet deep, with big bowls and a steep, shallow end for off-the-lips.
Stacy Peralta: One that’s at least ten-feet deep – an elliptical open shape that allows off-the-lips.
Jim Muir: A very round bowl – the bigger the better – with a round base going to a vertical top. Six-feet of round and six-feet of vertical is real nice.
Bob Biniak: A big, open bowl with a smooth transition into a lot of vertical – round coping to throw you back into the pool.
Tony Alva: I liked this pool about one block from my house, but it’s gone today. It was a big round one with a big, shallow end. It was like a square without hips.
Arthur Lake: ManHole.
Stacy Peralta: Pomona pool, Keyhole, Barrington. At the Pomona pool, you could hit it anywhere. You could get off-the-lips in the shallow, middle and deep ends.
Jim Muir: The Canyon, Keyhole, Barrington. The Canyon pool is good all around; lots of fun.
Bob Biniak: Keyhole – you could do anything in it. It’s got a long runway and a perfect 12’ bowl.
Favorite rider? Why?
Tony Alva: Two old friends of mine – Bob Biniak and Wentzle Ruml. They’re old masters. Two really upcoming pool riders are Jim Muir – he’s really radical and Brad Logan – he rides them on hard wheels and hangs in there.
Arthur Lake: None – don’t know anybody.
Stacy Peralta: Bob Biniak, Alva, Muir – all three go for the radical moves.
Jim Muir: Bob Biniak…he always gets real radical. Gary Rosa – just terrorizes.
Bob Biniak: Tony Alva – he’s innovative and really pushes you. Muir, Peralta – they go for it.
Equipment (boards, wheels, trucks)
Tony Alva: 29” Bruce Logan kicktail, Makaha Pro trucks, and Road Rider wheels.
Arthur Lake: Sims board, ACS-60 trucks, Sims bowl rider wheels.
Stacy Peralta: Original Zephyr Flex, Bennett trucks, Pure Juice wheels.
Jim Muir: Sims Custom Kicktail (very lightweight.), Bennett trucks, Sims Pure Juice wheels.
Bob Biniak: Sims 30” custom kicktail, Bennett trucks, Sims Pure Juice wheels.
Tony Alva: I wear elbow pads and gloves when it’s a little bit cold, but in the summer, I don’t wear any pads. It seems like they make me feel a lot stiffer. I like to be loose and light.
Arthur Lake: None, other then shoes and trunks.
Stacy Peralta: Headband, one knee pad to protect a previously injured knee. I don’t like a lot of equipment. I like to feel loose.
Jim Muir: Elbow pads, left palm pad.
Bob Biniak: Gloves, elbow pads.
Standards for excellence?
Tony Alva: Choosing a pattern that’s going to keep you going through the bowl with consecutive moves, and going back and forth inside the bowl without falling. At the same time, doing off-the-lips, riding tiles, whatever; getting radical.
Arthur Lake: Off-the-lips, riding tiles, frontside slides and style – trying to develop own style.
Stacy Peralta: Being able to protect yourself through the bowl continuously, forever doing off-the-lips, from one wall to the other.
Jim Muir: Continual flow of tricks back and forth, in the bowl for half a minute or so, forever and ever rides, repeating off-the-lips. Style. Haven’t thought about it.
Bob Biniak: How close you can ride to the top, how long you can ride at the top. How fast you to at the top – frontside off-the-lips at speed, style, just do it, whatever comes naturally – definitely not into posing.
Future of pool riding?
Tony Alva: I’d love to see a pool-riding contest; that’d be the best kind. I think it’d be hard to judge, but you probably could choose a winner.
Stacy Peralta: I’d like to see a pool with a smooth kicker-type lip. That would allow for controlled, airborne maneuvers.
Jim Muir: If pool riding is going to survive, you’re gonna have to build your own pool to do it, because of pressure by the cops. People are worried about getting sued.
Bob Biniak: Pools are the best part of skateboarding. I like the free-falling sensations during off-the-lips. Closest thing to surfing.