1977 Interview with Skip Engblom
From "THE SANTA MONICA SKATE NEWS
A DOGTOWN PUBLICATION" (JUNE 1977)
SKIP ENGBLOM WAS LITTLE PUBLICIZED BUT HE WAS ALWAYS THE JUICE BEHIND THE ZEPHYR TEAM. HE WAS THEIR MANAGER AND MORE. HE HAS RECENTLY RETURNED FROM HAWAII AND WE WERE ABLE TO GET A FEW MINUTES TO GIVE YOU THE FOLLOWING:
You used to manage the Z-Boys, what was that like?
Ha! Ha! Ha! Guy Man, it was like running a psychedelic Boy Scout troop. The whole problem was like trying to keep some sense of order. I was dealing with fifteen different personalities all under the age of twenty and since it was basically a youth identity trip and they were all searching for their identity. In a way I conveniently gave them one.
All the Z-Boys dug you Skipper, what make it break up?
For the most part it was all financial and conflicting personalities between myself and my business partner. The financial part was that we had a skate team that ran into a lot of money to operate and as for my relationship with the skaters I always tried to treat them as fair as I could and I tried to teach them not to skate for free.
If you had it all to do over again could you handle the Z-Boys now?
As an entity I could handle them because they are older. I could not start from scratch again but if I did there would be a lot of things I would do differently.
I'd make sure, first of all, that every transaction was on paper instead of with a handshake, that's good business.
Good business brings us to what are you doing now?
At the present time I am the National Sales Coordinator for Natural Progression Clothing and Surfboards. It provides me with enough of a living so that I can still go surfing and have a good time and that is basically where I'm at. The thing I would like to say and the point I would like to get across is that any kid can be whatever he wants to be, the only difference between Z-Boys and the rest of the population is determination and the Christian ethic of hard work. Even though the Z-Boys were extremes and no matter what the press thinks of them they worked hard to get where they are. This applies to every day life, remember the four year olds of today are the start of the future.