A Blast from the Past: Freestyle Skateboarding with Darryl Grogan
If you follow us on Instagram then you will probably know that one of our recent Throwback Thursday videos has gained quite a lot of attention. This video features Darryl Grogan Freestyle Skating at the 89′ Savannah Slamma. When I posted the video, I knew that it would do well. However, I never expected the man in the video would actually comment!
In the video, Darryl is skating at an event called the ‘Savannah Slamma’ all the way back in 1989! The 89′ Savannah Slamma was the 3rd to take place. This competition had pro-skaters such as Rodney Mullen, Christian Hosoi, Danny Way and even the Skating superstar Tony Hawks in attendance! That should really sum up the level of competition that Darryl was skating with and against! Darryl being only young at the time was storming through the world of Freestyle! However, with Cable TV, Vert Skating and the X-Games this popular style of Skating practically came to an end in the early to mid 90’s. With Freestyle Skating not the preferred style of Skating anymore, footage like this has become golden.
However, all was not lost, in recent times Freestyle Skating has started to rapidly grow again, becoming one of the most common styles you will see online, along with Street Skating. People (including me) love to see brilliantly timed and very tech tricks in short videos on Instagram or YouTube and it’s been this change in the way we watch things which has driven its resurgence. We love all kinds of styles but it is very refreshing to finally see such technically skilled tricks being used and loved again as well as new, even more, mindblowing tricks being developed.
When Darryl commented on the video we just couldn’t resist getting in touch with him and not only, as it turns out, is he a great rider, he’s also a thoroughly decent bloke who agreed to answer a load of questions we sent so we could put together this article. We asked him some of the best questions that we could possibly think off (Which may not have been that good but were things we really wanted to know ourselves). We even asked a very popular local freestyle skater (Anthony Simm)! Have a look at what he had to say to some of our questions below!
So here we go, enough waffle from us. Here is the interview:
So, Darryl, how did you get into Skating?
A friend of mine took me down to one of the local skate shops in Germany where I lived. They had a video playing and I was just blown away by all the amazing boards on the wall and I just knew I had to get into it. I got into freestyle after seeing a Pro freestyle competition in LA back in the mid-80’s and just got stoked on all the different tricks you could do on flat ground.
What was the scene like back then?
The scene was actually pretty quiet. It still hadn’t grown back into what it was in the 70’s because of all the parks closing. By the late 80’s it had gotten bigger again and the industry was thriving.
How did you end up in that video?
At that competition, there were a few different people filming so I’m not sure who actually shot that footage. There was a video that came out in the 80’s from “NSI video” that covered that competition. It might have been from that.
What have you been doing since?
Back in the mid-90’s I got into film making and began doing skateboard films. Then by the late 90s I moved up to LA and pursued work in the film industry doing commercials, documentary pieces and promotional videos for businesses. I still do that work today and hope to be starting a feature film soon that I’ve been working on for several years.
How do you think Skating affected your life, did you take any lessons from it?
Skating for so many years taught me that when you’re focused and determined you can accomplish pretty much anything in life. I was able to learn a few tricks that had never been done before and that I never dreamed I’d be able to do.
When and why did you stop Skating professionally?
Back in the day, I stopped competing Pro around 91-92 because the contests pretty much stopped and most of the other Pro skaters got jobs in the industry or were hired by companies to work full time and they weren’t going to the contests much anymore. So the whole freestyle scene slowed down and most of us just decided to stop skating. Then in the early 2000’s I got back into Freestyle again and started competing and went pretty strong until about 2012 then my knees were acting up and I decided then that I should just take it easy and skate for fun from then on.
Do you ever miss Skating?
Definitely. I miss skating as much as I used to back in the day. I still do skate once in a while, usually when somebody drags me out to go. As you get older though your priorities change and your body starts to tell you that it’s time to focus on other things in life.
In short, it’s clear that once you fall in love with Skating, you never lose the passion. Skating is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle.
I think it’s really cool to see how he went from visiting a skate Shop in Germany and being blown away by the Skating scene to becoming such a big name in his own right and then even going into the film industry! As I said at the start of this blog, Freestyle Skating is becoming a very popular style of Skating again! It only makes sense to interview an old school skater like Darryl! In his answers, he shows just how much Skating can teach you in life. By this, I don’t mean it just teaches you how to land that awesome kick-flip or amazingly high Ollie. Skating can also show you how to be determined and persistent. I mean, obviously, you’ll learn all of this whilst shredding up the streets and looking like a total legend… or maniac, but it represents so much more than that, I guess that’s what’s always drawn us to extreme sports, you don’t just keep fit and learn a skill, you learn a lot about yourself and just what you can be capable of if you are determined and are willing to take a few risks.
So there you have it! Since competing in the 89′ Savannah Slamma and placing 5th in the Freestyle category, Darryl Grogan has been pursuing a career in the film industry. Even giving us a little head’s up to look for his name on the credits of a film soon! A very remarkable and memorable story! For sure one that we should all take some inspiration and lessons from!
I would like to give a huge thank you to Darryl Grogan! Not only for taking the time to answer these questions for us but for also being such a positive and inspiring influence in the skate scene. Without people like Darryl, the Skating scene wouldn’t be as popular and ever-expanding as it is today.
Cheers Darryl, we hope you let us know when the film comes out!
Check out the ride video here: