The Surf Expo and fun at the All 80's Day Vert Challenge!

There are two Surf Expo's per year in Orlando Florida, get to one of them!
January's is the biggest, followed by one in September, they are both the place to be to get inside of what's really happening and what's up and coming in the Surf, Skate, Resort, and Beach Wear industries.

By Cleo Coney Jr.

Anticipation of the “Surf Expo” and Friday’s “All 80’s All Day” vert challenge hosted by Quicksilver, had my adrenaline pumped up at a high level all week. With some of my favorite skaters set to appear and skate, my mind was racing, it had been years since I was able to see all of them skate together, and in one place! 

                                                             Christian Hosoi at the Expo

Just before it was time to leave, I opted to leave my skate stuff because I had been told earlier that it was invite only.  Bummer.  It’s going to be tough to watch everybody blazing and not want to get in on the ramp session as well.

                                                                   On my way! 

This trip to Orlando wouldn’t be as spacious or as comfortable as previous ones due to a blown head gasket in my five series, “Bust My Wallet”. So, alternative transportation had to be acquired. With a little bargaining, I was able to borrow my dad’s little Isuzu fishing truck and headed over to Orlando for the festivities.   Interstate four was relatively spacious and opening up that little four cylinder engine was smooth and silky, however it’s lack of torque allowed me to pleasurably view the many side profiles of various automobiles as they sped past my green single cab pickup truck like I was in reverse.  No big deal, I was going to see some of the world’s best skateboarders ever, and it didn’t matter to me how I got there, as long as I got there.

  During the drive east a long time friend and fellow skater by the name of “Bill Procko” phoned me to let me know he too would be there to take in the festivities and skate history with his family. He reminded me that due to our current ages that a much less stressful and safer skate routine would be necessary if we had been allowed to skate. A routine that would fill up the time allotted with nothing but fakies, and kick-turns, followed by a knee slide that would require emergency treatment on one of Barry Z’s stretchers behind the ramp.  Ice! Somebody get these guys Ice! (LOL!)

                                               Bill Procko demonstrating how old skaters end up.

Well, I like to look up to Mark Lake who is still ripping into his fifties as inspiration! I’m not even fifty yet and I may not be able to pull off all of my old tricks consistently, but I have thrown down a few extended and contorted inverted maneuvers recently, followed by two days of stretching on my lower back, lots of ice. 

Once I reached Orlando it was time to check into my room and get my grub on. These are the days of living below one’s means and saving money, so the Econo Lodges $44.99 rooms right on International drive fit the bill well. When you combine its great location with the Surf Expo’s free executive bus rides to the convention center, I had enough money left over in my daily budget for a sandwich and a glass of water! Yes! These are hard times, so give me a break. I found a cheap buffet and got busy.

                                           Surf Expo exhibitor EMAD has Powerful Skateboards!

Upon arriving at the convention center you could immediately see and feel the difference from previous Expo’s. This years Surf Expo was huge! More exhibitors, more buyers, more bikinis then I ever remember all under one roof, this is good, really good, and in fact it’s great. As usual, I make my rounds to see who’s in the house, and introduce my publication to as many new faces as possible. Plus get a few interviews with the exhibitors. Thank you Jerome and Amanda of EMAD electric skateboards! I’m also simultaneously scanning the scene for Tim Payne (The Ramp Builder) so I can find my way back to the vert ramp where my homies from back in the day are practicing. You see the vert ramp is separated by the world’s largest folding partition, and all doors are locked from the side that I’m on.  I look over my shoulder to see Andy MacDonald and crew looking for an entrance as well.  I join in with their search party and our caravan finally gets the correct information and directions to a far side entrance requiring us to exit the building.

                                          The QuickSilver Ramp during practice sessions.

 We travel along the outside of the building to where a door is propped open with a chair. Sitting in the middle of over 200,000 square feet of space is the Quicksilver Ramp and tour bus. Off to the right side of the ramp there are some familiar faces from past skate sessions.  Mike McGill, Bob Umbel, Christian Hosoi, Mike Frazier, Mark Lake, Kevin Staab, Donny Griffin, Todd Johnson, Buck Smith, Barry Z, Chuck Dinkins, Henry G., Jeff Hedges, and the crew from the S.P.O.T., Brian Schaefer, and Ryan Clements. Brian and Ryan were also this events MC’s. A few moments later Steve Steadham walks up with Morgan Monroe of the “Hollywood Summit Show”. I kept thinking that Monty Nolder and Steve Caballero really should have been here too. I emailed Rob Mertz earlier in the week and he was injured and couldn’t make it. But there were enough talented skaters here to put on a really awesome display of skateboarding. A film crew was posted up near the rear of the ramp capturing some skating and recording interviews with the ambassadors of our sport. I quickly snap some images of the interviews in progress and then catch up with old friends. It’s always good to see that everyone is healthy and that they too have little belly growth.

                                              Christian Hosoi blasts a classically floated lien air.

                                               Represenatives from the Smithsonian Institute

Quicksilver needs to be commended for putting together such a memorable event, which was fun, exciting, and historic! Representatives of the Smithsonian Institution were in the house to gather Skateboarding artifacts to put on display, including the 1980’s Tony Hawk Skateboard Model ridden by Tony in the event, and to seek the helmet and skateboard from Mike McGill that he wore the day he invented the McTwist.  The influence skateboarding has had on American culture is astounding! It’s about time skateboarding got some recognition, first it was the California African American Museums Exhibit “How We Roll”, and now the Smithsonian is gathering skateboarding artifacts. Nice!

                                                    Tony Hawk pleasing the masses.

A little while later Tony Hawk makes his presence known on the ramp. I stopped counting different wall-to-wall tricks after fifteen during one of his runs. Watching these guys skate brought back so many memories of skate sessions past. Mike McGill’s maneuvers were just as I remember them back during those super hot skate sessions on muggy Florida afternoons on John Grigley’s half-pipe, just higher and more powerful. Frazier ripped the ramp like he was riding a mini ramp inside of Astro Skate in New Port Richey.  You could tell that many of the skaters were having to make adjustments in their riding style to match the small nose shapes of the eighties skateboards that they were riding. Buck Smith was a prime example of this as he did front side disasters at speed and had to shuffle his front foot back behind the front truck quickly to compensate for the lack of a nose on his old eighties model.

           Darlene of Coping Block with Biker at the DREGS Booth from Surf Expo two 2011                                                              

Later on, when the walls separating the two massive rooms were rolled back, you could see the massive hordes of eager spectators awaiting entrance. Once the ok had been given to enter, the ocean of rabid skate fans bum rushed and spilled through the entrance like water flowing through a broken damn and engulfed the area surrounding the ramp. You could feel the energy building as skaters continued to warm up and please the crowd with high airs and mind numbing lip tricks at speed.  Because this was a salute to eighties skateboarding, it was like going back in time, the clothing, the skateboards, the ramp, the music, and even Christian Hosoi’s hair were all eighties based. This is how I remember my early days in skateboarding competitions and backyard skate sessions. While standing next to the ramp I imagined the weight coming off my body and my hair growing on top of my head to form a high fade flat-top haircut right there and then.  Alas, my late night French fry belly, glasses, and fat face make me look a lot like a certain American Idol judge, and that’s not a good thing!

                                                  Kevin Staab slams as the crowd looks on.

Once the official event kicked off the skating was just explosive!
Mike Frazier is no joke! Officials are still going over some of his maneuvers in super slow mo to try and determined exactly what he was doing. Was it a switch varial flip one footed cess smith grind disaster to tail wrap backwards, or an illusion? Who knows, it was just sick!  Christian Hosoi could play patty cake and make it look cool, he is the style master and the crowd loved ever second of his skating. He satisfied all with his “Rocket Air”. Kevin Staab must pull the highest backside ollies of all time. They look like they’re lighter than air and his blunted re-entries into the ramp were awesome!

Carabeth-Burnside drilled some lofty frontside airs that got the ladies in the crowd hyped up. This is what skateboarding needs more of, vertical skateboarding on display in places that don’t get to witness the intensity and skill of these veteran skateboarders. I was listening in on the conversations of various street skaters talking about how stoked they were, and how they didn’t expect vertical ramp riding to be so exciting and fun to watch live. There’s going to be a whole new breed of vertical skateboarders in Orlando and Quicksilver can take credit for planting the seeds. 

 Jeff Hedges dealt invert variations like cards, Mark Lake pulled Lake Flips at will, and the eventual winner Tony Hawk toyed with the ramp and the crowd, going through an endless bag of old school tricks like fakie ollie foot plants that confused the new school skaters. They never saw one. I like that.

Bryan Schaefer and Ryan Clements passed out hundred dollar bills to skaters that pulled off requested old school tricks and that hyped the crowd up even more! Mike McGill pulled an Elguerio to the satisfaction of many old school skaters and snagged another hundred-dollar bill for himself. Cool.  This has been a great day, and I’m thankful for that little green truck that could and did get me from the beaches of the Gulf to the land of Disney safely to be able to witness this historic day of skateboarding.

Orlando’s Surf Expo is an event and if you’ve never been to one, well it’s time to plan for the next one in September. There’s no guarantee that there will be vertical skateboarding on display, but it’s well worth the trip to be apart of the industry’s biggest gathering of Surf, Skate, Skim, Ski, BeachWears, and the Bikinis aren’t bad either.

Push, Carve, Grind!

The Exclusive Billy Beauregard Interview in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine

by Cleo Coney Jr.

Billy, It’s an honor to be able to interview you for the readers of Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine! For the state of Florida, you have always been an icon, for the rest of the skateboarding community you have been like a ghost. Stories about your mind blowing skateboarding abilities, and your misfortunes have risen to the level of urban lore. It’s time for you to set the record straight; it’s time to let the world know all about William “Bogey” Beauregard and your powerful skateboarding history. 

                                                                          Billy Beauregard

Let’s get this out of the way off the top, Christian Hosoi, Mark Rogowski, and you Billy Beauregard, were all incarcerated at some point. Why were you sent to prison, and what advice do you have for troubled teens and young adults now that you are a free man again? 

I was incarcerated for drug and drug related charges. pretty much an out of control life style. Dealing and using that lead to hanging out with a lot of people who I shouldn’t of been with.  To those who think that this is an easy life style think again. If you get caught its a real pain. If you get caught more than once the law will come down harder and harder each time. Best thing to do is to just skate your heart out and stay free, remember it’s the little things in life that make you content.

Billy,  just how old were you when you began to skateboard and what was your first skateboard?

I was about eleven years old. I was in a boy’s home because I ran away from my biological parents. While I was there someone left me a cheap Makaha skateboard. I would skate in the driveway for hours just sliding and trying to do a three sixty, and stuff like that.

Billy, people know you are from Florida as a skateboarder, but where exactly in Florida did your skateboarding roots take hold? 

I am from a small town south of Orlando Florida called Winter Haven.

Everybody had a crew of skateboarders at some point in time, who were the skaters in your crew? 

Yes, I had many skate crews at many different times. They would always change as the industry progressed. Many quit and went on to do other things; some went to prison like me. But there are those that stuck around. Like Pat Splat, Steve Altop who is now deceased. R.I.P. Steve, and Chuck Hults. Plus there was a bunch from Lakeland Florida, who when we had to tear all our ramps down for one reason or another, they stepped up and started building ramps over there. Like Jason Connors, Mike Coyle, Jessie, Dave Headson, Brian Kenyon, Jason Gainous, Kent Richards, Kyle, Kent Ramsey. I could go on forever, I’d hate to leave someone out but I know I can’t keep writing them all down.

                                                                       Photo by Chuck Hults

Now, did your crew street skate, or was there a skate park near where you lived? 

We street skated for a while, but not in the way they do today. But as soon as we saw that you could ride ramps it was over for the street, other than to get to the ramps. We would skate ditches and anything else with a bank. But we fell in love with ramps or the likes.

Who was the first really good skater that you saw skate that inspired you? 

 Kelly Lynn blew me away when I first saw him skate at Kissimmee skate park. We had been skating there for about 6 months. He showed up one day and just ripped. I knew right then I had my work cut out for me. I didn’t stop until I could do everything I saw him do that day.

                                                                       Photo by Chuck Hults

Was your family behind your skateboarding?

No, Dad wanted me to be a preacher. It made it really hard because he would never come and watch me skate, or go to parks or contests. So I would just hook up with the street people that where outcasts of society like myself. But really I wasn’t, but those who condemned me where. Just took a long time to recognize it for what it was. It was hard to fight your own family to do what you love. 

When did you first ride vert, and did it come easy to you? 

I believe it was about 1977, I think. No, I don’t think it came easy I would practice for hours at a time to master certain tricks. I think after you learn the basics and you get to a certain point in skating then everything else just originates from what you already know. So at that point things start to click and it gets easier to learn new tricks. But at first it was a real pain in the backside.

                                              L to R Alan Losi, Larry Balma, Billy Beauregard, and Jim Goodrich.

 Now at some point you entered your first skate contest, where was that and how did you do? 

Yes it was this cheesy city contest that the Winter Haven PTA or something put on. They had three different events, Down Hill, Slalom and Freestyle. I entered them all and only won the freestyle event. I was on the front page of the Winter Haven News Chief Newspaper.
How many hours per week would you say you spent skateboarding at that time in your life? 

I would say about thirty, sometimes more because of holidays. I would mow lawns to get money to go to the skate parks on the weekends. I had to pay my way to everything that had to do with skateboards.

                                                         Billy shredding the Thrashmore Ramp Va.

What sponsor would you say discovered you and your skate talents first? Plus, list all of your previous sponsors in order as you recall them. 

I went to a contest at Kona Skate Park in Jacksonville Florida that Sundeck sponsored. There were a lot of big name companies and skaters from the west. After that weekend Powell and Variflex stepped to me about a sponsorship. I went with Variflex because they made complete boards and would get me to contests. Sponsors were Variflex, Schmitt Stix. Independent Trucks, Thunder Trucks, SIO shorts, Vision Street Wear, and Vans.  I think that’s it.

                                                        Billy at Kona Skate Park Andrecht handplant.

Billy, your list of tricks that you are remembered for has always been staggering! When skaters talk about you there are many that are frequently mentioned, like your over contorted Andrechts, your air to fakies, your table top backside ollies, your stalled, contorted, and gnarly inverts to fakie, and your bio backside airs! Did you have a favorite trick, or combination of tricks that you liked at that time in your skateboarding career? 

My favorite trick was always the one I was working on to add to my bag of tricks. When I would master that one I would move to another one. But I did have sequential tricks I liked to do. Like backside air to backside air to fakie to three sixty air, or invert into invert to fakie to elgarial.

When did you make the decision to turn PRO? 

I went to a contest at Del Mar Skate Ranch. I think it was part of the Rusty Harris Pro/Am series. I skated against the best of the best and did fairly well. So Variflex offered me a PRO model. That meant no more mowing lawns; at least that’s what I was thinking.

                         Billy skating his way to a respectable third place against the worlds best, at Del Mar Skate Ranch.

Thrasher Magazine once featured an article on a Del Mar Contest in which they said, “you ripped your way to third place on your first visit to the park.” What do you remember about Del Mar Skate Ranch, and that contest?

Yah, same contest I was talking about. That pool was kinky as hell and every wall is totally different. I was used to half pipes that where pretty much the same. So I had a hard time with the pool, but I fought through practice sessions. Even Tony Hawks father said something to the effect of “this guy is no threat, he is so inconsistent”.  But I snapped in the contest and even blew my own mind. I was like, “did I just do that?” After the contest Tony’s father stepped and said, “I sure was wrong about you”.  He shook my hand and that made me feel real good that someone of his stature would have any interest in me.

The last time I saw you Billy was at an event in Ohio years ago! I believe it was at the end of the eighties at a Bill Danford skate contest.  How often did you travel to contests? 

For a while there it was like every month I would not only go to contests, but we would do road trips around the United States promoting our products.

                                                         Billy air to fakie in Ohio, photo by Cleo Coney

Let’s get into your signature model deck graphics a bit. There was an Alligator, and Bogey, and what else? 

Yes, the “Bogey Board” was the first with a Humphrey Bogart graphic. I liked that dude. I thought he was the shit. I used to wear a hat like his and everything. “Ya weirdo” that’s what kids would say. But he always got the fine babe. That board didn’t sell too good it was pretty plain. All my board graphics where done by an illegal alien. I had no idea back then. I wish I knew what I know now. So we changed it to the Swamp Gator which was an idea based on my home state, always rains ground soaked. I always was amazed with Gators, such a happy looking beast. That was it for PRO models. I also skated for Schmitt but didn’t stay long enough to get a model.

The Saint Petersburg skate crew would watch your truck hangers wobble back and forth on your backside Ollies, as they floated over-head. How hard was it for you to ride Variflex Trucks? 

 Everyone made a big deal about it but they didn’t bother me. You just had to use the right bushing combination.

                                         Billy floating a backside ollie on Variflex Trucks, photo by Chuck Hults.

Who built your home ramp and what were the dimensions? 

Pat splat was our carpenter in Winter Haven, but there was about three or four of us that would all pitch in. But the Ramps in Lakeland where built by them, I think we helped with a few.  Ramps where always changing in our area. Sometimes we would just find some woods that looked good and set up a ramp. You would skate for a while and one day you would come to skate and it would be burnt to the ground or there’d be a note left on it to move it.

               While you were away, what about skateboarding did you miss the most?

          Everything! It sucked. I would get the Thrasher Mag and just reminisce about old times. Then I would go play Volley Ball and try to take someone’s head off to get out some aggression.

Elaborate will you, on your artwork and what you’d like to do with your artistic abilities. 

 My artwork is very broad. I have my own style, I call it beaug-art, which is a collage graffiti style that is just madness. I also do portraits in pencil and chalk, realism, still life’s, and cartoons. I'll send you one of Grave Digger. I was going to send it to Thrasher but I have not received any of the artwork back that I have sent them over the years. Maybe we can work something out and I can do a cartoon every month. Hint.

                                                            Artwork by Billy Beauregard.

Are you selling any graphic illustrations? 

I would love to. I probably will never sell any of it that I did in prison, but I will do work for anyone that would like something done. What I do is, we come up with an idea, or several and we play with them on paper and come up with the final composition.  Then I bring it to life. So feel free to email me at But we will have to do it through the mail. Because I don’t have a computer. Not unless someone has an old computer, I can do some work for you and you can pay me with a computer.

 Billy, are you back on a skateboard? 

Yes, but not in the way that I would like to be. Circumstances will not allow it yet due to no job. No license and no car.  I NEED A JOB, and it is not easy with out a license or a car.

Will we see you in a skateboarding Masters event in the near future? 

That would be awesome but without the above it is going to be hard to achieve that status I'm not getting any younger. I'm a “Barney” remember.

                                                     Variflex Ad featuring Billy Beauregard.

 What skaters from the past are you eager to session with? 

Of coarse the Lakeland crew, Pat Splat and anyone who would like to have a good time and have fun.

Where are you living these days? 

Campbellsport WI better known as BFE.

 Why up north? 


Any chance you’d head back to Florida? 

If the opportunity to be financially set, to do the things I need to do yes.

                                                        More Billy Beauregard Artwork

 Billy, I have had the pleasure of skating with you in the past and I want to tell you personally how good it is to know you are a free man! Any last words, thanks, shout outs, or words of wisdom for our readers? 

First of all, I would like to thank you for your help and interest. Thanks to all the Lakeland crew for their moral support. Thanks Dad for pawning me off on someone else so you didn’t have to deal with it as usual. Thanks to Paul Schmitt, Chuck Hults and 780 killer Skate Pads for your support with skate gear.

Push, Carve, Grind!

The Mike Folmer Interview in Coping Block Skateboarding Magazine!

The Mike Folmer Interview is brought to you by:

 Mike Folmer left a huge mark on Skateboarding in Florida, and upon the rest of the skateboarding world with his ultra smooth style and powerful flow. 
His finishes in California Skateboard contests in the late seventies and early eighties were always in the top tier of the competition. Everybody has a Mike Folmer impression from those skateboarding days of glory. Mike Folmer was and is one of the best skateboarders ever to come out of Florida.  Even today, Mike Folmer’s imprint is still on the minds that got to witness his skating first hand. Some of his peers and some of his long time fans took a moment to reflect on the man and his skating.

Mike is the coolest skater to come out of Palm Beach County, Florida, if not anywhere.  He had style on and off the board. Just like Hosoi did in the later decades, Folmer was the Fonz of skateboarding in the 70's and 80's.  Every move on a skateboard was beautiful, a simple tail tap or carve was thrilling to watch.  I believe you will see a little of his style in every Palm Beach County skater.

-Steve Marinak
Mike was the first guy I ever saw fly off the side of the tombstone and back into the bowl.
To this day he is one of the best guys to do it.  So much style!
I have the pic hanging in my office . . . its one of my personal favorites.

-Martin Ramos

 "Mike was always a fun guy to hang out with and one of my all-time favorite skaters to photograph. He always raised the bar wherever he skated with his smooth and powerful style and go for it attitude. I didn't get the chance to spend as much time with Mike as I did with the other Florida skaters and I always looked forward to sessions with him. Mike's talent was key in showing the rest of the world that Florida's skaters were a force to be reckoned with."

-Jim Goodrich

I loved how he dragged his tail on backside airs on take off. He flowed like water & did great Miller flips!!

-Rob Weir

My most memorable moment with Mike Folmer was after he broke his leg in Georgia I went to the hospital to visit him and let him know that he was the first East Coast skater to be on the cover of Skateboarder Magazine. He was so stoked he couldn't believe it! That was the best pain relief possible!

-Hunter Joslin

When Mike was still in a body cast at a Clearwater skate contest when he saw some photos of me and was (probably acting) incredibly stoked.  He probably will not remember it but he made me feel so good.  It 's not what people say; it's how they make you feel.  Feels good now just remembering it again.

-Ed Womble

I have two:
1). Mike’s inverts on the coping side of Clearwater Skate Park's half-pipe, while making eye contact with the crowd. I think his board was covered w/ S&H green stamps.
2). I (my Mom) bought a Folmer Stinger at Clearwater Skate Park. He was skating there and someone told him. He came over and signed my board and gave me a bunch of SIMS stickers. I thought he was a rad skater, but I used the stickers to cover his signature. I kind of felt like a kook having a signed board...too bad I don't have it today.

-Bruce Whiteside

I was about 15 years old at Clearwater Skate Park and I was just blown away by Mike Folmer's reverting a lot of his tricks,
and his fast aggro surf style! I approached him and asked for a sticker and he took me out to his van and gave me like a 100 red Sims Wing stickers, coolest PRO I ever met right there...
-Walter Lewellen
                                           A very young yet stylish Mike Folmer back in the day.
                                                                                      Photo by Jack Folmer

Mike we know you live on the west coast these days,
but where did you live in Florida when you first started skateboarding?
West palm beach, you know the place you see on "COPS". But Lake Worth when I started skating. 
We had the 10th Ave ditch, Hypoluxo ditches, some pools, and Lake Worth High School had a 10'x 50' pipe that became a smoke stack that can be seen to this day off of Lake Worth Rd./I-95.
 What attracted you to the skateboarding, and what was your first skateboard?
 In the late 60's to early 70's, I used to fish on the Lake Worth Pier where I’d see these guys surf, also probably thru surf magazines and the local shops having skateboards.
I used to roller skate @ Galaxy roller skate rink on Friday nights, and one day I took my skates apart, drew an oval shape on a sheet of plywood, cut it out and there was my first skateboard. Come to think of it, Galaxy rink used to have a skateboard night around 1975 or 1976 with plywood banks.
 Who was the first really good skater you saw skate that inspired you?
I think it was 1975 or 1976 when "Skateboard Safari" broke ground in West Palm Beach, and the Brewer skateboard team came and did a demo. 
We were blown away! Rodney Jesse, fast, out of control! He was doing Gnarly barking lips slides with those tall brewer wheels. That lit a fire under all of us and the next day we were doing lip slides.

                                    Mike Folmer Port St. Lucie Pipe :photo by Hunter Joslin

Do you remember the first time you hit coping?
Yes! My first pool was in Palm Spring Florida. It was a nice new community (not like the one you see on “COPS” now) 
the pool was a nine-foot right hand kidney with two inch pointed coping, probably around mid 1976.

 What did your family think of your skateboarding?
My whole family was really supportive. My mom would drive us around to skate spots,
 and my dad being a professional photographer, took lots of skate photos.
 Let’s get into the guys you skated with, who were they and are you still in contact with them?
That’s gonna take some memory jogging.
I liked to skate with everybody, there, everybody!
 Just kidding,  at first I used to skate with my next-door neighbor, Mike Cormier.
We used to play skate derby on his sloped driveway with fiberglass boards and ram and kick them into each other’s board.  Man, we beat the hell out of those skateboards! Mike Brooks and I hung out a lot and would try to find anything we could to skate.

I remember the abandoned West Palm Beach Polo grounds, and guys would take any and all scrap materials to make a one sided bowl under a carport area. Dude! It was Gnarly!  Pieces of metal, fiberglass, plywood, cardboard, anything laying around and just slapped together with bent nails sticking up. Not to mention, we used to skate barefoot!

Scott Mc Craniels, actually His Uncle Paul, and his dad Chummer too! Paul turned us onto the Hypoluxo drainage system. New fresh poured cement for the I-95 under pass. It was like a mini skate park to us. It had 4 or 5 sections. Later when Skateboard Safari opened up I stared to skate with Pat Love, Chris west, Chuck Lagana, Johnny Miller, Tony Montavlo, John and Tab Textor, Danny Billard, Joe Saint Angelo, and many others. I’m sure I'm forgetting some, but unfortunately not much contact with most of them.

                                                            Mike attacking the Coping!

There has been quite a lot of influence on skateboarding from Florida skaters like you. 
Why do you think that is?

Florida much like California had surfing as an influence. 
 What was the first skate contest you participated in?
I think it was a free style contest in St. Petersburg Florida.
I think Huck Andress won by doing a headstand spin.
 I wanna say early "1977".
 Who were your first sponsors prior to riding for SIMS?
Ron Heavy side at Nomad Surf Shop sponsored myself, and Mike Brooks.

                                                                     Mike working the Pools at Cherry Hill Skate Park.   

How long did you skate as an Am before turning PRO?
As in competing, probably a year and a half.
 When did you switch from Tracker Trucks to Indy Trucks?
Well, I rode Gullwing Trucks, but was first sponsored by Indy in 1978, 
and at some point I switched to Tracker Trucks because Fausto couldn’t pay me a salary. 
I think there was only a hand full of guys getting paid by Indy. Olson, Bowman, Salba and maybe Peters. 
So I switched to Tracker for a twenty-five dollar a month salary, for about a year. 
That was a lot of gas money back then! 
 Do you think surfing influenced your skating style?
Oh definitely! 

                                                                        Mike flying high and fast. 

 Ollie layback disasters! How did those come about?
HHHMMM, let's see. 
I think at Del Mar I was doing kind of a Disaster to Bert, and landed wrong and leaned to the other arm.
 How many skate models have you had and do you have a favorite?
 Four board models with Sims, and one with Death-Box.
 What was it like to be on the SIMS TEAM back in the day?
 It was cool! Wally Inouye and Chris Strople took me under their wing after Hunter Joslin introduced me to them.
They showed me how to walk into Tom Sims office with a pile of receipts and walk out with a fat check! Brad Strandland had it mastered. You gotta remember, I was only sixteen and I didn’t know anything about reimbursements.

                                                         Mike Folmer on the Hollywood Ramp.

If you could reconstruct any section of any of the old skate parks that you skated
back in the day and skate now, what would you recreate? 
Wow! Let me see.
Some of Cherry Hill's pools, the snake run from Colton, and the washboard Winchester Skate Park.
 How often do you get to skate these days? 
Not enough!
 What is your favorite skateboarding memory? 
I'd say the finals at Oasis Gold cup in 1980.
They had so many skaters that when I made it to the finals I was tied for 1st with Eddie Elguera, but everyone was so tired that Micke Alba stayed on his board and won at like age fourteen.

                                                  Mike Folmer flying through his Tracker Truck days.

                                Mike Folmer flying off of Clearwater Skate Parks Pleixglas extensions.

When Skateboarder Magazine’s sequence of your “rad roll in at the Big O” skate park came out,
 how stoked were you?
Actually, I was more stoked when I got a two-page color spread,
 with a sequence doing a channel jump at the Big "O" during the Hester Series.
 Who are your all-time favorite skateboarders?
 Thanks to Hunter, I was introduced to all the California heavies! 
So it was cool to be able to hang out with Alva, Jay Adams, Wally, Strople, Waldo, Larry Bertlemann, plus, Ah Shit! Hang on a second, I gotta bend down I dropped a name! Oh and thanks to the Ramos family, we Floridians got to meet all the California skaters at Kona in 1977 at the Pro-Am they put on.

                                           Mike Folmer flying backside out of the Sensation Basin.

                                                           Mike Folmer handplant at speed.

 Mike I understand that you are an avid fisherman, what’s been your best day of fishing ever?
I'd have to say it's a tie Between my forty eighth birthday when I caught an eight foot Thresher shark with the assistance of Exene from the band "X", 
and my forty ninth birthday when I caught an eight foot two inch Thresher shark, this time with the assistance of "Willis" that’s right! Todd Bridges from “Different Strokes”!
That episode ended up on "TMZ". 
 Do you have any fillets in your freezer now? 
Always, I just added some Calico Bass to a near full freezer today!
 With out the Folmer’s, Gelfand’s, McGill’s, Lynn’s, Lakes, Fishers, McClelland’s, Rogers, 
Diaz’s, Peddie’s, Schmitt’s, Murray’s, Baucom’s, Mullen’s, Beauregaurd’s, Bentley’s, etc., all where would skateboarding be today?
There would be no "Ollie’s" or "540's", the progression of skateboard technology would be in the dark ages, and there would be a lot less style to the sport.

What’s your opinion of the “X” Games?
I can't really say because I haven’t followed it much.
 What do you feel is missing from today’s skateboarding versus skateboarding 
in the mid to late seventies, and early eighties? 
 You really had to prove yourself to get sponsored or turn Pro.
It was less about an image thing or whom you knew.
In the Hester Series contests you had to do a compulsory routine.
If you couldn’t complete that, you were out of the contest!
Do you have any lifetime shout outs or thanks you’d like to share at this time?
I'd like to thank my parents (GOD rest their souls) for all their support in my skateboarding.

Push, Carve,Grind!