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Duane Peters Is More Hardcore Than You

Duane Peters, layback grind. San Jose, CA

Duane Peters. He placed 3rd at the 10th Annual Tim Brauch Memorial Contest. Not only did he lose a wheel on his first run, but he kept riding, grabbed “trick of the day,” and a couple of tacos for the effort. The “Master Of Disaster” rode against legends of skateboarding such as Steve Alba, Steve Caballero, and Christian Hosoi. It was obvious Christian or Cab would win after the first round, so Peters was left to ride for himself and for the crowd during the finals. A position in which he thrives.

DP was one of skateboarding’s first to come out of the 70s era and embrace punk rock. Anyone in the 80s could dress punk, but Peters transcended the outward appearance and pushed it into his riding style. He skated punk! He founded bands The Huns, the U.S. Bombs and invented numerous tricks. The Master has also battled with addiction, but he keeps on playing music and he still skates. There are only a few original seeds in skateboarding. Which makes me wonder when there is no one else who came before you, then how does the seed begin? Where does the inspiration come from? What is telling you when you lose a wheel to keep riding?

I see inspiration from the riding style of pro skaters to the little groms who are starting out. Skateboarding is about progression and pushing yourself a little farther each time you ride. It requires dedication. Commitment. Passion. It’s a lifestyle. Kind of like photography.



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Jay Watson
San Francisco Bay Area based lifestyle and people photographer Jay Watson shoots editorial, apparel, automotive, corporate, and sports subjects for commercial clients. Published in over 70 magazines.

11 Responses to Duane Peters Is More Hardcore Than You

  1. always keeping it real JW. SCHWEET shot…and I mean it. really SCHWEET.

    freestyle was my thing. i was always a big fan of rodney mullen. whatever happened to him?

    on the inspiration front…as a dad…i’ve found that i get mine from my daughter madelyn…aka mady. she gives me purpose. she provides a driving force to be the best, to provide, to succeed and exceed the challenges before me. she truly rocks.

  2. great shot Jay! Inspiration is a constantly evolving thing for me. I get excited by and about so many things that it is often times so hard to focus. One of my first boards was a Duane Peters, the big fat one with the stripes. Oddly I was more inspired by the early videos that Peralta made, the photos by CRStecyk and others more than I was ever inspired by the skaters themselves. The photographers and the filmers were my heroes and my inspiration in skateboarding.

  3. John
    You HAVE to check out the Rodney Mullen Vs Daewon Song videos. Especially check out Round 1 and Round 2. Here is a link to Round 1. Watch for about 4 min in when Mullen introduces the dark slide (rail slide with the grip tape side of deck facing DOWN!). I just saw a recent interview of him and seems like he might be the nicest guy in skateboarding.

    No doubt man being inspired by your family is important. If it was not for my wife, I wouldn’t be skating again. Glad to see your shooting and making things happen. Here is the link:
    Rodney Vs Daewon Song: Round 1


    Cab just sold a 1983 Duane Peters complete ridden but in cheery condition for $1,530 on EBAY! Do you still have your deck?
    In the 80s mags like Thrasher, Transworld, BMX Plus, BMX Action, and Freestylin’ had amazing photography. I’m blown away by what guys Bob Osborne, Grant Brittain, Bryce, and Mo Fo were getting with gear back then. I can’t overlook those mags either. The riders represented the lifestyle, but these mags above in particular are a large reason why I moved to California and not New York.


  4. thanks for the link. unfortunately it’s blocked here at work…so i’ll check it out at home. curious to see what mr mullen is up to.

    i haven’t skated for years…but sorta like riding a bike, or driving a manual….it’s always there. unfortunately the pain associated with a good fall lasts a little longer now 🙂 such is life.

    skateboarding is still…. not a crime.

  5. just watched it. totally sick. he will always be my favorite.

    i’m disgusted at his talent and the fact that i haven’t skated for years.

  6. Great shot Jay! And a great post as well. DP is a living legend for sure and definitely more hardcore than me. He makes me look like a suburban PTO dad. Oh, wait a minute, I am a suburban PTO dad. Albeit, the one that shows up sweaty and dirty from skating with the kids of the the other parents. LOL. I’m pushing 40 and skating harder now than ever. Here is a quote from a blog entry that I directed towards some of my, let’s just say less informed, skaters that come into my shop:

    “OK, call them over the hill (they passed that hill long ago in skateboarding years), Old guys, or whatever. But you can only hope to still be ripping this hard when you are pushing or passing your forties. Odds are, most of you won’t even still be skating past thirty let alone forty. So raise your grandfather’s walker in the air as a sign of respect…these guys earned it. They’ve been skating longer than you have been alive. In some cases, as long as your parents have been alive. (Jeff Grosso, Christian Hosoi, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero posing during a stop on the Independent Trucks 2008 Summer Tour).”

    That glass ceiling for skating age has been destroyed and it gives me hope that barring any major injuries, I’ll still be hammering it out at the park for quite awhile.

    JBW- Mullen is another that, while in his 40’s, is still killing it while at the same time running one of the largest companies in skateboarding. His part in Almost Round 3 was incredible as well. His level of board control is not of this earth. Rodney is an alien. There, I said it. It’s the only way to explain it. As for freestyle, it’s still around. It is small niche in skating, but there are quite a few companies that have kept it going.

  7. Ziggy…you are alive and well I see. Great to hear that you are still doing your thing. I may just have to make a purchase from Zigboys if we’re able to survive these crazy times. Hypothetically speaking…if a geaser like me were to jump back into the fold…what would you recommend on the freestyle front? I’m way way out of the scene.

  8. Zig
    Great to hear from you. Nice to know your still riding and that you opened up your own shop. I’ll keep you in mind next time I need gear. If I am ever in SC, would be great to skate with you again. Speaking of old guys, not only do I like seeing the little guys out there trying, but I like seeing their older Dads who are just starting out and learning to skate for the first time. I give them encouragement, but it looks real bad when they fall. Ouch! I’ll check out your shop’s blog thanks for posting some of it here.

    Try a standard pop sickle shaped deck for street but set it up smaller. 32″length X 7.25″ width. 51mm Powell STF (street tech formula) wheels. Wonder what Zig would say? Oh yeah. Go with shin guards with high top socks for an old school look or a small black hooded sweatshirt, pair of tight black jeans, and studded belt for the SF street skater look.

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