The Coast News Group
Gregg Weaver and Bruce Logan
Skateboarding kings Gregg Weaver, left, and Bruce Logan celebrate Bruce's reign at his 70th birthday party. Photo by Chris Ahrens

Waterspot: My friend, the King

By the mid-1970s, the Logan family was known as “the First Family of Skateboarding.” They owned one of the largest skateboard companies, Logan Earth Ski and, headed by Bruce, won the most significant titles, including two world titles, at the time.

Following Bruce were his gifted brothers Brian and Brad and their only sister, Robin. Their mother, Barbara, held the company together and their skateboards were everywhere. Their team included riders like Torger Johnson, Laura Thornhill and Tony Alva.

Gregg Weaver somehow resisted the pull of Team Logan and signed with Hobie, along with North County’s Kim Cespedes. Ironically, Weaver won a Hobie Skateboard at an event I sponsored, without permission, at San Dieguito High School in the mid-’70s.

I never did ask Gregg where he got his fluid, precocious skate style, but while many of his contemporaries were into excessive arm-waving movements, he was as polished as Hawaiian-born surfing legend Gerry Lopez (who may have been Gregg’s primary inspiration) on a skateboard.

Gregg would go on to be known as “The Cadillac Kid” after he began riding some of the first-ever urethane wheels under the Cadillac Wheels label.

Bruce, however, still ruled the world of wooden boards on wheels with his 40-mile-per hour nose wheelie that he often accomplished without pads or helmet at La Costa’s legendary “Black Hill.”

Skateboarding quickly peaked and just as quickly fell out of fashion. The skate magazines folded. There were no more skateboarding films, the parks were bulldozed, and Logan Earth Ski, along with other major manufacturers, went out of business.

That all occurred nearly 50 years ago, but the old-school skaters have never forgotten it and on Sunday, June 13th they gathered to celebrate Bruce’s 70th birthday, an event that roared to a climax when Weaver showed up with a crown for the champ.

On hand were many of the legends of the sport: TransWorld founder Larry Balma, photo ace, “Free” Lance Smith, famed skater Cindy Berryman, Gordon & Smith Skateboards standouts Steve Cathy and 1977 World Freestyle Champion, Dennis Martinez, speed skater, John Hughes the aforementioned Kim Cespedes and the entire Logan tribe.

While most of the stories were PG, there were some unprintable moments that brought howls from those on hand.  Tales of getting the “high-speed wobbles” while bombing the Black Hill, breaking in the Carlsbad Skate Park, and the brilliance of the first king of the sport, Bruce Logan were told and retold. We had collectively survived the scraped knees, broken bones and sometimes excessive lifestyle of the ‘70s. Now, whatever vices we had, were focused on food as we stuffed ourselves with burgers, hotdogs and, of course, VG’s cake.

If you’re under 40 years old and are now or once were a skateboarder, please take a moment to acknowledge those who came before you. Without Larry, Lance, Brian, Brad, Robin, Steve, Dennis, Cindy, John, Kim and especially Bruce, you would probably be limited to skating Mission Bay on rollerblades. Thanks for the fun you brought into the world. Long Live the King!