A Skateboarding Retrospective
by Nick Hutchinson, Yahoo! Contributor Network
t’s hard to nail down exactly what skateboarding means to all those who have practiced what for much of its early evolution was not even recognized as a sport, but for the legions of skateboarders who grew up idolizing the likes of Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta and Tony Hawk, skateboarding has always translated to a lifestyle and an attitude.
In Miami Inverted, a memoir by Florida skater, former Bones Brigader and Walker team riderut for the legions of skateboarders who grew up idolizing the likes of Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta and Tony Hawk, skateboarding has always translated to a lifestyle and an attitude.
Robbie Weir, Weir (now 40) takes us back to when life revolved around Tracker Trucks, Rector shorts and sweaty days at the local skatepark. In straightforward and unadorned prose, Miami Inverted recalls Weir’s lifelong involvement with the skateboard culture.
From his spot in a Burger King commercial at the age of 13 to his amazing return to competitive vertical skating in his mid 30s, Weir’s book, part anecdotal recall and part scrapbook, views the sport of skateboarding through the eye of a veteran insider who took his lumps along the way.
Weir’s skateboarding career began in South Florida, where he honed his vertical skills in the bowls, half pipes and snake runs at the Runway Skate Park in Perrine (just south of Miami). His experience at the Runway set the foundation for Miami Inverted.
The Runway was the biggest skatepark in the Miami area during the ’70s skatepark boom. Sometimes known as the “kinkway” due to its bumpy transitions, the park, which was open from 1977-1980, spawned a host of hot local skaters, including Monty Nolder, later sponsored by Santa Cruz Skateboards, the smooth riding Shawn Webster, freestyler extraordinaire Robert Rodrigues (who invented the rolling finger flip impossible and the 540 cross leg impossible), the inimitable Tracy Ramos (see page 140 for the mug shot of all mug shots) and a host of others, Weir included.
These Florida skaters formed a skateboard collective that on many levels rivaled the dedication, skill and style of the famous Z-boys from Dogtown and the much touted California scene. The fact that the West Coast skateboard companies eventually sponsored some of these Florida skaters (including Weir and Nolder) acknowledges the buzz that they created.
Weir’s lifelong ride, as chronicled in the book, afforded him the opportunity to meet and skate with a young Tony Hawk, Florida’s legendary Alan “Ollie” Gelfand (inventor of the ollie air, which has long been a stock skate maneuver), Mike McGill, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Stacy Peralta and numerous others in the skateboard pantheon. Later in his life, Weir’s work in the modeling industry found him working with Heidi Klum and Ty Pennington, among others. Prior to finding fame as the star of Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, Pennington, a sometime model, worked for Weir or more than one occasion as a motorcoach driver.
The story includes Weir’s heartfelt relationship with his brother, Scott (who was born with cerebral palsy and to whom the book is dedicated), his enduring fame following his appearance in a Burger King commericial (for which he received the nickname “the Burger King kid”) his ups and downs in his personal life, his various entrepreneurial experiences and, most engagingly, his lifelong dedication to skateboarding, which still brings him peace of mind and soul.
For those who have lost skin and bones to concrete dreams, Miami Inverted is a fun and easy read that might even prompt you to dust off the old deck for a day and hit the local bowl.
“A Flashback to a Wonderful Time!”
Robbie, my name is Brian Mosher, we met years ago I believe at Cadillac in Pompano or maybe a solid surf. Anyway’s I read the book online today and I am gonna order it. What a great flash back to a wonderful time in all of our lives. My cousin Joe SantAngelo and myself started skating in 75′ with a very young Mike Folmer at Hypoluxo ditch and the rest of the w.p.b. crew. ie., West, Laguna, Pat Love at Skateboard Safari a couple years later…We made some trips down South and made another friend in Dan Murray. I just returned to the sport and after a 25 year hiatus with my 14 year old and it wa a great suprise to find all my old friends who gather and skate like it was 77 again…Went to Kona’s 30th anniversary with Dan Murray and his son Andres and it was truly one of the highlights of my life…I have shared your story with some of my employees who happen to think we’re all a bit crazy still doing what we do at our age and they all had great things to say about your story…Great Job Rob…God bless and hope to see you somewhere “inverted!”
— Brian Mosher
“Your Book Has Opened A Whole New World For My Son!”
Jim Kuiack from Concrete Wave Magazine is a friend of mine, and recently presented my nine year old son, who has struggled with a learning disability all his life with your book. It is the first time he has ever showed any interest in wanting to read. Your book has opened up a whole new world for him. Thanking, Steve’s Father you once again, Steve’s Father.
— Steven Huskisson
Robbie has always been a class act. Through his new book “Miami Inverted” you get a little insight into the perseverance and “go for it” attitude that can be learned from a sport-like skateboarding. Hopefully Robbie is working on a second book that will go into more detail about his motion picture stunt work and the inside scoop on the modeling industry: which has worked with so often in his past.
— Carlos Galvis still skateboarding in Hollywood, Florida
“I’m Blown Away!”
Thanks for the recognition. I’m really honored to be a big part of your book and your skating life…
— Rob Rodriguez
“Wow and Congratulations!”
I spent the afternoon reading, something I seldom do. What a great story. It brought back so many memories of days gone by. I also lover this thing we do on four wheels and a piece of wood. I often wonder why, and it always comes back to good times and great friends. When’s the movie coming out?
— Charles Lillo
“Good Job With Your Book!”
I feel stoked and honored to be in it, and if you run into Heidi Klum again and I want to give her my email address, you have my permission.
— Dave Jasper
Thanks once again for including me. I felt throughout the book that you were telling me the story yourself in perosn. I heard your voice.
— The Ninja
“I’m Really Into It!”
Can’t believe to tell you how many memories it’s bringing back. I’m thinking it would make a pretty good movie…maybe that’s the next phase.
— Nick Hutchinson
I read it from cover to cover and enjoyed every page.
— Steve Marinak
“It’s Awesome and Very Easy and Fun to Read Book!”
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but now I see what a cool story it is. Congratulations, I’m stoked.
Take it from someone who knows, if you like skateboarding you’ll like this book. The photography was awesome.
— G. Lillo “Skootch”
“A Must Read!”
As someone who grew up skateboarding “back in the day” in Florida, and who is now back at it again as a middle-aged father, it was great to read the history of someone who came up through the ranks as a yound skater and is still killing it today. No matter whether you are an east or west coast skater, if you want to enjoy a true story from a guy who has seen it all, this is a must read.
— Lloyd E. Gilick “Lloyder”
“You Guys Rule!”
I’ve read the book twice and then went out and bought a board.
— Winsor Harmon, Actor
“The Book and Your Website Are Top Notch!”
Soooooo rad! I’m stoked and I hope your story ends up big time. Maybe I can play myself for the movie. I’ll need a flat top wig of course.
— Cleo Coney
“Miami Inverted will Definitely Appeal”
…to the younger skaters 8 years old and up, and to all those interested in learning about the Florida skateboard scene in general.
— Michael Brooke, Concrete Wave Magazine
“Packed With Fun and Excitement!”
Miamiinverted is much more than an east coast skateboard retrospective. The whole book is packed with fun and excitement. After all, isn’t that what skateboarding is all about?
— Jungle Jim Kuiack, Intl. Corrspt. for Concrete Wave Magazine
“It’s a Great and Easy Read!”
I’m a surfer and an old skater trying to skate again. I’m not much of a reader, but recently, I got a copy of Miami Inverted from my brother who works occasionally with Robbie Weir. I was so impressed with the book that I wanted to help Robbie and Willie out. I recently featured them at a Jah Surf Party to help promote their book. It’s a great and easy read. Remember I don’t read much but I couldn’t put this book down.
— Lance O., JaSurf.com