Ed Peck – Skatercross or Thunderdome and Honeycombs

Science and Ed talk about the next big thing in skateboarding and the new bowl that Science and the Artisan crew just poured for Ed in SC.


MAXWELL: Wow. We actually have this interview. 

PECK: Should I ask you a question?

Ask me a question. 

Could you explain to me about flow?

Which way? [Laughs] 

I thought I was asking the questions. 

[Laughs] You were, but I answered a question with a question. I flow a lot. Okay, Edward Peck, your bowl has been poured. The crews came here and did their deeds. How are you feeling?

I’m feeling good. The bar has been raised. It’s a whole other level. 

In what way has the bar been raised?

I think it’s a complex design with a lot of secret pockets and hips and waterfalls. 

Have a good time all the time. If you don’t like it, don’t come here, right? 

[Laughs] If you don’t like it, come here and bring beer and leave, even better. 

Okay, Ed, what’s next? 

Skatercross or Thunderdome. Which one should we build first? One is a track and one is an arena. The Thunderdome is a skateboarding fighting arena where two men enter and one man leaves. 

How would you design your ultimate Thunderdome skateboarding arena?

The main feature would be a sphere or globe, four inches thick, one-on-one or four-on-four combat, teams or free for all. Basically, only one guy is going to be running up the deck when it’s over. [Laughs]

You’re laughing now, but it sounds like it could get dangerous.

They don’t all ride away. 

We’re not really trying to go that way. 

Wait. How do you feel about uphill skateboarding? Everyone talks about downhill skateboarding, but what about the salmon line and working your way up a hill? What about stairs on an incline? 

[Laughs] Impractical yet practical.

You crete the pitch and then put in pump bumps. It’s all upstream. You don’t even have to push.

“Skatercross or Thunderdome. Which one should we build first? One is a track and one is an arena. The Thunderdome is a skateboarding fighting arena where two men enter and one man leaves.”

Upstream skateboarding. People have been missing everything. You see, Ed Peck knows all this stuff ahead of time.

In the past, the technology has been suppressed. Oh god, what about the urethane wheel? Should we go all the way back to the beginning? In the  beginning, who invented skateboarding? Was it a parallel development or one man’s creation? Was it surfers? The big question. Did a surfer cut in half a roller skate and screw it to a 2×4 to make a skateboard or did the handle on the box break off a push car somewhere in the Midwest?

I just think it all happened in parallel development. I wasn’t there.

I wasn’t there. I couldn’t tell ya. Could skateboarding exist without surfing?

It could. Parallel development scenario.

It might not have developed the same way. Would we have ever attacked the lip? What if it was just racing and no grinding. That’s a thing. 

It didn’t get to that point for a while. You’ve got the bowls and the bowls had their lips and that evolved and it went to the halfpipe and tricks and all of that. 

Can skateboard development be attributed to time travel? 

[Laughs] If you want to spend the rest of your life thinking about that, there’s probably a way. 

Certainly, it’s a bit of a stretch without future technology modern day primitive. Which came first? Was it the modern day savage or the future primitive? One is before and one is after.


In your program of thought, what would be your definition of future primitive?

Well, one would be insane terrain with archaic equipment, and one would be advanced equipment with archaic terrain. After the apocalypse, there will be no boards, but terrain everywhere. 

Pre-apocalypse there wasn’t enough terrain. 

Or even worse, clay wheels boards with no terrain. I’d rather live in the post-apocalyptic scenario, but you definitely want to get your quiver together before the bomb drops. There will be bushings shortages and urethane wheels and precision bearings are going to be hard to come by. 

Hopefully, you won’t get roasted in the bonfire.

Yeah. Not much survives Fahrenheit 451. 

Tell me about saving your product, so you don’t have to worry about that. 

I thought we already did that with the Y2K phenomena. We were hoarding wheels. 

I didn’t do that, but you did. 

I never wore out a set. 

[Laughs] If you were to go back to your childhood, would you build a snake run or a mogul or a bowl like you have now? 

Well, that would be like going back to your childhood and you’re trying to build what you thought was epic back then. As a kid, I would have wanted mogul wasteland with bleachers and banners and gleaming fluorescent equipment and protective gear everywhere and a replica of the Kona 40-foot vert ramp. 

Oh my god. It’s pretty crazy looking at old footage of that ramp. Complete insanity. 

It pre-dated the Mega Ramp. 

It pre-dated the Mega Ramp by 30 years. 

They didn’t quite nail the proportions, but the scale was there. 

They went big. How insane was that?

A little bit too much tranny and a little bit too much vert, but they were definitely on to something… the next big thing. 

“It was inspired by the Food Lion Skatepark in Asheville a long time ago, which had a birdbath bowl with a roll over lip that was three feet deep, and we thought we could do that. Then we had a drawing on graph paper and we dug a hole. Then I lost the drawing and we tried to come up with a design that would be easy to lay out and would fit inside the crude hole that we dug.

Okay, make a prediction, Ed Peck, what is the next big thing?

Extreme hand standing and 360s. They’re going to take that to the next level. It’s already been done and it’s never been done. They’re going to drill a hole in the center of the earth by spinning on their back wheels.

What do you think they’re going to do in the Olympics? Is it going to be high jumps or hi-jinx? Is it going to be ‘70s style or the most 360s?

I’m ready to see the first vertical handstand Smith grind. 

That would be something. 

The judges would take note of that. Never been done. 

That might be the next big thing actually. 

Or fully padded street skating. We’ve been talking about that for years. 

Okay, Ed, we’ve been talking about this next big thing. The pad sponsors want to get the kids into wearing pads, so they can sell product. How do you get that to be the next big thing?

Well, the safety equipment manufacturers are going to manipulate the industry. We have two of the biggest kneepad producers on the East Coast and we’re going to steer it towards knee slides. The knee slide is going to come back. There are going to be people knee sliding all the way down the Empire State Building. 

Well, how about knee sliding into beer. I love knee sliding into beer. You can put on your knee pads and knee slide into it and it’s fresh. There’s nothing better than that. For what it’s worth, I don’t think the younger generation will ever understand or love it the way I do. 

Well, it would damage those steel wheels, so they’ll never experience it. I see steel wheels   making a comeback. I get a better feel from steel. What about steel wheels on a steel ramp? What about a bumper car where it would be electrified and you’d have an electric motor? You’d have a metal strap and a metal strip on your helmet and it would be an electrified sphere, and skateboards would have electric motors like a bumper car. 

‘Shock me, make me feel better.’ 

That could be one of the big things that could be next. That’s one of my predictions. Spherical over vert bumper car electric skateboarding. 

What is the very next big thing in your predictions?

With board graphics, there’s going to be a little bit of regression. Square wheels are going to be big and there are going to be a lot of round skateboards at the toy store. It will have five wheels instead of four, so the manufacturers are going to be rolling in the dough. I see the 15-pack selling strong. They are also going to come out with the 25-pack. It’s going to be five rows of five, and possibly a 75-pack. 

[Laughs] Tell me about the 75 pack. 

It will be three stories high. There will be three  layers of 25. It’s like a case with three extra beers in it three stories high. It has a giant handle on top with three layers of cardboard. 

Man, I’m thirsty just thinking about that. 

It’s the next big thing. Mark my word. Alcoholic sports beverages are going to be sponsoring skaters. Sparks will be revamped. The breweries will get into it. The next big thing will be beer wars, Anheuser Busch against Pabst Breweries. There will be Budweiser bots. I might have a few too many in me so I don’t want to start any controversy.

I think you’re on the right path. 

There will be some stereotyping like, “When those guys get drunk, they skate like robots.” Slamming will be the new making it. [Laughs]


Okay, let me get a beer. Talk about your bowl or something. 

It’s the end result of a very long and drawn out process of design. I don’t think I could ever come up with something like that again, it took so long to figure it out. We made it as complicated and complex as possible, which seems to be the most interesting way. I’m thinking it took nine months to set it up and get it to this stage. We have stage two and stage three to follow. Set up took a while. 

What was the idea behind the design? 

Actually, it was inspired by the Food Lion Skatepark in Asheville a long time ago, which had a birdbath bowl with a roll over lip that was three feet deep, and we thought we could do that. Then we had a drawing on graph paper and we dug a hole. Then I lost the drawing and we tried to come up with a design that would be easy to lay out and would fit inside the crude hole that we dug. It made it a little bit simpler, but if it was any weirder, I don’t think I could have figured it out. The outside dimensions longways, it’s 50 feet, and 33 feet wide. It’s about 9 feet deep. It’s not too big and it’s not too small and not too tight and not too lose. It might be just right. I also may have missed by a mile. It looks like it’s going to be fun.

DAN: Who was over there building it?

It was pretty much the entire Artisan super crew. We had the Greensboro guys and the Phoenix guys, so we had the best of the best. Everyone who is anyone was here. Two jobs ended at the same time, right after winter and right before summer. I’m calling it the cosmic convergence. The stars aligned and the timing was right. We shot concrete in it before it all washed away and it worked out just right. 

DAN: Has this been a dream of yours since you started skating?

I think we all have that dream of a place to skate in your own yard. It used to be a halfpipe or wooden ramp, but I got this place around 2000 and, of course, the first part of the puzzle is having a place to put it and the second part of the puzzle is what to build. I’ve had the place to put it for a while and the more ambitious it is, the harder it is to get all the stars to align. We really started on it 15 years ago and then it was in a state of stagnation for 14 years and then I just got cranked on it and I pretty much have followed through. 

“It was a Honeycombs commercial on television with skateboarding and concrete bowls, probably in California. It was on television, which was very influential to my growing mind. Honeycombs Big! Yeah, yeah, yeah!. It’s not small. No, no, no. Honeycomb’s got a big big taste in a big big bite.”

Ed, where did it begin for you? What was the wanderlust that put you on this path now as far as skateboarding? 

It was a Honeycombs commercial on television with skateboarding and concrete bowls, probably in California. It was on television, which was very influential to my growing mind. 


Yeah. Honeycombs Big! Yeah, yeah, yeah!. It’s not small. No, no, no. Honeycomb’s got a big big taste in a big big bite. 

I have not seen this. They were skating in the commercial?

Yes. They were skating bowls in skateparks in California in the late ‘70s heyday, getting three wheels out and throwing giant boxes of Honeycombs out of the bowl at the screen and into the camera.

That makes me want to go skate right now. [Laughs]

It’s been in my brain ever since.

It’s not big, no, no, no. 

They hold it up to the tape measure and the Honeycomb is like 100 inches wide. Cut me a foot and let’s see how wide this Honeycomb is. 

So that made you want to skateboard? 

That made me want one. 

Did you get one?

Yeah. Sort of. I got a plastic banana board. 

I had one too. My cousin skated in the ‘70s. 

A few years later, I could ride a plastic banana board down the driveway.

For me, it was the ‘80s, like ’84. 

If we’re going to go to ’84, that was big board era. If you looked back at the development of it, that was a big deal. Skateboarding was dead and then it started picking up momentum and then you see a new skateboard and it’s a full 10 inches wide with rails and fluorescent colors popping. 

You said it all. Say no more. Tell me about the hot colors in the ‘80s.

There was this Powell Peralta general issue pink and black burned into my brain. I was talking to Charlie last night about this guy at Toby and Morris Hooker’s ramp. He was over there with a Variflex Vector with some coned out wheels on it. 

The Vector had some hot colors though. How was the brightness of the plastic?

It all looked glowing. 

Do you remember Atlantic Skates having all of their boards?

The RipStik.

There was the RipStik and then there was the one dude who had his head chopped off and he was holding it in his hand. That was a big deal. 

There was one with a skull and brains and the dude was getting ready to bite the brain in half. I wanted the one with the buzzard eating the eyeball out of the decaying skull. 

Every kid wanted that. The Ripstik was a big deal. The ‘80s were big with skulls and crossbones.

Don’t forget splatter paint and checkerboard. What about Jeff Phillips graphic of him busting through a wall? 


That was pretty popular. I liked that. How about the multiple Rob Roskopp graphics? 

The robotic monster busting through the bullseye. 

Then it finally came completely through and people just could not believe it. 

Is there going to be a nine? I was waiting for the nine. [Laughs]

Do you think they only did eight?

I don’t know. 

The historians can do their research on this page. 

They had to abandon their theme at some point because the wall was already disintegrated.

You can only go so far. 

What initially drew me to it was crumbling walls, checkerboards and fluorescent rails popping. 

Since we’re talking about your bowl, what made you want to build it besides seeing the Honeycomb’s Hideout commercials? 

That was one of many things. Living on the beach, you’re coming home from school every day and they’ve got some putt-putt golf courses. There’s the putt-putt golf course, the batting cage, the waterside and the concrete skateboard park with the lunar landscape going on to infinity.

Tell me about seeing the lunar landscape. 

I only saw it through the window as a child. I never rode it. It was like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It was like Big Rock Candy Mountain. 

You remember seeing the old ‘70s park here, and you didn’t even know about skating yet, but you wanted to be there doing that. 

It wasn’t only here in Charleston. I remember seeing them in Spartanburg too. Being a kid trapped in a car, we were like, “Look at that!” There were banners with crazy graphics and I was like, “Let me out right here.” The things we wanted to do, we were deprived of to a certain extent. 

What parks do you remember seeing in the ‘70s?

There was one in Mt. Pleasant and there was one in North Charleston and one in West Ashley at least. I saw one in Spartanburg too.

I remember being a child and going to one in Charlotte. I was a kid, like age six. 

Irresistible. You were skateboarding before I was. I didn’t even have a skateboard in ’84. You want to know what happened next?

Yeah, I do. 

Before that, the only thing that I can interject is that I can remember seeing a couple of wide  skateboards here and there, but there was a thing in Charleston that Hank went to. It was some play that a huge theater company put on and it had skateboarding in it. They built a wooden deck with no decks and no coping. In the play, these dudes did kind of like a demo. 

Wow. What year was this?

It had to be between ’81 to ’83.

There was a skateboard play going on in Charleston?

Yeah. It was a play with a wooden halfpipe that guys were riding. The halfpipe was kickturns and three wheels out. The big attraction was the high jump. They strung up the high jump and dudes were limbo-ing under it and this one dude jumped right over it. It was about five feet tall. 

You just heard the stories about it?

No. I was there. I saw it. I think he was riding a fake animal skin Alva board with black and white zebra stripes, and my mind was blown… 


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