Picture 6zephyr team dogtown west los angeles skateboard

ca. 1975, the original Zephyr (Z-Boys) skateboard team at the Del Mar Nationals, the first US national skateboarding competition — Shogo Kubo, Bob Biniak, Nathan Pratt, Stacy Peralta, Jim Muir, Allen Sarlo, Chris Cahill, Tony Alva, Paul Constantineau, Jay Adams, Peggy Oki, Wentzle Ruml — Image by Craig Stecyk.  While the Z-Boys non-conformist style and brash behavior did not sweep the winners podium, every major skateboard company took notice and came after their stars with lucrative offers and endorsement deals. Jeff Ho and Skip could not compete with the big brand’s deep pockets– within 6 months, the Zephyr team we be no more.

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Born out of the gritty Venice Beach surf slumtown called Dogtown— where you had better have eyes in the back of your head– the infamous Z-Boys were the motley badass boys of skateboarding assembled by the co-founders of Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions–Craig Stecyk, Jeff Ho, and Skip Engblom. This scrappy group of street kids, who gave skateboarding  teeth, were loyal disciples of their radical father figures who put Dogtown style on the map. These kids would carry the torch and create a skateboarding cultural revolution that started as an extension of their surfing, and grew into a distinctive Z-Boys style that forever changed the skating world.

Heavily influenced by Dogtown’s mean streets, Jeff Ho’s surfboard design and attitude was a direct reflection of the neighborhood’s tough low rider and graffiti lifestyle. Ho and crew thumbed their noses (or more accurately “flipped the bird”) at the mainstream squeaky-clean surf culture, and the Zephyr surf team fiercely guarded their turf against any invading non-locals who wanted to ride their waves. And if the locals didn’t get you by hurling chunks of concrete and glass as you surfed, the insanely dangerous conditions of the decaying Pacific Ocean Park would. The mangled and jutting pier pylons were there waiting for a screw-up so they could impale you, or snap your precious board to pieces.

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Dogtown’s legendary Zephyr surf team with c0-founder and designer Jeff Ho far right.

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Scott Pommier shooting Stacie B. London for –SHUTTER SPEED– image courtesy of has a great profile on photographer extraordinaire, and friend of TSY— Scott Pommier. I’m a huge Pommier fan (or “Half-pint” as I like to call him…) as a person– not to mention his talent, perspective and attitude.  He was an incredibly professional, focused and generous artist to work with back on the Shutter Speed shoot for TSY.  Scott was the one to reach out with the idea to collaborate on a shoot, and I’ll always remember and be indebted to him for the selfless generosity, the cool guy that he is, and the incredible images and memories that came of it.  Here’s to you, brother.

Photographer Scott Pommier on his Harley-Davidson Panhead — image courtesy of

Photographer Scott Pommier shooting on his skateboard — image courtesy of

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The photography of Scott Pommier definitely strikes a deep, resounding chord with the rebel in me. Being a big fan of legendary photographers like– Danny Lyon, William Gedney, Allan Tannenbaum, and Robert Frank, rarely do I see modern day images that come close to capturing that same edgy feel of Americana.  The best term in my mind to describe Scott Pommier’s work– Modern Americana.  I’d also put the great Robert Yager in that category.

I asked Scott how he got started, and how he’d best describe his work–

“I started shooting photos of my friends skateboarding. All I wanted to do for the longest time was to take pictures like the ones that I saw in skateboarding magazines, and I learned to do just that. I shot for skateboarding magazines for about ten years, now people ask me what I shoot and I don’t quite know what to tell them.  I don’t feel like I’m an action sport photographer, a commercial photographer, a lifestyle photographer or a fashion photographer exactly, but a little bit of all of those things. Of the pictures that I’ve shot, the ones that I like best, fall in between some of those lines; an action photo that feels more like a fashion shot or portrait that borders on reportage. I spent years learning the skill of photography before I really figured out how I wanted to shoot and what I wanted to shoot. I take pictures of what I think is interesting and significant and beautiful.”

–Scott Pommier


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