Neil Blender is one of the most revered figures in skateboarding history. Channeling Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Rod Serling, he’s lived his whole life as a work of oddball art. In the early 1980s, when sharp, professional deck graphics ruled, Neil was the first to put a homespun, surreal twist on it, and he penned some hilariously bizarre yarns for his Aggro Zone column in TransWorld Skateboarding magazine. Likewise in Skate Fate zine, Neil’s Mark Coonson comic strip foreshadowed exotic terrain and maneuvers like the ho-ho plant and skating handrails several years before it happened in real life. As if inventing tricks like the bean plant, no comply, jolly mamba, wooly mammoth and many more was not enough, Neil often blessed other people’s moves with funny, perfect names like the luggage terminal (Elguerial to tail). He was also the first to do front truck grinds on coping back when it seemed impossible. Neil’s sometimes erratic, always spontaneous behavior manifested itself in many ways: painting a cartoon face on a wall during a contest run, ripping tiny ramps inside a house, acting like a lizard on the flat bottom after a knee slide, pushing a silly rocket air over a little hump. Ultimately, Neil Blender’s lasting legacy inspires all of us to be as creative as possible, and to not take ourselves, or life, too seriously. And that’s what skateboarding needs now more than ever… read the complete Neil Blender interview >
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