Shortly after Back to the Future was released, I stepped on my first skateboard. It was a rusty and decrepit old plastic banana board that a friend’s dad had bought well before we were born. Rolling down the driveway evolved into bombing the hill up the street. By the time I got my first real board from the local skate-shop in 1987, I could tell I was in it for life even though I was only in elementary school. In my early teens, I would spend entire summer days on backyard mini ramps, and would re-convene after dinner with my friends at concrete parking lots. Even when I moved with my family to Alaska in 1994, I would bundle up to skate in empty parking garages, and scrape ice off benches under canopies of buildings. I skated to college every possible day in Anchorage, where I received a BA in English Literature. In 2006, my wife Shannon, our dog Ollie, and I packed up and moved to Portland, Oregon, a huge skate hub with epic skateparks throughout the state. I have always celebrated the passion, creativity, and commitment that skateboarding embodies. I see the concrete world as a challenge to overcome and master barriers with style and finesse. Above Coping began in 2009 to encourage children with chronic health conditions to skate bravely through the troubling times, and elevate their minds every time they conquer a new obstacle.
I tried skateboarding once back in 1980. I’m still trying. Why? Skateboarding is more than a challenging and fulfilling activity, it’s more than a diverse community of comrades sharing great times and experiences, it’s certainly more than a mere useless toy that people scoff as an outlet for beatniks. It’s a lifestyle. A passion. A faith. I can’t explain it in words, it just is. That’s why I not only want to promote skateboarding as a fun activity but also to leverage the power of skateboarding to better the lives of others. I was a competitive amateur skater back in the ’80′s and was privileged to work for and endorse Santa Cruz Skateboards. Through skateboarding, I developed a massive network of friends whose relationships I will treasure forever. It inspired me to take risks, explore new avenues, and be more open-minded. I dabble in freestyle and street skating but I mostly like skating vert. I have a BA in Mathematics from University of California Santa Cruz and an MBA from Portland State University. I currently work for a leading footwear mega brand in supply chain operations strategies and improvements. My wife, Julie, and I are proud parents of 2 kids, Quinn and Violet. When Heath asked if I’d like to be involved with his pursuit to inspire kids with signature model skateboard decks I was all over it. Above Coping is a way to use the magic of skateboarding to give hope, inspiration, and experiences to those in this world that need it most.