Monday, September 21, 2009

Ken Park.



This is going to be Vision week. No real reason behind it, other than I have a couple of Vision scans that I haven't used and decided to fill out the other three days. I was never big on the company and it is interesting how time has treated their pros. Gonz and Lee Ralph are regarded as legends while guys like Ken Park and Johnny Kopp are the butt of jokes. The team as a whole certainly ripped, but I think the full on 1980s fashion/MTV style hurt things. For somebody like Gator, this was perfect. Not so much for Tom Groholski.

The photo is by Chip Morton.

Transworld - April 1989 Volume 7 Number 2

13 comments:

David said...

That is how you do a boneless. Wow!
And why does he have a "TM" next to his name?

Anonymous said...

Good ol' Krap Nek. That's gotta be one of the worst nicknames in skateboarding. Furby, Trainwreck, Ragdoll, Lizard King and all these dudes going around today have nothing on him. That is a sick boneless, though.

I want to hazard a guess that Ken Park was involved with 1 More Skateboard company, in which you paid something like $60 and got two skateboards. That was the company's whole gimmick, and they even had Jason Carney as a pro. I only saw a few ads for them in TWS in the early '90s before they folded up shop.

-- Rikku Markka

justin said...

Ken did run 1 More Skateboard company. They would split a page of ads in Transworld with Matt Hensley's Phat Clown clothing company.

Concerned Parent said...

That movie of his is too sexual. I mean, there's a limit. And he just crossed right over it without any regard for convention or conservatism.

He's going to Hell for it. There's no eggplants in Hell, Ken. Sorry, bud. Just a lot of whipping and the pointless carrying of heavy things.

Was it worth it?

Old School Sammy said...

I never owned a Vision deck back in their hey day, but I rode and set a couple up for friends and always found their wood to be cheap. That was a big disappointment, because I thought they had some great, innovative shapes back then (I was a big fish shaped deck guy---always found it functional for my skating--which was an amalgamation of street/hill bombing, ditches/curb/bank fun and half pipes) like the long-since classic OG Gonz deck. I set an old Agent Orange deck up for a college buddy---wonder if he still has it, considering what it supposedly goes for in the old deck after market these days---stooopit money!

justin said...

It surprises me that Ken Park never filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Harmony Korine and Larry Clark for the movie that bears his name that he had nothing to do with.

Anonymous said...

I had a couple of Vision decks back in the Day. They didn't really break but they seemed to get soft and loose their pop pretty quickly.

Old School Sammy said...

anon---the same peoblems I saw friends had with their Vision decks---the wood was just assed out. The boards were sturdy, which was weird for how quick they delam'ed and got badly dinged when you lost it and it hit a curb or anything else with an edge to it.

Anonymous said...

Concerned Parent

uhhh that movie had nothing to do with Ken Park the former pro skateboarder.

Ken said...

Wow. So much to defend here. Well can't argue the butt of Jokes thing, but I will let my competition record stand on it's own. I will also say that I got more out of skating than U ever gave it. It taught me everything I know about creativity, artistry and grassroots marketing. I use it all to this day. I had nothing to do with Larry Clark's rendition of Harmony korine's script. Although I did sign a release in exchange for a cameo that ended up on the cutting room floor. Gonzalez was ways a legend and rightly so. Lee Ralph...not so sure. But I sure had some memorable times with him ontour. Visions wood was the same used on about six other companies in fact Paul Scmidt is the skater equivelant of Warren Buffet for realizing the value of
making boards not marketing them. And yes,visionis the absolute best example of selling out. Matt Hensley, the other legend mentioned in theposts, and I started Phat Klown and yes I started 1more Skate ,
co. But if youdont get the joke I won't wadtemy time explaining it. But two boards for such a low price was an attempt at giving more value, not a scam. What can I say, neither Phat Klown nor 1more worked out. 100% my bad.
Hope that clears some things up
Ken Park - not the one that kills himself at the beginning of the movie.

Billy said...

"Gonz and Lee Ralph are regarded as legends while guys like Ken Park and Johnny Kopp are the butt of jokes."

This statement is pretty in-accurate, unless you like making fun of guys that can pull off 6-7 foot airs with relative ease. Ken Park was plenty of pictorials & feature articles in Transworld in '88, and he'll go down in history as being one of the more notable (and some would say) under-rated vert skaters of the late 80's, along with Jeff Kendall, Neil Blender, Caballero, McGill, Mountain, Roskopp, etc. Guys like Hawk, Jeff Phillips & Hosoi & Gator were top of the heap, but there only about 80 "Top" vert skaters in the whole country, let alone on Vision(!) Ken Park was definitely one of them. Some education on skateboard history would help you out immensely. I'd recommend watching Gator & Ken Park demoing in Helsinki. It's on Youtube. Also, Groholski gets pretty of respect from guys like Mike Vallely who learned how to more or less skate vert on his ramp. Again, read up on the stake history pal. It's obvious you need it. -Billy

justin said...

Hey Billy, maybe you should re-read my original post and then catch up on skateboarding history since 1992. Nowhere do I personally say anything bad about any of the Vision riders in terms of skateboarding ability. I'm simply pointing out a brief summary of the opinions of Vision that have made it into print over the last fifteen years. Time hasn't exactly been kind to a few of the top pros of the 1980s. Whether the criticism is warranted or not is one thing, but the fact is that the negative opinions are out there. I try to keep things on the positive side here, but you can't deny that Vision is a company that catches a lot of flack.

Joshua Delawrence said...

Old School Sammy is an idiot. Another kook in the bunch.. I have a vision deck in front of me. Has wear and tear on it. 30 years old ken Park. You can still slap a set of wheels on it and it will ride fine.