Corey Duffel's "People I've Known" Article
I broke into his backyard with Heath Kirchart, Josh Beagle, SkateTalk Bob, and some babes to go swimming. Tod came out furious and tried to kick us out while we were doing cannonballs off the neighbor’s wall. Bob was walking around naked at 2 am looking for his lost glasses, yet somehow Heath turned the situation around and Tod invited us inside. Swankser, I love you and thanks for the Dodge Dart and everything.
I was not patient as a teenager. I was probably too ignorant to even know what patience was. I always wondered what would have happened if I waited it out and rode for Toy Machine. I used to leave messages on Tempster’s answering machine about babes I was hitting the bone zone with and telling him that I did my first nosegrind down a handrail.
The dude put me in his video game and made me never want to eat Bagel Bites again.
He’s always had a thing for sausages. In 2001, he put me on Pig and later Foundation. He now sends me The Meat Men salami. Beagle is one of the best people I know and without his support I never would have gone pro. Skateboarding and I miss you, Beags.
You don’t win friends with salad.
The John J. Rambo of handrails. He can grind things that would make a billy goat puke.
Everyone should watch his 101 part and buy his ankle guards. Who remembers the 50-50 nollie flip out down the grass hill?
Lance is proof that skateboarding is all about style and soul. Hands down, he is the most inspirational skateboarder of all time.
I fan out on her and bore her with the same story of how she’s one of my favorites every time I see her.
Not known for his free-loving vibe, Corey breaks the mold and hippy hops from an oblique line Photo: Zaslavsky
The sanest of them all.
BK was the first one to help me out during my confused teenage times and mentor me about skateboarding and music. He taught me that punk was about more than just chaos and
shock value. He got me a cover of Heckler and a Thin Lizzy CD. SF misses you and so do I.
I went skating in Sacto with him when I was 12 and remember him eating shit and saying, “The concrete has no love today.” Twenty-one years later, I still say that when I slam. Cards has been one of my biggest influences.
How will he talent manage at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when he doesn’t fly?
I almost died filming a trick for one of his videos—and it still didn’t get used.
The all-time best skateboarder from the East Bay and the best spine skater of all time. Old man Speyer always gave me shit. Recently he told me that he liked my one-footed ollies, while also reminding me that Salman will always have a better one.
“I see a woman in the night.” Thanks for the years of laughter, Jamie.
Asked me to get Dave Wakeling put him on the guest list for an English Beat show in LA. Dave gave a proper shout out onstage to the homies from Girl skateboards. The only Girl board I bought as a kid was a Rick Howard one.
I beat him in a game of skate once. The E came from a hardflip. If it was a switch bigspin or frontside flip, I imagine he would have slapped my ass. Later that day he asked if I could ollie the Davis gap for his blog. Anything for Mike. He’s a true Bay Area powerhouse.
I’m still waiting for my royalty checks.
He’s on a mission to crush my dreams one spot at a time. The younger, better Corey.
He needs to respect his elders, like Pat motherfuckin’ Duffy! Stick to skateboarding because there is only room for one Bob Dylan.
I once asked Peter who his favorite skater was. His response, “Matt Hensley, you stupid-ass bitch.”
He fell off of a three-story roof and still skates better than I ever will. He also taught me how to make crepes in Paris and how to enjoy a three-hour French dinner after midnight.
We were record shopping in London and I was surprised to see him buying Blink 182 records. I love that he is 100 percent himself and does what he loves.
That Swedish meatball can fly! Airing the Mega Ramp at 50, but still can’t air out the scent from that tipped-over porta-potty in ’92.
I really thought he was trying to commit suicide while bombing Dolores.
I can still remember the smile and high five he gave me in 2002 after doing a fakie flip over a rail. No one dances like Ray, and to get a compliment from the king of cool was real cool.
Overseas and over a maze of a monster gap Photo: Chadourne
My first and only kiss from a man; it was a very strange night in Moscow. He is my all-time favorite skateboarder and was a huge inspiration to my skateboarding. In 2003, he had his wisdom teeth removed and stayed with my parents as he recovered. They cooked him soup and made sure he was comfortable until he was out of pain. Years later he was too cool to say hello to me when his band opened up for Graveyard.
I heard he used to make the dudes watch my video parts on Alien trips.
Let’s be honest; I was an ignorant kid and said some fucked-up things a long time ago thinking I was cool and funny. I never meant it maliciously, but I learned a hard and very valuable lesson on how we can hurt other people. Stevie was really cool about the whole situation. I am humbled by his way of handling it. He knew I was a stupid kid, let it go and acted like a man. A true G. Seriously, what a cool dude. You taught me to be aware of my actions and taught me about forgiveness. Let’s go skate soon, dude!
He has more style while pushing down the street than anyone. Watch his Tincan Folklore part for the proof.
Still waiting for you to get me on Converse and Fender. “Do it!” The words he yelled moments before I crushed a bicycle with the van. So many good memories with my homie the Nuge.
He sold me his Triumph Bonneville. Arto is the only pro that I have a photo fanning out with. It was at Slam City Jam in 1999 and Deanna Templeton took it.
If you haven’t seen the clip of him slamming on his DIY Mega Ramp, you’re missing out. Will we ever see him pushing? Big Boy kills it. And congrats on SOTY!
I met him at a contest in Amsterdam that I was judging and was instantly a huge fan. A couple years later when he was in Oakland I introduced myself to him, because I didn’t recognize him. He looked annoyed, and the second he told me I gave him third place in the Amsterdam contest I remembered him and the fucked-up shoes he was skating in. It’s amazing to see the little kid from the contest is now doing stuff no one else in the world can do.
Busting egos and people’s property, Duffel don’t give a fuck Photo: Zaslavsky
When he told me I was his first favorite skater it made me feel very special. Evan Smith is everything I love in a skateboarder—he is an artist! Years ago he asked me for one of my rings, so I put out my hands and said, “Pick one.” He chose a cool Indian chief and I was stoked to give it to him.
When I was 13 and riding for Think, the Duffman was on the team as well. I skated a demo with him at Benicia park. All my friends were there and they saw me skating in a demo with pros for the first time. Duffy is the most important skateboarder from the Bay Area.
The happy curmudgeon? I love Matt. We got off on the wrong foot because he was my counselor at Visalia skate camp in ’97. I was a 13-year-old crybaby and didn’t understand why this guy who hated kids was a counselor. Now that we are both old and grumpy, we love each other.
Deserves a trophy for gnarliest grind ever done.
Once upon a time at a demo, I did an ollie over a barrier. He told me he thought it was a sick ollie and he didn’t know if he could do it or not. Later that day he 180d it. One of my favorite skaters to watch.
I was beyond stoked when he gave me props for doing a frontside half Cab over the Mason Street gap.
You ever seen his Instagram video of him riding a bicycle backwards and singing Louis Armstrong’s "What a Wonderful World"?
I was a huge J Wray fan growing up. Ethan Fowler once asked me who some of my favorite skaters were and I mentioned Jeremy Wray. Ethan laughed hysterically and bent down into a squat and stuck his thumbs out and said, “Yeah, great syle.”
Thanks for drawing a giant dick in my wedding guestbook, Brad.
Like Dustin Dollin, I never know if he’s going to be too cool to say hello. I guess it just depends.
Stacy Peralta in a Supreme sweatshirt.
Disco sucks. Jerry Garcia is dead. Give me rock or give me head.
He tried to trade me shoes when I was 16. He said my adidas looked better than his. I denied him and kept the pair of Jack Purcells I was wearing.
I watched him fall in love at a strip club in Amarillo, TX, on a rainy day. Matt Mumford ordered two large pizzas to the place. Route 66 with the big dogs was one of the sickest trips ever. P-Stone frying on mushrooms convinced the cops that everything was okay as we were spray painting on Cadillacs.
When we were in England, Daniel tried to buy some weed, but it was just a napkin wrapped in cellophane. He’s one of the best dudes to ever ride a skateboard. Happy retirement, Daniel. We are all going to miss your grace.
Taildrop and ride the slide, Duffel takes another leap down Photo: Zaslavsky
What would happen today if a team manager left a 14-year-old kid at the Milner Motel in Tampa with a canceled flight home?
He use to beat me in every CASL contest with the ultimate benihana. He is my homie for life—even if he is the one that told Ed not to put me on Toy Machine.
I’m guessing one of the few that wasn’t stoked when I got on Foundation, but Strub’s and Rusczyk were half the reason I wanted to ride for Foundation. A Nor-Cal powerhouse.
I was on a trip with him in and some other guys on Think in 1998. They had fun beating up on the little kid, farting in my face, pissing in my soda, cutting the pockets off of my cargo pants, throwing a pie in my face, giving me dead arms and just some good old-fashioned pros-picking-on-the-little-kid stuff. I loved it and I wish pros today would still beat up the up-and-coming ams. Ams don’t get to ride shotgun.
I was mad jealous when he got on Foundation as a kid. Hope to see you soon.
Jaws and Dakota attended the 88 video premiere at Cowtown in Arizona when they were just kids. There is a photo of me with them somewhere. I don’t know if they are still fans.
My first time in Philly I was skating around and checking out some historic sights. I was on a crusty street with trash bags piled up on the sidewalks and was thinking to myself, This is such a Ricky Oyola spot. A minute later I hear someone pushing hard and popping ollies. I look down the road and it’s Ricky. He introduces himself and says, “These people have no idea they are making skate spots down the road.” It was fucking brilliant and hilarious. Ricky, you’re the real deal.
It’s amazing that the Duffy rail is still a go—suicide Smith in the sunshine Photo: Zaslavsky
I beat him in a contest once and he started crying. It was the only time I ever got first place in a pro contest. Do I need to mention that he was only a kid?
Thanks for helping me get home from the aforementioned Tampa trip. I used to buy boards from him back in ’96 when he was my neighbor. Love you, BA.
The first day I met Gary, I watched Josh Beagle shoot him in the face with a pellet gun. It broke Gareth’s tooth. He was one of my favorite people to travel with. One time he pissed himself in the night and instead of taking a shower or getting new jeans, he used a blow dryer to dry the piss. We headed to the airport and I was stoked I wasn’t sitting next to him for the next few hours. Sober Gareth was one of the best skaters I’ve ever seen. He’s a legend, even if he does smell like weasel piss.
I stayed at his house in 2003 and ate all his vegan cookies, drank some orange juice that he offered me and brought back a lady friend. A week later, Lance Conklin said Kris wanted me off the team because I ate all his food. When I was 16 I went to his wedding, and I don’t even remember this happening, but I told someone the salmon sucked. This comment was the reason I couldn’t get on Foundation a year or two sooner. He hated my guts. I imagine it’s all groovy these days.
Up and over, then back down for a vibrant sea-level grind Photo: Zaslavsky
Check out these other "People I've Known":
Gridlock - Episode 1The debut episode of Gridlock, a series of videos set primarily here in the Bay Area, filmed and edited by Brendan Bill. Enjoy...
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Rough Cut: Corey Duffel's "Not Alone" PartCorey Duffel rediscovered his inner stoke while filming his Not Alone part, and this Rough Cut is miles of smiles. You can't fake fun. Get some, Duffman!
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Classic Covers: Corey DuffelCorey breaks down a great day of spontaneous skateboarding that ultimately lead to his 2nd cover.