Family, friends and fans of Pepe Martinez on Sept 26th, 2013.
On September 26th, 2003 the world of skateboarding lost a great soul. And for the skateboarding community in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) that loss really hit home with the passing of the DMV’s native son Pepe “Pep” Martinez.
I grew up skateboarding with Pep from 1986. When we first met there was an instant bond between our respective skate crews and us. He was hailing from Northern Virginia and I was representing Silver Spring, Maryland. We were all teenagers at the time and came from varying ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. The one thing we had in common was skateboarding.
From the early days in our skateboarding experiences we all knew that our playground or battlefield would be downtown Washington, D.C. So without fail, for years (and to this day) we would converge on the Nation’s Capital with our tools of self-expression and release our aggression. Any given weekend there were on average 30, 40 even sometimes 50 skateboarders skating in one location and there would always be a few standouts. Pep was certainly one of them. He was not big in stature at all but he had a huge heart and an even bigger smile that matched his charisma. And when he skated, it was with style and grace that you would often find yourself stopping to watch.
As Pep grew in size and experience so did his skating ability. And when street skating became more technical with difficult flip tricks and even doing tricks switch (riding opposite your natural stance) he excelled even faster, as if it was the way it way supposed to be. Pep (and many other skaters from the DMV) went onto much greater success than many of us could have imagined when we first started out. He gained the support from local and national sponsors as an amateur and eventually turned pro. His career can be charted through any Internet search engine and will yield numerous photos and video parts.
Even after 10 years since his passing his presence and influence on skateboarding still lives strong. It was only fitting for there to be a formal meeting of family, friends and fans of Pep’s to commemorate his passing and celebrate his life and legacy. So, on September 26, 2013 we met up at Freedom Plaza (a.k.a. Pulaski Park) in Washington, DC, to share stories, memories and hugs in honor of him. Some came from as far west as California as others came from up and down the eastern seaboard from Florida to Boston. His impact on the world of skateboarding is immeasurable, and ethereal.
- Ray Llanos
These keepsakes were carved out and engraved from Pep’s Grey Market Pro Model by Boltz on Board.
Mrs. Martinez and Andy Honen smile about the many good times had at her home in northern Virginia. The door was always open for so many skaters from the are or passing through town.
Mark “Boltz” Botlwood came up from Atlanta for the weekend to deliver the plakard and necklaces he made for the Martinez family.
Even though Rebecca Davis-Macias might not have met Pep, she still has heard many stories told by others. Here she impressively represents as one of DC’s finest female skaters.
Jimmy Pelletier needs no introduction. And at 41 years old he still has the legs and tricks of a 16 year old in the ’80s.
Pep’s light still shines bright on all the skaters of the DMV.
Wyatt was one of the smallest skaters there but he had a big heart and a bright smile. He was also so naturally cool; check out the “thumbs up” while getting his backside slash grind in. A great skateboard mom, Tralice that takes him to skate as much as their schedule allows, also supports him. While I was there Wyatt contacted the #TonyHawkFoundation for assistance on building a skatepark in St. Croix. When I found this out, I told him he just got another ally in that venture. Tony, Miki let’s continue that conversation from #innoskate in D.C. @tonyhawk @mikivuckovich #sk8stcroix #sk8stx #sk8usvi #skateboarders #skateboarding #stcroix #usvirginislands #usvi #skatechronicles
Elian just learned how to drop-in a week prior to learning how to rock-n-roll to fakie. With every attempt he pushed his board further and further beyond that pvc coping. He slammed and paid the price a few times for hanging up but kept on getting up and skating. That’s what skateboarding is about, not the slams but the fun you have skating. #sk8stcroix #sk8stx #sk8usvi #skateboarding #skateboarders #stcroix #usvirginislands #usvi #skatechronicles
Much to my surprise on a recent visit home, to St. Croix, USVI I stumbled across a miniramp on the side of the road. Sure enough as my vision was not deceiving me, skaters would soon appear. I was overjoyed for such a find. And they came in all colors, ages, sizes and abilities. Many of them had not even seen a halfpipe in person before as one passerby stopped in and said “I’ve seen this on TV and now I see it here (nodding his head with approval and smiling with glee).”
Well there are two miniramps on St. Croix at this point and one is even covered so you can skate when it rains. The good people at Freedom City Surf in Frederiksted built this ramp with their own funds and some donated manpower form a local skater in the community. They are a surf, skate and water sports rental shop that provides locals and tourists alike with cool recreational activities.
The popularity of skateboarding has taken off over the years nationally and it was only a matter of time that it would hit the USVI the same way. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of places to skate on the island so ramps and parks would be the best way for skateboarding to grow in the islands. It is my hope to help make skateboarding more accessible to the people of the Virgin Islands. Therefore you will hear more about this as I come up with a formal approach to making it happen. For now enjoy these images and lookout for the hash tags #sk8stcroix #sk8stx #sk8usvi #skateboarders #skateboarding #stcroix #usvirginislands #usvi #skatechronicles
@thewastedtalent @mightyhealthy and a few more #GoneMaxFishing from the final night of #MaxFishBar 7/29/2013. #SkateChronicles @maxfishbar
@nyskateboarding and More #GoneMaxFishing #MaxFishBar #SkateChronicles @maxfishbar
**Warning: Explicit lyrics** This wasn’t closing night but this was a big catch for those who were there the night Prodigy of Mobb Deep delivered “Shook Ones” acapella. There were tons of OG skaters at Max Fish that night including Harry Jumonji, Mickey Reyes, Scott Johnston and Chris Hall to name a few. It was an epic night to say the least. Thankful I had room on my iPhone to capture this. #GoneMaxFishing #MaxFishBar #MobbDeep #Prodigy #live #hiphop #iamhiphop #skateboarders #skatechronicles
Can’t believe it’s been two weeks since Max Fish closed their doors for good in LES. It was a sad day for so many skaters, friends and family that considered it a haven. They will be reopening at a new location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Many of their patrons vow to venture out there for more good times but it will be a hard act to follow. Email email@example.com with any inquiries. #MaxFishBar #SkateChronicles #GoneMaxFishing @maxfishbar
Related to the last post highlighting skateboarding and filmmaking we decided to repost this video shot by @rbumali for @zooyork at @yankees stadium. We think you’ll enjoy it. #skatechronicles #nyskateboarding #newyorkcity #theBRONX
Who knew that #skateboarding would have it’s own program during the 2013 Asian American International Film Festival in New York City? Well indeed it did with short films created by some of the most talented and experienced Asian American filmmakers. Martin Wong hosted and made it all happen. While Wing Ko brought his documentary prowess to the screen along with the talented Jesse Neuhaus from “Brotherhood” and RB Umali gave us a fresh mix in NY Revisited 3 Remix. It’s always great to see skateboarding on the big screen. Thank you to Asian Cinevision and Anthology Film Archives for the platform and hospitality.
Checkout http://www.giantrobot.com/martin/animal-style-revisited-at-cinevisions-new-york/ for more details on what was shown. #thankyouskateboarding #skatechronicles
Matt Allison is an avid skateboarder here in New York City. Whenever possible, Matt hits the streets simply for the fun and passion of pushing the stuntwood. He’s also a very talented writer who’s got some thought provoking essays on his blog. Check him out at http://www.mallisonwhat.com