Thursday, May 05, 2005

Who the Heck is Natas K? -Part Two


Natas Kaupas. The name kind of rolls off the tongue, don't it? Ever since we published nude photos of the man in the (nonexistent -legal team) Fakiegrind 3-D Newsletter, Fakiegrinders have been wondering just who this bleach blonde hunk of Lithuanian-sired Kryptonite is. Kids skating out front of the old Steam Whistle brewery don't seem to know. The guy I buy my lotto tickets from at the corner store doesn't know. Pursue the issue on Google, and you will come up with a series of informational blind alleys:

Born -1969
Ethnicity -White
Sexual Orientation -Straight
Occupation -Sports Figure, Artist
Attended -Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA c.1987
Level of fame-"Niche"
Executive summary -"Legendary Skateboarder"

What is this crap? "Sports" Figure? Niche? At least they got the "Legendary" part right (legendary, not so much in the "Loch Ness Monster" kind of way, as in the "Jimmy Hendrix of Skate" kind of way -pea/nut gallery). We're talking about Natas Kaupas here, people! Does, "First Photographed Handrail Grind" come to mind? How about "Ollie Fastplant Grab at the Strand (wherever that is -Bugs)"? How about "Streets of Fire", "Ollie to Fire Hydrant Spinner", "Dumpster Slide"? How about "The Beginning of Street Skating as We Know it"?!

When I was cutting my teeth in the streets of Barrie Ontario (I found one of your incisors fossilized in a curb last week -ed) I had two of the Santa Monica Airlines Natas decks. Even though I'm a long-legged fellow the decks were minis, because that was all that our buddy, Dave W., ever seemed to have at his shop. This was before the era of big-nosed boards, and I sprained my ankle several times, rolling it off the front of my Natas deck (small price to pay for being so cool -NK).

The first Natas deck I had was a red one. The second was purple. I painted over the now famous black panther graphics with white paint, and decorated the bottom with a reindeer stencil I made. I called it, "The Winter Wonderland Deck" because we skated right through the snow in those days, using really big wheels with chains wrapped around them for better traction. Sometimes we would attach our skateboards to a train of Husky dogs, and have races across the frozen lake. Yes, those were the days, my friends. Those were the days.

Stay tuned for the third and final installment in this ill-researched and thought revoking series.

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