Psycho Skate from Vision Streetwear, circa 1988. This video is a good mix of Freestyle, Vert, and even some early Snowboarding. It seems like everything back in the late 80s was some sort of bright neon color. Do you remember color-changing shirts? More after the jump.
Vision Streetwear brings out a lot of emotion when you mention it to people nowadays. Some hate it with a passion, while others can embrace what Vision brought to skateboarding. Vision was about as commercial as you could get when it came to skateboarding. They were a huge company and even purchased Sims Skateboards at one point. The size of Vision was their downfall in the end, and the fact that most of their skaters left to start their own companies. Brad Dorfman recently sold Vision Streetwear to Canadian based company Lifestyle Inc.
Brad Dorfman got his start selling skateboards out of his car on the beach. He was ahead of the pack when he picked up Mark Gonzales, Rodney Mullen, and Gator Rogowski, who were some of the top skaters of the time. Mark Gonzales later started Blind Skateboards (har har) with Jason Lee. While Gator had a whole mess of personal demons that eventually destroyed his career.
By the age of fourteen Gator was riding for Vans and G n’ S skateboards. When Gator beat Tony Hawk at the Del Mar Spring Nationals in 1984, Brad Dorfman put him on his new company Vision Skateboards. Gator was internationally known by 1990 and was making money hand-over-fist. When he was in Germany he got drunk, punched out a bouncer, a cabby, and then climbed into a second story window where he fell and impaled his neck on a fence, which almost killed him.
Vision Team Manager John Hogan:
He’s in so much pain, and he’s so drunk and he turned into a madman. Almost like he’s on some super-human drug like PCP or something. … The next morning, he got up and said, ‘fuck, what happened?’ It was just unbelievable, that he had no concept of where he was, how he got there.
Gator tried to clean up his life, having “found” christianity, but in the end his undiagnosed Bipolar condition was his downfall. If you don’t know the tragic outcome of what happened to Gator then I urge you to watch Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator.
I realize that I’ve gone on a huge Gator tangent, but his story is far more interesting than the story of Vision in my opinion.
Vision Classic Sk8 DVD Retrosk8 Video Review
Featured Skaters: Barry “Chicken” Deck, Primo Desederio, Diane Desiderio, Mark Gonzales, John Grigley, Tom Groholski, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Chuck Hults, Marty “Jinx” Jimenez, Bruce Logan, Rodney Mullen, Steve Rocco, Mark “Gator” Rogowski
run time: 30 min 49 sec – Check it Out