Psycho Skate – Vision – 1988

vision

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

13 Comments

  1. HA! We made Vision Fanny Packs. The 80′s were awesome. I never get sick of watching this, though I am definitely biased. And WTF was up with hot pink back then? I wore it too, so I’m not trying to make fun, but damn.

  2. Blah, blah, blah..Yea, yea yea. 1988 my ass. Brad (B-Rad) goes back to 1980 and I know cuz I was there. In the little shop off Placncia in Costa Mesa and living on beach. Vision Sports. While waiting, and woking hard at bringing skateboarding back, (and Brad was the one who probably did), he was into skating and BMX bikes too. Remember 23rd Street Bike Shop? His passion was definitey wheels! Hot pink? Oh yea! And everything had lights! Good times, good times. Lisa :)

  3. slammin watusis. j grant britain pic of lucero railsliding on a horseshoe in tws. thats just shit you never fucking forget. 1988 rules.

  4. sneeky bae on May 13, 2008 - Reply

    man. i love this video~ I still own it and used to watch it everyday when i was like 7 or 8 years old!

  5. i was wondering if u had any footage of John A. Griglby?

  6. houseofneil on June 2, 2008 - Reply

    Griglby? You mean Grigley?

  7. I had the please of working for UNREEL Productions and it was one of the most fun and rewarding times in my 30 years of television production. Brad Dorfman is the MAN! Lets make some more TV together!!

  8. [...] “old-school” y estética ochentera seguro que disfrutas con este video titulado “Pyscho Skate” (30min.) editado por Vision Street Wear en 1988. Aparecen los skaters: Barry [...]

  9. I was there too, 1987 to 1990. Brad hired me out of New York to consolidate and run his art departments for the various divisions. Not being a skate insider it was an eye opener! I still regard those years as the most incredibly rewarding of my career. Working with the talented artists and designers of Vision as well as the skaters themselves, we had an incredible output that included boards, shirts, ads, packaging, posters and even textile designs. I met some amazing people during those years, some of which I’m still in touch with. Many of them went on to start successful companies like Simple, Etnies, New Deal, Blind skateboards etc. It seemed like there was an unbelievable amount of talent in that one place and time. Brad picked the perfect name for his company because he certainly had a vision when it came to the company. The snowboarder Bert Lamar gave me my first haircut in California, I drove Mark Gonzales to check out a beater car he wanted to buy, did lots of photoshoots with the tragic Gator and learned how to curse in French from Pierre Andre. One of my all time favorite memories had to be the time our person in charge of product placement, Dana knocked on my door and walked in with all the members of Aerosmith. I could go on and on with stories but I’ll leave it at that and just say, to all my buddies from those Vision days, I hope you are all doing well. I think about you often. PS the number 401 can still freak me out (inside reference). – Russell

    • OMG!!!!! The 401 is my most feared #. I loved working for Brad D, but everytime I saw that ext. number come up I thought oh shit! He was so cool to me and I loved working there in the promo dept. Those’s years there were one of the BEST times of my life!!! And I totally think of everyone who worked, skated, snowboarded, etc. often too :)

  10. i used to skate at the pipeline, paramount, and del mar until they all met with the bulldozer. i miss that, but at least Vans built a replica of the combi pool from the pipeline at the Block of Orange entertainment center in orange,ca.
    my favorite skate shirt was Vision’s “DON’T DIE WONDERING”. i wish they would do a reprint of the shirt.

  11. steverecht on November 4, 2012 - Reply

    Too funny. Too many memories. Good to recognize some familiar names and stories.

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