Jeff Phillips (skateboarder)

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Jeff Phillips (June 11, 1963 – December 25, 1993) was an American professional skateboarder.

Phillips grew up in Dallas, Texas and started skateboarding at 10 years old. In 1973, his grandmother Annice gave him a Shark skateboard with steel wheels. Jeff and his father, Charles, crafted skateboards at home out of scraps of birch and plywood. As a teenager he frequented Dallas' Wizard Skateboard Park.[1]

In March 1986, Phillips placed third at the opening NSA Pro-Am event in Houston.[2] Later in December, he claimed a victory at the NSA Pro-Am Final in Anaheim, defeating competition favourite, Tony Hawk. The next year, Phillips featured on the cover of Thrasher Magazine's March 1987 issue.[3] During his career, Phillips featured in magazine adverts for such brands as Sims Skateboards, G&S and Tracker Trucks.[4]

Phillips popularized the skateboarding trick that he called the 'Phillips 66'. The trick was adapted from the Fakie 360 invert, which Phillips credited to Shawn Peddie.[5]

In the late 1980s, as Phillips' career as a competitive sponsored skater was winding down, he bought his own indoor skateboard park and named it 'The Jeff Phillips Skateboard Park'.[6] Jeff ran the park with fellow Zorlac skater, Billy Smith.[7] However, by 1993 the park had developed financial difficulties which lead Phillips to consider selling it. The park stayed closed for several months after Phillips' death until Charles Kieser, an in-line skater who'd known Jeff, rented and renovated the park, recovered some of the old ramps and re-opened in April 1994 as Rapid Revolutions.[1]

Death[edit]

On Christmas Day, 1993, Jeff's family members became concerned when he did not appear at his parents' house as previously planned. Later in the afternoon, Phillips' friend and neighbor, Judy Walgren, discovered Phillips slumped over on his bed with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and a .357 Magnum revolver. An autopsy revealed alcohol and Valium in Phillips' body.[7][8] Jeff was buried at Restland Memorial Park with locks of his friends' hair and the last skateboard he rode.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wilkinson, Peter (September 8, 1994). "Skate till you die". Rolling Stone (690): 56. 
  2. ^ "NSA No.1 Houston". Thrasher Magazine. High Speed Productions. 6 (5): 38–39. June 1986. ISSN 0742-4922. 
  3. ^ Thatcher, Kevin J. (March 1987). "Ana Hype". Thrasher Magazine. 7 (3): 40. 
  4. ^ "Jeff Phillips Ad Archive". Texas Style Skateboarding. 
  5. ^ Badillo, Steve (2010). Skateboarding : Legendary tricks 2. Chula Vista, Calif.: Tracks Pub. pp. 86–87. ISBN 1884654355. 
  6. ^ Borden, Iain (2005). Skateboarding, space and the city : architecture and the body. Berg. p. 83. ISBN 1859734936. 
  7. ^ a b Michels, Patrick (August 5, 2010). "Legendary Dallas Skateboarders, Rebuffed By The City In Their Efforts To Build A Public Skatepark, Go Underground And Build Their Own.". Dallas Observer. 
  8. ^ "Hell On Wheels". San Francisco Bay Guardian. 1994. 

External links[edit]